Close your eyes. Imagine a pizza. Perhaps with pepperoni, and today you’re craving jalapeño peppers. Now, open your eyes. Guess what? If you’re at Pizza Hut in the UK, that’s all it takes to order a tasty, jalapeño and pepperoni-topped pizza.
Recently, Pizza Hut tested a new digital menu that practically reads customers’ minds to take their order. Using eye tracking technology developed by Tobii Technology, the new “Subconscious Menu” learns what customers want to order by collecting data on where the eye rests.
Within two-and-a-half seconds, a custom-ordered pizza can be yours. The technology, which is completely controlled by the customer’s retina, sorts through the possible 4,896 menu combinations to find a match between the customer’s cravings and Pizza Hut’s flavorful offerings. (Kind of like online dating, only faster, and with more pizza.) Pizza Hut UK tested this new ordering option with a 98 percent success rate (although, on the off-chance the Subconscious Menu gets it wrong, customers can go back to the traditional way of ordering).
In the Tobii Technology press release, Dr. Simon Moore, a consumer psychologist, explains the basic science behind the menu. “We have quite an extensive subconscious relationship with our food and it’s certainly the case psychologically that ‘we eat with our eyes,'” Moore explains. “Quick brain responses are probably hardwired to our evolutionary survival reflex. We are automatically drawn to foods that give us more nutrition– it is a safety mechanism we’ve inherited from primitive man that still plays a role in our subconscious decision making, even when we might be choosing pizza!”
Cool, or creepy? (Both, kind of.) Though the UK was the first to experience the power of mind reading, no decisions have been made as to whether or not this ordering experience will be shared with the world. Now, back to day-dreaming about pizza…