Inamo hi-tech restaurant hands on
Inamo is about to open its new flagship restaurant on London's Regent Street, and Pocket-lint was invited down for a sneak peak.
Now, you may be wondering why a technology website is interested in a restaurant opening. Well, let us explain...
Inamo isn't your average restaurant. It's the restaurant of the future, now.
No, we don't mean that the waiters have been replaced by Androids and that you are served up dehydrated pizza like the ones from Back to the Future. But the waiters have been replaced, in some part at least, by technology.
Because, instead of placing your order to a waiter, you simply do it all on your HD-display-table.
Mark Boyle, of Compurants, the chaps behind the E-Table set up was on hand to explain to Pocket-lint how it all works.
Above each table is a HD projector and an individual Windows XP embedded PC. But you won't be seeing anything of the operating system. You simply browse the options using the specialised software, and you navigate using a circular touchpad which is connected to the PC via Bluetooth.
The table is fully customisable, you have a choice of a number of different background pictures or patterns, and you can also set it to auto-rotate between them if you can't settle on one.
But its key feature is that it lets you see, and more importantly, order any food or drink from the menu.
It's easy to browse between the different food and drink options, and when you select one you are given a projection of your choice onto the blank plate on your table. It's a brilliantly unique way of seeing what's on offer.
When you've decided on what you want, you simply select the item and order it and your choice is beamed straight through to the kitchen.
And, speaking of the kitchen, there is also an option to see what is going on in there using the Chef-cam feature, where a web-cam video of the kitchen is projected onto your table.
You can continue to order food and drinks as you please, and you can also keep an eye on your order and your running bill, via the display as well. Plus, if something doesn't arrive, or if you have a problem, you can also summon the waiter.
The software has a number of excellent extras on board too. Whilst you're waiting for your food and drinks to arrive you can play some games (including a two-player Battleship option) or check out the local attractions with bar and entertainment guides.
When you're finished eating you can call for your bill and even order a taxi when you're ready to go. All without ever leaving your table.
As Pocket-lint isn't a food website, we're not going to focus on that aspect in too much detail. We're all about the tech you see. But, suffice to say, the Asian-fusion menu doesn't disappoint. We don't want to come across all Michael Winner, but you must, simply must, try the black cod.
The restaurant at Regent Street is the second Inamo location, and the company's chairman Daniel Potter told us that a third one is on its way - somewhere in Europe, although he wouldn't say where.
He did tell us, however, that the software has been licensed across a number of European restaurants, so expect to see this type of setup appearing at more and more venues.
Gadget fans will love Inamo for the brilliant technology which, crucially, is seamless and very responsive. And food fans will just love the excellent grub on offer.
Inamo Regent Street is opening soon and can be found at 4-12 Regent Street.