Smart Tables - A New Product Idea

Do you ever get inspired with a new product idea and say to your spouse or friend or self, "You know what the world needs is a . . . ?" And then you keep going and do nothing with the idea, only to hear or read, some months down the line, that some guy has come out with the very product you had thought of?

My wife took me out for a birthday dinner the other night and, while we were enjoying our date, I had a brainstorm that would revolutionize eating out, especially for out-of-towners on travel for business.

Imagine this: You are sitting at a restaurant and you are wondering if there is a showing of King Kong at a local theater after you are done. The table under your plate can tell you the answer you seek.

The table is more than a table. Underneath a thick washable surface, there is an ever-restless image scrolling with information about the restaurant you are in, e.g. "Hi. You are seated at Evelyn's, a Lebanese restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, founded and owned by . . . " You get the idea.

Along the edge of the table top is a console with buttons for operating different functions such as:

- movie times

- local information e.g. places to stay, houses of worship, restaurants, cultural events, weather, etc.

- search engines

- games

and whatever else makes sense to have.

The table tops work on a wireless network in the restaurant, supported by an ISP (e.g. Verizon), with partners such as Fandango, Google, wikipedia, and whoever else (AOL?).

Restaurant owners will be leary of the cost. The great thing is that "we" (whoever we are) will offer to install the table tops for free (or close to it).

That's the vision.

Who could help me get this idea in motion? I'd like to see this happen and take over the world during 2006.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/9/2006


Anonymous said…
Great idea.

That should see a lot of business for revamped tabletops to be used in hotels. This also means that people might flock into hotels not for food, but to surf!

The down side could be that 'eating out' may no longer be the quite private moment it is regarded for, and instead many see quite a few irate partners. To avoid this, the hotel manager could ask the guest if he wants an intelligent table or just a table...


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