How about an innovation about pizza to catch students’ attention? A new vending machine, Let’s Pizza, has been developed to completely create a pizza while you wait. Inside the machine the process starts with flour and water to make the dough, it kneads the dough, puts on the chosen toppings, and bakes the pizza – in less than 3 minutes. If the ingredients are not used after 24 hours, the machine disposes of them so that the pizza is always fresh. Among the innovative features of this vending machine are “technical solutions to guarantee” that the food would be safe and hygienic.
Link to Design News:
The article about this innovation is rather short, but there is also a video showing the process. Students can discuss the technical aspects of this machine, and consider whether they would want to try this pizza (can you really trust food made in a vending machine?). The CEO of A1 Concepts, the distributor, says he “wouldn't be surprised if the Let's Pizza's success spawns imitators.” Students could brainstorm other food items they could imagine being made from scratch in a vending machine.
The plan is to have Let's Pizza where food vending machines are usually found: at train stations, airports, schools and universities. The article (written in July 2012) says that "the machine has been available in Europe since 2009," but I haven’t seen one yet. Maybe this summer I'll come across one on my travels. It would be fun to see how it works, but I'm not sure I want to try one.