Innovation That Matters

Ordering a Big Mac by RFID


Working with SK Telecom, McDonald’s in Korea is testing food ordering by RFID (radio-frequency identification). A pilot program in Seoul’s Shinchon neighbourhood lets customers place an order by pointing their cell phone at the items they want. Actually, it’s not quite that simple—they first need to download software to their phone and then, seated at their McDonald’s table, plug an RFID reader into the phone and aim their handset at a menu with built-in RFID chips. Items are automatically charged to their cell phone bill. As soon an order is ready, a message is sent to the customer’s cell phone, letting them know that they can pick up their tray at the counter. According to SK Telecom, McDonald’s “Touch Order” system is the first in the world that lets customers use RFID to place orders at a restaurant. Like GoMobo, the company that enables members to order food by text message at a growing number of US restaurants, Touch Order allows customers to avoid queues, making the buying process faster and more convenient for both the restaurant and its patrons. One to watch if you’re in mobile commerce or the fast food business! (Related: Food ordering by text message.) Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen


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