Innovation That Matters

AR menu

Virtual menu allows diners to preview their food

Food & Drink

A new app uses Snapchat to create high quality AR images of restaurant menu items to enhance the food ordering process.

We are seeing augmented reality being developed for more and more practical purposes. These include interior design and training. Now, AR is being used to give diners a preview of their meals. American startup Kabaq has developed AR software that can show diners their meal before they order. The system uses Snapchat World Lens. Instead of having to download a new app to view the menu, diners scan a Snapcode using the popular World Lens app. The app will then place a virtual dish on the table.

The AR food is created using photogrammetry. This is a process in which photos of an object are taken from different angles and used to create a 3D model. The software also allows restaurants to add prices and nutrition information to the AR model. Kabaq co-founders Alper Guler and Caner Soyer previously created tools for interior design. The idea to start Kabaq came after the pair tried to explain the dishes at a Turkish restaurant to a friend. They realised that it would be a lot easier to explain the food with visuals. According to Guler, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have made the visual element of food more important to customers. He points out that AR will allow restaurants to, “create even more visuals to drive more traffic to the restaurant itself”.

One of the first restaurants to partner with Kabaq is New York-based Bareburger. Along with Snapchat, the AR food models can be integrated into other social apps, like the Facebook Camera. Kabaq’s software will also allow restaurants to build AR food items into their own apps. This will allow restaurants to place an AR menu alongside functions such as placing an order and finding the nearest location.

This innovation has also been featured in the report ‘The Future of Immersive Content’, which was inspired by recent research conducted by our partner Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre. Download the full report here.




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