[UPDATE 9/20/12: CNN has officially dashed all our dreams and revealed the Popinator is actually remote-controlled, not voice-activated, though it does look like the brains at Thinkmodo are working on making this dream version a reality. Next time better be it, though. My heart can only take so much disappointment.]
On first glance, it’s hard to decide whether it’s more of a game inspired by food or food inspired by games, but whatever it is, the Popinator is still kind of genius.
Completely removing fingers from one of the world’s most popular finger foods, the Popinator uses your voice to calculate the near-exact location of your mouth. Just say the magic word “Pop,” and it’ll deliver a single particle of popped corn into your oral cavity—thereby streamlining the whole snacking process. Just imagine 50 years from now, we’ll be telling our kids how we used to have to eat popcorn with our hands! Oh, those were dark days, sonny boy. Dark, dark days.
As explained by Popcorn Indiana’s “Electrical Engineer” Ted, no two pieces of popcorn are alike, so there may be a tiny bit of maneuvering required to make sure the Popinator’s packages get exactly where they need to go, but hey, it’s all just “part of the fun.” And for all its inexactitude, the binaural microphone array used by the Popinator is still surprisingly remarkable (i.e., if you recorded someone saying “pop” on a smartphone, the Popinator would most definitely fire its projectiles at the phone). Take that, Apple.
Tragically, there has been no word yet regarding whether Popcorn Indiana plans on ever commercializing the thing, but if they don’t, I’m sure we’d have grounds to sue them for submitting us all to extremely cruel and unusual punishment.
Watch the Popinator show off in the video below: