Colorful device enables tabletop Wi-Fi and communicates with waitstaff using ambient light

Certain diners are against the use of technology during meals—one restaurant in Florida has gone so far as to instate a “no technology night” at their establishment. However, other patrons are happy to invite tech to the table. For the tech-friendly dining set, Owl is a device that enables tabletop Wi-Fi and communicates with waitstaff using ambient light.

Owl (which will be known as Owlment outside American markets) looks rather futuristic on a dining table—its four-pronged body resembles a toy jack, and a light emits from the upright leg. Each leg signals a different message to waitstaff: ‘ready to order,' ‘ready to pay,' or ‘do not disturb.' The fourth leg serves as a Wi-Fi hub, which diners can use to access menus, social media, and other information on their mobile devices. Rather colorfully, Owl introduces ambient data collection into the live restaurant environment. Any food ordered through Owl’s online system is recorded by the device software; thus, during restaurant service, tabletop Owls can provide restaurant staff with an accurate tally of what’s being ordered and when. Data can also be analyzed to extrapolate diners’ preferences and metrics, and frequent diners can choose to track their purchases (similar to a loyalty program).

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