There’s a wide range of application of RA in multiple domains, but design, architecture and entertainment came first. Retail is a growing market (glasses, clothes, cosmetics) but what about food ?
You probably think food is about taste and smell first, but appearance always has been part of the culinary arts, from table furniture to the glasses and plate designs. It’s especially true in contemporary cuisine where often surprising mixes (in small quantities) meets a truly studied graphical presentation of the elements in the plate (ball of meat, herbs decoration, the “signature” line of sauce, etc.). But what if restaurant presents these in 3D on their website ?

The idea of displaying “augmented food” of course can supplement and replace the traditional restaurant website photos like here: Sketchfab and other 3d marketplaces authorize embeds of these models anywhere, like here below:

But the real interest here is of course, AR, or augmented reality food: Imagine on the website you have photos of the various courses and dishes, coupled with an automatic detection feature for AR devices. Then you can see directly the dishes in AR without having to click anywhere.
Other applications could be on the paper menu, a simple QR code that displays these dishes for customers waiting to make their choice, using their phone.
You can play with portions: Less meat, more vegetables ? No waste, and take the proportions you need. Eyes biggers than your stomach ? A solution to reduce obesity, also crossed with real time nutrition tips.

Crossed with 3D food printer, 3D food can also be used as a realistic preview for a new dish, best produced with a specialized 3D printer, or even propose to customers in situ a tailored culinary experience where they can choose their own “composition”, also taking the best capabilities in 3D printers.

KabaQ here found a concept of application starting with scanned food in HD. The result is convincing, adding other aspects of tailored food: A customer could in theory makes “combos” (want a shrip and that sauce instead, and this garniture ? Do that in real time on your dish before ordering it) but also translations (lots of restaurants makes their largest margins with tourist customers). And inform and reassure customers about the freshness of products, their origin.

As stated the application can also enhance catering menu presentations, cookbooks, provide improved meal preparation services, among others. The application if free to download via google play. Of course that’s one appli and merely a display idea but there are so many more retail and branding solution for restaurants chains, like an augmented recipe cook assistant, a more “active” form of content marketing.

See also:

Augmented Reality Startup Translates Menu Items Into Pictures of Food
Augmented Reality Food Explainer App

AR-Food Industry

Augmented Reality Hits Food & Home Entertaining Magazine

AR and nutrition/diet: (fr)


Other ideas, from Japan: