Food Tool Friday: The Real-Life Star Trek Food Replicator

The Real-Life Star Trek Food Replicator

It sounds like a dream come true: just press a button on your phone, and 30 seconds later, a machine produces a custom-made, ready-to-eat meal. Finally, science comes through for the truly lazy!

Impossible, you say? Not according to Israeli inventors from White Innovation who have created a machine called the Genie, inspired by the Replicator from the Star Trek series. For those of you who aren't Trekkies, the Replicator could reproduce "any inanimate object," including food, as long as its genome information was readily available.

How Does It Work?

In this real-life version, the Genie comes outfitted with several pods, like the ones for your Keurig coffee maker. These freeze-dried ingredients can last for up to two years and provide the base ingredients for a variety of meals, according to the company. The Genie can theoretically provide main courses like chicken and rice, couscous, and ramen as well as chocolate soufflé for dessert.

Once you enter your order via your smartphone, the Genie will start mixing, baking, and shaking to produce your meal. The inventors are also currently working on ways to have the Genie cater to certain dietary requirements, including sugar- and gluten-free. Check out the demo below.

Nestlé is also working on a similar project, but their progress has been pretty quiet over the last year. And this is much more elaborate than the fruit-making 3D printers we've seen already.

How Does the Food Taste?

Reuters asked Tal, the chef at Louise Cafe in Israel, to sample the Genie's chocolate souffle. Her reaction? "It's really nice, it's chocolatey, it's smooth, it's creamy, it's nice ... surprising actually coming from there."

No word yet on what the main courses taste like.

Where Is It Available?

White Innovation plans to produce the Genie for convenience stores and cafes. However, sales are already underway in Greece, Europe, and the United States, so mass production will likely start very soon. Currently, the company plans to sell the machine to individual consumers in the United States starting next year, although each unit will likely cost several hundred dollars. Start saving now! For more information, check out their website.

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Like a glass of wine but hate spills? Check out these versions that wobble but don't fall down. A good blowtorch is a surprisingly multipurpose cooking tool. And this amazing and reasonably priced tenderizer makes cheap cuts of meat taste like expensive ones.

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