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How can Augmented Reality Improve the Food Industry Post-Coronavirus?




Covid-19 has brought up many questions about how to be social safely, but when it comes to restaurants, the question is often how to be as sanitary as possible.

ARSOME Technology

Coronavirus has, no doubt, made socializing much harder, but what will the food and restaurant industry look like in the coming months? So far, restaurants have moved towards having limited seating and outdoor options continuously available in hopes that they can keep the virus from spreading at a higher rate. This seems like a simple solution but with states like Texas and Florida opening and that leading to a larger number of cases, it is clear that more things have to be done in order to promise the safety of consumers at their favorite dining spots.

Menus are undoubtedly one of the largest risks in the restaurant environment. While disposable menus are far and wide, they don’t do much to help the world’s environmental efforts. Recyclable paper menus are also quite wasteful when it can be assumed that most, if not all adults visiting restaurants have a mobile device. These options are not only wasteful, in terms of the environment, but are wasteful in terms of money. If a restaurant has WiFi open to the public, why not give them a reason to use it while also keeping people safe.

The interest in QR Codes means that there is an overall interest in using technology as a resource and tool.

Quick Response (QR) code menu are being seen as one of the best ways to reduce risks and cross contamination among restaurant visitors. This is probably why the interest in QR codes is making a comeback. All it requires is a smartphone that is capable of reading QR codes or an app on the smartphone that allows for that. The user would point their phone at the code printed on a paper — possibly one attached as a sticker to the table and the phone would open to a specific link programmed in by the creator. In the case of restaurants, the QR code would simply take the user to the menu, but the possibilities of this can be pushed. The rising interest in QR Codes means that there is an overall interest in using technology as a resource and tool to interact with our current world in a safer and more convenient manner.

The usage of QR codes can be used in more than a few ways, one being a way to enter a site that can display not only the images of the food, but actually augment the food on the table. One of the larger issues in some of the most popular restaurants is that customers sometimes feel like they don’t know what they’re ordering or that the image of the food was misleading. This could be a huge advantage for a restaurant that decides to take those first steps. It opens the doors to restaurants who value honesty and being public with their decisions from fair-trade goods to responsibly sourced meat.

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One of the easiest ways to implement Augmented Reality in the food industry is to find a company that offers augmented reality and virtual reality services, set up a food image database with the names and ingredients of the food, and get it rolling. ARSOME Technology is a good example of a company that has the ability to create a site like this. Past work by ARSOME include bringing characters to life (like the students of Tolerance Tykes), a cross-platform educational game app, and even an augmented reality scavenger hunt.

An Augmented/virtual reality company that has a diverse portfolio is the best option because it allows the restaurant owner to not only be specific about wants, but it allows for complex updates to be included, or even the building of an app specifically tied to that restaurant. AR can also go past popping food up in front of you. It can make waiting at the table a better experience due to interactive games, and even keep fussy kids preoccupied on a rough night.

If possible customers have a realistic way to view the food before buying it, they’ll be more inclined to buy it.

Augmented reality can also bring the marketing of your restaurant to the next level. If possible customers have a realistic way to view the food before buying it, they’ll be more inclined to buy it. You may wonder why not just look at images online for the food, and again it comes down to trust. If a consumer can’t trust your restaurant, starting with some of your images, they will not eat there. This is a larger issue for ordering take-out or delivery where sometimes customers are just taking a gamble after looking through reviews and loosely dispersed images on Grubhub, Yelp, or whatever site they choose to order from. If they order and it’s not what they want, doesn’t look appetizing, and was made off a feeling, chances are they won’t order from that restaurant again.

When our gut feelings are wrong, it’s fair to say we avoid having those feelings again and therefore avoid whatever brought on those feelings. By getting your customers closer to your food, and possibly even your messaging through Augmented Reality, you give customers a fun experience, and build a trustworthy environment centered on your business. At the end of the day, restaurant owners need to make a decision on what they value more — being trustworthy or ‘looking’ perfect.

Interested in bringing Augmented Reality to your restaurant or food business? Visit and schedule a consultation to discuss the options.



Microsoft to Acquire Bethesda’s Parent Company ZeniMax for $7.5B




Microsoft today announced that it’s entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of game studio Bethesda Softworks. According to TechCrunch, the price was set at $7.5 billion.

The acquisition is slated to include all of ZeniMax’s properties including Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

Once approved, this will make Microsoft the owners of some of the most influential titles in modern gaming, including franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, and Starfield.

ZeniMax’s fleet of studios have also been responsible for a number of VR titles such as DOOM VFR, Fallout 4 VR, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, and Skyrim VR.

Image courtesy Bethesda Softworks

Microsoft says in a blog post that the inclusion of ZeniMax’s studios will help continue the company’s commitment “to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox.”

Although Microsoft hasn’t said as much, it’s likely Bethesda will be narrowing its focus to develop their long-standing franchises for Xbox—an expensive weapon in the coming battle with Sony’s PlayStation 5.

“One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios,” says Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.

Although it’s still unclear how the acquisition will affect Bethesda’s future VR aspirations—Microsoft still has no clear plan for VR headset support on its Xbox platform—Oculus’ Consulting CTO John Carmack says the acquisition may be a good thing for him at least.

Carmack co-founded id Software and was lead programmer of titles such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. Ever since ZeniMax and Facebook’s Oculus were engaged in a lengthy legal battle over the alleged theft of intellectual property developed by Carmack back when he was employed by id Software, he was understandably unable to publicly engage with the games he developed.


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Fallout & Doom Creator Bethesda is Being Acquired by Microsoft




Microsoft is in the habit of buying developers to bring under its Xbox brand, doing so in grand fashion today by announcing the acquisition of Zenimax Media and its videogame publisher Bethesda Softworks, which is behind big IP’s like Fallout, DOOM, Skyrim, Wolfenstein and many more.

DOOM VFR screenshot
Doom VFR

The agreement sees Microsoft purchase Zenimax Media for $7.5 billion USD (£5.85bn GBP) in cash. This will mean Microsoft has 23 studio teams under its banner – up from 15 – with Bethesda’s franchises now guaranteed to be added to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft has stated plans to bring: “Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.”

This may make quite the difference to fans of Bethesda’s franchises planning their next console purchase, with both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 on their way this holiday season. “Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox,”  said Phil Spencer, executive vice president, Gaming at Microsoft in a statement.

So what does this mean for virtual reality (VR) gamers? Bethesda has supported the VR community with a range of ports and original content over the years, from Fallout 4 VR to Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. At this stage, there’s no reason to believe that support for VR will stop, even if Xbox Series X doesn’t support the technology. Microsoft previously acquired inXile Entertainment in 2018 and by the end of 2020, the studio will be releasing multiplayer shooter Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds.

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot

There is a greater possibility going forward that Bethesda and its subsidiaries won’t be releasing any content for PlayStation 5 and therefore future PlayStation VR headsets. But this won’t be happening right away, as this type of process isn’t quick with Microsoft expecting the acquisition to be completed in the second half of 2021. “We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us,” adds SVP of PR & Marketing Pete Hines in a blog posting.

The announcement continues a selection of acquisitions affecting the VR gaming landscape, with Koch Media purchasing Vertigo Games this month, the team behind Arizona SunshineSkyworld, Ghost Patrol VR and A Fisherman’s Tale. Whilst Facebook picked up Ready at Dawn, the creator of Lone Echo and Echo VR, currently working on Lone Echo 2.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax Media, reporting back with further updates.


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Play Puzzle Title Tsuro: The Game of the Path on Oculus Quest in October




Tabletop board game Tsuro: The Game of the Path arrived for Oculus Rift last year thanks to Thunderbox Entertainment, offering a tactile yet zen-like experience. Today, the developer has announced the videogame is coming to Oculus Quest next month.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path

Playable solo or as a multiplayer, Tsuro: The Game of the Path provides a simple gameplay mechanic, place tiles on a board to move your stone, keeping it in play for as long as possible. As the number of tiles increase so do the chances of your stone following another player’s path which could very well lead to your stone leaving the table and ending your game.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path is set in a tranquil Japanese garden with animals wandering through and the idyllic sounds of nature in the air. So you can take a stroll whilst the other players take their turns – the videogame supports up to 8 across platforms – or to get a better viewpoint of the evolving board, teleporting up to a roof for example.

The aim of the puzzle title is to make sure your stone counter is the last on the board, not an easy task when their are many paths for it to follow.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path

Thunderbox Entertainment will release Tsuro: The Game of the Path for Oculus Quest on the 23rd October, priced at £7.99 GBP/$9.99 USD.

October is set to be a big month for Oculus Quest content thanks to the launch of Oculus Quest 2 on 13th. Title confirmed during Facebook Connect last week include The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners from Skydance Interactive, Resolution Games’ BlastonLittle Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing and Enhance Games’ Rez Infinite. As further VR videogames are announced, VRFocus will keep you updated. 


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