The Napkin That Plays Videos

The Napkin That Plays Videos

Hot & Cool

The Napkin That Plays Videos

By Cari Martens

When is a napkin more than just a napkin?

When that napkin has a QR tag that lets you access content using your cell phone or other mobile devices.

Napkins Only, a San Jose, California-based manufacturer of custom-printed napkins, has come up with a line of napkins called the ScanNap that carries a printed bar code (or QR tag) that can be scanned with your mobile device’s camera. The tag lets consumers access exclusive content such as social media, websites, and videos on their devices—it can even autodial a predetermined phone number.

Quoted in a story by Sam Oches for, Napkins Only Managing Director Brock Brereton says he believes ScanNap is ‘a brilliant advertising medium, because people are just going to sit and stare at this thing.’ Brereton says the ScanNap could be an inexpensive offline mobile content delivery system for the foodservice industry.

For the quick-service industry, especially, it could be a great multitasker, serving as an old-fashioned napkin, a brand billboard, and an information and entertainment provider. It could unlock video of the restaurant’s newest menu item or latest promotional offer to generate repeat business.

Sounds pretty cool, but I wonder if it still works if, as you’re enjoying a double cheeseburger with everything, you smear a big glob of ketchup across that QR tag.

For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.

Have you seen an innovative product that will impact our food lives in the future? Let us know at Editor.



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