1. Instead of hanging around the office copier for the latest gossip, workers of the future may queue up for a steaming-hot, 3D-printed pizza. An Austin, Texas, company called BeeHex was approached by NASA to build a device that can print pizza in minutes in anticipation of the first mission to Mars. It should be available this year, preempting the Mars shot by around two decades.
2. New Zealand is closer than Mars, but pizza tech trendsetter Domino’s has piloted a space-age way to deliver pizza by aerial drone. The first successful commercial drone-lift was completed in November 2016 to a Whangaparoa, New Zealand, couple. They're not off-planet – just 15 miles north of Auckland – but the Kiwi couple feasted on a pie that sounds quite otherworldly – the Chicken and Cranberry Pizza. Watch the video here.
3. Speaking of Domino’s-led innovation, a new smart phone app launched late last year offers users a “clickless” ten-second timer. Unless you beat the clock and cancel the timer, your pizza is automatically on the way. This complements Domino’s pizza button app (below) – just press the button to launch delivery – and its text-or-tweet pizza-ordering emoji.
4. The artisanal pizza chain Red Tomato Pizza has done Domino's one button better with an online ordering device called the VIP Fridge Magnet. That’s right, no need to pull out your phone after peering into empty-fridge hopelessness. Just flip the tiny pizza-box magnet lid and smoosh the “push-for-hunger” button. Or let these guys show you!
5. If the line at the pizza printer is too long, wander over to a pizza ATM and drop $10 for a pie. It only took 14 years of research, but the world's first pizza-dispensing ATM machine was unveiled at Xavier University in Cincinnati last summer. The French company Paline operates 300 machines throughout Europe. Colleges and businesses in 20 U.S. states and Canada have reportedly expressed interest. Each machine retails for $55,000 and holds 70 pies at a time. Meanwhile, the 24-7 Pizza Box, billed as "the world's smallest pizzeria," can pop out 100 slices per hour and lets pizza operators expand their operations without opening new brick-and-mortar stores.
6. The other pizza tech behemoth debuted a Bluetooth turntable pizza box in 2016. Pizza Hut hired Rinse FM’s DJ Vectrato scoop the detail in thevideo above.The box functions as a classic DJ turntable connecting to your smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth.
7. Getting back to basics, Domino’s addressed the challenge of delivering multiple hot pies to a happening with its own fleet of tricked out ovens-on-wheels. The Domino's Delivery Expert is a converted Chevrolet Spark with non-driver’s seats replaced by a warming oven and non-slip storage for up to 80 pizzas, soda and other food items. The fleet will serve 25 markets nationwide starting in the next 90 days.
8. What, no robots? Of course we have robots, and they're actually making pizzas at Zume. Named Bruno and Marta, a pair of "cobots" – robots designed to work alongside humans – help prepare pies in this cutting-edge delivery operation located in California’s Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, DRU, a ground-pounding self-driving vehicle from Domino's, has been spotted on test runs in neighborhoods around Sydney, Australia. DRU, which stands for Domino's Robotic Unit, was built by a company fittingly named Starship Technologies.