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Brief Published: 12 Jun 2015

KFC Encourages Digital Dining

Global fast-food giant KFC has developed an ultra-thin, Bluetooth-connected keyboard that replaces a traditional tray liner, allowing users to access their smartphones without getting grease or chicken on the devices.

Just 0.4mm thick, the Tray Typer keyboard can be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing users to text, e-mail and surf the internet while eating. The device is also reusable, rechargeable and durable, meaning it can be wiped clean after use. KFC trialled the tray liners in Germany as part of a marketing campaign devised by Munich-based communications firm Serviceplan.

While there's no information on whether the concept will be rolled out more widely, it would likely prove popular with the growing number of solo diners who use their smartphones while eating. A recent initiative that targeted this group is a website from Japanese noodle company Nissin Foods, which provides solo diners with a virtual companion to share their meal. For more on the rise of solo dining, see Future Family Dining.

Fast-food brands are also experimenting with technology in order to create more seamless ordering and payment processes. American pizza chain Domino's recently introduced technology that allows its US consumers to place orders using emoji on Twitter. Meanwhile, international franchise Pizza Hut showcased a touchscreen table concept in a video last year, as well as a retina-controlled menu that claims to be able to create a diner's ideal pizza.

For further examples of tech-fuelled dining concepts, see Destination Dining, Digital Dining and Intelligent Food.