Thanks for that clip. It really looked in keeping with the SNL style. Maybe they purposely filmed it that way. Even if the machine was ready for prime time in terms of design and manufacturing ability, I really don't see any kind of market for this behind the goof factor of fraternity's and maybe tech startups where they can put the Popinator to work and down the popcorn with a side of Jolt.
Couldn't find video from Saturday Night Live, but did find this mention of the Popinator on SNL Weekend Update in September:
SETH MEYERS – "A new device is being sold called the "Popinator," which is a voice-activated popcorn machine that launches a single piece of popcorn into the user's mouth. The device is activated by the phrase "I'm so lonely.""
Cool video, but I can understand why this gadget is not ready for prime time. For one, the algorithm would have to measure individual voices at various distances to determine the trajectory. Even so, it looks like the only configuration is the velocity of the kernel. And that would vary depending on each kernel. Popcorn kernels are certainly not uniform.
Randy Frank may be onto something when he says that a barking dog could potentially trigger this machine (if it actually existed in real ife). It's safe to say that it wouldn't take long for the dog to figure out that it gets a tasy treat everytime it barks.
Beth, I agree, this would definitely be in a hit in the dorms. Throw in the beer-throwing fridge (over 21 only, please), and you'd be the most popular kid on campus!
At first after seeing the video, I thought you might have stumbled across something that could be a Saturday Night Live skit. Then I thought, those offices. Pretty cushy for a bunch of young folk that should essentially be operating out of someone's garage if that was their sole offering. Then I realized this is a project orchestrated by a popcorn manufacturing company. (Love their products, BTW--the kettle corn flavor is awesome!). Any way, I guess the Popinator is cool in concept and maybe even innovative if it does indeed incorporate some of that more novel sensing and voice activation technology. But changing the way people eat popcorn and getting them to shell out bucks for a machine like that. Maybe in a dorm room, but I prefer the bag just fine, thank you very much.
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.