Voice-activated popcorn shooter auto-aims for your mouth

A bizarre gadget uses microphones to aim popcorn projectiles directly into the gaping maws of snackers.

Popinator in action
The Popinator: less dangerous than the Terminator. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

You say the word "pop." A piece of popcorn comes flying directly at your mouth, as if by magic. You catch it and eat it. You are truly a god among men.

The Popinator knows where you are. (Click to enlarge.) Popcorn, Indiana

This isn't just a lazy football weekend snack fantasy. The Popinator is a project/publicity stunt from bagged popcorn maker Popcorn, Indiana.

The Popinator is triggered by the word "pop." The machine determines where the voice came from and rockets a piece of popcorn in the direction of the voice, with a shooting distant of up to 15 feet. A binaural microphone system helps the gadget figure out where to aim.

The Popinator isn't likely show up on store shelves anytime soon, but it would probably be a big hit with gamers who need to keep their hands on the controller. Train it to respond to a bark and you would have endless entertainment for dogs.

Is this thing real? If we're going by the video evidence, then yes. Personally, I'm going to have to remain slightly skeptical unless a Popinator is delivered to my house, set up on my coffee table, and activated in time for the Bears game on Sunday.

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