Waiter! Didn't you see my light?

Menus that Talk recites appetizers and calls the server.

Menus That Talk

Note to restaurateurs: Eating in the dark does not equate sophisticated ambiance. If not done up right , it's just a nuisance. This nifty invention, I fear, will only encourage the below-candlelight dimness I have been coming across in restaurants lately.

Taylannas, a company out of Miami, has introduced "Menus That Talk." The DVD-size device recites the menu choices at the push of a button. The customizable device uses a different button for each category like appetizers, desserts or salads. The talking menu, which includes Braille imprinted on the buttons, also offers Spanish as an option. There is also a detachable earphone option for the hearing impaired, or for use in noisy restaurants.

A service button even pages your server. Whether they respond or pretend not to see you is another matter.

Now if only they could incorporate this device with the RFID tables for ordering drinks.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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