By: NATASHA SMITH
A NEW big brother-like research project is currently underway at a Dutch university, where diners at a specially constructed restaurant will be tracked using cameras.
Rene Koster, head of the Centre for Innovative Consumer Studies at the University of Wageningen, said that the restaurant of the future, as it has been dubbed, could determine “what influences people: colours, taste, personnel”. Discovering people’s eating habits is one of the main objectives and light is being used as a stimulus. Overhead bulbs switch between green, red, orange and blue and the cameras document any reactions.
From a control room, researchers can aim cameras built into the ceiling of the restaurant to zoom in on individual diners and their plates. They are able to watch how people walk through the restaurant, what food catches their eye, whether they always sit at the same table and how much food they throw away. To avoid legal repercussions, a consent form must be signed agreeing to be watched.