Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Fresh bread

The problem I identified today is a lack of readily available (cheap) fresh bread. The highstreet bakery has been killed off by supermarkets, whose bread really doesn't cut it.

My solution is bread vending machine. They are two ways of implementing this:

Slow vending machine - in such a device, the bread would be stored in sealed packs of ready-shaped dough. After selection by the purchaser, the dough would be unwrapped and moved to an oven, baked and then delivered. Obviously baking takes a while so the customer would need to wait. The customer could be given a pin to access their bread once cooked, so that other customers could use the machine. Alternatively, both payment and collection could be instructed through a mobile phone (or company intranet). The customer would be texted (or emailed) to let them know the bread was ready. The slow vending machine seems most appropriate to a semi-private setting like an office.

Fast vending machine - this device would be more suitable for a public location. Bread would be pre-baked and stored in sealed containers. Once ordered, the bread is microwaved in a humid environment to give it a warm, moist, fresh taste/texture. Again such a device could be controlled by mobile phone (although the need for texting is removed by the faster cooking time).

Sandwich making machine - on the subject of bread vending machines, would it not be possible to automate the Subway sandwich making process? Ingredients would be in pre-packed containers; robot arms would add ingredients per the customers order. The great thing about this would be that your favorite sandwiches could be stored on your mobile to be texted to the machine.

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