Want to have more fun eating popcorn? Skip the movies and head to the offices of Popcorn Indiana and say “pop” when you spy the red gumball-like dispenser filled with popped kernels. It will raise its gun in your general direction and fire a piece your way.
“When you’re shooting a piece of popcorn, there’s only so accurate you can get it; you might have to maneuver a little bit to catch it,” an electrical engineer with the company explains in the video below.
But shifting a little to the left or right to land the kernel is a small price to pay for the joy of snacking on command.
The Popinator, as the dispenser is called, is billed as “a fully automated, voice activated launching machine that is triggered by the word ‘pop,’” he says.
It uses what’s called a binaural microphone system which operates akin to our human ears, calculating the location of the person asking for a kernel based on small differences in the arrival time of sound waves and their reflections.
The contraption appears to be a big hit around the Indiana Popcorn offices. No word yet on when or if a version will be available for consumers. For the sake of our movie theater enjoyment, though, perhaps it’s better if the device is never mass produced.