Selected as a new technology category for CES 2022, the 'food tech' industry started getting the world’s attention. A combination of “food” and “technology”, food technology refers to the application of technologies such as AI, big data, and cloud computing to the food industry. Projected to reach $360 billion by 2025, the global food tech market and its related industries are evolving fast.
Food technology encompasses all food-related technical areas such as "Robotic Chef," "Delivery Drone," "Customized Nutrition Provision," "Vertical Farming," "Cultured Meat," and so forth. Naturally, companies in the industry are involved with a wide range of activities to improve customer experience, from development of kiosks, robot waiters, cultured meat to introduction of systems that attract customers such as food delivery platforms or mobile applications driven by the AI-dispatch system.
Robotic chef who creates recipes as well as cooks food himself
At the Olympic village dining hall at the Beijing Winter Olympics, meals were cooked by AI robots and delivered to customers through ceiling tracks. After the meal, robot baristas and bartenders served the customers with drinks. Amazing as they are, AI robots these days have come as far as to not just cook but cook in a way that the dishes are specifically tailored to the palate of an individual; A research team at Cambridge University in the U.K. recently developed an AI robot that can know how salty food is by chewing it.
Not only does the AI robot ensure the consistent quality of the dishes with its pre-programmed recipes, but the robot also constantly updates the recipe according to the feedback of the diner. Furthermore, AI robots can be used to do dangerous jobs like lifting heavy utensils or hot oil for human beings. As a result, kitchens can be managed efficiently with lowered labor intensity.
Predictive delivery service and customized meal planning service for better customer experience
Amazon is known to have an enterprise value 5 times larger than Walmart, the largest company in the world by revenue. The driving force behind Amazon’s rapid growth into an unrivaled food company is its “active use of AI technology”. To be specific, Amazon implemented AI across its food distribution system and introduced processes like “Anticipatory Shipping”, which predicts consumer orders and preemptively delivers goods to nearby logistics warehouses, and "”Amazon Fresh," with which you can pay for goods simply by placing them in the cart.
In addition to merely selling foods, the food tech industry is expected to be able to provide 'personalized meal planning services’. Korean startup Nuvilab's provides 'Auto AI Food Diary', a total solution for the way users manage and consume food. AI scan sensors analyze images of food, provide calories and nutritional information, and automatically record them to analyze users' eating habits. In addition, there are companies that provide customized diet and exercise coaching services based on AI algorithms.
'AI-powered Smart Farming Platform' that integrates and manages all processes of farming
Have you ever seen green vegetables growing in rows in a subway station? These vegetables, which are growing in rows, are called Metro Farm. Metro Farm is a smart farm complex installed on the subway. Smart farms use ICT technology to provide light, temperature, and humidity necessary for plants to grow. You can grow vegetables indoors without sunlight, and you can harvest them without fine dust or pests.
Metro Farm is a kind of a smart farm. Smart farms have been distributed mainly in the form of cultivation of facilities such as glass greenhouses and plastic ones. LG CNS is developing a 'AI-powered smart farming platform' that integrates and manages all processes of farming. It is a platform that collects various data necessary for farming about crop growth, weather, soil, and spread of pests, analyzes the data with AI, and then provides an optimal farming guide. In addition, 'digital scarecrows' equipped with AI image sensors, radars, and speakers can protect crops from birds and animals.
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