How long will it be before you can order a Domino’s pizza just by thinking about it? While such a system could leave some people with an endless stream of delivery folks coming to their door, the company’s ongoing interest in technology suggests such a day may not be far off. Heck, you can already order one of its pizza’s through the simple action of opening an app.
You can also order from Domino’s using Twitter, Amazon Echo, a smart TV, Android Wear, Ford’s Sync system, or simply by sending a pizza emoji in a text. And now, for customers in Australia who turn up to collect their pizza, the company is launching a service to make sure your food is piping hot and ready to go when you walk through the door.
Starting this week, order a pizza using your smartphone and Domino’s will ask if it can track your location. If you’re good with that, it’s then a case of letting the chef know if you’re coming by car, bicycle or on foot. And that’s it.
Once you’re within a certain distance of the store, the pizza will be knocked together and shoved in the oven, ensuring it’s as fresh as it can possibly be when you arrive. Domino’s has for a long time let customers track the various stages of their pizza’s delivery process, so the new feature turns that around.
“Fifty to sixty percent of our business is pick-up or carry-out, so we wanted to create a GPS tracking system to try and align the customer with the product,” Don Meij, head of Domino’s Australia, told CNBC.
Meij caused a stir among Aussie tech-loving pizza fans recently when he unveiled a prototype of a delivery robot. The $22,000 “Domino’s Robotic Unit,” or DRU for short, is a four-wheeled machine that uses GPS and lasers to get around. With a top speed of 12 mph (18 kmh), delivery may not be speedy, but the prospect of having pizza delivered by a robot may outweigh such an inconvenience.
But the robot isn’t ready for the big time just yet. “It’s a genuinely autonomous robot today, but some of the technology on the AI side still has to lift,” Meij said in March, adding that it could be trundling to customers in the country with a couple of years.