Slovakian engineers are trying to bait Mark Zuckerberg with this custom Facebook grill

facebook grill fb two

The Internet of Things concept refers to objects or devices having some sort of virtual representation we can identify and interact with. It’s a constantly evolving term that we’re interpreting and re-interpreting, but some of the popular technologies associated with it are RFID-equipped items and QR codes.

While the Internet of Things is a rather subjective idea, the trend has led us to a sort of 180 in which a Things of the Internet is being produced – case in point, “real life Instagrams,” or an animated GIF auction. Add to this growing list the Facebook Grill.

A custom targeted ad this week (which included my name; the ad team told me that reaching global media from Slovakia is difficult, so they targeted media types in the U.S.) in my Facebook News Feed notified me of the Facebook Grill, a totally Facebook-enabled barbecuing machine. The product appears to be a promotion to get Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to attend the upcoming All About Facebook conference in Slovakia. Its landing page unabashedly reads: “We’ve combined the two things he totally loves … To impress him we’ve created a little thing we like to call the Facebook Grill.” Those two things, we should assume, are Facebook and well-prepared meats.

fb grill appSo it’s part PR ploy, part innovative-if-excessive attempt at once again blurring the lines between our online and offline lives. Basically, it’s a nice-looking, Facebook logo-bearing grill that connects with an app, allowing users to control it entirely via Wi-Fi. Not just the heat: The grill has built in probes and alarms, whose settings you can also determine using the app.

The grill itself was made by “grill experts.” One team member, a grill engineer named Boris, explains his involvement in the process – keep in mind there’s a language barrier in the translation here, though the sentiments remain similarly amusing. “[All About Facebook conference organizer] Peter [Šebo] called [and asked] if I can make a grill n’ what-not, I say how much for that, and he says money is no problem.”

“So I did some welding and painting and stuff, then he says to add some Internet n’ what-not. ‘That’s no biggie for me at all’ I say.” 

By all accounts, the Facebook Grill is a thing of intricate details, with loads of options for connecting to the social network: The app lets you post to Facebook the meal you’ve grilled up, and helps automate your food porn posts so you can skip that part and go straight to eating.

fb grill examples
These are not actual updates from Zuckerberg – just hypothetical ones the team included in the ad.

Of course, when I say “you,” I don’t mean you at all – or me … or anyone besides Mark Zuckerberg. The team is holding this thing ransom to try and get him to attend the conference and tells me that there are no plans to make more of these. The video personally addresses Zuckerberg the entire time, ending with instructions for him: “Come to get it at the All About Facebook conference. Start by adding Peter as a friend, and he will arrange everything. And give us a big fat Like.” For the record, this is all accompanied by cheerful background music and pleasant engineers, so most of the mild stalker vibes are off-set entirely.

Adbee Digital, the agency behind all this, says they don’t have the total cost of the grill yet since it’s still being made. So far though, it’s around $1,000 USD – cost of ads promoting it, around $2. 

grillWhat will happen?! Will Zuckerberg go get his personalized grill?! Will he respond to the offer?! Will they end up mass-producing these?! Could an entire line of Facebook-integrated cookware be in our future?! The drama of it all!

If you’re so inclined, the team behind the grill would like your help getting Zuckerberg’s attention, and despite any misgivings you might have, the developers behind the stunt are certainly giving this idea their all. “We launched the site some two days ago and the response is overwhelming, so far,” Adbee tells me. “We’ve had thousands of visitors from 72 countries around the world.  We also has hundreds of visits directly from Menlo Park, but Mark has not visited the web yet.”

The question that needs to be asked, though: What will happen to this thing of beauty if Zuckerberg doesn’t show up?

“First of all we hope Mark’s coming to get the grill. If he wouldn’t come we are definitely going to keep the grill as a reminder of what we were able to achieve,” Adbee says. “Maybe even have a big cook out in the summer.” Just as Zuck would have wanted it. 

Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.