Insights 14 Nokia Foodini

3D Food Printers Today = The Newest Mobile Phones 15 Years Ago

People frequently ask me where I see 3D food printing in the future. My standard answer: We believe that in 10 to 15 years, 3D food printers will become a common kitchen appliance in both home and professional kitchens, similar to how an oven or a microwave are common appliances in kitchens today.

Now I’m going to take you back in time 15 years.

One of my "past lives" was working in the mobile phone industry. As such, I got my hands on mobile phones that were brand new models, before they were released to the market - and many times before they were even announced to be in existence.

One of the first phones with a color screen and a built-in camera that I got to keep and use outside of the office (as it was already announced) was the Nokia 7650, pictured above. It was one of the newest and most innovative mobile phones of the time.

I distinctly remember the first day I brought it home with me. I was travelling on a train to London with work colleagues, some of which also had the Nokia 7650. We were taking pictures of everything, including the passing scenery. The pictures were blurry and not of great quality, as the camera on that phone was nothing compared to what we have on our phones today. But the blurry and pixelated photos didn’t matter - no one else had a camera on their phone, and it was a cool new feature we were testing out.

Shortly afterwards (relatively speaking), I also remember a commercial for another phone on UK network operator Three. It was a commercial showing people video chatting on their mobile phones. I distinctly remember people saying, “Why would I want to video chat with someone on my mobile phone?!” Keep in mind this was a brand new feature, only available on a limited amount of mobile phones, and the cost of the phone and the data costs required to use this feature were expensive for the majority of people.

That was the early days of smartphones with color screens and video calling. A bit more than 15 years ago. Look at the mobile phone you have today. HUGE difference. Now we have cameras on phones that can rival stand-alone cameras. Video calling available on multiple apps. And many more features that at the time we didn't even think we could have on mobile phones. Again… HUGE difference vs 15 years ago.

Can you imagine having a phone without a camera? (Or multiple cameras, as many phones have today?!) Not having video calling functionality? Of course not. Today, these are considered “basic” features for many. But did you imagine these common features like color screens and video calling 15 years ago? People questioned why we would need such things. Now, they are commonplace.

With 3D food printing, we are currently in the early days, like the first mobile phones with color screens and video calling capabilities.

Foodini is like the Nokia 7650. That’s where we are with 3D food printing. People now question why they would need 3D food printers. But in the future, we believe it won't be a question, and 3D food printers will be commonplace.

Imagine what 3D food printers will be like in 10-15 years. We’re just getting started. :-)

* In the header picture: Nokia 7650 and Foodini (not to scale!)

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