Amazon Go Has Nothing On This University Dining Hall

The Lempert Report
April 27, 2018

A newly-opened dining hall in Zhejiang University offers a card less dining experience at lunchtime.

Using a facial recognition scanner in the dining hall, a diner is paired with a chip-embedded food tray and can start taking food from the buffet.

Each dish has a sensor recording the price, while the table the tray is placed on works as a scale. By walking through the buffet area, the price of the meal is calculated and money is automatically deducted from a corresponding campus card which was previously registered by the user. 

And it gets even better! 

Once the meal is taken, a report specifying total calories and proportion of protein, carbohydrates and fat will be sent to the diner's mobile device, to encourage them to eat a more balanced diet. 

"It is very convenient and reminds us to save food and eat healthily," said Wang Kai, professor at the university. "The new technology has also improved the efficiency of dining."  

"The new system weighs food accurately and can help remind people to treasure food and reduce waste," said Xia Xuemin, a researcher with the Public Policy Research Institute of Zhejiang University. 

The system was jointly developed by the center and the school of public health at the university.