Synapse Summit 2022: The Metaverse, Robotics and Post-Pandemic Restaurants
The metaverse will attract big business, the field of robotics is expanding and the global pandemic has forever changed business.
Those were some of the messages from a gathering of entrepreneurs, corporations, universities and investors all focused on innovation for the future at the fifth annual Synapse Summit held at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, this week.
More than 5,000 attendees heard a range of topics from more than 150 speakers and walked through more than 300 exhibits ranging from health care and cybersecurity to virtual reality and wearable technology.
There was a main stage presentation on the metaverse market, highlighting examples of major brands with metaverse activities including Ralph Lauren’s virtual fashion line, Procter & Gamble’s Beauty Sphere, Clinique’s metaoptimist NFT and JPMorgan’s bank lounge.
One display, by Flymotion, featured the robotic dog Spot, from Boston Dynamics, along with sophisticated drone technology aimed at industrial applications.
Another theme at the conference involved the transformation in business due to the global pandemic.
For example, the disruption for restaurants has caused some dramatic shifts, a main topic on a panel discussion on restaurant technology.
“A ton of technology adoption is going on,” said Dan Singer, CEO of Omnivore, a technology company that created a global standard for the integration of point-of-sale systems at restaurants.
Omnivore was co-founded by one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse and was first deployed in Bloomin’ Brands 1,400 restaurants worldwide.
One of the rapid transformations issues at the conference was a panel discussion on the deployment of more in-restaurant technology for self-ordering.
“People order 30% more when using a kiosk, because no one is looking,” said panelist Saleem Khatri CEO of Lavu, a restaurant technology company. Meanwhile, connected delivery technology is also expected to accelerate, according to the panel.
“Drone delivery is coming and it’s coming quickly,” said Singer.
However, with pandemic behaviors changing, restaurants are facing additional challenges.
“It’s a lot more complicated now post-COVID, with full restaurants, online orders, curbside pickup and delivery orders,” said Singer.
Restaurants may be one of the most visible indicators of the current move to digital transformation.