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Pizza Hut’s Subconscious Menu Aims to Guess What You Want Before You Know You Want It

2 minute read

With Domino’s, Little Caesars and Papa John’s nipping at its heels, Pizza Hut is doing its best to stay on top of the pizza chain game. Last month, the company unveiled a new menu, packed with trendy flavors like Sriracha and a new motto: “The Flavor of Now.” Now the pizza giant is incorporating technology — retina tracking, to be specific — into the ordering process, in what it is calling the first Subconscious Menu.

Powered by Tobii, a Swedish company that specializes in eye-tracking technology, Pizza Hut’s new system presents customers with images of ingredients on a screen. Based on how long a customer’s eyes remain on different items, the system generates an order meant to represent what she subconsciously wants. If her conscious disagrees with her subconscious’ selection of pineapple and corn on a red pie, she can intervene on behalf of her taste buds.

The Subconscious Menu, which has been under development for about six months and is currently being piloted in the U.K., was selected by Pizza Hut as the method that best leverages technology to improve the experience for customers.

The technology might prove useful to the most indecisive customers, but it’s not yet clear whether the system’s value will rise above gimmick status. Until it rolls out on a larger scale, we’ll have to interpret our firing neurons all by ourselves.

—with reporting by Josh Sanburn

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com