3D-printed sushi? Japanese company brings restaurant idea to SXSW

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you want a piece of 3D-printed sushi from a Japanese company exhibiting at SXSW, first they want a piece of you.

The company Open Meals, in conjunction with marketing firm Dentsu, plans to open a restaurant in Tokyo next year that will customize its sushi to individual dietary needs.

The exhibit at the Trade Show at the Austin Convention Center got a lot of attention Sunday, with a consistent crowd gathering to snap photos of the geometric sushi. 

Open Meals first debuted a less-sophisticated 3D sushi printing process last year at SXSW, but the designs and final product are more developed and refined this year. They also come with a plan to tailor each bite to individual customers.

A company representative explained the process. When you make a reservation, the restaurant sends you what it calls a “health test kit.” You send back a biological sample — saliva, urine, stool — and they analyze what kinds of nutrients your body needs.

“Then we add those specific nutrients to your food to 3D print out those sushi for you,” the representative explained.

Using a combination of proteins, vitamins, minerals and other elements, the restaurant then prints each piece of sushi.

The concept will be local in Tokyo to start, although Open Meals says it’s also able to transmit 3D-printed sushi plans to anywhere that has the capability to print them.

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