Placemate | IDEO | Future food fellowship



People with food allergies have trouble eating out for fear that their food might be mixed with ingredients they are allergic to. 



We are here to put restaurants back on the menu for those with food allergies.  Placemate is a smart placemat concept that scans the food on your plate and alerts you, the waitstaff, and the people at your table of the presence of your specified allergens.

The Placemate experience begins with a simple mobile application.  You build your profile which includes selecting your food allergies or aversions.  You are able to find restaurants that have adopted the Placemate technology and even make reservations by connecting your profile with Opentable.  This gives the restaurant a heads up in case they want to plan ahead for your visit.

At the restaurant, once you sit down at your table your profile is loaded by tapping your NFC-enabled mobile device to the bottom right corner of the mat.  The Placemate then displays your allergies on the LCD screen in clear view in the upper right corner of the mat.  The waitstaff and kitchen are also notified of your allergies once you place your food order.  Spectrometers are embedded throughout the middle of the Placemate mat, which analyze the food on your entire plate.  A simple green or red LED light at the top of the mat identifies whether any of the allergies or aversions indicated on your profile are present in your meal.  With this information you can trust the food you are about to eat. Additionally, the restaurant has a Placemate in the back of the house, where they can check your plate before it is delivered to your table.