Auditory menus might be an old trick, but it's likely to make Taylannas some serious coin if implemented in any number of eateries. The Florida-based startup has announced plans to dole out "slim electronic tablets about the size and shape of a DVD case" that sport touchscreen displays, speak numerous languages, and can even have its buttons imprinted with Braille to help the blind wade through the interface. As the title implies, the menus will vocalize what's on the docket, as customers can select different segments (drinks, dinner entrees, desserts) to be read aloud. The obvious benefactors are those who are visually impaired, but even customers who are hard of hearing were taken into account as the Menus That Talk devices also have a "detachable hand-held earphone" that reportedly syncs with most modern hearings aids. Still, we have to wonder if restaurants that rely on a quiet, low-key atmosphere won't disable the volume functions or demand a built-in whisper mode in order to maintain sanity during the evening rush.
[Thanks, Joe B.]