If you’re taking a trip to Sweden soon, be sure to stop by McDonald’s. Not for the Big Tasty, the Chicken Legend Fresh, or the Crispy Thai Sweet Chili McWrap (do they offer these things in America? They sound better than a Big Mac). No, you’ll want to spring for a Happy Meal, even if you think you might be a little old for that.
Why? Because you can fold the Swedish Happy Meal box into a set of virtual reality goggles and play the Swedish Olympic Alpine Ski Team’s signature virtual reality skiing game.
These are the Happy Goggles, and if you click through, you can see them even if you don’t plan to make a trip to Sweden.
There has been some excitement around this, of course. Virtual Reality are highly accessible — you can grab Google Cardboard VR goggles for $15.00 at the Google Store or $3.98 on eBay, and the Happy Goggles are essentially the same thing: a VR headset you can fold from printed cardboard. You need a smartphone to make it work, but the majority of U.S. adults have smartphones now. You also need a VR game app, but there are plenty of those available for free. Go beyond games to educational and entertainment apps, too.
But only early adopters are blase about virtual reality. Happy Meal eaters in general should be excited by the opportunity to try it out — many will not have heard of it.
Older technology is new to people who haven’t tried it yet.
But the real tech story about Happy Goggles isn’t about VR or smartphones.
The real story is that packaging can now be much more than a container for a product, and it’s all thanks to servo motors. Servos and their motion control systems are a necessity for the degree of precision required to create a fast food package that can morph into a VR headset. Servo motors are certainly not new, but ongoing improvements in sensors and communication among drives, controls, and motors are making a difference in the capacity of industrial motion control.
One of the best ways to make packaging environmentally friendly is to make it reusable, and the Happy Goggles are a great example of that.