An encounter with the future while dining out

Here is an interesting (to me) part of going out to dinner on Saturday, for the first time in 14 months: When it came time to pay the check, the waitress brought over a paper receipt with a QR code on it. There was a single line of instruction on the receipt, to just scan it with my phone camera.

So I did and my phone gave me a screen with an itemized receipt, including a calculated tip. I tapped the OK button and I was done.

I’m pretty sure the phone was using “app clips,” a new feature from iOS 14 in the fall, where you can download a slim version of an app for one-time use. The app clip was branded “Toast Take-Out.”

The experience underscored how we’ve been hermetically sealed in a bomb shelter and we’re emerging into T!H!E F!U!TU!R!E.

Also, the experience cut out my least favorite part of going out to eat, where we sit and wait for the waitress to process the credit card. Once I’m done eating and have sat for a bit, I’m done, ready to go, not wanting to sit around more and wait for someone to give me back my plastic. So this part of the future is entirely welcome to me.

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