Image copyright Bloomberg Image caption The telescope is set up in a Tefal restaurant
The lid has finally come off a project to be put in a New York restaurant.
You guessed it – this is a restaurant where people consume food, not discover new planets.
The very pointy, very expensive, dishwasher-like device has set up shop at a Tefal restaurant called The Glamorous.
The $60 (£47) diner is also home to a telescope that “finds” objects from space in image form.
Hans Ouweleen, 38, the chief technology officer of Brooklyn-based startup Tor/V, first conceived of the project when he was trying to select a dining table at a Brooklyn restaurant in 2013.
He realised that restaurantgoers who glanced through their open windows wouldn’t see much from their tables. But he could see on a television monitor on a wall.
Photo credit: Hans Ouweleen
That triggered the concept for The Glamorous, which uses high-tech, artist-made dishes at patrons’ tables to “see” what is on the moon, the sun, planets, asteroids and other objects orbiting the Earth.
The dishwasher-like bar-top device, of a similar design to the ones used by amateur astronomers, has a big bin full of dishcloths, holding around 1,500 images, gathered by millions of telescope-backed cameras.
The telescope identifies bright and dim objects as they travel by. It will also “find” targets that customers could have seen before, if they had just glanced out their windows.
The restaurant’s UFO sightings (a play on UFOs, or other space objects) and the supermarket-like effects the telescope can produce are not the real attraction, said Mr Ouweleen.
“If you look through my telescope you can see some of the best places to observe Jupiter and Jupiter’s moons. You can see how Jupiter rises, when the moon crosses the moon and when the moon goes into shadow.”
The latest patent for the device is an update to the original invention
If the telescope catches you looking at that star for too long, it’ll pull up a video of you and your plate, illustrating how long you remained focused.
As the restaurant prepares to switch to their new month-old “Instagram Insta” menu this week, a meal that “begins the trend” of dining in space is also scheduled to come up.
“What we want to do is create a place where you can entertain yourselves, rather than just consume,” he said.
The menu, which features dishes from around the world, including clams in veal broth and tiramisu, can also be viewed online.