September 23, 2012

You’ll Have A Blast, Until You Die

Last week, a Colorado man was able to walk away from a lawsuit with some $7 million in damages for having a problem with microwave popcorn. Apparently, he loved the fluffy treat so much, not only would he eat multiple bags every day, he’d also try to huff the stuff, sticking his nose deep in the bag to catch every buttery scent particle he could while the bag was still warm, As it turns out, there’s a dangerous chemical in the artificial butter which could affect your lungs if you inhale it enough times a day.

For context, workers in the quality assurance department at the popcorn manufacturer also came down with the same lung disease as a result of popping multiple bags a day. In essence, this guy was inhaling as much popcorn scent in his home as these employees were at their jobs, where they’re paid to pop popcorn.

Which is all just a lengthy preamble to say this:

If THAT guy walked away with $7 Mil, how long will it take someone to walk away with even more when they sue the makers of Popinator for nearly choking to death on individual popcorn kernels?

Popcorn Indiana has devised the coolest, most fun sort of choking hazard known to man. Called the Popinator, this popcorn delivery device is small enough to sit on a desk, hold a bowl’s worth of popped popcorn, and dutifully await your command. With the simple, monosyllabic utterance of “Pop!” the Popinator Pops into action (how many times can I use “pop” in a sentence?) flinging a single kernel of popcorn in your direction.

And here is where the Popinator gets really cool:

Using a binaural microphone system, the Popinator can actually determine where the “Pop!” command came from, lifting its tiny chute and aiming it in the proper direction. So, popcorn fans could place one of these machines anywhere in the room (the Popinator has an impressive kill range of up to 15 feet) and no matter where they roam, have a tasty treat fired at them on command.

It’s a brave new world in which we live.

“One thing that never changes about popcorn is how people eat it, how they get it in their mouths, whether it’s directly from a bag or from a bowl — that hasn’t changed. But how cool would it be if you could change the way people eat popcorn?” said Barry, vice president of operations at Indiana Popcorn in an introductory video of the Popinator.

Speaking of the video,  Indiana Popcorn looks to have the award of “Most Fun Office of the Year” locked down.

All through the rank and file, the Popinator is seen shooting kernels of happiness to employees on the warehouse floor to employees in conference rooms and offices.

Yes, the Popinator brings the party to any gathering or office. At least, it will if it ever becomes available.

According to a company spokesperson, the Popinator is currently nothing more than a giant tease, a possible attempt to get the Indiana Popcorn name “out there,” as the machine shown off in the video “is just a prototype” Indiana Popcorn is hoarding all to themselves. []

Of course, it’s also entirely likely that the team at IP realize the near-immediate legal troubles they’d find themselves in as soon as this product was launched. After all, though this product sounds like the most fun you’ll ever have eating a lightly puffed snack, it also seems to carry a very apparent danger rivaling other “fictional” snack food machines.

Image Credit: Vitaly Korovin / Shutterstock

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