I just read this interesting article about technology that anticipates fast-food customers' orders. The system takes information like sandwich promotions, vehicle types in line, historical trends, etc. and predicts what food should be prepared when. The goal is to find that sweet spot between wasting food and keeping customers waiting.
For some reason this morning, my brain decided to take that concept and run with it.
Suppose this scenario was extended further. Let's say that the drive-through had a camera that captured your license plate number as you came through. They could recognize your tag number and connect it with your order. Then, then next time you visited another Golden Arches, you could be given the option to order "the usual" or something else. This could be further expanded with face recognition that knows you when you step up to the counter to order, and can recall your favorite McMeals.
I guess I'll finish up this tangent by bringing it around to MSDN Events. Right now, when you show up to the event, you have to bring a bar code. What if we could recognize your faces instead and check you in by that? That might speed up check-in...
So what would you think of these "enabling" technologies? Let me know in a comment!