Dinner will be served.

Dinner will be served.

One more Star Trek Next Generation commonplace, the replicator, is emerging in the 21st century. For Earthlings, it’s a Fluid Interfaces Group project, housed in the Media Lab, called Cornucopia: Digital Gastronomy. Call it a personal food factory or a 3-D printer for food, it works the same way:

Cornucopia’s cooking process starts with an array of food canisters, which refrigerate and store a user’s favorite ingredients. These are piped into a mixer and extruder head that can accurately deposit elaborate combinations of food…. This fabrication process not only allows for the creation of flavors and textures that would be completely unimaginable through other cooking techniques, but it also allows the user to have ultimate control over the origin, quality, nutritional value and taste of every meal.

Yummy? We can’t tell yet because it’s still in prototype stage, but it’s buzzing in media like Gizmodo and Trendhunter and blogs like Make.