Coming to American Pizza Huts? Pizza Table-Turned-Video-Projector

Last week, a couple websites took notice that in Hong Kong, Pizza Hut has introduced a new pizza protector (saver/table) that has a lens in its center.  The protector + lens may then inserted into a hole in the front of one of four specially designed Pizza Hut delivery boxes.  A video player (e.g., smartphone) may then be placed within the box, with the lens magnifying the video image(s) onto a wall or screen.  However, as the articles indicate, because the player is buried inside a cardboard box, any audio synchronized with the video may require additional amplification. This is an interesting wrinkle on basic technology:  adding a lens to the pizza protector and adding a hole in the box for the lens apparatus.  Carmela Vitale was issued a patent on the original package saver in 1985.  Although there have been a couple of dozen improvements in arrangement, manufacture, and aesthetic design in the pizza table, the basic design depicted in Vitale's patent remains.  The addition of a magnifying lens is a clever thought.  Certainly, some folks have re-purposed pizza tables, including holding items of varying size and shape.  Modifying the pizza box to accommodate the protector + lens is also clever, keeping this new feature completely contained without any additional components necessary.

Whether Ogilvy Hong Kong (designer) or Pizza Hut has filed a patent application in any office protecting the various aspects of this idea is unclear, although it does not appear any action has taken place in the U.S. or through WIPO that the public would be able to access.  My suspicion is that the appropriate entity filed the application(s) very recent and the product is being made available in Hong Kong to test the market and taking advantage of the procedural lag times that occur with international patent application filing protocols (via the PCT system).