If you thought the addition of apple slices to the McDonald's menu was odd, wait until you get a load of Blaze Net. The burger chain is rolling out the high-tech device in some of its outlets, aimed at luring young consumers in by offering them the chance to download ring tones, buy music, print digital photos and surf the 'Net while they scarf their Big Macs and fries.
The ATM-looking feature has been in place at a Chicago-area McDonald's since May 16, according to the Chicago Tribune. The kiosk sits in a new Starbucks-style area of the restaurant — called, of course, the McCafe — that serves fancy coffee drinks.
"It is clearly unique and not a traditional restaurant," McDonald's spokesperson Bill Whitman told the paper. "But it is a peek at the future of McDonald's through the use of technology, innovative design and contemporary space."
Whitman said it's too early to tell how many of the chain's restaurants will add the Blaze Net centers, but the feedback from consumers so far has been "overwhelmingly positive." He said the store near the Oakbrook Center shopping mall outside Chicago will likely be followed by tests in West Virginia and Florida.
Future tech-savvy McDonald's outlets will also have WiFi wireless Internet access, Web surfing stations and big-screen TVs.
In addition to promising instant ring tones, CDs in under two minutes and photos in six seconds apiece, the Blaze Net kiosks could eventually deliver concert and movie tickets as well as DVDs.
For complete digital music coverage, check out the Digital Music Reports.