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PC World

Whopper of a deal: Free video e-mail

February 26, 1999
Web posted at: 8:23 a.m. EST (1323 GMT)


Would you like a free video e-mail with your cheeseburger and fry?

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by James A. Martin, special to PC World

(IDG) -- Talk about a value meal: At a Burger King in Manhattan, you can get a Whopper Junior with fries, soft drink, and your picture in an e-mail message, for less than four bucks.

Last July, restaurant franchisee Peter Allen Abramson made headlines when he installed Pentium II PCs and diner-style stools along a back wall in his Manhattan Burger King, making it the world's first fast-food joint offering cyberspace access.

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Abramson announced this week he has added 3Com Bigpicture video cameras to 5 of his 20 Internet surfing stations. Now you can get your fast-food fix, have your picture taken, and send it in an e-mail "postcard" to the folks back home.

Though the cameras can capture motion video, Abramson said currently customers are limited to still photos because of bandwidth (the restaurant uses an SDSL connection). But he plans to offer motion video in the future.

When you buy a value meal at Abramson's Burger King, the cashier gives you a ticket with a PIN number on it. The number lets you get online one of the Burger King PCs for 20 minutes. If you use one of the Bigpicture-equipped PCs, you can take as many as five photos and add them to e-mail postcards as well as surf the Net.

A tip: It's not polite to smile with your mouth full, even in cyberspace.

Abramson will add Net access and video cameras to a new Burger King he's planning for midtown Manhattan. The current wired Burger King is at 182 Broadway, in the heart of Manhattan's financial district, and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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