YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

The wearable veggie-bot Tomatan will demonstrate how to fuel up on lycopene while on the go.

Skeptics of wearable technology, prepare for conversion: The world's first tomato-dispensing backpack is upon us.

Schemed up by the Japanese tomato-product manufacturer Kagome, the 17.6 pound, humanoid veggie-bot Tomatan will make its public debut this weekend. It'll ride upon the sturdy, lycopene-loving shoulders of company employee Shigenori Suzuki as he runs the Toyko Marathon.

Suzuki will be running both Saturday's 5K "fun run" and Sunday's full marathon.* He'll eat seven medium-sized tomatoes delivered to his lips by Tomatan's robotic arms as he completes the first run. He'll then chow down 12 cherry tomatoes courtesy of Petit Tomatan, a smaller, more compact contraption, during his longer haul.

Sure, tomatoes are full of heart-healthy phytochemicals like beta-carotene and folic acid. But eating all of those in a row sounds positively vomit-inducing, even without the whole 10K part. Of course, there are no plans as of yet to commercialize the Tomatan; it's a PR stunt from Kagome, one of the marathon's sponsors, which plans to distribute 50,000 boring, regular tomatoes to other runners on Sunday.

While a tomato-feeding device might not be so practical for runners, a tomato-throwing wearable is something I've actually long dreamed of owning as a pedestrian. The next time a texting driver nearly mows me down in a crosswalk, they just might receive my Tomatan-inspired wrath all over their windshield.

*A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Suzuki will be running in the 10km race on Sunday. He will in fact be running the full marathon.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  2. A view of Washington Square Park in New York with tall buildings beyond
    Environment

    Why New York City Is Reporting Its Sustainability Progress to the UN

    So far, it’s the only city in the world to publish a review of its progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  3. A man bikes down a busy London street with a food-delivery box on the back of his bike.
    Equity

    The Rise of ‘Urban Tech’

    From food-delivery startups to mapping and co-living companies, technology focused on urban systems is drawing billions of dollars in venture capital.

  4. Equity

    Minimum Wages Can't Pay for a 2-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere

    There isn’t a single state, city, or county in the U.S. where someone earning federal or state minimum wage for a 40-hour work week can afford a two-bedroom home at fair market rent.

  5. POV

    Can Cities Shape the Automated Future?

    Urban spaces are the testing grounds for the automation revolution. Will they destroy our jobs, or just make new and better ones?