Cheetle makes cheeky claim to be ‘the inspiration’ behind hands-free tech

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Does make you wonder, doesn't it? Pic: Frito-Lay
Does make you wonder, doesn't it? Pic: Frito-Lay

Related tags PepsiCo Frito-Lay Cheetos cheetle hands-free tech

Cheetle is the iconic orange dust that is guaranteed to stain fingertips, making it difficult to be hands-on after a dive into a bag of Cheetos – could this have been the very thing that inspired the hands-free revolution?

The tech advances that allow people do almost anything completely hands-free are particularly helpful for Cheetos fans, who although rocking it, are often besieged with the Cheetle challenge.

However, while they once may have struggled, they now can conquer the world – both during and after delving in their favourite snack – with inventions like robotic vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars and facial recognition technology.

So, was this tech actually designed with the Cheetle challenge in mind?

This is the sassy implication behind the Frito-Lay brand’s newest experiential activation.

Cheetos 1

What does a hand-free world look like?

Turning muse into mischief, the brand is bringing this theory to life by imagining what a world could look like in a fully Hands-Free House, debuting at SXSW, running from 12-15 March in Austin, Texas.

“Cheetle is a badge of savory honour, but it’s also a tricky situation when swiping left on your phone or using the vacuum to clean up your evidence,”​ said Stacy Taffet, senior VP of marketing, Frito-Lay North America.

“This campaign playfully dares our fans to ask the question – did Cheetle inspire hands-free technology? We’re excited to show fans all the ways they can live life completely hands-free when we open the doors to the Hands-Free House. Afterall, we aren’t afraid to claim: if it’s hands free... it’s a Cheetos thing.”

The innovative home is located at 1209 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702, and is open to the public to attend.. Every room in the house has been carefully designed to showcase how tech can be used to power everyday activities that normally require the use of your hands, such as tech-enabled entry, smudge-free remote controls and Alexa voice-activated appliances – in other words: 100% Cheetle-friendly.

After enjoying everything the house has to offer, visitors are invited to a party in the backyard to enjoy Cheetos-inspired cuisine, a hands-free vending machine and even more hands-free surprises.

Cheetos hasn’t forgotten its fans who cannot get to Austin and will unlock access to hundreds of tech giveaways via Twitter from 12 March. Then, from 28 March, fans can also head to the digital version of the Hands-Free House on Amazon. Inside, Cheetos devotees will be able to virtually explore each room of the home with a 360° view and find tips and tricks to create their own hands-free home.

An important message from Frito-Lay

Cheetos is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $18bn convenient foods division of Purchase, NY-headquartered PepsiCo.

“Obviously, Cheetos isn’t taking credit for the incredible work of innovators who’ve created hands-free tech, but hey, even innovators enjoy Cheetos from time-to-time.”

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