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back to article New electronic labels squeal to spare you from food poisoning

Packaging giant Bemis and Norway's ThinFilm will print sticky labels capable of monitoring and remembering the conditions in which their attached goods have been stored. The labels will be developed from ThinFilm's printed memory and PARC's printed transistors (which are licensed exclusively to ThinFilm). Bemis will fund the …

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Anonymous Coward

Or just use your nose. And avoid prawn or egg mayo sandwiches in general, especially from train stations.

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Devil

nose?

I think the point is to know if something's gone off without having to open the packaging, and assaulting the punter's nasal passages. Some gone-off stuff can be nasty to smell, might induce worship of the porcelain god with no consumption required.

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If you can

I'm anosmic; if there's no-one around the only way I have to test milk is to taste it.

I, for one, welcome our new cyber-packaged underlings.

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Thumb Up

Wow!

Even my dinner will have more computing capacity than the Apollo XI computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Beautiful!

Hopefully, this will finally bring to book all those corner shops that store their milk wherever they like before finally putting it on sale to the unsuspecting public.

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jai
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power source

not required for labels on potatoes and lemons, if my vague memories of school science lessons is correct

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Boffin

Re: power source

FYI: The lemons and potatoes used in those childhood Science experiments were not what was generating the electric charge-- the purpose that they served was to be the ion bridge between the anode and the cathode that you were using. It is the electrochemical reaction between the metals used for the anode and cathode that actually produces the electrical potential difference (the voltage of the lemon or potato "battery").

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_battery

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jai
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Re: power source

thanks for that - can't remember if i grasped that fact at the time, but evidently if i didn't, it didn't stick around. that may well explain my poor A-Level Physics grade.....

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Meh

Looks to be another solution looking for a problem. Unless they can somehow make the smart packaging as cheap as the regular kind, I can see companies and people voting with their wallets.

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Remote spies

They may be able to report back on if and when they are used to their makers if they are able to have add-ons which the article suggests :S

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Retailers simply won't accept it

There was a similar announcment some years ago: a simple steel ball inside ice filled transparent plastic capsule visible from the outside.

It was extremely cheap, but retailers and manufactures plainly refused to use it, as it would expose the bad practices they normally use: shutting off for the night freezers, etc.

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Aren't there already chemical versions of these temperature labels around, which give a simple go/nogo status (i.e. "I've been stored somewhere too hot for a while") and need no power source. What more does it need (unless you're going to go the whole hog with GPS-based tracking and auditing)?

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Optional

Yes but that cannot produce data to be sold to the likes of faceache and gargle,

is all part of food 2.0

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Not just food poisoning

Things like ice cream don't fare well if allowed to warm up and then refreeze.

*ahem*Tesco*ahem*

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Re: Not just food poisoning

And ... *ahem*Sainsbury's*ahem*

I don't know what freezing-thawing-storage regime my local store uses but it's almost impossible to buy potatoes that don't turn green or bread that doesn't go stale within a day or two and well before its use by date. The state of their meat products at times has made me consider vegetarianism.

The idea is fine but unlikely to catch on IMO as it's not in the supermarkets' collective interests and they'll use the argument of extra cost to ensure consumers don't support the idea. The economy is too tight to let them add monitoring labels and sneak on an extra bit of profit as well where they'd no doubt argue it as a good idea.

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food prices

Are food prices extortionate enough?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: food prices

My take on this is, as food prices are set to become more expensive anyway, that more consumers will want to know whether they're getting value for money. ie. quality, well treated goods for which they're handing over their hard earned.

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Anonymous Coward

IPv6

I guess the next step is to give each label its own IP address.

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Will every milk bottle

become WEEE?

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Re: Will every milk bottle

No, but the milk might well become wee.

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FAIL

Just more unecessary junk packaging

Of course this will use up more limited resources and increase pollution levels in landfill, but obviously that's worth it to preserve the lives of illiterates with no sense of smell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just more unecessary junk packaging

I agree about the use of noses & experience when judging food at home, but these

will allow us to judge food quality for stuff in sealed packaging at the point of buying it.

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Re: Just more unecessary junk packaging

Most of use a equiped with a bio-molecular analyser (sampling intake middle of face), what is wrong with smell-by-date?

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WTF?

New Product Opportunity!

Replacement smart labels - keep a fridge full of them for whenever you sell something that should have been cold!

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Milk

I want a milk carton that changes colour when the milk inside goes dodgy, save me ruining perfectly good coffee.

Yeah I could just sniff before-hand, but where's the fun in that?

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Unhappy

oh great, open your fridge or cupboard and get a babel of competing talking adverts

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Seems over complex

Surely it would be easy enough to make a label that changes color if exposed to warm temperatures or some such without resorting to printed circuitry. I suppose this might offer a little more precision, but it's hard to believe this would be worth the effort.

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Emo
Mushroom

Bah

No doubt some pen pushing council operative will decide we need another fucking recycling bin to put something into.

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Coat

I can see it now...

"Honey, did you put the new USB hub in the fridge? I can't find any sockets to plug the milk in!

Mines the one with the smell of stale milk emanating from it.

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