The other night I was all sorts of excited to add avocado to the brown rice bowl I’d picked up on my way home, but I had no idea if the one I had in the fridge was overripe. Rather than chancing it I stopped at the grocery store for a fresh one, which took me an extra 20 minutes or so. It would’ve been so convenient if I had a way to check without having to go home first. So you can imagine my delight when I heard about such a device while listening to ABC News’ Tech Bytes on my Swell app just a few days later.
According to the news clip, scientists have developed a gadget that sends you text message warnings when something in your fridge is about to expire. Scientist have developed a kind of computer chip that when inserted into perishable food packages can tell you when the contents are about to expire based on the conditions in your fridge (seriously, they claim it can measure not only temperature, but moisture content). While I’m not normally a fan of push notifications, in this case I would make an exception.
At this very moment I’ve got several apples and a pear in my fridge that are up for debate. Even items that come stamped with “best by” dates aren’t guaranteed — and then there’s the always ambiguous “sell by” date — how soon after you sell it to me is it no longer safe for me to consume? I recently dipped some celery into a container of ranch dip that claimed to be good for another month, but my stomach’s reaction suggested otherwise.
This invention could also work for items left in a cooler or a car on a cold night (provided you have a chip on hand I guess — the logistics of this device are not clear just yet). Think of all the times you’ve just assumed that something left on ice after a barbecue must be bad. With the help of this little invention you could know for sure — not only would you be saving time, but you’d be saving money too. The device may also save your olfactory system from one of its most vile offenders: spoiled milk.
Hopefully the aforementioned scientists are closer to getting this doohicky to market than the guys who came up with the idea for hover boards were when Back to the Future Part II came out; that thing has been on my Christmas list since 1989.