CES 2011: The future of food is wireless in the store and in your home

CES 2011: The future of food is wireless in the store and in your home

Imagine being out in your car and suddenly having the urge to bake cookies. Do you have eggs at home? Do you have milk to drink with your cookies? An app on your phone tells you that you have 12 eggs, more than enough to make Tollhouse cookies but you are out of milk. It then gives you directions to the nearest supermarket that has your favorite brand of organic soy milk.

Once you get to the supermarket, imagine walking down the shopping aisle and being able to view in-depth product information at anything you look at- like nutritional information and expiration dates. The store manager also knows exactly how many boxes of which kind of cereal he has in his store. And when there are only 5 boxes of Cheerios left, the shelf senses this and wirelessly puts in an order for more.

Once you get home from the supermarket, you have to mix the ingredients together by yourself, but then the cookies are wirelessly baked for you. No oven, no stovetop required. Think electromagnetic induction powered cookie pans.

Everything I’ve just detailed is all possible. And it was demoed today by Fulton Innovation, the same company that also wirelessly powered a Tesla car. The wireless technology would be embedded on the supermarket shelf and in consumer’s homes to help manage and track inventory. The products are embedded with inductive ink and it’s the kind of ink that can be used on existing printing technology. This ink is part of eCoupled’s integrated wireless technology from Fulton Innovation, which also features a home monitoring system like in the photo below.

In the kitchen all food can be heated and controlled without wires. In fact, I saw soup heating up in its own container. Just by pulling a tab and placing the container on an eCoupled-enabled countertop, the contents will heat to a low, medium or high temperature, depending on the user’s preference.  They also offer a set of kitchen utensils like a magnetic saucepan that can be placed on any surface and cook food wirelessly. You can literally hold it in the palm of your hand while it’s cooking sauce and you won’t be burned. And while they don’t have specific prices yet, a Fulton rep said the technology isn’t even that expensive. The tech is more secure than RFID and they even say it’s safe for our brains because “it’s under a certain limitation in the magnetic field,” set by the U.S. and other national governments.

What do you think of a future of wireless food?

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