Friday, June 10, 2011

Programming your cake and eating it too.

New Scientist reports:

A student at the Royal College of Art in London, Hannes Harms, has come up with a design for an edible RFID chip, part of a system he calls NutriSmart. The chip could send information about the food you eat to a personal computer or, conceivably, a mobile phone via a Bluetooth connection.

The site says that the purpose of the system is diet management and allergy control. It can be integrated with an RFID reader embedded into a plate or a refrigerator.

Will this cool idea fly in the real world? Most likely, not. Forget about the implementation for a minute and think about the system's functionality. Its main purpose is to deliver information about food from people who make the food to people who make decisions about eating it. If we can program RFIDs with nutrition information, then we have the ability to program non-edible items with the same information. Since 2D barcodes and phone readers are widely available, it might be much easier to transfer information that way, especially, when allergies are concerned.

Though, the key problem still remains unresolved: it's too late to detect information about food right before eating it. This kind of decisions need to be made at the time of buying and/or ordering. Besides, we all know that eating cake, with large amounts of sugar and fat in it, is not for the diet. You don't need an RFID reader plate to tell you that :)

tags: problem, solution, information, health, detection, system, energy, example

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