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Cap showing spoilage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237309D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that pairs a thermistor with a timer to make a smart cap that accurately indicates a product’s actual expiration date.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 94% of the total text.

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Cap showing spoilage

Food items often have a use-by date on the packaging. The problem is that this date is the date on which an unopened package expires. For example, a jar of baby food may have a use-by date of August 1, 2015; however, after it is opened, it is only good for 24 hours. This is exacerbated by current trends toward preservative-free foods. These foods are usually good for a long period when unopened, but quickly spoil after opening. One can simply keep track of the time that a container has been opened, but this has a couple of problems. First, some people have large numbers of opened containers. Second, the time is variable depending on the storage conditions.

The solution is a system that pairs a thermistor with a timer to make a smart cap that accurately indicates a product's actual expiration date.

A smart cap is installed on the product by the manufacturer. This cap contains a chip that stores information relevant to the product. The cap has a timer circuit that activates when the product is first opened. A countdown begins when the product is opened. The effect of the thermistor is to modify the rate at which the timer progresses. In warmer environments (e.g., the product is left out on the counter), the timer counts down at a faster rate.

This approach is also applicable to using a timer that is manually placed on the object after opening. This method requires a subsequent method by which the user can input the product information upon att...