XX century is marked by innovative solutions in different spheres of people’s life. Innovative technical devises, aimed at fostering the development of industries and making people be more flexible or making their life easier. This last statement inspires human to elaborate great number of different tools. Therefore, the goal of this essay is to present another innovation in the world, namely The Smart Spoon, tell a story of its creation and briefly describe its functions and principles of operation, as well as highlight a marketing strategy for this product.
The Smart Spoon offers new high-tech design with innovative solution as it is a smart spoon for people with food intolerance. People who are allergic to any kind of food don’t feel themselves absolutely comfortable, as it puts some limits on them. They should exclude certain daily products from their life, keep to the diet, and even take pills.
The idea to make smart spoon for people with an abnormal response to food does not appear accidentally. In May 2012, “The foodintol” (“a website that informs and educates people about food intolerance”) made a survey among its subscribers (more than 900 people). The results of it demonstrated that 26% of responders are not allergic to any food, 6% are not sure and 68% of the responders stated that they definitely have food intolerance (Source).
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American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology mentions that there are eight foods that “are responsible for the majority of allergic reactions. They include cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat” (“Food Allergy Overview”). The foodintol Survey 2012 proves it: 59% of responders gave affirmative answer (N.B. they were allowed to tick more than one if relevant) that they are intolerant to dairy, 58% - gluten, 48% - wheat, 27% - additives, 21% - fructose, 19% - yeast, 8% - nightshades, and 22% - other (“Food Allergy Overview”).
As stated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “approximately 5% of children and 4% of adults in the United States” are affected by food allergy (Source). The symptoms of food allergy are the worst thing. People may experience abdominal pain, itching, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, vision problems, fever, trouble breathing, and many others. If people are allergic to a food, “this allergen triggers a response in the immune system. Food allergy reactions may be life-threatening” (Source).
Functions and Principles of Operation
Therefore, scientists elaborated this Smart Spoon to help people feel themselves safer. The inventors were inspired by the Connie Cheng and Leonardo Bonanni, who invented “the spoon, equipped with sensors that measure temperature, acidity, salinity, and viscosity, and is connected to a computer via a cable. The sensors evaluate the different properties of the food, and send them to the computer for further processing”. It can be either a useful culinary tool or a protector from ambustions or burns. There are also other sensor spoons, “meant to be used in the microwave, they change color as the meal heats”. Especially they are useful for babies, as a food might be too hot for their gums (Source).
It is high time to describe our Smart Spoon for people with food allergy. It is made of metal and contains gold sensors, zinc, and aluminum and is of two colors – silver and gold. It resembles ordinary soup spoon but thicker due to the inserted mechanism.
The Smart Spoon is equipped with embed sensor on its tip, that is practically invisible. And when The Smart Spoon touches food, a decoded signal from the sensor goes on a wire to a micro-processor, which processes the data and correlates them with the program’s data (Source).
The information about allergens is decoded on the micro-processor with the help of special program. The program is still being developed and improving. It is user friendly and contains the Name of allergen and Enable/Disable function.
In order to use The Smart Spoon, it should be personalized. Insert the cable into the hole on the top of the handle and connect the other side to the computer via USB slot. There appears a window “Welcome to the Safer World” on the screen of the computer. Then the button “Start” should be pressed. There appears another window containing registration form. There should be written a Name of a user, and his/her parameters (gender, age, weight, etc.) (Source). After filling the registration form, the program may be used (see the example of the program in the Appendix 1).
Allergens detection function turns-on or turns-off by pressing on the necessary button. When the function is on, the button flashes blue, when off then it flashes red. In a default mode these buttons are of light colors. For example, a person has allergic response to eggs’ yolk; he/she should activate this function by pressing light blue button in front of the name of allergen “Yolk”, it flashes. Moreover, it means that this person is now protected from a danger to eat something containing egg’s yolk. If a person is, for example, used to become intolerant to different kinds of food from time to time, he/she may activate or deactivate required functions at any time. This program is included into the standard package of The Smart Spoon.
The Smart Spoon’s micro-processor has the memory of 5 Mb. It doesn’t require more memory as now the program is not complex. As was stated before, the program is still developing; therefore, micro-processor’s memory is to be increased with time.
When there are no dangerous substances, lighter on the hand of the spoon flashes green. When these substances are detected, it flashes red. The Smart Spoon has also a battery that is charged with the help of USB cable inserted into any computer. In a tune-on mode The Smart Spoon stays operational for 24 hours. When the battery is low (20% left), The Smart Spoon’s turn-on/turn-off button starts flashing. It means that it should be charged in the closest period of time as it will be working only for approximately four hours (SourcE).
The Smart Spoon goes together with a spoon case, USB-charging device, napkin and guidance. There is to be filmed a commercial, for young people and for old ones. This commercial will be showing the scene, where two young people (girl and boy, lady and gentleman, woman and man) are strolling across the park hand in hand, they are hugging, smiling, laughing. Then they are entering either a disco club or a restaurant, café and taking a meal using The Smart Spoon. It will also film old people (grandmother and grandfather) that are going to visit their children in Christmas or Thanksgiving. They use The Smart Spoon. There should be some romantic, energetic music in the first part of a commercial, and soft, relaxing – in the second. The commercial will demonstrate all advantages of the spoon (Source.
The Smart Spoon is a useful tool for people, who are either intolerant or allergic to some king of food. The Smart Spoon is made of metal, though has 50 grams of weight. It consists of three sensors that detect the allergens in food; this signal is transmitted to the micro-processor via three wires. Micro-processor that has 5 Mb memories decodes the information and correlates it with the programmed data and then sends the encoded signal. When the allergens were found, the lighter flashes red, in other way – it flashes green. Therefore, the most important function of The Smart Spoon is to find the allergens.
The Smart Spoon is programmed with the help of special program that can be installed on every computer. This version of The Smart Spoon can detect only four types of allergens, namely, eggs (yolk, white), somesulphites (sulphur dioxide, sodium sulphite, sodium bisulphite, potassium bisulphite, potassium metasulphite), gluten and fructose. By clicking on the buttons Enable (blue) or Disable (red) the program will detect then necessary for a person substances.