Technology

Keeping track of food use-by dates just got a whole lot easier

This new smart tag system is helping do away with food waste fridge by fridge.

Who hasn’t rooted around in their fridge to find a vegetable or salad item only to discover it’s definitely past its best?

It’s often the same story for squirrelled away leftovers and halved lemons – pushed to the back of the fridge, they are inevitably forgotten about until unusable and then discarded.

A new piece of tech from startup Ovie wants to change all that. It aims to do away with food waste by reminding you what’s lurking in the refrigerator, giving you helpful recipe suggestions to combine older produce into something you’ll want to eat.

Ovie kit in a fridge
(Ovie)

Ovie Smartwear comes in six products – containers, clips and connectors that can attach to anything in the fridge – and into each one fits a smart tag which has a traffic-light colour system to visually show freshness.

But it also links up with an app to send you reminders about what’s best to eat next to minimise waste.

Ovie app in use
(Ovie)

“We designed our smart tags to not only track food for notification purposes, but also to provide visual indicators to anyone in the household,” noted Dave Joseph, Ovie co-founder and head of product design.

“The colour changing light ring was key in making it extremely easy for every member of the household to see what food is important to eat now.”

Ovie also integrates with Alexa and other smarthome hubs, recipe apps and grocery apps.

It will keep track of everything tagged and will send reminders to a smartphone when food is about to go off. It will also provide tips on how to eat it, recipe ideas using other tagged items in the fridge, and even connect with grocery apps to allow users to order missing ingredients to complete a recipe.

(Ovie)

Stacie Thompson, co-founder and head of marketing at Chicago-based Ovie, said: “Each month Ovie will send a personalised recap to users detailing how they have been using Ovie to improve their food tracking and consumption.

“The recaps will celebrate wins, offer tips based on personal consumption trends, and share how together with the rest of the Ovie network we’re reducing food waste and its negative impact on our world.”

The product is currently available via Kickstarter pledges from $35 (about £27) with rewards being sent out in early 2019.

Ovie wants to raise $40,000 (about £30,000) and currently has $31,955 (£24,113) pledged thanks to 266 backers. Funding closes on June 21.

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Technology