The boring supermarket shelf is about to get a radical overhaul if wireless charging company Fulton Innovations has anything to do with it.
The company has developed a solution, called eCoupled, that when combined with their wireless charging technology and cheaply printed electronic circuitry on paper will bring packaging to life, literally.
Fulton Innovations has used its currently technology which sees power passed from power “hot spots” in a surface to products with the technology to take that power.
The solution say Fulton Innovations, would not only let shops electronically manage their inventory knowing what was on the shelf at any given time via a central remote system, but to also allow food makers and manufacturers to enhance their packaging with interactive displays at very little cost.
“Nutritional information, quantities, expiration dates, and other information can be managed and monitored wirelessly through a PC or mobile device,” says the company.
For the demo at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that meant a boxes of cereals that lit up to get your attention.
But it’s not just packaging and advertising that could benefit. Fulton Innovations say the idea of providing power to battery-powered devices could mean you never come home with a gadget that needs charging ever again.
“You know when you buy a kids toy you always take the one behind the first one on the shelf because you are worried the battery on the first one will be run down,” a spokesman for the company to Pocket-lint trying to explain one of the many reasons why Fulton Innovations believe this is a great idea. “Well with this solution the product would be powered by the shelf so that isn’t a problem any more.”
But Fulton Innovations has eyes on more than just shop shelves. It is also hoping to take the solution into the kitchen in your home allowing you to know exactly how much food is in the box so you can remotely order more if you need to.
“Imagine being at the supermarket and being able to tell from an app on your phone that you need more milk,” our man says trying to blow our mind. “With this system consumers will benefit from being able to better manage what and how they consume on a daily basis while also making informed decisions about those products.”
As to when you will see this in a supermarket or home near you Fulton Innovations says that it is trying to standardize the technology so it can then begin a roll out to shops around the world with multiple partners.
“The technology to do this isn’t a concept, it’s here right now,” says our man. “But we need everyone on board to make sure it becomes a reality.”
With so many goods available without that standard, this idea could never leave the shelves of Fulton Innovations.