Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Jun 13, 2005 2:46am


Silly ubicomp idea.

FridgeDiff is a software + hardware system designed for installation in refridgerator doors. A webcam is pointed towards the fridge interior, and an automated snapshot is taken each time the door is opened and closed. The photos are compared pairwise, so that differences in fridge contents and arrangements can be timestamped. Image analysis techniques would be used to help identify the movement of items from one spot to another, but the real power would lie in providing information on food age. Any particular item could be tracked backwards in time to its first appearance, so that age could be determined to help judge when items should be discarded.

Additionally, metadata about the items might be provided with the aim of encoding expiration date information. If the fridge knew that a given had a 2-week lifespan, it could warn the user (via SMS, RSS, whatever) of impending spoilage. This meta-information need not be added synchronously - instead of depending on barcode readings or ubiquitous smart foods that announce themselves via RFID, FridgeDiff would sport a web services connection, allowing for large-scale, distributed content-tagging. By harnessing the food-identification smarts of the Bored At Work Network (BWN), FridgeDiff lets the collective intelligence of the internet teach it about food's behavior over time.

All of this would have just saved me the intense, personal hassle of cleaning out the back of our refridgerator and disposing of a full bag of moldy leftovers.

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