Bump Mark: A Food Label for the Future?

As we perused the nominees for the James Dyson Award, one invention caught our eye! Bump Mark – a revolutionary approach to see if your food is safe for consumption. It’s a gelatine label that models the decay process of food. Consumers can actually feel the label’s smoothness or bumpiness to determine if the food is safe.

How does it work?

According to the project’s description: Gelatin is set over a bumpy plastic sheet. Because jelly is solid when it sets, the bumps cannot be felt at first. As the gelatine decays, it becomes a liquid when it expires. This means that the bumps underneath can be felt, letting you know that it has expired.

Why gelatin?

Gelatin is protein, so it decays at the same rate as protein-based foods. The label simply copies what the food in the package is doing, so the expiry information is going to be far more accurate than a printed date.

Solveiga Pakstaite, a recent Industrial Design graduate from Brunel University in London, is the inventor and designer of Bump Mark. She was originally inspired to help the visually impaired “see” if their food was expired.

“This is why I worked to create a cheap solution that could be applied to existing food packages and also provides information that even sighted people haven’t had access to before: information about the actual condition of food” says Pakstaite.

That sounds like a brilliantly simple solution for all of us! Buh bye tiny, hard to read expiration date stamps and hello to saving billions of dollars in food waste that gets thrown out every year because people think it has expired when it hasn’t.

Bump Mark

Solveiga Pakstaite’s innovative “living” food label is one of the innovative designs submitted in this year’s James Dyson Award.

We look forward to seeing the progress of Pakstaite’s innovation and all of the designs in the Dyson Award competition as the judges announce the first round of finalists September 18th.

Invention:  Bump Mark
Inventor:  Solveiga Pakstaite
Capability:  A food label that tells you the condition of the food.
Recent Successes:  A serious contender in the prestigious James Dyson Award for 2014. Featured in many national and international industry publications including Fast Company.

Related Resources:

Stabilizing Spoon by Lift Labs Helps Those With Tremors Enjoy Mealtime.

For the average person, using a spoon or fork to enjoy a meal is often taken for granted. But for a person who has Parkinson Disease or Essential Tremor, the task can be daunting. A shaking hand makes it difficult to eat and many people have to rely on caretakers for help.

Inventor Anupam Pathak wanted to solve the problem using stabilizing technology. He and his team at Lift Labs developed a beautifully designed handle (with spoon and fork attachments) that counteracts hand tremors. In fact in a clinical trial, more than 70% of users’ tremors were eliminated making it easier for the person to move the spoon from the plate to mouth.

How it works: According to their website, sensors in the Liftware handle detect a person’s tremor, and the device responds using motors to move the spoon opposite the tremor. The battery-operated spoon can discern hand tremor motion from other types of motion, allowing it to respond to just the tremor while preserving the user’s intended motion.


Photo courtesy of LiftLab Design

This is changing lives people! Check out their website and video on the product and see for yourself.

Invention: Liftware Stabilizer (with Everyday Attachment | Spoon Attachment | Fork Attachment)
Inventor: Lift Labs
Capability: Cancels more than 70% of hand tremors
Recent Successes: The standard spoon, fork and deep soup spoon have been launched and are currently being sold to the public on the company website. Clinics are also using the invention to help caretakers cut time spent on feeding those who have hand tremors. The company is now in the process of designing additional attachments that appear to be top secret!

Related Resources: 

A Spoon That Shakes To Counteract Hand Tremors

LiftLabs website

LiftLabs on facebook

LiftLabs Clinical Trial