Time and Temperature Sensitive Labels

These self-monitoring freshness timers have already been integrated into Febreze refillable air fresheners, but their usefulness goes beyond household appliances.

These smart strips are useful for monitoring any sort of material with a shelf life, be it food and beverage products, medicines, lab materials and more. Another great thing that goes with easy readability of the monitor is the fact that once activated, the strips are self-contained and thus tamper-proof. Moreover, there are strips available for use at all sorts of temperatures, and even ones that account for differences in elevation.

The form of the strips has evolved beyond the simple "peel and stick" method. The manufacturer has developed a way to embed the strips in any flip-style cap so that it activates upon the initial opening of the product, so that you can see throughout the lifespan of the product exactly how old it is. Which is great, because I'm sick of smelling milk to see if it has turned.

In February, the company announced that a toothbrush manufacturer has agreed to develop a new toothbrush that integrates the technology. The goal is to underscore the three month life span of the typical toothbrush to the consumer, and encourage regular replacement. The initial run of these newly integrated toothbrushes will be "modest," however, they are optimistic about the potential of expansion after the first run, citing that as of now approximately 110 million toothbrushes are sold annually in the UK, with an additional 400 million sold annually Stateside. Given the relative ease of activation and use of these strips, it would not be surprising for this technology to be the norm for monitoring expiration dates in the coming decade.


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