Light-up Cereal Boxes Unveiled at CES 2011

Posted on January 18, 2011 by in Featured, Tech

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show - Las Vegas, Nevada

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show hit Las Vegas the first week in January and a lot of cool new technology was showcased. One piece of technology that was received very well at CES but I am reserved in choosing to designate as “cool” is the light-up cereal box.

The new eCoupled technology comes to us from Fulton Innovation, a company specializing in creating “solutions [that] deliver social and economic value to people the world over.” The eCoupled technology uses wireless power via inked discs with the wireless power technology built into its coils as the power source to allow the shelves of the grocery store to act as the power source for the cereal boxes. And it looks like General Mills is first in the game, based on what cereals were used in the demonstration.

Yes, ladies (and gentlemen), our cereal boxes are going high tech. Why? My conspiracy theory is so that we make mindless impulse purchases based on flashy colorful boxes rather than comparing the actual nutritional value of said billboard products (I made that up, but maybe it’s a real term) to other products whose companies don’t choose to spend their marketing dollars in this manner. And the light-up boxes can cost more because you’re getting more than just cereal, you’re getting entertainment!

To its credit, once you bring the cereal box home it can interface with applications on computers or gadgets to inform you of the nutrition information, sell by date, quantity remaining in the package (remotely know if you need to pick up another box of Cheerios or if it was just a foggy dream that you finished off the box that morning), so there are definite advantages to the wireless power technology. I’m just turned off by the marketing scheme that lures our eyes toward the blinking product instead of the product with better nutrition.

Also a point to consider: How is this packaging green? Right now I can fully recycle my cereal box. With the technology included in the box to allow it to light up and report information to applications I just don’t see how the box is recyclable without breaking it down to remove all portions involved with lighting up the box. Glad to be wrong about this, but I haven’t seen that point addressed anywhere.

This is my opinion. What do you think? Is having cereal boxes and (we all know it will happen) other product boxes light up truly a value to you, the consumer? Fad? Another step toward Skynet and/or destroying the planet? I would love for you to tell me your thoughts on the matter.

For some strange reason, I couldn’t find any images of these boxes that I am authorized to use in this post, so to see more still images of these cereal boxes visit Google Images.

Image: Jen (jen_rab)

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Posted on January 18, 2011 by in Featured, Tech


27 Responses to “Light-up Cereal Boxes Unveiled at CES 2011”
  1. my opinion…waste of fucking money. and resources.
    HATE it.

  2. MeganNo Gravatar says:

    OK, this is totally cool, but completely stupid. And honestly, cereal is so expensive already, what is this going to do to the price? Also, the recycling thing. Absolutely.

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @Megan, I saved $15 by not buying *any* cereal products the last time I grocery shopped. I don’t even want to know how much that increases when this technology is involved.

  3. Fabiola R.No Gravatar says:

    I agree to both comments above :) Specially because they’re targeted to kids, and you know they will beg for it!

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @Fabiola R., if big kids are ooooohed and ahhhhhhhed by it like they were at CES you know little kids will be 100 times worse. :)

    • PalikaNo Gravatar says:

      Jobs are hard to find for a 16 year old. Most places prfeer to hire people over the age of 18. The best thing you can do is apply to as many places as possible. You’ll have to really play the numbers game. My first job was in a pizza restaurant and they were pretty good about hiring 16 year olds. The job was also a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Since you are still in high school, I wouldn’t recommend working more than 10-15 hours a week. You might be able to get a job in a supermarket as a bagger until you have enough experience to make cashier.

  4. statiaNo Gravatar says:

    This has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. They’re wasting their resources on THIS? When they could be, I don’t know, making the food more nutritious, with less garbage in it?

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @statia, all about who has the money to pay for the technology to be developed. My guess is that this technology is being used in many good ways I don’t know about because it’s new to me, but the one that gets showcased is the one that has no value, in my opinion.

      • statiaNo Gravatar says:

        @Poppy, I would like to think that you’re right. Hell, I hope you’re right, but honestly, this is still just a waste of resources. I hope this is something that never makes it to production.

  5. LizaNo Gravatar says: like it’s not hard enough trying to get down the cereal aisle with 3 boys as it is. now the packages can light up at us? nooooooo! i don’t think that could possibly be recycled either. while the kid in my says hey wow that looks so cool, the mom in me says heck no.

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @Liza, I’m anxious to see what they will say about how to recycle. I bet they have to include an insert about how to properly disassemble the box.

  6. Sybil LawNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like a waste of money and resources to me. Take the money for light=up boxes and send it to some kids who are starving.

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @Sybil Law, starving kids who will walk into a store and spend all their money on one shiny box of cereal instead of food to feed their whole family for a week. yaaaaayyyy…

  7. NYCWDNo Gravatar says:

    What a fantastic innovation!!! I love how power through induction is getting utilized by commercial entities! Of course, more utilization means further development, and further development means longer term investments, which ultimately can lead to a completely fossil fuel free transportation system as more auto makers turn to electric cars. It’s all for progress and I’m more than fine with that.

    Of course, assuming that the pioneering cereal companies are not bludgeoned to death by the jello-spined parents who prefer to have the government regulate their children for them instead of actual parenting, I hope this will entice more companies who traditionally are not “tech” companies to invest in this technology’s developement.

    • PoppyNo Gravatar says:

      @NYCWD, for real? You really think it’s appropriate for this technology to light up our cereal boxes? You can go grocery shopping with Ripley next time, see how hard it is to pry her away from the shiny cereal boxes instead of her kibbles and bits. I appreciate the technology being used, I don’t appreciate the method in which it’s being delivered.

      • NYCWDNo Gravatar says:

        @Poppy, for real. I totally think its not only appropriate but amazingly innovative and a great way to fund future development.

        I will gladly go grocery shopping with Ripley, and she will tell you how hard it was to pry ME away from the shiny cereal boxes… but how her maturity (plus the fact that she holds the purse strings) won out because in the end its all just a gimmick, and the toys inside are still the suck.

  8. FireMomNo Gravatar says:

    Pointless. Stupid. Waste of time, money and resources. *headdesk*

    (Great post though!)

  9. PoppysBroNo Gravatar says:

    I thought porn was always the first industry to push the boundaries of a new entertainment technology.

    Ooooh, maybe rather than induction they will improve it with friction based power!

  10. MatthewNo Gravatar says:

    This seems to be another gimmick to attract the attention of kids and allow them to blackmail their parents into buying unhealthy cereal for them. I agree the lighted boxes look cool, but you have to look past all the flash and think of the nutrition.

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