Useful package design is an important part of every day. We rely on so many things to give us information about what we buy. For most people, when something is hard to understand they most likely will not buy it. We all buy groceries every so often, and browsing through the meat aisle I find myself digging through pounds of ground beef, chicken breasts, and bacon trying to find the most appealing package. If you think about it, meat has a pretty short shelf life, unless you freeze it. Most of us do not take the time to look at the label that tells us when the product should expire. Well, someone finally found an intelligent solution - labels that change to reflect the freshness of the meat. The label resembles an hour glass that is white at its freshest and slowly turns blue at the bottom when the product is bad covering up the barcode so that it won't scan. At a quick glance, it is readily apparent if the meat is no longer fresh.
What I like about this concept is the simple ease of information. It's not that people are unintelligent, but that sometimes we do not have time to sift through all the info to see if what we are going to eat is still good. Where I think an idea like this could really be useful is on vegetable and fruit skin, like the label would change color according to the amount of enzymes released from the fruit when it starts to rot. One challenge to this is of course how much it would cost to make something like this and get producers to use it. I'm not sure how much it cost, but if it works in Japan, I don't see why we couldn't have it here. Although I will agree that the Japanese are way ahead of us in technology and innovative designs, I'm sure someone could come up with something useful and savvy.