Ovie Brings Smarterware to the Table and Works with Alexa to Reduce Food Waste

What is the best thing since sliced bread? Bread that you don’t have to throw away before you’ve finished it. Apply that concept to all your perishable food items, and Ovie’s Smarterware, “the world’s first smart food storage system,” can help. Ovie launched a Kickstarter campaign last week for smart tags that can keep track of food freshness. A green-yellow-red LED system lets you know if the food is fresh, approaching expiration, or if it’s probably time to toss it.

Reducing Food Waste with Alexa and Smart Notifications

One of Ovie’s primary goals is to reduce food waste, and they are making an effort to streamline food-usage. Ovie reports that American households waste approximately 40% of their food, which for the average family comes with a price tag of $2,000.

Ovie knows it’s easy to forget about food you’ve bought, or have no idea how to combine the ingredients you have available. That’s where the “smart” comes in. You can use voice with Amazon Alexa to tell Ovie what kind of food you’re storing by pressing the tag and talking. With that information, the tag will retrieve the typical food lifetime from Ovie’s database and start its LED cycle.

While the prototype only works with Amazon Alexa, Ovie plans to integrate both Google Assistant and Siri with the Smarterware solution, and intends “to launch with Google Home as well [as Alexa].” Within a week of launching on Kickstarter, they’ve reached almost 75% of necessary funding and still have over three weeks to reach their $40k goal. Based on the estimated delivery on Kickstarter pledges, products are projected to release in early 2019.

A Virtual Catalogue of Your Kitchen

A mobile application allows for visual tracking each Ovie tag in use. If you don’t have a smart speaker, pressing the tag will prompt you to enter what you’re saving through the app. Ovie does believe, though, that “the small investment in Alexa or Google Home will make the experience so much better.” Whether you use voice commands or manual entry, Ovie will remind you when food is about to go bad, or even recommend recipes to use what’s in your refrigerator based on what foods are listed in your app. Don’t have all the ingredients? The recipes list all the ingredients and includes the option to order anything you’re missing from AmazonFresh.

Cuisinart has SmarTrack which is a mobile app that could capture embedded QR codes on Tupperware and allow manual entries to track contained items. That might be even more hassle than writing “use by dates” on leftovers. Ovie’s click-and-prompt is faster. Adding voice into the mix further streamlines this process. Collect enough Ovie SmartTags, and you could easily catalogue of all of the food in your kitchen—but if the point is to avoid using your phone to track everything, the status of each food item is easy to see just upon opening the fridge.

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