Sunday, December 18, 2005
Hey, I love technology as much as the next guy -- probably even more so. But this is one application I'm not looking forward to.
The cereal aisle at your local supermarket may soon resemble the Las Vegas strip. Electronics maker Siemens is readying a paper-thin electronic-display technology so cheap it could replace conventional labels on disposable packaging, from milk cartons to boxes of Cheerios.
In less than two years, Siemens says, the technology could transform consumer-goods packaging from the fixed, ink-printed images of today to a digital medium of flashing graphics and text that displays prices, special offers or alluring photos, all blinking on miniature flat screens.
'When kids see flashing pictures on cereal boxes we don't expect them to just ask for the product, but to say, 'I want it,'' said Axel Gerlt, an engineer at Siemens tasked with helping packaging companies implement the technology.
Someone could make a mint selling special kid-sunglasses that selectively filter out visual marketing messages like this upcoming abomination. Brand them with the Barbie or Power Rangers name so parents have an easier time getting their precious little demographics to wear the darned things and then maybe I'll cancel my subscription to Luddite Weekly.