Legal: Wide Afternoon LLC
Location: Chicago, IL
Founder(s): Stacie Thompson, Ty Thompson, Dave Joseph, Scott Wilson
Social Media: 1,144 followers Instagram, 339 Twitter
INDUSTRY – Food Waste Management
Size: $26.86Bn (2018) Source: Food Waste Management – Global Market Outlook (2017-2026)
Projections: $53.34Bn by 2026
Americans let 40% of their groceries expire, costing households an average of $2,000 a year. Ovie’s solution to this problem is a line of ‘smart’ Tupperware containers connected to AI technology and smartphones. Working in harmony, the containers systematically store food items, track each item’s rate of expiry and notify users when a product is going bad.
The user also gets suggestions as to how best to use any food item in a recipe, combining it with other food items based on their expiry dates. The system, at large, tracks all food bought by a household and makes sure each item is used, and that every smart device a user owns (phone, Alexa, or refrigerator) is telling the user what to do with the food.
Ovie is an app combined with a set of tupperware and food tracking devices that the company calls ‘SmartTags.’ Basically, users log each food item in the app, which assesses the expiry date based on a database of typical food expiry dates. The item is then given a smart tag, which changes colors along with the food item’s aging process. The color is green for good, yellow for alert, and red when the food has gone waste.
This information is transmitted to a centralized Bluetooth-driven ‘hub’ that connects the containers to your phone, which in turn sends an alert announcement through your home speakers. In case you do not have a home speaker through Alexa or Google Home then it simply transmits that information to your smartphone.
Ovie devices, dated to be produced in the spring of 2019, are sold in sets ranging from $85-$300. Respectively based on size, there are four sets: the Smarterware Fridge IQ Kit ($130), the Smarterware Family Starter Kit ($215), the Three SmartTag Kit ($300) and the Starter Kit ($85.) All prices are as of publishing this article.
In addition, much of the point of the system is to keep a smartphone catalogue of food currently in a user’s fridge. This, purportedly, is meant to make shopping, arranging recipes and searching for a craving easier by preventing redundancies and assisting with smart recipes. To prevent needless spamming, Ovie claims to send notifications only once a day.
Origin and Founding team
The company was founded by four co-founders: Ty Thompson, Stacie Thompson, Dave Joseph, and Scott Wilson. Ty Thompson claims to have gotten the idea of LED-lights for expired food from a parking system in which open spaces were indicated using different LED lights. Thompson got his B.A. in marketing from Texas A&M University and has worked at a number of companies, typically in the sales division.
His wife Stacie Thompson is head of brand and marketing. She has a B.A. in Environmental Design, and an unclear work history. Dave Joseph is head of product design and has a background in industrial design. Scott Wilson, is an advisor, and has an unspecified work history as well.
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