This App is A Real Life Saver

People tend to throw around the phrase “Life Saver” loosely when describing new technologies. Google’s new Maps app is doubtlessly being hailed as a lifesaver to those saddled with Apple’s failed attempt at a map solution. But there is a life saver app, and then there’s iTube.

iTube, developed by UCLA researchers, is an iPhone-enabled device that analyzes food for the presence of common allergens and displays their concentration levels to the user.

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With more than eight percent of American children having a diagnosed food allergy, the market for a device of this type is larger than it might seem.

"We envision that this cell phone-based allergen testing platform could be very valuable, especially for parents, as well as for schools, restaurants and other public settings. Once successfully deployed in these settings, the big amount of data – as a function of both location and time – that this platform will continuously generate would indeed be priceless for consumers, food manufacturers, policymakers and researchers, among others," – Aydogan Ozcan, Reseracher from UCLA

At first glance, user adoption is going to be the primary hurdle for a successful iTube release. The device requires food be ground, mixed with hot water and extraction solvents, then cooled and mixed with other reactive agents. That may be too much to ask, even of the protective parent market segment. Try getting through all that when you are out at a nice dinner with a hungry toddler waiting to eat.

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