Nanotechnology, a range of technologies with unprecedented opportunities. Nano could be the road to many awesome products and super solutions for today’s problems. But yet, there are many things unknown about these technologies. As many nanomaterials are discovered quite recently, their characteristics are not yet fully understood. Let alone, that we know everything that could happen when nanomaterials are released or disposed in ecosystems. Also we only begin to see how products with ‘nano inside’ could change society. Therefore, we need to discuss the impact of nanotechnology on society now, before these technologies have become mainstream. Next Nature NANO Supermarket does exactly that.
Every other year, in Eindhoven the Netherlands, a physical supermarket with provoking nanotechnology products is presented which could be on the market in, let’s say 2025. The store was presented in the Dutch Design Week and has attracted a great crowed of interested ‘consumers’ and generates a lot of discussion. The NANO Supermarket goes on tour to cities and festivals all over Europe, all year round to bring the idea of nanotechnology to the people.
What do we get to see there? Well, the store is filled with so many products tailored for the future consumer. Just to give you a brief selection here focussing on the food section of the supermarket and the healthy consumer. All from the NANO Supermarket collection! The key question triggered by the designers is, do we want to have such products in our lives?
Eating in Vitro: Magic Meatballs
Magic Meatballs are designed to playfully familiarize children with lab-grown meat. These are designed for young people who are more prone to overconsumption of proteins and fats, and are more sensitive to the hormones and antibiotics used in conventional meat production. Lab-grown Magic Meatballs can be tailored precisely to a child’s individual needs.
The basic meat consists solely of animal protein, and the combination of fats, omega-3s and vitamins is completely customizable. Colors and flavors can also be added to the neutral base to make the meat change color or crackle in your mouth. Magic Meatballs actively involve kids with the meat they eat, so that future generations will more readily accept protein grown in labs.
Each course of a fancy diner should be accompanied with a soothing wine. But why buy each different type separately when you can get them all out of one bottle? Nano Wine is a basic grape product that is mixed with nano sized flavour capsules. When exposed to microwaves these capsules release their flavour. Different wattage and duration of exposure means you create a different type of wine. Just open the vanilla capsules when you are in an Australian mood. Truffle puts you in an Italian atmosphere and for a smooth Merlot won’t have to do anything.
So with this programmable wine, we don’t need to transport wine all over the world to taste specific local flavours. A true convenience and great new opportunity! But does it give the same experience as traditional wine? Would this be the new wine drinking?
With Energy Belt, stop treating your excess fat like a liability, and instead embrace its untapped potential. Artificial protocells in the belt mimic natural brown fat, taking the energy from white fat and converting it into ATP. This chemical energy can be used to power everything from cell phones to pacemakers. Eat what you want at dinner, and give up that gym membership for good. Energy Belt cuts down on electricity costs while you cut down on size.
The energy belt means one step further in integrating man and device. With a lot of benefits for consumers’ health, it also presents a solution for fuelling future batteries. But how would you feel to be entangled with a device such as this?