A Webcam lunchbox: Did you eat your carrots?

It's meant to promote dialog between the lunch maker and the lunch eater, but no thank you. I don't want you recording my lunch activities.

"Why didn't you eat your celery? I thought you liked celery!" Ochanomizu University

I gave up on trying to eat a healthy lunch long ago. I'm at the mercy of the burger joints around me. In theory, I could bring my own lunch from home, but I'm 34 years old, so that just sounds silly.

Maybe if I had someone to make my lunch each morning, I might change my tune on that. But not if I'm using this new lunchbox concept from Ochanomizu University in Japan. It has an integrated camera and video touch screen that's activated when the lid is opened.

It's an experiment in family communication. If someone's packing the lunch, it records them doing so to play back later when the lunch is being eaten, and vice versa. The idea is that the eater will see the care that went into packing the lunch, prompting them to return a "thanks, that was tasty!" or something equivalent to the lunch packer. Conversely, the packer gets the satisfaction of a thanks, and can see what the eater liked and didn't like.

It's cool in theory, but I don't like people watching me eat as it is. A noontime Eye of Sauron keeping an eye on me as I munch my Lunchables isn't my idea of a relaxing lunch break. That said, I could see this being very popular with the helicopter parents crowd if it ever makes its way to production.

Check out the video after the jump to see it in action, and maybe get some ideas yourself.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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