Aurora uses UV rays and vacuum packing to boost foods' fridge life
It's always a shame when you buy fresh produce, only to have it spoil in the fridge before you can use it. The Aurora system is designed to keep that from happening, using a combination of ultraviolet light and vacuum packing.
Currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, Aurora is made by a startup called Uvera, which is in turn affiliated with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The system was recently the recipient of a CES Innovation Award.
Aurora consists of a main device, an assortment of transparent BPA-free food containers, and an app.
Users start by placing their fruit, vegetables, meat or fish in one of the containers, then putting that container in the device, closing the device's door, and pressing its start button. Google Assistant software running on the device then asks the user what's in the container, which they answer verbally (i.e: they say "broccoli").
Over the next 30 seconds, the device illuminates the container's contents with UV-C light, killing any bacteria present on the food's surface. The device also vacuum-seals the container but sucking all the air out of it via a port in the lid, plus it weighs the container. By subtracting the container's known empty weight from the total weigh, the device is able to determine the weight/amount of the produce.
From there, the user just takes the container out of the device, and sticks it in the fridge. According to Uvera, produce stored via the Aurora system will last anywhere from 25% to 218% longer (depending on the type and amount of produce) than if it were stored by conventional methods.
The app lets users check how much longer the food in a given container should be good for, plus the app will alert them if any of the stored produce is nearing its estimated expiration date.
Indiegogo pledges start at US$639, for a package that includes one Aurora device and six containers of two different sizes – the planned retail price is $989. Assuming everything goes according to plan, shipping should commence in July.
The system is demonstrated in the following video.