Wired reports: [edited]
Back in 2009 Edwards and French designer Francois Azambourg began developing a new technology to eliminate packaging from foods. Called WikiCells, the edible soft skins are made from natural food particles that are bound together by nutritive ions. The goal was to reduce plastic waste while improving human health through portion control and vitamin-supplemented skins.
WikiPearl is the first commercialised product born from the technology, mainly because ice cream is delicious, and it’s the least weird form his WikiCells could possibly take. “Some products are a more radical departure from what people are used to than others,” he says. “But ice cream and frozen yogurt in the WikiPearl form is really easily understood. An added bonus: they melt slower than regular ice cream. Put a few balls inside a specially-designed cooler that’s sold at WikiBar and Edwards says they can last up to eight hours.
But WikiPearls is really just the beginning for Edwards. He estimates that by 2014 wiki vending machines where customers can make their own combinations of filling and skins, should be available. “You could say I want an orange soda with a french fry skin, or whatever it is,” he explains, “And then it’s made there in the machine.” Long-term, he envisions wiki technology in the home where parents could customise the fillings and skins to make their children a package-free lunch.
Image: Phase One Photography