Excuseme the fowl language, but it’s appropriate here.
We all know (or will) the insane cost of them. We spend lots of money on them on the household and institutional budgets. Several times a day we throw away these 30 cents items, often without needing to. Every human will or have used them for years. For multinational corporations they are the sweet smell of money, for us…well it depends. Surely a disaster for the environment.
What are we talking about?
This is the situation. You are a caring person and you see tears. What’s the problem? Parents know the drill. The usual detection algorithm starts. A check flowchart: pain? hunger? …. or is it the ‘bottom line’?
The sweet or not so-sweet smell tells you what you have to do.
You will also know about the silent-positive; no alarm and no change leads to a pain in the bottom. We dry the tears and invest in curing the wounds. Soon this leads you to adopt the institutional approach.
The institutional approach is to change at specific times, whether needed or not. The vacant slot is usually before feeding and ofthen clean ones goes to pollute our dump-yard. What goes in, must come out and then the sh.t hits the fan. The unscheduled aftermath sometimes goes undetected (silent-positive). This scheme goes for our elderly as well. The poor person is left unchanged.
You know what we are talking about here, don’t you? DIAPERS. Those wonderful disposable ones that have released tremendous time resources, given mothers time to breathe, for which, we gladly pay the price.
What’s the problem? The issues are 1. many times diapers are changed un-necessarily and 2. many times they are NOT changed at the right moment. First case is a waste of money and environmental resources. Second case is health hazard (especially for the elderly).
The theoretical solution is simple: Change when needed.
In practice: you can’t go around sniffing there every 20 minutes, especially not as institutional employee.
With cheap modern technology you could easily make a ‘pamper sniffer’ (please be aware of active patents). This 10€ sniffer would signal yellow (a drop of pee is absorbed so it’s not yet urgent) red (the sh.t has hit the fan, change now). Those IOT freaks will upgrade to an app telling the carer: what, who, and the GPS coordinates of the sinner.
You think Mr. Pumpers will sponsor a 50% reduction of his profit?
Someone could get very rich, society will save and environment spared. Personally I would gladly have paid 100€ for a ‘pamper sniffer’ when my kids were small. I’d happily pay 200€ as a gift for my dad and please go ahead charge my children 1000€ when the time comes where I’m in deep …. (provided the nurse obay the alarm).
Bill of materials (draft). Moist sensor/gas sensor, battery, led/buzzer/xxx, microcontroller…