As civilization reaches an apex of decadence not seen since the days of Caligula, new and exotic labor-saving schemes have arisen.
Specifically, you may soon be able to order food directly to your refrigerator, thus saving you from having to be present for delivery. Deluxe!
While the process of delivering food directly to a home has been substantially streamlined, there is not yet a great way of getting rid of unwanted (but still good) food on a small scale .
( If you have 5000 apples that you don’t want, you can give them to a food bank. If you have five apples, the logistics involved in transporting those apples means that they will probably end up going into the compost instead.)
The solution is to apply the same technique used in the in-home-delivery service, but in reverse.
In the “normal delivery” situation, a delivery person gains access to your house temporarily in order to bring in a package (e.g. “Amazon Key”).
But in the proposed “reverse delivery” situation, you temporarily give access to your house to someone who is in the neighborhood and really would love to eat a free food item that is about to expire.
It would probably be too labor-intensive to require a human to constantly monitor their kitchen for almost-spoiled items, which is why a computer-vision-aided system (Figure 1) is also proposed.
Once a nearly-spoiled piece of food is located, the system would automatically unlock your front door by communicating with a WiFi-enabled “smart lock” (Figure 2) and notify passers-by that there is free food for the taking.
PROS: Helps reduce food waste and provides yet another motivation for installing home automation.
CONS: None! Brings the “sharing economy” to your kitchen!