Not People, Nor Green: Soylent Food Alternative Starts Shipping

From this week it is now possible to live without ever eating any food again as meal alternative ‘Soylent’, a nutritionally-rich drink, has started to ship.

After raising in excessive of $2m dollars in a crowdfunding campaign, its supporters will now be rewarded with the food replacement.

A three-serving bag of Soylent, which is made of a powder and special oil, contains more than 2,000 kcal and means that those who don’t want to eat food can substitute meals for the portions.

With more than 13,000 crowdfunding backers, Soylent contains all the components of a balanced diet but with the added bonus of only a third of the calories.

Another added advantage is that, not having gone through traditional manufacturing processes, it doesn’t contain any toxins or preservatives.

It’s also cheaper than full meals with a $65 order being able to replace a full week’s worth of meals, which equates to $3.10 a meal.

In a blog post on the company’s website, Soylent stated that starter kits have started shipping this week and the rate of shipping will be scaled up over the next two weeks. This is as well as product shipping starting from today.

The process has taken a year since the 30-day crowdfunding campaign was launched, causing some criticism in from backers in the past.

Shipping is currently limited to the US but in coming months will be spread to international destinations.

It’s founder Rob Rhinehart, previously a computer engineer, posted a famous blog post that described how he only ate what has gone on to become Soylent for a 30 day period.

In his original post he wrote on how the idea came about: “I hypothesized that the body doesn’t need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains.

“So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy?

“Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that’s in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet? I just want to be in good health and spend as little time and money on food as possible.”

The original crowd funding campaign provided funds for the upfront manufacturing costs manufacturing costs.

The campaign designed Soylent as: “For many people, on many occasions, food is a hassle, especially when trying to eat well.

“Suppose we had a default meal that was the nutritional equivalent of water: cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous.

“Soylent will be personalized for different body types and customizable based on individual goals. It allows one to enjoy the health benefits of a well balanced diet with less effort and cost.”

Smart helmet: The piece of wearable technology that could save your life

Over a ten year period in the US more than 44,000 motorcyclists have died after being involved in crashes while riding. Now the team behind new smart helmet technology is hoping it will save lives by automatically alerting emergency services when the rider is involved in a collision.

The headset, called the X-1 and developed by APEX, is a Bluetooth headset that sends out a distress signal when it senses a collision.

Using gyroscopes and accelerometers in modern smart-phones it detects rapid deceleration, change in position, G-forces and distance traveled in relation to time to detect when an accident has happened.

The headset works with a smartphone app which uses GPS navigation to send the rider’s position to the authorities also allows medical information to be stored and provided to emergency responders.

Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the US Department of Transportation, show that while there has been a slight decrease in the number of motorcyclists dying each year the number is still high.

The most recent statistics show more than 4,600 motorcyclists died in 2011 – compared to 3,200 in 2002 – a further 81,000 were injured. This amounted to 14% of all traffic fatalities in the US during 2011.

Being able to alert emergency authorities as soon as a rider is involved in a crash or collision and speed up the time it takes for them to arrive could help to save lives.

The inventors behind the piece of tech are now trying to raise funds to further develop the product through a crowd-funded Indiegogo campaign.

They are looking to raise a total of $15,000 to help finalise the software design and fund the first run of production. The money will also help to ensure the device is patent protected and available to riders by the summer of this year.

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Writing on their funding page the founders say: “APEX is here for a singular purpose: to save the lives of riders everywhere. Having lost loved ones to fatal accidents, the founders of APEX have a personal stake in motorcycle safety.

“We realized there had to be a way to make the riding experience safer, without sacrificing what makes it so appealing to so many.”

The headset also uses Bluetooth technology to allow the rider to listen to music or call others using their phones.


Images courtesy of Apex Technologies