Design Challenge Finalist: Packaging the Package

by Ideo Corporation

Creators: Ideo Design
Community: International aid workers
Project: Expandable, networked container

IDEO designers reasoned that to send a smarter CARE package, you need a smarter box, one that can wirelessly signal its location and expand incrementally while protecting its contents at any stage. Voil, IDEO’s “expandable CARE package.” A lightweight, collapsible metal frame gives structural support, and an aerogel-filled inner bag protects the contents and keeps them at constant temperature. To fill the package, simply expand the frame, place the goods inside the bag, zip it closed; then, using the integrated vacuum pump, evacuate air from the bag so it conforms to its contents, preventing them from rattling around during transport. Along the aid chain, the container can be expanded or contracted if required. A readdressable, wireless digital display tag shows handling instructions, transit addresses, bar codes, icons, multi-language text and more. The container’s contents and destination can be monitored using a PDA or laptop in the field.