Flickr/Neal Tackaberry

Culture Shelf

Overindulging on Super Bowl Sunday? Your Tostitos bag knows. Next Sunday, the Patriots will face off against the Falcons in Houston at Super Bowl LI. The game is expected to attract almost 200 million viewers—several times the inauguration viewership (depending on whom you ask). The National Retail Federation estimates football fans will spend an average of $75 per person on the event, totaling about $14.1 billion in beer and nachos. Last year, Time estimated that Americans consumed about 11.2 million pounds of potato chips alone on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a big day for snacks.

Unlike a real breathalyzer, it turns red if it detects any alcohol at all, even a few sips of beer.

This year, Tostitos is hoping to get in on the action with a gimmicky—sorry, super-safe—new chip bag, AdWeek reports. It’s equipped with a sensor that can detect alcohol on your breath, and if you’ve had a beer, the bag lights up with a red steering wheel symbol and an Uber code. You can also summon an Uber by tapping your phone to the bag. Conversely, if you haven’t had any alcohol, the symbol turns green. Kinda cool, right?

The Tostitos bag is clearly not meant for practical use—unlike a real breathalyzer, it turns red if it detects any alcohol at all, even a few sips of beer. You have to turn it on and off, and Yahoo Finance adds that the battery lasts only about three hours. The company isn’t even selling it at retail locations—rather, it just sent a thousand of them to “pre-identified fans of the brand,” Yahoo reports.

Still, it’s a sneak peek into the brave new world of disposable tech and the Internet of Things. How long till we see an exercise drink that tells you how many calories you’ve burned? Or a protein bar that can sense dehydration? And how long until those sensors start sending that data back to Corporate HQ or to the highest bidder? It’ll happen fast. But for now, we’ll have to trust our friends to tell us when we’ve had too much. Back to the game.

H. Claire Brown

Claire Brown is a staff writer for The New Food Economy focusing on food policy and the environment. Her reporting has won awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York and the New York Press Club. She is based in Brooklyn. She can be reached via email at claire.brown@newfoodeconomy.org or on Twitter at @hclaire_brown.

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