Our story starts with a carnivorous pitcher plant that has a slippery surface. Insects land on its rim, sniff the nectar inside and too late discover they have no traction. You can guess what happens next as they slide to their demise.
The Nepenthes Pitcher Plant
Inspired by the pitcher plant, a group of scientists at Harvard created SLIPS: “slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces.” Or as they explained, “We call it SLIPS, because everything does.”
The Ketchup Connection
The same concept is about to affect our glue. An oxymoron, yes, a non-stick glue container will be available. The basic idea is that the inside of a container prevents us from using all that it holds. Now, with a slippery coating that a startup, LiquiGlide, has licensed to Elmer’s Products, all of the glue (like insects in a pitcher plant) should slide out of the bottle.
Soon, LiquiGlide tells us, we can eliminate our struggle to empty the mayonnaise jar, our toothpaste tube, and Heinz might no longer be the slowest Ketchup in the West.
Probably from the 1970s:
Our Bottom Line: Positive Externalities
A ripple of benefits, the positive externalities that slippery containers will create relate to time, waste and efficiency.
They also return us to the unexpected origins of good ideas.