Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Instructional 7-segment confectionery

"Play with your food, dear ..."
  [vote for,

It has been drawn to our attention that inculcating the basics of arithmetic symbology into some recently manufactured humans can be a source of no little difficulty, and the usual cost-effective methods* seem to be inexplicably unacceptable to the manufacturers.

However, this leads directly to a potential market opportunity.

BorgCo’s Confectionery Engineering Business Unit have developed a special pack of fruit-flavoured coloured edible components intended to assist in teaching number shapes to those unfamiliar with them, employing the commonplace "7 segment display" format. To add to the utility, the colours are chosen to correspond with the commonly accepted coding system for electrical resistors** <link>

Thus, there are six black segments, moulded with appropriate unique slots, pegs and dovetails such that they can be pushed together to form a black “0” – but will not mate with segments of a different colour. The “1” consists of just two bars that clip end to end, and are brown in colour and chocolate flavoured. “2” is made from five red segments, and so on through the colour sequence up to “9”.

There are issues with "6" & "9" since they are reversible, however a possible answer is to make the 9 physically larger than the 6.

The concept is that, while assembling the different colours into predetermined shapes, the users will naturally become familiar with the recognition of those shapes before their arithmetic meaning becomes significant.

Best of all, the material is then extremely likely to be eaten, resulting in plenty of repeat sales to vicariously-ambitious pushy parents …

*Painful electric shocks, brutal beatings, and deprivation (of toys, liberty, contact with other humans, food, water, air etc.)

**Even though it is well known that Resistance is Futile ...

8th of 7, Nov 26 2020

Electronic color code https://en.wikipedi...ectronic_color_code
Widely used [8th of 7, Nov 26 2020]

Topical... https://xkcd.com/227/
Suggestion for [8th of 7]? [neutrinos_shadow, Nov 26 2020]

what if 6 turned out to be 9 https://youtu.be/vZuFq4CfRR8
[xandram, Nov 27 2020]

Tangram_20Chocolate_20Bar [xenzag, Nov 27 2020]

If you lick them , they stick https://en.wikipedi...iki/Cuisenaire_rods
Eating too many is in the name [wjt, Nov 29 2020]


       Surely the "1" should be a single piece, the "3" should consist of two L shapes and a bar; the "9" would be nine fragments. The "0" could be an empty wrapper.
pocmloc, Nov 27 2020

       // The "0" could be an empty wrapper. //   

       Hmmm, would we still be able to charge for that ?   

       Yes, we did consider that approach - number of parts relates to value of digit; but it's the "7-segment" aspect that determines the number of parts. You did read the idea title, didn't you ?   

       You can read, can't you ?   

       The product is still in development.
8th of 7, Nov 27 2020

       The "0" still has to separate the lower and upper figures. Maybe, randomly, to boost profitability, 1 in 10,000 is actually the real 0. A life lesson*   

       * at least it isn't a minus (calorie sapping?).
wjt, Nov 28 2020

       There is a fundamental problem with the idea of having individual segments for each number (apart from the terminal fact that this means there will be a mismatch between the number of components and the resulting symbol). That is, in a 7 segment display there are only 7 segments, each of which is re-used for subsequent number(s). The toy as described teaches that the top-right segment in the number 1 is a different object with a different shape and physical properties than the top-right segment in the number 3.
pocmloc, Nov 28 2020

       Consultation with our clients (A consortium of paediatric dentists and obesity specialists) indicates that as long as the product encourages the continued consumption of sucrose laden tooth-rotting fat-building junk, the mission objective will be achieved.   

       If you'd care to submit a formal proposal, you will be eligible for stock options, and a lifetimes supply of bagged fruit gums.
8th of 7, Nov 28 2020


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