Popless Bubble Wrap: Packages Compactness, Economises on Excitement

Bubble Wrap without its pop may be a bit like soda pop without the fizz, sure it’s more compact, but where’s the fun?

Bubble wrap and that oh-so-satisfying popping of its bubbles may be set to become a thing of the past.

Keep calm. Deep breaths.

Inhale, and, exhale.

Inhale, and, exhale.

Bubble wrap as known in its traditional form with the individually sealed blisters or bubbles of air was invented in 1957, and since 1960 and has been sold under the name of Bubble Wrap by the company Sealed Air. Although not the only company to sell bubble wrap, and variants do exist, Sealed Air is changing things up with its new protective packaging and wrapping solution.

The name of the new product, rather uninspiringly, is iBubble Wrap.

(Surely by now the bubble in iNames would’ve burst, but predicting that may have to wait for the benefit of hindsight.)

This new iBubble Wrap, will actually be sold commercially without the bubbles in it. This decreases the volume of the product, making for better economics with respect to shipping and storage solutions. With the uninflated new product as reported in the WSJ being about one-fiftieth the size of the old Bubble Wrap.

The iBubble Wrap will need to be inflated with a custom pump sold by the company. Which with others having made the investment in the pump (reported as costing as much as US$5,500), it’s a strategic way for Sealed Air to ring-fence and secure demand for their new product.

Within the new iBubble Wrap, air is filled in columns of interconnected bubbles. Compression of the iBubble Wrap (thanks to things such as the tensile strength of the plastic and Avagadro’s Law) shifts the air around within the columns, rather than the traditional popping of the singular air bubbles.

Meaning it can be walked over on a hard floor without those snap, crackle and popping sounds; and there aren’t bubbles which can be squeezed individually and popped to one’s satisfaction.

It’s probably a better product, but much like a child may be given a present only to spend more time playing with the box, even adults are still drawn to popping the bubble wrap.

Where this new iBubble Wrap fits in, if at all, with the Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (BWAD) remains to be seen. Because, like appreciating popping the individual bubbles, it can be about the little things.

Good news is, the traditional Bubble Wrap and bubble wrap will still be sold by Sealed Air and other packaging companies respectively. So that other King of Pop hasn’t gone just yet.

In that vague economic sense of happiness being associated with utility, here’s the uthinki question:

Feature Image Credit: Juliancolton