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Sensor keeps tabs on packages' condition during shipping

Lifestyle & Leisure

DropTag monitors a package's condition en route and alerts users if it has been dropped, shaken or otherwise mishandled.

It can feel like a risky business to have an item shipped across the world – senders and receivers must take it on faith that their packages will arrive safely. To try and provide some peace of mind, Cambridge Consultants developed DropTag. Consisting of a small sensor and an accompanying app, DropTag monitors a package’s condition en route and alerts users if it has been dropped, shaken or otherwise mishandled. “The explosion in internet shopping has led to a huge increase in the number of parcel deliveries,” explains Tom Lawrie-Fussey, Cambrdge Consultants’ business development manager. “But we’re probably all guilty of signing for a delivery on our doorstep without taking the time to unpack the items to check that the contents are in good condition.” DropTag is a simple, low-cost sensor that can be attached to the box and connects via Bluetooth Low Energy to the user’s smartphone, making it immediately clear if the parcel has been mistreated. With a maximum range of about 50m indoors, DropTag can be remotely interrogated at any stage of the delivery process. Therefore, as a parcel is moved around a warehouse or carried in the back of a van, users can remotely and automatically check the package at each stage of its journey. A plot mode, meanwhile, offers more detailed analysis. The video below explains the premise in more detail: Cambridge Consultants is now developing the DropTag sensor platform further, but it calculates that the device could run for weeks using just a single coin-cell battery. The product’s bill of materials, meanwhile, will be less than USD 2, it estimates. Logistics entrepreneurs around the globe: One to get involved in? Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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