Sensor knows when your package has been dropped, damaged

April 13, 2014

Damaged package

We’ve all experienced it: You excitedly order a product and have it delivered to your home, only to find that it was badly beaten up during transportation, and now is on your doorstep in a heap that resembles something reminiscent of a package. You know the package didn’t start out like that, but you have no way of proving it.

British company Cambridge Consultants has created a solution, called DropTag — a little gadget that sticks onto a package and can tell whether or not your items have been mistreated during delivery. The device is composed of a Bluetooth transmitter, a memory chip, accelerometer, and a battery. The transmitter is low-energy, so the battery will be able to sustain DropTag throughout delivery — cited as “many weeks” on a simple coin battery — unless your package ends up on the island in Castaway. The tag will be activated with a preset level of shock that can determine if your package suffered more force than it should have. When the package is delivered, you pair the tag with a phone app that connects via Bluetooth, check the force stats, and make the delivery person wait before you sign for the package.

Cambridge Consultants is also considering some kind of incentive for the delivery companies to reuse individual tags.

DropTag only costs a paltry two bucks, which is technically an extra expense on top of other kinds of delivery insurance, but what price peace of mind, or at least peace of package?

At the moment, DropTag isn’t in a consumer-ready stage, but Cambridge Consultants is hoping to get the device picked up at the Hannover Messe tech fair in April.

Originally posted 2013-02-10 03:41:36.

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