Thinfilm Offers Printed-Electronics Standalone Sensor System
Oslo, Norway-based Thinfilm is offering what it claims is the first printed-electronics standalone sensor system. The system can provide temperature-management for perishable goods, alerting those in the supply chain if a threshold has been reached. The company plans to extend the technology with wireless capability, as well as extend it with a range of other sensors to enable the Internet of Things. (Source: Thinfilm)
This system has a lot of potential uses for the supply chain and its reduced impact on the environment, as well as the ability to manufacture it more cheaply (and thus offer it at a lower price) makes it an attractive system for companies transporting perishable goods. It will be interesting to see what other technologies come from Thinfilm along these same lines.
Elizabeth, this is a good type of sensor, but it does not really qualify for the Internet of Things (IoT). To qualify it would have to communicate. This is just a tag that will tell a human, whenever it is looked at, that there has been a problem at some time. This is good information, to be sure. Now, if you made it an RFID type of tag and had a reader on the container, or whatever shipping system was being used, then it could also be useful. There is a company in the Chicago area, Zebra Technologies, that prints RFID tags.
I expect that these two could be combined to provide real time tracking of the temperature. That is probably coming soon.
Yes, Lou, I see your point. They do plan to include WiFi capability into a future version of the sensor, so I suppose that would make it IoT worthy. I think that's sort of what the company means when it talks about the IoT. The temperature-reading is just the first step in that technology. But you are right in that as it is now, the technology is lacking for this purpose.
Yes, that's exactly the company's point, tekochip. By driving down the cost using printed methods and materials, Thinfilm hopes to make this technology more accessible to a broader spectrum of customers.
Yes, true, so the industry won't necessarily support this move. But technologies have been eliminated and updated over the years and the indstury has evolved and changed to accommodate this. So perhaps one day we won't be buying cartridges and toner and companies that depend on that revenue stream will come up with something else. Think about print film and how we don't use that so much anymore.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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