@a.saji- Yes investing on location shipping container would definitely be an investment which is worth. I think this is something that the government needs to interfere and get the shipping lines to use.
@mrdon- True a GPS device would definitely help to track, but I have had this question on my mind. How does the GPS location coordinates be uploaded to a location when it comes to international shipping. GPS needs GSM connectivity to upload the coordinates to a server or any other location.
It's a tremendous idea, but having worked as a truck loader for a very large delivery company in my college years, I have to also say that I'm not sure how realistic it is. The truth is (or least this was the truth 40 years ago), boxes get dropped, pitched and flung on a regular basis by truck loaders and unloaders. Users better set a high impact threshhold on these tags. Either that, or delivery services will have to tell their loaders to work a LOT more slowly and carefully.
This is indeed a good away to keep track on your package. No more losing packages on post, there is always a way to locate it now. This will definitely help international posts. The small size and light weight are some added advantages.
Cabe, I see the DropTag being used in the Healthcare market as a Fall Monitoring detector for senior citizens. Instead of using bluetooth tech, RF/Celluar technology could be used to transmit or call your smartphone alerting you that your grandparents have fallen or slipped and need assistance. Nice article and video!
shehan, I agree. There are a multitude of applications the DropTag can be used in. I can really see the Maker community embracing this technology to solve a variety of free falling problems with this technology. Sir Issac Newton is probably turning over in his grave because of the DropTag product. :)
Cabe, This tech could possibly be used as an alternate accelerometer to monitor the speed of an elevator cart. If a certain speed rate has exceeded the target fall threshold, the elevator controller can adjust it to the proper value. Just thinking out loud. LOL
I saw this somewhere else and had the same reaction. It is wirelessly connected so it should go in the box to prevent tampering. They also need to address data security or an App will be written to rewrite the data to look fine or just wipe it out.
Interesting $2 cost? Is that BOM or assembled? Would be nice to get a BOM to see how optimistic the figure is.
@eafpres- a good point, data security is a major concern for most of the devices we use. This too needs security to make sure that the program is not overridden. No matter how low the cost is people would be reluctant to use it without proper security features.
Bluetooth, an accelerometer, a little memory, and with that you can tell if your package was abused and when it was abused (which gives you a fair idea of where it was abused). Keep it cheap and you won't need to worry about making the tag writable for multiple use, and then there's no security concerns. At $2, it's cheaper than insurance for the package.
Just EEPROM would be fine, as long as there was no user interface that allowed you to rewrite to the memory. After all, who's going to open the box, remove the tag, unsolder the EEPROM, attach it to something that can Write, know the storage method to write a fake file into the tag, solder it back to the board, back in the box and seal everything up. Yes, it could happen, but isn't really possible.
Plenty of RAM would work too, since power isn't likely to be removed and if it is you can assume that the board took a large shock.
I shipped a product I built recently. My customer called me with "this is not in the buyable condition by any stretch of the imagination."
Turns out FedEX ran a forklift claw through the crate. I didn't know any of this would happen in transit. I could have used a Droptag to know what was happening. I could have braced for that surprise call. I could have started the insurance claim ahead of time...
I don't know about FedEx, Cabe, but the frantic pace at most delivery companies doesn't allow for a lot of concern for fragile contents. No one tries to damage packages, but costly mistakes are inevitable.
Cabe, for the end user, is the purpose of this technology to query the device inside the sealed package before accepting / opening it? Basically, before you sign, you check your smart phone, and if the device reports high g-loading, you file a claim?
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.