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RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been Dropped

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5982404/rfid-parcel-sensor-knows-if-your-delivery-has-been-dropped

RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been DroppedWhen I was a Christmas postman, many years ago, some of the bored guys in the sorting office’s loading bay liked to play a boisterous game of “catch” when parcels marked “video recorder” and “fragile” arrived. How they guffawed when one landed in the bottom of a skip with a sickening crunch, ruining somebody’s Christmas.

I was reminded of those days when a bargain iPod dock, bought online, arrived recently – dead to the world. Was it dead out of the factory gate? Or had the parcel suffered some physical abuse in transit? Now a British invention company called Cambridge Consultants has developed a sticky radio tag that will spill the beans on dodgy delivery firms.

Called DropTag, the gadget combines a battery, a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter, an accelerometer and a memory chip. Stuck on a parcel as it leaves an e-commerce warehouse, it logs any g-forces above a set risky shock level that it experiences. The idea is that when the courier puts it in your hands, you turn on Bluetooth on a smartphone running a DropTag app and scan it before you sign for it.

A readout then shows what’s happened to the parcel in transit, with the option of a graph that shows you if the box has been mistreated – and when. If it has clearly been beaten up, you don’t sign and refuse delivery. The $2 tag will run on a coin battery for “many weeks”, the inventors say, and there may be incentives for the parcel deliverer to reuse it after scanning. DropTag comes from Cambridge Consultants’ wireless group, which last year unveiled a Bluetooth-powered automatic gear changer for a bike.

At the moment DropTag is a solution in search of a user. British patents are already filed, but Cambridge Consultants hopes a major delivery chain or e-commerce firm will buy into the tech at the massive Hannover Messe tech fair in Germany in April.

Image by C.WisHisSoc/Everett/Rex


RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been DroppedNew Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.

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Thursday, February 7th, 2013 news No Comments

Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/23/insert-coin-node-helps-your-smartphone-monitor-pretty-much-ever/

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
Fallen out of love with sensor? Don’t worry, Variable Technologies is here to help. The company’s working to bring the world Node, a project aimed at helping smartphone users “explore the fun and power of sensors.” The “Swiss Army knife-sized” modular device communicates with the iPhone 4S and Android devices via Bluetooth. It has a built-in accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope and can detect physical motion and space, temperature and elevation, to name but a few. It also has a game control module and eight LEDs that can double as a camera flash, with carbon monoxide and radiation detection on the way. The Node will be compatible with Arduino devices and will have an open API, firmware and source code. There’s a month left to help Variable hit its lofty $50,000 goal. Click the source link for more info.

Continue reading Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:49:00 EDT. Please see our! terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Teenage Engineering introduces Oplab musical prototyping platform

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/23/teenage-engineering-introduces-oplab-musical-prototyping-platfor/

Oplab

After finally getting the OP-1 up for order last January, Teenage Engineering is getting its second product to market — Oplab. The latest offering is meant to compliment its slick synth, but we can see plenty people falling in love with it on its own. The Oplab is a tinker kit and DIY platform, akin to Arduino or Microsoft’s .NET Gadgeteer, but designed explicitly for generating and manipulating sound. The main board, which retails for $299, is home to a trio of USB ports (two of them hosts), three MIDI connections (one in, one out and one sync) and a pair of CV in and CV out jacks. There’s also a bank of switches for changing settings and a host of connectors for plugging in various sensors. The Swedish company is offering a number of add-ons for $49 apiece: an accelerometer (Flip), a piezo microphone (Tap) and a pressure sensor (Poke). Strangely enough, there’s also a $149 a sneaker that has a rubber pouch that you can slip one of the aforementioned sensors into. Hit up the source link for more details and to order yours now.

Teenage Engineering introduces Oplab musical prototyping platform originally appeared on Engadg et on Mon, 23 Jan 2012 17:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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