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Prime Vision to Offer RFID-enabled Packaging System
The solution provider hopes to improve tampering detection and tracking for packages by using Near Field Communication technology.
Feb 03, 2017—
Electronics manufacturer Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and Dutch logistics solutions provider Prime Vision are teaming up to develop an RFID-enabled smart packaging system. Prime Vision is utilizing Thinfilm's OpenSense and SpeedTap Near Field Communication (NFC) tags as it develops its new solution.
Prime Vision's inspiration stemmed from the fact that the ability for customers to determine whether a package has been tampered with is essentially non-existent in the industry at present, according to Freek Smoes, the company's director of innovation. "Because of the increased popularity of e-shopping," he says, "more parcels are being shipped than ever before, and we therefore see a strong need for a solution that can track parcels as they move from the e-commerce company to the consumer."
One aspect of the solution is the use of stamps, bar-coded labels and envelopes that have RFID tags physically incorporated into them. SpeedTap and OpenSense tags were, therefore, a practical choice for Prime Vision, Smoes says. The thin, flexible tags—which operate at 13.56 MHz, comply with the ISO 14443 Type A RFID standard and measure less than 300 micrometers (0.01 inch) in thickness—were originally designed for authenticating the contents of a container and determining whether it has been opened. The tags can be made into a breakable seal that can detect whether or not the container was opened. Furthermore, the tags are able to transmit this information wirelessly via NFC-enabled smartphones, which have become widespread in use as of late.
The solution is currently in the early stages of testing. While it has undergone laboratory tests, it has not yet been tried out in real-world situations. The system is tentatively scheduled for commercial release within about a year. Prime Vision does not currently have a name for it, Smoes says, but his company calls it an example of "the Internet of Postal Things," a subcategory of Internet of Things (IoT) technology: everyday objects that have network connectivity.
Thinfilm introduced OpenSense in 2015 (see Thinfilm Launches OpenSense Printed NFC Sensor Label for Bottles). Recently, the company partnered with Beneli AB to provide Thinfilm's NFC solutions, featuring both OpenSense and SpeedTap tags, to existing Beneli clients and other consumer brands across a range of markets (see Thinfilm, Beneli AB Partner to Offer NFC Label Conversion Services in Europe).
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