3.1. Smart Product Monitoring
The smart product monitoring scenario is an example for
a pervasive computing scenario where interaction is initiated
by a smart object. The object chosen for this prototype
is an egg carton representing an arbitrary fragile object that
is in storage e.g. in a warehouse. The object is augmented
in such a way that it detects whenever it is dropped or not
stored within the appropriate temperature range. Whenever
such an exception occurs, it triggers an alarm by informing
the appropriate contact person via an SMS.
The challenges when realizing this application were to
monitor the physical object unobtrusively (1) and to associate
the appropriate contact person with the smart object
without explicit manual pre-conﬁguration (2).
Figure 4: An egg carton augmented with a Bluetooth-
enabled active tag.
To monitor the egg carton, BTnodes with a sensor board
for acceleration and temperature sensors are attached to the
fragile product (see Figure 4). Based on sensory input from
acceleration and temperature sensors, the state of the object
is determined. If the egg carton falls down or is kept for
too long under unsuitable conditions, the BTnode activates
its communication module to send an alarm. The BTnode
sends the notiﬁcation embedded in an SMS message to the
appropriate contact person via a Bluetooth access point that
offers a gateway to the cellular phone network. The Bluetooth
access point then forwards the message to a mobile
the results back. Consecutive messages can be exchanged
between interaction partners. For the user, the contact information
of a smart product, i.e. its phone number, is implicitly
given, because it sent the ﬁrst message. Figure 5 shows
an example of this process.
Figure 5: An SMS notiﬁcation received from a
smart product by a mobile phone (1), a response
message with activated history command (2), and
the corresponding result from the egg box (3).
The question how the smart object knows to what mobile
phone number it needs to send the notiﬁcation without
explicit, manual pre-conﬁguration is solved using passive
RFID tag technology. The mobile phones of the potential
contact persons are equipped with RFID tags. Whenever
they enter the neighborhood of the smart object (for example
a lorry or a certain room the product is in), a wireless
RFID reader attached to a BTnode or a Bluetooth-enabled
PDA communicates the presence of the tag together with
service parameters, which describe how to access the device
(e.g. its GSM phone number and Bluetooth address)
via Bluetooth piconet broadcast to the active tag in the egg
Using the information from the RFID reader, the active
tag in the egg carton is nowaware ofwho is sharing a symbolic
location with the object it is augmenting and for how
long. This location context and the history of that information
allows the active tag to generate an interaction stub that
contains the appropriate contact information.
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