New Low-cost Temperature Sensor

July 19, 2002 — KSW-Microtec, a Dresden, Germany, company that focuses on low-cost smart packaging technologies, has introduced a new RFID smart label with an integrated temperature sensor.

Uwe Weigel, a spokesperson for KSW, says the TempSens smart label costs US$10 for samples, but customers buying in bulk can get the labels for under US$3. That compares with upwards of US$25 for some RFID temperature sensors on the market today.

“The product is unique because it combines the ability to log temperature data with RFID smart label technology,” says Weigel. “Using TempSens, you will have a low-cost device to monitor temperature information and read it via wireless interface for less than US$3 for high volumes.”

The tags operate at 13.56 MHz and are compatible with the ISO15693 standard. The sensor, microchip, battery and antenna are integrated into a paper-thin label.

Currently, the company only has demonstration kits available. But the company expects to ramp up product by the end of this year. Target markets for the new TempSens tag include meat processors, the grocery industry and pharmaceutical companies.

Two companies that did not want to be identified are currently piloting the TempSens tag. One is a European pharmaceutical company. The other is a grocery chain that is using the sensor to track the temperature of fruit as it is shipped from producers to retail outlets.

KSW plans to sell the TempSens smart label directly and through distributors and value-added resellers.