New Patent-Approved Device To Monitor Baggage Handling In Real-time
Cambridge Consultants, UK based technology enabled product development company has developed a patent-approved device called ‘DropTag’ that monitors and alerts the parcel/baggage handling at transit. Baggage handling is a critical aspect in an airport, both for the airline company and the customer. Airlines levy a variety of fees centered around baggage. But, are the customers 100% satisfied in the way their baggages are handled?
Baggage handling can make or break a brand. Three years ago, a mishandled baggage by United Airlines costed (still costing) them a dent in their brand in social media. One of the passenger who was flying to Nebraska made a video (with a song composition) on his bad experience with United. In the video, he explains how United broke his custom made guitar (during cargo transport). This video has 12+ million views in YouTube. According to a study, this cost US $180 million brand damage for United. It didn’t stop there, now there is a book on this incident.
Baggage handling need not be restricted to airports. It applies to warehouses where goods are handled and also for transportation companies.
Cambridge Consultant’s DropTag will help customers in keeping track of dropped and damaged parcels with a new sensor system and a mobile app for customers.
This device also gives delivery companies and manufacturers reliable real-time information about the status of packages being transported.
Tom Lawrie-Fussey, Business Development Manager at Cambridge Consultants says,
“Existing parcel condition monitoring systems tend to be quite basic, mechanical sensors – or very expensive data loggers. DropTag is different – it’s a simple, low-cost sensor platform with connectivity via Bluetooth Low Energy to a smartphone. We’ve developed a simple app which shows what’s happened to a parcel in transit – for example, if the box has been mistreated, the app immediately indicates this. We’ve also created a plot mode within the app for more detailed analysis.
By minimising the complexity of the electronics in DropTag – and, instead, making better use of smart devices – we’ve calculated that DropTag could analyse and log crucial events for many weeks using just a single coin-cell battery, and could even perhaps be reused. By keeping it simple, we’re confident that the bill of material (BoM) cost would be less than $2 – making it a very affordable addition that would add significant value to the consumer and distributor alike.”
The company is now developing the sensor platform further to log critical event data so that, when DropTag is interrogated, it can provide information on exactly what happened to the package and when.
And it’s exploring how the addition of other sensors could boost its potential applications – for example, adding temperature sensing for ‘cold-chain’ storage and distribution in the pharmaceutical and food industries.
This local connectivity capability provides a range of tracking possibilities – for example, the location of the parcel can be verified in real time if it is transmitting to a GPS-enabled smart handset. And boxes need no longer be individually scanned at logistics checkpoints. Smart connected ‘gateway’ zones within warehouses could perform this role automatically, establishing the condition and location of each parcel remotely as it passes through from one area of the warehouse to another.
The company will be demonstrating DropTag at Hannover MESSE, April 8-12.