This Smart Label Uses Ultra-Thin Electronics and a Printable Battery to Track Parcels Anywhere

Connecting to an LTE cellular network anywhere in the world, the Smart Label includes location tracking, temperature sensing, and more.

Cellular Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Pod Group, tracking and sensing firm SODAQ, and Lufthansa Industry Solutions (LHIND) have announced a partnership to deliver global package tracking using a paper-thin smart label with integrated modem and printed battery.

"With the Smart Label, companies with complex supply chains can track their goods efficiently, reducing spoilage and theft," SODAQ's Ollie Smeenk explains. "The state of the art low-power cellular communication technology can now reliably send near real time positions, temperature, and shock alerts from this recyclable ultra-thin device. At SODAQ we are excited to be the first in the world to make this a commercially viable solution, together with our partners Pod Group and Lufthansa Industry Solutions."

The Smart Label itself looks, from the outside at least, like any other printed shipping label. Under the surface, though, is a recyclable printed alkaline battery driving electronics including temperature and shock sensors and an LTE CAT-M cellular modem. Despite its near-paper-thin dimensions, at just 0.08" thick, the label is claimed to provide six months of power with multiple location and sensor queries possible over that time.

The labels themselves are activated by slicing off a clearly-marked corner with a pair of scissors. Once expired, the labels are collected in bundles of 10-50 and returned to POD Group β€” which handles the recycling process, recovering materials from the battery and electronics for reuse.

"The Smart Label is the result of the combined expertise of the various partners involved in its production to deliver a unique industry leading solution, from SODAQ's innovative hardware with its unique form factor and recyclable materials, to LHIND's powerful centralized dashboard and Pod Group's secure, reliable global connectivity," claims Pod Group's Sam Colley. "We are proud to showcase such cutting-edge technology as a team at CES, and we invite attendees to visit our booth to experience the full benefits of the Smart Label."

Those interested in seeing the label in action can visit the Pod Group at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, Booth $11055 in the North Hall of the IoT Pavilion.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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