MEMS and Sensors

MSEC 2018: Asset Tracking Technology Could Change Package Delivery Logistics

01 November 2018

During this week’s MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress (MSEC) 2018, NXP Semiconductors unveiled an asset tracking technology based on a 10-axis microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) reference design that gets physically attached to packages to detect and record critical motion events in transit.

The technology records motion sensor data and critical sensor events on a 4 GB microSD card and features NXP’s FXAS21002 and FXOS8700 nine-axis sensors, an FRDM-KL25Z microcontroller and is powered by a lithium-ion battery. The reference design includes an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope and timestamp to analyze the motion profile of the package.

The sensor is placed into or attaches onto a package. It shows what happens to the package during its journey and shows exactly where the package goes.

“Asset tracking using motion sensors could give a package delivery company information on whether a package has experienced shock, freefall, some magnetic anomaly or a change in velocity,” said Sahil Choudhary, technical marketing and enablement manager for IoT sensors at NXP, during MSEC 2018.

The asset tracking technology could be used by logistics companies, transportation hubs, manufacturing facilities, electronics and semiconductor houses as well as use cases in consumer products, IT, healthcare, hospitality, chemicals, energy and utilities.

The technology could lead to higher levels of accountability, higher safety, improved customer service, more efficient warehouse management and reduced monetary losses due to package destruction, Choudhary said.

Choudhary said the next steps in the technology include the possibility of combining the device with an NTAG smart sensor, humidity sensor and ucode-i2c for RFID. The motion and temperature events could be stored in a near-field communication (NFC) chip where users could easily gather the data with a simple scan from an NFC reader.

NXP’s asset tracking technology was one of the five finalists for the latest innovative gadgets and devices that the MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress calls on each year. The other finalists included a chip-scale gas sensor from N5 Sensors, a biometric sensor for athletes that attaches to the skull behind the ear from SportFitz, smart skates that monitor and improve performance from Scorched Ice and a wristband glucose monitor for non-invasive blood monitoring from Alertgy.

Learn more about the devices by visiting SEMI.

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