A British invention company called Cambridge Consultants has developed DropTag, a gadget that combines a battery, a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter, an accelerometer and a memory chip. The gadget uses RFID technology and can track your parcels.
The tag is stuck on a parcel as it leaves an e-commerce warehouse. The idea is that when the courier puts it in your hands, you turn on Bluetooth on a smartphone running a DropTag app and scan it before you sign for it. A readout then shows what’s happened to the parcel in transit, with the option of a graph that shows you if the box has been mistreated – and when. If it has clearly been beaten up, you don’t sign and refuse delivery.
The $2 tag will run on a coin battery for “many weeks”, the inventors say, and there may be incentives for the parcel deliverer to reuse it after scanning.
At the moment DropTag is a solution in search of a user. British patents are already filed, but Cambridge Consultants hopes a major delivery chain or e-commerce firm will buy into the tech at the massive Hannover Messe tech fair in Germany in April.