Printed electronics company and Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association member Thinfilm is to introduce low-cost near-field communications (NFC) time and temperature sensors.

These sensors can be incorporated into the packaging of food products and other perishable items, enabling consumers, distributors and merchants to use an NFC phone to check that a product has been kept at the required temperature all the way through the supply chain.

Major packaging producer and AIPIA Member Bemis Co. and safety specialist Brady Corp. have signed up to use the new smart labels.
The development of the sensors follows the company's acquisition of Kovio's printed NFC tag technology. This will be combined with Thinfilm's existing printed systems technology to produce tags that can be cost-effectively added to products and packaging.
Thinfilm expects Temperature Label to have a selling price of about $0.50, or just under a dollar with wireless functions. The first version will only feature threshold detection, such as upper and lower bounds. Later products will add more functionality.
The sensor label is part of a platform where other types of sensors can be used as well, depending on the customer's needs, says Thinfilm. Sometime in the future, it will be possible to have a sensor on the inside that can pick up gases, humidity, etc. The company expects to demonstrate simple sensors with NFC read capability by the end of 2014.
Thinfilm Electronics
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