By the late 2014, a Norway based company with offices in San Francisco, Sweden and Japan has been building an intelligent packaging concepts and applications that is the ‘temperature monitoring capabilities in labels’ as thin as hair. A stick on label “smart” can now record temperature for products like fresh produce for commercial usage. This Thin Film smart label is printed on polymers using a special ink which conduct electricity that can be placed on packaging. The label is constructed in layers that include memory, sensors and batteries on a film that is thinner than stain of human hair.
Using these labels on fresh produce packages can provide us with more specific data for the recording of temperature than the silicon based time-temperature recorder that is on the truck. This slim label can be placed on all types of package.
The Thin Film label is at the targeted price of about 50 cents each. It can easily decline to 20 or 30 cents with greater production. The label is not here to compete with the silicon based time-temperature recorders which cost from $11 - $25. Therefore only a couple of the recorders can be placed on a single shipment economically.
It is up to the customer whether the label needs to be applied to every produce case or it can be applied to a master carton. Also it can depend on how you prefer to monitor the product and how it is packaged.
The label can be read by contact based reader that stores the data it collected. Also, it can be constructed with a visual indicator display. Additionally, the company plans to add the capability of a RF readout signal onto the label that can transmit over a short range wireless connection. The memory in the label won’t degrade before 10 years.
So all in all, the product will be marketed to fresh produce sectors around the world. The label is the size of a business card. Future applications for The Thin Label are possible, like humidity indicators. It has no toxic compounds and is completely disposable.
The label can also be designed to be readable by smart phones if the marketers and retailers wish to have.
Overall, this is a totally new way of intelligent packaging concepts and applications at its best.