Printed NFC tags detect opened goods

February 25, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
Thin Film Electronics ASA, a long-time pioneer of organic electronics, has announced a near-field communications (NFC) passive sensor tag that can detect and wirelessly report a product's "sealed" and "open" states.

The technology was developed by Kovio Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), a company that Thin Film (Oslo, Norway) acquired earlier this year.

Thin Film now calls the technology OpenSense and has signed up drinks company Diageo plc to use the technology in a "smart bottle" that will be prototyped with Johnnie Walker scotch whisky.

The OpenSense technology is said to enhance product security in such areas as wine and spirits, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health and beauty care, and automotive.

The printed tag is readable from an NFC-capable mobile phone before and after the factory seal has been broken. A unique identifier within each OpenSense tag supports a range of marketing, authenticity and security applications. The tags can be operated with a cloud database so that each bottle can be tracked for supply chain analytics. Dynamic mobile content can be sent to consumers depending on whether the bottle is closed or open.

Thin Film claims the printed nature of its OpenSense tags makes them superior to more traditional radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions. Principally they can be lower cost and scale to high volume.

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