If it has clearly been beaten up, you don’t sign and refuse delivery.
When I was a Christmas postman, many years ago, some of the bored guys in the sorting office’s loading bay liked to play a boisterous game of “catch” when parcels marked “video recorder” and “fragile” arrived. How they guffawed when one landed in the bottom of a skip with a sickening crunch, ruining somebody’s Christmas.
I was reminded of those days when a bargain iPod dock, bought online, arrived recently – dead to the world. Was it dead out of the factory gate? Or had the parcel suffered some physical abuse in transit? Now a British invention company called Cambridge Consultants has developed a sticky radio tag that will spill the beans on dodgy delivery firms.
Called DropTag, the gadget combines a battery, a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter, an accelerometer and a memory chip. Stuck on a parcel as it leaves an e-commerce warehouse, it logs any g-forces above a set risky shock level that it experiences. 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.
via Gizmodo – Paul Marks – New Scientist
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