Ever made a purchase online and wondered (or worried) about if or how your package would be safely sent? Even though damaged or lost packages are rare, it’s a common source of concern. It goes without saying, for instance, that each package gets exchanged through many hands. And, as such, there are a lot of potential mishaps that could occur to any package sent through the mail.
The question has inspired one startup, Myriad Sensors, to learn more about the conditions faced for packages when they are in transit. Launching, what they dub as a “Citizen Science experiment”, Myriad Sensors will be sending portable sensors that will record data in a package of mail, every 10 seconds. Among the recorded data will be a host of environmental indicators such as temperature and humidity as well as the direction that the sensor is facing.
For some types of delivered goods, this sort of information will be invaluable, especially considering the rise of Amazon Prime’s grocery delivery service. Other companies delivering goods such as wines or sensitive or fragile electronic equipment will see benefits of this knowledge as well.
Backers who invested in the company’s Kickstarter project will be able to receive early copies of the IoT devices, at which point, they themselves can use the sensors to add the dataset. The data itself will become open source to the public once it is collected. But there may be some time yet until we see the results, as the first set of sensors are expected to be shipped out in May 2017. As would be expected, anonymous data will also be collected during this shipment to the initial users.
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