Electronic label indicates if perishable items have gotten too hot or too cold

The functioning Smart Sensor Label prototype

Are you sure that the chicken you just bought has been kept cool from the time it left the plant to the moment you stuck it in your shopping cart? Well, you could be if it had one of Thinfilm Electronics' Smart Sensor Labels on the packaging.

Currently still in prototype form, the temperature-tracking label features printed electronics, integrated batteries, an on/off switch and a simple display that indicates how many times (if any) it's been exposed to temperatures below 15ºC or above 45ºC (59ºF or 113ºF) – presumably other temperature thresholds could be programmed in as needed.

If that label was attached to boxes or packaging containing perishable items, such as food or pharmaceuticals, users would be able to tell if the contents had been allowed to get too warm or too cool.

The successful testing of the first fully-functioning Smart Sensor Label, which can be seen in the video below, was announced last week. Thinfilm hopes to have the first production labels ready for commercial use by the end of next year.

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