Seed potato supplier pilots NFC smart bags

HZPC smart NFC bag for seed potatoes
SMART DELIVERY: HZPC’s NFC bags record potato data such as variety and temperature fluctuations

Netherlands-based seed potato supplier HZPC is piloting smart delivery bags that use an integrated NFC chip to enable customers to download information about the potatoes a bag contains with a tap of their smartphone.

HZPC is trialling more than 1,000 of its “smart bigbags” with customers in Bulgaria, France, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Turkey, allowing them to access details of specific potato varieties and cultivation advice in their own language.

The NFC chips in 100 of these bags will also incorporate a microsensor powered by a small printed battery that registers the temperature at which the seed potatoes have been stored during transportation.

“The temperature is measured and stored according to a certain interval,” explains Niels Postma of technology provider Tapp.online.

“We’re going to visualise the data we generate with this. Via a digital map, we can see where the big bags are located, what the temperature fluctuations are and whether customers can read out the cultivation advice with their smartphone after receiving them.

“For HZPC it is important to have a good view on this, because the better customers are informed about the relevant variety, the greater the chance that they carefully handle the seed potatoes.”

“We would like to have more insight into the conditions during shipment,” says HZPC’s Hans Langedijk.

“In this pilot we focus only on temperature, but for the future we are also thinking of sensors for measuring humidity, CO2 and shock intensity.”

“If this pilot confirms our positive expectations, we hope to gradually broaden the possibilities of the Internet of Things in our delivery process,” Langedijk adds.

The pilot follows a preliminary test in Spain last year and will continue until April 2021.

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