Discover, Connect & Collaborate at TECHINNOVATION 2021

Smart Paper Sensor for Logistics Applications

Technology Overview

Every year, a country could import billions of kilograms of refrigerated products. These products could be medicine, food, and important items like Covid19 vaccines. About 10% of that amount might be thrown away because something went wrong along the way, resulting in spoilt products. The problem is that it is unknown where these damages originated, thus it is difficult to hold someone accountable. More importantly, it is difficult to prevent these damages in future as the cause is unknown.

This technology offer is a smart paper that measures, remembers and presents temperature data to anyone with a smartphone, without having to download apps or install other hardware. It is a data logger, made of paper, and it is 100% recyclable.

Agricultural waste is used as the basis for the smart paper, which is then integrated with printed electronics. The technology is comparable in size to a staple and therefore, it falls within the normal waste paper recycling process. No plastics, or other hazardous materials are used, and the smart paper is cheaper than traditional data loggers. This technology is already used all over the world on a daily basis; users are able to check data worldwide through dashboards in the cloud platform.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

To give paper intelligence, three items are combined using printed electronics circuit traces: an integrated circuit (IC) chip, a temperature sensor and a power supply. The chip has near field communication (NFC) function with NDEF Forum Type 2 encoding, and an ARM Cortex M0+ CPU. This enables it to communicate with every smartphone in the world, which creates a huge reach. Specific firmware establishes a connection with the smartphone, without the need for an additional app, cables, USB ports or other hardware. A progressive web-app provides not only the data logs, but also current measured temperature and all other information that is required to be transferred to the end customer, e.g., specific product information like storage advice, prescriptions or best-by dates. Data can be accessed from the cloud through a RESTful interface. The cloud ensures data remains secure, private and authentic, and generates actionable insights from the raw sensor data.

The temperature sensor is powered by a very small printed battery, which will power the sensor for approximately 6-8 months. The sensor can measure from -30ºC to +50ºC. Since printed electronics technology is used, recyclability of the paper is not compromised. It can be disposed of in the regular waste paper processes. This makes it unique compared to other data loggers, which could be made of plastics and other hazardous materials.

Potential Applications

This technology offer is suitable to be used in cold chain warehousing and logistics, including for items such as the following:

  • frozen foods
  • fresh foods
  • seeds and corps
  • art
  • pharmaceutical
  • medicines

Currently the technology development team is also developing smart paper that can measure shocks and humidity as well.

Customer Benefit

  • accessible for everyone with a smartphone
  • easy to use
  • cloud based
  • data visible for both the user and the sender
  • not only temperature data but all other information that you would need communicated as well
  • low pricing
  • sustainable
  • paper is printable and thus brandable
  • circular (it is made of waste materials)
Contact Person

Niels Postma


Technology Category

  • Foods
  • Packaging / Storage
  • Logistics
  • Delivery & Distribution, Transportation, Value-Added Services

Technology Readiness Level


temperature nfc data logger paper smart