Do you knowwhere your beer is? Dutch beer maker Heineken wants to make sure - so it hasput together a team that includes IBM and the University of Amsterdam to track beer by satellite.
Beer Living Lab is a pilot project that will track20 beer containers shipped from the Netherlands to Heineken's UK distribution centre. Each container will be outfitted with GSM, GPRS and globalpositioning systems. Satellite uplinks will be provided due to particular technicalproblems with RFID, which can only be read when the tag is close to a RFIDreader.
The data will betransmitted to a computer center hosted by IBM; the WebSphere platform will beused to run the service software.
Heineken accumulates up tofive billion documents every year that are generated when its products passthrough international shipping. Satellite tracking would help speed updeliveries and cut costs. The company hopes that this pilot program willconvince manufacturers, shippers, retailers and customs to move to a paperlesstrade environment.
This is great for shipping- but what about beer tracking for the consumer? It happens that Kooliothe Autonomous Refrigerator Robot is a mobile 'fridge that tracks its ownposition by sonar and OCR web cams.
Those who prefer soda, butfeel left out by this high-tech beer tracking system, should console themselveswith programmablesoda that lets you turn the contents of any of these specially designedcans into exactly the flavor you wanted.
Reference article here.
(This Science Fiction inthe News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meetsfiction.)