Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Increased Retail Security with Smart Items

It is not uncommon for a few boxes of valuable goods to disappear from palettes on the way to retail outlets. That is why Fraunhofer IIS is working on a new technical platform to safeguard such items.

This involves using wireless ad-hoc sensor networks to create logistical information systems that allow them to be tracked along the entire distribution chain. Fraunhofer IIS is showing the VitOL project, a technological platform for the realization of logistical information systems based on sensor networks at French European Union Presidency Conference in Nice, France.

Intelligent logistical objects – so-called “smart items” – for the distribution of high-value or sensitive goods are being developed within the framework of the Fraunhofer VitOL project. By fitting small computers with communications facilities into logistical objects, each item becomes active part of the IT-solution. Because they are “intelligent” in their own right, they represent significant added value in comparison with classic “passive” RFID systems that only transmit their information when called upon to do so. This solves fundamental problems in distribution logistics and means, for example, that smart items can increase the transparency of goods flows by, amongst other things, making a comprehensive record of all items in a consignment.

This also creates an active retail surveillance system, because smart items notice when something is removed from the consignment and informs the superior IT system of the loss. This not only restricts losses from within the flow of goods: the sensors can also register any manipulation or incorrect handling.

Self-organizing wireless sensor networks provide the technology on which such processes are based. Their main characteristic is the ability of all participants to communicate with each other through various meshed communication possibilities. Because every participant can simultaneously act as source and sink as well as a conduit for the data, coverage, flexibility, autonomy and fault tolerance are all increased.

The necessary elements, such as ad-hoc network mechanisms, network protocols with power-saving media access tiers and efficient routing algorithms, distributed services and middleware, and application-specific software, are all being developed at Fraunhofer IIS Communication Networks Department. In the affiliated Center for Intelligent Objects, scientists design and optimize suitable logistical scenarios, analyze business processes and develop solutions for application-based information technology systems.

At French European Presidency Conference Fraunhofer experts show with the help of the VitOL demonstrator, how theft-prevention with smart items works. For more information please visit

VitOL is a Fraunhofer in-house project in which diverse Fraunhofer Institutes work together to create a technological platform for the realization of logistical information systems based on sensor networks.

Visit us at French European Union Presidency Conference “Internet of Things – Internet of the Future” 2008, Booth 6, Acropolis Centre, October 6 – 7 in Nice, France

Dr. Alexander Pflaum | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>