LifeFuels, a beverage company, has created the Smart Nutrition Bottle, an RFID-enabled device that monitors flavor capsules as they are used to make drinks. The bottle allows users to make their vitamin boost drinks using dispensing pods, monitor how much they’ve drunk, and then record and display the information on an iOS or Android app.
What was the point of customizable flavor bottles?
For each product using three bays in which pods are inserted, the company built the bottle in-house to help customers produce the drink taste they want and track their intake. Each pod contains a beverage extract that can be used alone or combined with another flavor to create flavored drinking water. This function improves the customer experience and distinguishes the company in its market.
Each pod’s RFID tag is coded with a specific ID number, the product’s title and stock-keeping system, and a modified volume indicator about how many servings the pod has as a leftover to identify individual flavors. An ultrasonic sensor device senses the quantity of water inside the bottle, while a transmitter incorporated into the bottle detects and writes data from and to the tag. The data gathered then directly sent to the user’s app to see how much has been consumed and if a certain mix is running low and make a new order.
Technical Details of the RFID NFC Tags used
The tag has 144 bytes of user memory, which can store information about the product and the number of servings left. LifeFuels chose NFC RFID because of its short-reading range and reliability and then built its transmitter to read the tags in the bottle utilizing NXP Semiconductors’ hardware. Each pod includes a 13.56 MHz NXP NTAG that complies with ISO 14443.
The bottle was required to determine whether pods had been mounted and which bay they were in. As a result, the device was built with three antennas, each surrounding a single bay. As a result, if the pod is correctly positioned and connected to the container, the device is programmed to read only the tag in that bay.
What was the problem?
The company is now looking at using RFID technology to monitor discarded flavor pods for reuse strategies and consumer reward programs one year after the bottle was created and launched. It required a device that could detect what flavor pod was mounted inside and when a consumer drank that beverage. Still, the company also wanted to monitor the pods in-house after manufacturing for inventory management and a recycling program that was currently being developed.
What is next?
Although most neighborhoods can theoretically recycle the pods, most establishments do not bother sorting such small objects. Alternatively, the company has partnered with a company that recycles the discarded pods into secondary products. As a result, LifeFuels wants to entice people to use the mail-in recycling program. The smart bottle is currently available for purchase directly from the company’s website, with users able to set up periodic shipments of a set number of pods each month.