AT&T sent its asset tracking technology skyward, teaming with UK-based packaging company Softbox Systems to demonstrate how the IoT and drones can be used to transport temperature-sensitive medical supplies.
In a trial conducted in Puerto Rico, an LTE-connected drone was used to transport Skypod, a thermal-insulated packaging set-up produced by Softbox Systems which includes a so-called smartbox running AT&T’s IoT technology.
AT&T said in a joint statement the IoT technology allowed the test team to track near real time temperature and location data on a web and mobile app dashboard. The monitoring system was designed to send alerts if the box’s temperature shifted outside a certain range, or if the drone strayed outside of geofencing parameters.
The operator said the smartbox also recorded light exposure data, which can be used to determine whether the box is open or closed, and can signal whether the package has been tampered with.
Softbox Systems technical director Richard Wood touted the trial as an industry first, adding the smartbox “could be rapidly deployed globally in times of humanitarian disaster relief”.
The move comes as AT&T looks to expand its IoT offerings and explores a number of drone-related applications. AT&T’s IoT chief Chris Penrose recently tipped healthcare as a promising emerging use case.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back