The AwareGoods project started in autumn 1999 and was finished 2001. In this project sensor technology augmented the supply chain. Supplier and receiver of a delivery agree on a contract describing the conditions of the transport. While those conditions can be guaranteed easily on the supplier or receiver site, there is no instance to check them when the goods are in transit. So, the primary domain of this project is the supply chain between supplier and storage house respective the receiver of a delivery. In this stage of the process there is a lack of accurate, continous data about the goods to deliver. Data we were interested in were for instance temperature gradient of fluids.

Existing approaches measure certain environmental conditions using analog technology. Transfering those measurements in ERP systems to decide about a contract violation is complex and error prone. This project aims to support this stage of the supply chain by using small sensor hardware able to perform an automatic download of measured data at the receiver site into ERP systems.



The MINIDAN is a little cube about 2cm x 2cm x 2cm. It has a IR interface(IrDA), a temperature sensor (but it can also have an accel sensor), a little processor and a 32KB memory which can contain up to 32.000 measurement data.

In this project I have written a C++ program under WinNT 4.0 for communication with the MINIDAN developed by Esys. The C++ program reads out the data and convert it in human readable format (e.g. HTML). It can save the data in various way such like in files or it can send it over the network. Both output format and output target can be changed easily, because the software is very modular.

The software provided further an interface to the SAP business conntector. This enabled the transfer of the data directly into SAP's ERP system. This system could then conclude on the integrity of the delivery contract.

Further Readings


After presentation of the first version, the project was continued as a master thesis by Anke Thede. 



Photos of the SAPCube on the CeBIT2000 can be seen below. The SAP collaborators were Christian Merz and Axel Spriestersbach.

The Minidan cube

Minidan Cube

The Minidan cube at "'s mobile world" area at the CeBIT 2000

Minidan cube at CeBIT