At the Fraunhofer Forum at CeBIT I had the chance to talk about future transport solutions. One of my students in Munich (Michael Müller) is working on a pro-active transport container. In the project aware-goods (http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/~albrecht/awaregoods/) we looked into this domain already in 2000 at TecO together with SAP Research. Reiterating over the idea is really interesting as now the technology is really here – sensor network nodes are available, mobile phones offer massive processing power, there is ubiquitous data connectivity, and web service interfaces are available for many applications.
The big question is now on algorithms and software for context recognition and data mining in the collected sensor data, the integration with processes and company software systems, and the exploitation for optimising transport and logistics processes.