Keg rental company Kegstar has launched Project Starlight, its new IoT enabled tracking system for kegs.
Kegstar CEO Christian Barden said the technology has been several years in the making and will be a game-changer. He said: “It not only provides the exact real-time location of every keg, but also gives detailed information of what’s inside it.
“The bespoke-designed IoT device is connected to the keg chime through a welded bracket to avoid impeding couplers, cleaners, fillers or lifters, and is resistant to high-pressure cleaning.”
Barden said Project Starlight improves on the company’s existing barcode and RFID-scanning tracking technology, which has already generated more than 22 million scans in over 10 countries, with more than 1300 customers in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Ireland and The Netherlands in just eight years since the business started. Kegstar was sold to Brambles in 2015.
The design of the device was a collaboration with IoT technology partner Thinxtra. The device has three radio transmitters to cover every wireless environment, from city-wide locations right down to where each keg is in a facility. The transmitters are tuned specifically for challenging production and radio environments.
It will allow customers to tap into data showing the location, temperature, and orientation of each keg. It can also show whether the keg has been cleaned or filled, is being off-loaded from a truck or is ready for collection at a hospitality venue.
Kegstar technology lead Kevin Dinn said: “Making our smart kegs even smarter is what this is all about. This is also personal, my dad was director of the Canberra deep-space tracking station when they put the first man on the moon – so I guess tracking is in my blood.”
Thinxtra COO Sam Sharief said: “We’ve partnered closely throughout the process to create a feature-rich solution that is both scalable and future-proof.
“We’ve used smart edge computing capabilities, processing thousands of parameters in its motion engine and sending only relevant information back2base to maximise battery life. All that happens through a combination of RFID, Wifi, Bluetooth and Sigfox 0G long range connectivity.”
Project Starlight is expected to be rolled-out on at least 11,000 kegs before Christmas.
Dinn said: “We’ve certainly got our work cut out in delivering this across our entire fleet, and it’ll be another fun part of how we improve our total customer experience.”