PDF Update: PDF and the real world

October 25, 2011


In this PDF update, we have a pair of recent releases that all focus on connecting PDF to the physical world. These include the releases of new temperature-sensing, PDF-enabled USB labels, and consumer-focused geospatial maps.

To kick off this update, the cunning folks at PakSense in Boise, Idaho, have just announced a new product that could really improve quality control for the handling of perishable products like food, medications, vaccines and other biological materials. "What is this amazing innovation?" I hear you cry. Well, it's a label. Specifically, it's a label that constantly monitors temperature over time. Each waterproof XpressPDF label is about the size of sugar packet, and comes with its very own USB port. This allows it to be connected to a computer in order to download temperature information. Upon connection, this information is automatically incorporated into a PDF report that includes raw data, a graph and summary statistics.

According to the press release, the temperature sensors comply with NIST standards, and read the surface temperature of the product, carton or pallet rather than the ambient air temperature. Information can be uploaded to third-party logistics software using the PakSense Device Interface SDK, and can even be recycled, via the PakSense GreenSense program.

Anyway, for more about XpressPDF labels, check out the PakSense website.

In other news, Avenza Systems, Inc., has announced the launch of PDF Maps, its geospatial PDF reader for Apple iOS devices. On GPS-enabled devices like iPhones, the app provides constant access to geographic locations and points of interest, avoiding the risk of losing reception due to cell tower proximity. PDF Maps has a growing marketplace for publishers to sell their own interactive maps, and Avenza's library already contains more than 55,000 USGS (United States Geological Survey) topographic maps.

PDF Maps is currently available for free from the iTunes App Store, but to find out more, visit the Avenza website.

That's it for this time. Watch this space!

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