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uni'wissen 01-2016_ENG

von Stephanie Streif In the future, sensors could monitor the transport of packages. It is necessary to pay attention to many aspects to make sure the finished product is user- friendly. For instance, the researchers are testing a switch for wireless battery charging (left, in silver). Photos: Thomas Kunz uni wissen 01 2016 Ayear ago Marc Pfeifer sold a speaker on an online auction website. Everything was as usual. After the auction closed he wrapped up the item and sent it to the highest bidder via parcel post. The buyer received the package, unwrapped the speaker, plugged it in, and – nothing happened. The speaker was broken, and Pfeifer was not amused. After all, the speaker had been in working order when he dropped it off at the post office. Tough luck – or not? Pfeifer, a student in the master’s program in embedded systems engineering (ESE) at the University of Freiburg, is now devel- oping a sensor that measures whether a package has been dropped somewhere on the way to its destination. A good idea. The question is only whether the student can develop it into a business idea. A startup business isn’t the sort of thing you can just pull out of a hat. That’s where “Exist Bootcamp” 48 Tinkerers and Entrepreneurs by Stephanie Streif The training program Smart-X helps students find out whether they have the stuff to launch their own business uni wissen 012016