Connected packaging has come a long way since using Barcodes and QR codes to share important information with the customers or manage quick checkouts at outlets. All the retail products, including the daily consumption items such as cheese, milk carton, mobile phone box, and literally every other commodity, are packed into connected packaging using Barcode and QR code since the previous decade and more. They served their purpose effortlessly, but now there’s a new turn around the corner in terms of innovative technological advancements.
Connected Packaging: Different Technologies & Their Advantages
Connected packaging allows the customer to connect and interact with the product or the brand. There are a few handy technical options available for brands to leverage for their connected packaging solutions. Here’s a list of those technologies along with their strengths:
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): RFID has been fundamental for new generation connected packaging. RFID cards offer a more extended communication range and allow various RFID tags with different performance options to choose the best as per the brand needs. RFID has been widely accepted for inventory management over other options because of its ideal specifications and reliable performance.
- Near-field Communication (NFC): NFC is a form of RFID that allows communication in a range of a few centimeters. Most of the smartphones that consumers are using already have NFC provisions, and it will enable them to communicate with NFC-based connected packages by just tapping on them. Many brands leverage NFC these days to exchange information between the product and the customer for a better purchase experience.
- Printed Codes: Printed codes go beyond QR codes or Barcodes; many different printed codes can accomplish similar applications. Codes such as Digimarc can be kept in the packaging graphics and can offer a connected experience with easy code scanning devices or apps.
- Augmented Reality. AR-based connected packaging is a new subject, and this technology carries vast potential in terms of customer’s understanding of the product and better product value to the customers. Computer vision and AR-based products can create a whole new experience and market the product itself while allowing them to collect and optimize the gathered data to use them for a better consumer experience.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is changing the way things work for the past few years, and connectivity is the core concept of IoT. Internet-connected packaging can offer traceability, agility, and security to consumers, supply chains, and brands. IoT-based connected packaging makes much more sense for valuable packages that have to be traceable worldwide.
Undeniably, connected packaging solutions have a bright future ahead. It would not take long until all these technologies are used commercially in a viable and profitable manner. The best part about connected packages is that they can comprise multiple technologies and create innovations beyond imagination based on their particular target market area. For example, a product can leverage both NFC and printed codes to exchange different information to consumers and retailers. Soon enough, connected packages will be unique selling points for the market-leading products and offer unparalleled advantages for the consumers.