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Aris review: Smart Packaging

Aris review: Smart Packaging

Smart packaging technology is bags with a sensor on the material. That sensor (or a tag) contains information about a product. Smartphones and other mobile devices scan that tag and receive that info. Wiseguysreports’ research says that smart packaging market will grow 9,1% annually and hit $32.2 millions at the end of 2025.
Printed electronics technology
Smart packaging are “smart” due to printed electronics technology; basically, it’s a conducting ink which the tags are made of. The technology is called NFC (Near Field Communication) — it allows two transmitters to “talk” wirelessly. Ink keeps information about, for instance, authenticity of a product, about circumstances of its transportation — and smartphone, after you scan the tag, shows you this data. Such a tag can be printed on any packaging material.
Why manufacturers would want smart packaging
Antifraud. That’s especially vital for the healthcare industry and the transportation nuances within it. Through NFC, pharma specialists and clinicians would be able to check where the meds came from, how they were transported and who have been interacting with them on the way.
Logistics and transportation. Printed electronics make it possible for manufacturer, suppliers, and even end customer to check what conditions the product is placed in right now: what’s the temperature, humidity, etc. That simplifies the quality control.
Communication with a customer. NFC-tags are a chance for brand to scale their communication with their audience. Sensors on meds, for instance, can remind people about their pill schedule, sensor on toys can show entertaining video with other toys from the lineup, sensors on food can offer recipes where that food might be used in. Digital tech conquers the world.
Customer data. NFC-tags are also a great way to gain data about how people interact with your product: when a product is bought, how is it used when it’s in customer’s home... We even can’t choose the right joke for this: what’s better, Big Brother or an avocado that watches you?
Rainbow unicorns vs Non-magical realism
Everything connected to smart packaging sounds delightful! Especially for marketers, product managers, and business owners.
Take a look at the prospects of integration with AR: shopping in Pokemon Go style — you see a cabinet in Ikea, you scan the sensor, and you get the instruction that shows you how to put a cabinet together and stay sane. Nice. Fraud protection also sounds good, as is an opportunity to control conditions of storages where products stay.
But.
In 2019, it would be wrong to say that NFC tags are really affordable to businesses, especially if we were to consider money on getting marketers and brand specialists familiar with a new channel of communication, cost of content production and app development. Plus, there are certain issues with privacy — as you’ve probably noticed — and with the inks’ impact on human health; the latter is still a point for the research.
It’s not clear if smart packaging will pass through the stage Cool But Not For Real Life and stay in the packaging industry for good. Their success relies on manufacturers: would they be willing to learn and use the technology to speak with their people and deliver long-term value for them? Who knows.
We think smart packaging is very promising indeed — and invite you to tell us about what you think. Would you like to try it for your product packages? You can do it via email ((This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or on facebook. Let’s figure this new thing out together ;-)
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Aris Ltd. has been a think-tank of novelties on the flexible packaging market of Ukraine since 1992. We make both individual packaging with rotogravure printing and universal bags of diverse colours for you.

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