In recent times, packaging has evolved from being a protective barrier for a product to a tool for marketing communications. With constant innovation in technology, packaging is expected to be much more than a protective barrier or a marketing tool. Manufacturers have been focusing on using advanced technologies to provide enhanced functionality – a term known as smart packaging. Smart packaging solutions can be utilized either as an active packaging, providing functionality such as moisture and oxygen control, or intelligent packaging, which indicates status or communicates product changes along with other information. Smart packaging solutions have the potential to positively change the way consumers interact with the product and simplify things.
Smart Labels and IoT integration
Smart labels eliminate the need for embedding costly sensors to the product to track vital information regarding location, temperature, movement, and moisture. For instance, a company called ThinFilm has created printed electronics that can be attached to any products to provide real-time information so that the company can check product’s freshness and prevent spoilage.
Augmented Reality in Smart Packaging Solutions
The game Pokémon GO gave much-needed acknowledgment to the augmented reality technology. Much like discovering Pokémon in a real-life map, AR technologies can project vital product information like item tag, order status, stock levels, and delivery destination with the help of an HUD display or a smartphone.
OLED Flexible Display Technology in Smart Packaging Solutions
Although this technology seems too futuristic to be used in the packaging sector, companies are making significant efforts to build prototypes that can incorporate flexible energy efficient display in packaging. A pioneer in this field, VTT Technologies of Finland, is investing heavily in its OLED technology to enable a lean and agile production of custom size and shaped display and signage elements at a meager cost. Such a technology has the potential to create products with interactive packaging and illumination that can attract customers in a retail store.
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