Packaging Innovation
interactive packaging design tips
March 13, 2017

Smart AND fun: interactive packaging design is the future

More than 3,400,000,000 people worldwide own a smartphone. By 2021, that figure is expected to double. It is no wonder, then, that there is a revolution going on in the world of interactive packaging, with more and more brands and packaging designers establishing a connection between packaging and the consumer and the consumer via the Internet of Things. Slowly but surely, the days of user-unfriendly QR codes and uninspiring content are coming to an end. Instead, packaging designers are placing their bets on second-generation QR codes and near-field communication.

Meet the next generation of QR codes

The traditional QR code has been on its way out for a while now, so it was only a matter of time before someone revamped it and came up with an improved strategy to engage the consumer. SmartLabels are proving very successful in the US, enabling consumers to instantly access detailed ingredient information, while Chinese consumers are particularly taken with FiliGrade labels (labels with invisible watermarks) which they can scan with their smartphones to check a product’s authenticity.

‘Sealing it’ with near-field communication

Thinfilm’s OpenSense Near-Field Communication tags, too, are becoming a popular anti-counterfeiting technology, with Johnnie Walker’s smart bottle prototype leading the way. Besides giving the consumer access to engaging product and brand information, NFC labels also sense whether packaging has been opened yet, and can be used for track-and-trace monitoring. Each NFC tag in the world is unique, having been encoded with an identifier that is impossible to copy or modify.

Interactive packaging design: learning from past mistakes

If everything goes as expected by the packaging industry, the number of connected products in the world will increase to 21 billion by 2020. Studies warn, however, that this will only happen on the condition that brands use interactive packaging design that creates added value and requires minimal effort on the consumers’ part. Inspired by Packaging Gateway