Packaging Innovation
How digital watermarking speeds up in-store checkout
October 9, 2015

How digital watermarking speeds up in-store checkout

Nobody likes standing in line at the checkout counter. However, chances are those long lines will soon become ancient history as retailers are increasingly turning to digital watermarking to speed up the checkout process. A company called Digimarc has come up with an ingenious method to encode entire surfaces of packages with invisible barcodes containing UPC data, promising to dramatically shorten checkout lines.

How digital watermarking speeds up in-store checkout “The barcode of everything”

Digimarc’s barcode allows manufacturers to repeatedly incorporate UPC code invisibly over the entire surface of all types of packaging, even including weight labels (e.g. for fruit, deli …). The code makes it easier for the scanners to detect the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) data embedded in the packaging, as it does not matter how the products are held toward the scanner.

Connecting with consumers

Apart from dramatically improving the ease and speed at which products are scanned, the unique barcode promises to make product information more easily available to customers as well, increasing their connection with the brand. Consumers simply download the Digimarc Discover app, aim their phone at the product – no need to look for a QR code – and all kinds of product details including nutrients, calories, recipes, discount offers … readily appear on their screen.

The digital watermarking printing process

All printers need to do to produce watermark printed packaging is pay a one-time setup fee, send the art file of the packaging to Digimarc and they’ll take care of the rest. There are no special inks nor special printing processes required. Retailers can simply add digital watermark detection to their current scanning devices by using the specially designed iOS/Android software development kit.