Packaging Innovation
October 30, 2017

Why The New iPhones Will Sucker-Punch – Then Rocket-Launch – Intelligent Packaging

by Udo Panenka, President Esko

The moment we realize the size of the gap between our current abilities and our future dreams can be both devastating and motivating.

Until now, the main role of packaging has been to protect and preserve the product, secondarily to convey product and marketing information to the shopper. Packaging professionals use terms like these below to describe capabilities beyond those core functional expectations:

Active packaging enhances the product with a physical functional benefit. This could be an additive to the primary packaging material that has a direct effect on the product inside, such as antimicrobial plastics or other material improvements that help extend shelf-life. We also think of secondary material layers, among many other innovations.

Intelligent (or “smart”) packaging goes further, putting to use electronic and digital capabilities like printed electronics, near field communication (NFCs) or radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. Ultimately, the chip engages the shopper through his or her smartphone. Through this connectivity, the intelligent package may provide a micro-service such as authenticating the product, showing the product’s transportation path and specifying the provenance of the product ingredients. Using the same electronic and digital capabilities, people can launch a variety of rich brand experiences depending only upon the creativity of the marketer.

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