The opportunities offered by innovative digital print products are evolving fast and will soon be available.
To get you thinking about where you can take your packaging, here are some of the exciting new products about to hit the market.
Printed Memory Packaging
A thin film of adhesive plastic containing printed micro-circuits is embedded in the product label. Each one can store up to 68 billion distinct data combinations that can, for example, tell you when a water filter must be changed or if a compliant part is being used. They can also contain lot codes, serial numbers, expiration dates and geographic codes to prevent counterfeit products. This useful technology has now been developed as a printed process, dramatically reducing its cost. Read more...
Personalised Product Packaging
When the winning players at the 2018 FIFA World Cup were presented with their medals, they also received a bottle of Budweiser with their name printed directly onto the bottle. Short-run digital printing has reduced the cost and quality of personalised packaging, unlocking a wealth of ways to place your products in front of your clients with their own name on the label or packaging. KitKat took it a step further by printing customers' own photos on the wrapper, tying that in with an online competition. This trend is just getting started and will go way beyond a jar of Vegemite for Christmas with your name on it.
Already used effectively by the food and pharmaceuticals industries, smart packaging has been monitoring freshness and displaying information for a few years now and is branching into other amazing ideas such as Inductive Intelligence's self-heating packaging that uses radio frequency to heat the product inside. Concerns about waste is fueling the development of this technology to create packaging that can also be repurposed or is actually a part of the product itself. Google is currently exploring ways they can integrate electronic parts in a product's box that then become part of that product. Their goal is to educate consumers about artificial intelligence and how their products can utilise their Artificial Intelligence Yourself systems.
"Basically, if there's any device that you can put a computer chip,
a sensor and a wifi antenna into, you can connect it to
a cloud-based computer system".
David Hogue, UX Design Leader for Google
Coke kicked all this off in their Extraordinary Collection campaign, producing two million uniquely designed bottles and tying it in with individually designed billboards across the US. The success of existing smart packaging and wider usage is lowering the price so we can expect to see a rapid rise ahead as more companies realise its potential.