2020 Trends: Smart Packaging

Smart packaging, also known as intelligent or active packaging, is an emerging term for packaging that is more interactive in some way. Imagine a prescription container that can tell you when it's getting low, or automatically send an order to refill itself. Or another package that can automatically dispense the proper dosage. 

There are subtle differences between these three types of packaging, but they equate to the same thing: how can the circle of our increasingly interconnected devices grow to encompass healthcare packaging as well?

Active & Intelligent: Key Aspects for Smart Packaging

While the examples above seem far-fetched, we're closer than it might seem. Innovators are working through methods which utilize familiar technologies, like Bluetooth and NFC (near field communication), to find new ways with which our medical needs interact with our various devices. These have been used in packaging for some time, but technology is refined and integrated, new uses emerge. 

At the heart of all these endeavors, though, is the patient or the user. Researchers in this field have to ask, What does the end-user need? How can this best serve them? Smart packaging needs to be active and intelligent to provide the most good. It needs to be intuitive and integrated into not only devices owned and familiar to the user, but amenable to how their mind works as well. 

Looking Forward

Sunrise Packaging has yet to create smart packaging on the level described above. Demand isn't quite there yet. Not to mention it's relatively cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to product on a large-scale at present.

But there's no doubt that the trend toward integrated smart devices is not slowing down. Demand and expectations will grow, and eventually the constraints around this type of packaging will become more manageable.