The Evolution of Smart Packaging

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The evolution of smart Packaging has progressed very quickly. Just a few years ago, smart packaging meant a label on a box with a tracking number, or even more advanced: a barcode readable by a laser scanner. In more recent years, the QR Code, short for Quick Response, became so popular that it was hard to find an advertisement without one. Scannable by a smartphone, a QR code would bring an interested user to a website, tutorial video, or social media account. They became almost fashionable. Websites spawned to generate and track QR codes for the purposes of trend following. It looked like the new wave in online marketing strategy.

And yet, today, if you were to Google ‘smart packaging’ QR codes would be the farthest from. While they are still an easy, worthwhile asset, smart or intelligent packaging has moved into an almost science-fiction-like state. Slim microchips that detect if food is rotting is included in packaging to help specify ‘sell by’ dates. One step further, nano-technology in packaging may actually inhibit mold and microbe growth.

Where once packaging was meant to be kept secular from the product inside, it’s now directly linked to it. That is an evolution in packaging in general. Boxes that are more than just a vessel of delivery, but actually sustain the contents. Support it and promote it.

So while the distinction is smart packaging is splintering–active packaging, intelligent packaging, etc–the rate at which innovation is being made is exponential across the board. Slim micro-screens and app interaction have teamed up to make “virtual mirrors” for cosmetic products. The eerie sounding “augmented human” trend could let consumers try on makeup at the store without ever putting anything on their skin.

In some ways, the future of packaging is in flux. There’s always a call for less wasteful packaging, but with the technologies listed above, paired with anti-theft measures, marketing tactics, and procedural instructions, one could argue packaging is more important than ever.

More:

Packaging Digest

Mintel

Image: Packaging Digest

The Power Bank Cometh

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Customized Power Banks

are quickly soaring to the top of promotional giveaway items. Not only are they growing as a fashionable accessory, but they are functional to the point of lifesaving. A souvenir you can use on the spot is prime. It’s like if you were stranded on a desert island, and Todd’s Tax Services starting handing out bottles of water with their name on it. Chances are you’re going to call Todd next time you need your taxes done.

Maybe the average situation isn’t as dire as that, but an extra charge for your smartphone can come in handy. Maybe you’re making the rounds at a new product expo and you’re supposed to be sending your boss real-time, play-by-play photos. Do you really want to catch a cab back across town to your hotel room and wait for your phone to charge? Or what if you’re in a strange city and need to find your way back? Do you really want to tap that GPS toggle when you’re down to 7%?

A Promotional Power Bank

gives people freedom. A chance to venture out further, stay in the moment longer, or capture a memory that otherwise would have been missed. So, in a way, handing someone a fully-charged power bank at a long, multi-day convention is kind of like handing them a bottle of water on an island.

Power-PadAs far as promo items go, something you can actually use (and reuse) is king. USB drives are so popular for this reason. On top of being a cool tech gift, they can hold whole multimedia presentations within their data store. However, they don’t charge your cell phone (at least, not yet). If you don’t think your name, number, and company logo will cut it, a power bank can be paired with a PowerPad, Sunrise Packaging’s exclusive packaging designed especially for power banks. Hardcover look with a soft-touch feel, the PowerPad offers an extra visual presentation to your custom power bank. Include product images, infographics, or even sample textures!

Let’s be honest: all products–even promotional ones–need presentation packaging. With all the giveaways at trade shows and conventions, the competition to be remembered is steep. You can always use an edge.