After the launch of digital printing, a new printing technology generation is redefining the product development. Intelligent packaging and printed electronics are aiming on changing the business world over the next years.
Adding electronics in the packaging is rapidly gaining interest as it reduces wastage and enhances safety and security, product differentiation, convenience, brand enhancement, and quality assurance.
Micro sensors and wireless networking on the Heineken bottle are able to detect when drinkers say ‘Cheers’, resulting in the activation of 8 LED lights. The lights flash when taking a sip and they ‘dance’ in response to a DJ’s musical cues. Which consumer could resist such a cool packaging?
Illuminating packaging carries special ‘connectivity’ features
What is more, active packaging can add value to the product. This is done not only by enriching its visual appearance but also by helping the consumer to comply with the recommended use of their medication, for instance. It could also assist people to check the product quality thanks to a microprocessor within the pack.
When looking at the future of packaging, you will realize that intelligent packaging can replace expiry dates on products actually.
The Norwegian printed electronics company Thinfilm is currently working on a time-temperature sensor that can be used for monitoring perishable goods and pharmaceuticals.
Here is another example of a useful application for built-in electronics: each case of eProvenance wine contains a sensor that records the temperature and the humidity in an interval of four hours. Using a smartphone app, the client has then the possibility to check on the history of the wine’s transportation and storage conditions from the moment it left the estate.
Printed electronic sensors to monitor food or beverage freshness
The link between the digital world and the package is very exciting and will enable many interactive and useful functions for customers.