Smart packaging, augmented reality & the Internet of Things

'The potential for creating experiences via smartphones and packaging is virtually limitless'

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Crown bevcan europe, Marketing

Technology that allows you to ‘see through’ metal tins. Real time consumption data for brand owners. All this – and much more – has become possible to breakthroughs in Augmented Reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

These days a pack is not merely a vessel for holding food or beverages: it is a marketing tool and a way for the brand to connect directly with consumers.

As digital plays an increasingly important role in our lives, the potential for creating engaging experiences via smartphones and packaging has become ‘virtually limitless’, according to Crown Bevcan Europe and Middle East.

See through tins

On display at drinktec in Munich this year was Crown’s SeeThrough technology, which leverages virtual reality to enable consumers to view the contents within a pack.

For example, by scanning the lid of a biscuit tin, a smartphone can link to interactive image of the biscuits inside.

Consumers can then further explore the product by clicking on each biscuit image to read the name and description of each biscuit.  

Not just a bit of fun for consumers

QR codes have become a way for consumers to scan a product and find out more about the brand or access games and competitions.

But it’s not just a bit of fun for consumers. Such technology has the potential to open up a world of data for brands, helping then know how and when products are being consumed.

CrownSmart is an interactive application that uses a unique code situated beneath the tab of a beverage can. This means that the code can only be scanned once the beverage has been opened.

“CrownSmart begins at the very moment a consumer opens the can and scans the code,” ​explains Matt Twiss, marketing and business development director, Crown Bevcan Europe and Middle East.

“At this point, brands can start to gather valuable, real-time purchasing and consumption data, including who opened what content and when and where the code was activated.

“This information allows brands to connect with consumers in ‘real time’ and will, in turn, help brands tailor both current and subsequent campaigns to stay aligned with consumers’ behavior, desires and needs.”

Brand owner dashboards can then provide an insight into the analytics that can be employed to measure consumer engagement, influence brand strategies and flexibly manage the supply chain.

Crown has worked closely with its IoT Smart Products Platform partner EVRYTHNG, a Platform-as-a-Service company that enables smart products and smart packaging to drive IoT applications, and Zappar – UK-based creators of an app that uses AR to help people recognize images and objects in the world around us.

“As the appetite for digital consumption grows, the potential for creating engaging experiences via smartphones and packaging is virtually limitless,” ​said Twiss.

“Brands adopting smart packaging techniques and taking advantage of this new stream of data will be well positioned to reinforce brand activation through targeted exposure, drive new and repeat purchases and optimize their supply chains by improving product traceability.

“With industrial IoT adoption growing, an exciting future lies ahead for beverage brands who wish to utilize this innovative technology to access valuable consumer data and create unique experiential content to drive greater consumer engagement.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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