Barcodes, Communications, Data capture, Labels, What's new

The next wave of innovation in packaging will come through data. Data that will be used by app makers and service providers in combinations that have yet to be imagined. This wave is closer than you may think.

We are at the beginning stages of the Internet of Things. Did you know that your products can already very easily become Internet of Things (IoT) [1] ready? This is thanks to your products’ unique ID. Whether this unique ID is shown by a barcode or QR code, RFID or NFC tags or other technologies such as Bluetooth, it is the starting point of what makes IoT possible: data.

The next wave of innovation

Data associated with your product’s unique ID can be stored in databases that are accessible to all, live on the Internet.  These databases could contain your product description, size, weight, and in food, nutritional facts. It is likely that in the next 2-3 years, makers of apps, industry associations and others will be looking to put your product information in databases in order to develop new services and intelligent use of product data. This is already happening. It is up to you to organize your information accordingly not to miss out on the opportunity.

An example: Jogging

Let’s illustrate the possible applications of the Internet of Things with a sports drink such as Gatorade, when it is associated with technologies allowing devices connected with the Internet to help take educated decisions on-the-fly.

Imagine a jogger in his early morning routine, running with his Nike+ system equipped shoes transmitting data to his smart watch connected to his smart phone running a training app.

Along the way, his smartphone alerts him of his dehydration and the jogger reaches for a sports drink from his intelligent thermos bottle. As he reaches for it, the intelligent bottle transmits information about its content to his smartphone, through Bluetooth. The App ‘learns’ that there are 12 oz. of Gatorade Thirst Quencher left in the bottle.

How much should the jogger drink at this stage to quench his thirst? Will it provide him with enough energy and give back enough nutrients?

These answer would come from the interaction of his intelligent bottle communicating its content to the app on his smartphone, which analyses the data generated by his efforts, his personal profile, and the nutritional facts about the Gatorade previous gathered by the smartphone, through the scanning of the Gatorade’s individual product code.


As you can see, the key is the information provided by the product manufacturer. Coding your products, making their nutritional and other information available is the key to participating in this new wave of innovation.  So be ready. Be proactive. Consult with identification experts to ensure optimal product identification.

Meanwhile, keep on making great products and keep hydrated when running.

[1] inanimate objects connected via the internet and passing information to each other without human intervention