SMART PACKAGING generally refers to two fundamentally different approaches that give packaging an additional benefit or make it “smart”: firstly, the use of codes/tags/chips that establish a connection to the digital world – usually via a smartphone; secondly, additional functions that use sensors or chemical solutions to give the packaging a certain “intelligence” or additional benefit.

The topic is also often referred to as Connected Packaging or Extended Packaging, which is probably more appropriate for use with codes, for example.

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In the B2C sector, the smart packaging concept allows smartphone users to scan barcodes (2D codes), Digimarc, RFID chips or NFC tags, for example, to call up a link directly or be redirected to a website or start an application in an app.
For example, suitable additional product information on origin, ingredients, advertising, discounts or even application examples can be displayed.

Incidentally, the “intelligence” of the dynamic QR code comes from the software in the backend and not necessarily from the code itself!

On the one hand, codes with a compressed, digital URL are more “intelligent” than you might think, but the actual function is of course provided by the resolving software.

Talk to us about the possibilities of dynamic QR codes for different applications from one code!

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In the B2B sector, Smart Packaging offers not only smartphone users but also users with professional scanners the opportunity to retrieve logistics information, tracking data or special data for professional users, which is important in the supply chain, for example, in the same way.

In addition to the simple connection to the Internet via 2D codes or tags, it is also possible to work directly with augmented reality elements that become visible on the smartphone when the phone with the right app is held on the packaging (also works without a code via image recognition).

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Another “smart” option is to equip the packaging with additional electronics, such as printed OLEDs in labels or on folding cartons, especially for lighting effects. There are already some successful implementations of this by renowned printers/specialists, particularly in the beverages/beverages sector.


Smart packaging solutions with sensors that are used for diagnostics are already being used in the pharmaceutical and food sectors in particular. These sensors are attached to the outside of the packaging, for example, to monitor temperature or time sequences. Some solutions can also be irreversibly activated by finger pressure and then indicate a time lapse, for example.

For example, a change in colour of the packaging/sensor could indicate the interruption of the cold chain, the expiry of the usage date or the information that the packaging has already been opened and is no longer originally sealed.

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