IoT comes to billions of paper-based packages

WestRock Co., a manufacturer of secondary packaging machines as well as the paperboard materials that run on those machines, has unveiled what it calls Connected Packaging Solutions.




It’s a connected packaging solution for smart products that combines Digimarc’s enabled barcode technology with EVRYTHNG’s IoT Smart Products Platform to bring embedded, real time, connected digital intelligence to billons of WestRock packages, in-store signs, and displays produced annually.



As part of this smart packaging collaboration for paper-based consumer packaged goods (CPG) products, WestRock, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, will print Digimarc Barcodes that can be scanned by smartphones, point of sale scanners, and other machine vision devices. Digimarc Barcodes are essentially invisible barcodes repeated across the entire surface of packages and other media. These “digital triggers” are integrated with the EVRYTHNG market-leading IoT Platform, giving each physical package a unique Active Digital Identity (ADI) and data profile in the cloud.



“WestRock’s Connected Packaging Solutions brings new levels of real-time interactivity to paper based consumer packages globally,” says Craig Gunckel, President, WestRock’s Enterprise Solutions and Displays business segments. “The combination of smart packaging, powered by smart software in the cloud, makes literally billions of packaged goods more intelligent, more interactive, more trackable and more valuable to CPG companies and their customers.”



According to SmithersPira, the intelligent package market is expected to be worth over $2 billion by 2021, with expected growth to be at least 18% annually. Connected packaging offers many advantages over current conventional packaging, such as reduced counterfeiting, real-time product tracking and analytics, a direct digital path to the end consumer for ongoing relationships, easy implementation, extended shelf life, and increased safety coupled with low cost, among others.



"By digitally-enabling the smart product packaging at point of manufacture, we can add real-time connected intelligence to any physical product throughout its lifecycle,” explains Niall Murphy, Founder and Chief Executive Office of EVRYTHNG. “We’re building the world’s biggest ecosystem of strategic packaging and labeling partners across different material types and industries to realize our vision of consumer products that are #BornDigital™.”



“Our collaboration with WestRock and EVRYTHNG is another step in delivering of our Intuitive Computing Platform based on Digimarc Barcode,” says Bruce Davis, CEO at Digimarc. “This collaboration will expedite development of interactive packaging for progressive brands, which will benefit from more accurate inventory tracking, faster retail sales, and direct communications with consumers.”

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