Smart Packaging, Augmented Reality, and Gamification

When we ask the question of “What is packaging?” in traditional context, we can say that they are products made of various materials to preserve the quality of processed or fresh food while transporting, storing, selling, and storing, in short, during the period until it reaches consumers. Considering the design of the packaging, it is vitally important to protect products with packaging materials suitable for the spesifications of the products inside. Until now, food packaging industry has been working to develop packaging materials that will preserve the quality of food and provide consumers with the products that are healthy and not exposed to physical damage and biological degradation.

Today, demands of consumers for healthier and fresher products that are less processed, with a longer shelf life, together with their increasing level of sensitivity to the notion of health, and developments such as the increase in online shopping and the internationalization of markets have begun a quest for flexible packaging solutions.

What is Smart Packaging?

Smart packaging technology is a system that provides consumers with information about the quality and safety of the packaged food.

Smart packaging has various principles for the function, such as depending upon enzymatic changes, time-temperature measurement, and microbiological activity measurement for quality. For example, packages with a time-temperature indicator generally inform consumers about temperature violations in chilled or frozen food through color changes on their label. Packages with biosensor technology provide information to consumers about microbial growth in the product. There are varieties of smart packaging solutions according to their function and purpose in the form of Time-Temperature Indicators, Polymer-based Indicators, Diffusion-based Indicators, Enzyme Indicators, Freshness Indicators, Biosensors, and Pathogen Indicators.

The packaging technology is considered to reach even more advanced levels in the future; it is also proposed that the industry will develop packaging solutions with features such as audible warning when the expiry date approaches and emitting smell through aisles to attract consumers.

Using Augmented Reality in Packaging

Augmented reality is the technology that provides a combined image between the artificial and the real world by adding an image created on the computer to the real world view of the user. In short, it is the enrichment and modification of the real world through computers.

The use of the technology is becoming prevalent in many fields today, from the game industry to marketing, from medicine to education, and even to the automotive industry. The packaging industry is one of the sectors that benefit from the technology.

With the use of augmented reality in smart phones, companies have started to benefit from the technology for many purposes such as providing different experiences to their customers, creating brand loyalty, and attracting the consumers of their rivals. Moreover, it has been an important factor for augmented reality to be employed in the packing industry that companies can promote their products more easily and share a lot of content, such as product details, advantages, and usage patterns, with their customers easily and strikingly through videos thanks to augmented reality.

One of the important advantages of using augmented reality on packaging designs is that visually impaired people can scan the information on a product package through their mobile phones and listen to the product content and the information aloud.

How Does Gamification Work With Packaging Design?

Gamification on packaging can be easily applied thanks to the augmented reality technology. Easy games and videos can be simply provided on packaging labels via mobile applications. Therefore, companies can both attract the attention of consumers, especially children, and interact with consumers through games. In addition, marketing methods such as racking up points and winning awards can be realized in this way. Thanks to the possibilities of the technology for companies, the aim is to increase both brand awareness and loyalty.