Printed electronics agreement advances packaging, The Internet of Things

By Rick Lingle in Labels on July 16, 2014

Printed electronics supplier Thinfilm signs an agreement that integrates cloud software, Near-Field Communication (NFC) and physical objects. We assess the packaging implications of this news that includes enhanced consumer interaction and NFC options as well as track-and-trace monitoring of sensitive products.

 

 On July 15, Thin Film Electronics ASA (thinfilm.no), a provider in the development and commercialization of printed electronics, announced a collaboration with EVRYTHNG (Evrythng.com), the Web of Things software company that makes physical products smart by connecting them to unique digital identities on the Web.

 

Through the agreement, Evrythng will integrate its cloud-based, software-as-a-service platform with Thinfilm’s suite of printed electronics products, including the Near-Field Communication (NFC) barcode and Smart Label product families. With combined expertise spanning printed electronics, NFC, and scalable cloud-based software, Thinfilm and Evrythng can deliver an integrated end-to-end solution that extends the boundaries of the Internet of Things to encompass everyday items, including consumables.

 

We asked Davor Sutija, chief executive officer of Thinfilm, to assess the packaging implications of this development.

 

What role can packaging and packaged products play in this?

Sutija: Thinfilm’s NFC Barcode tags—the world’s only NFC technology based on printed electronics—will be incorporated into products and product packaging. The unique identification code built into each NFC Barcode will link to a unique digital identity in Evrythng’s robust and highly scalable cloud-based platform to enable interactivity and personalization that has never before been possible at the item level.

 

With a touch of a user’s mobile phone to a product enabled by Thinfilm and Evrythng, the user can connect directly to that product’s digital identity for enhanced interactivity and functionality. Businesses will enjoy the benefits of enhanced visibility into supply chain activity and consumer behavior, while consumers will enjoy real-time, personalized interaction opportunities, from enhanced warranty registration and recall notification to customized offers for the relevant accessories, upgrades, and related products.

 

What can be done using an NFC-enabled Smart Label?

Sutija: Evrythng’s cloud-based SaaS platform will be enhanced to support Thinfilm NFC-enabled Smart Labels, which communicate both unique ID and real-time sensor information. This can enable a wide variety of applications, including ubiquitous, low-cost track-and-trace monitoring for temperature-sensitive medical products like pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and food perishables such as meat, seafood and produce.

 

The initial integration between Thinfilm and Evrythng will allow NFC Barcode tags (either standalone or as part of an NFC-enabled Smart Label) to connect to the Evrythng platform through an NFC-enabled mobile device. Thinfilm memory labels, Smart Label systems, and NFC Barcode tags (either standalone or as part of an NFC-enabled Smart Label) can all be used as part of the comprehensive data collection/management system offered by Thinfilm and Evrythng. Evrythng has a particular interest in our NFC Barcode product, which can be used to effectively connect to Evrythng’s software through NFC-enabled mobile phones and tablets.

 

How soon would we see tangible results of this partnership for these kinds of interactive products?

Sutija: Evrythng’s cloud-based platform is running commercially today and integration work with Thinfilm’s NFC technology is active now. We expect to announce additional milestones in the future.

 

For more information, you can read the full release here.

 

Source: Thin Film Electronics

 

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