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The future is now? Connected technologies: One area that undoubtedly experienced a popularity surge this year was connected and intelligent packaging solutions. Brand owners are beginning to realize the massive potential of pioneering technologies such as Near-Field Communication (NFC), QR codes, barcode scan and Augmented Reality (AR) in increasing brand loyalty and awareness and better understanding consumer behavior. Utilizing AI technology such as facial recognition and sound interaction, the Coca-Cola Company launched a new vending machine concept in China where consumers can purchase beverages, as well as return and recycle used bottles and cans. The luxury packaging market was particularly active in exploring new, intelligent solutions, with packaging expert Neil Farmer noting how new technologies are fast becoming key factors in product differentiation at the point of purchase.
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