Toppan develops interactive packages with embedded NFC tags

Longstanding AIPIA member Toppan, a provider of communication, security, packaging, décor materials and electronics solutions, has integrated tamper-evident NFC tag functions into the structure of paper-based and other packages to develop a new type of smart packaging that enhances security and helps streamline the manufacturing process, while also preserving package design, according to the company.

As the digital shift advances and consumer behaviour changes, it has become increasingly important for businesses to offer optimized services to customers by effectively leveraging consumer touchpoints, says the company.Toppan’s new NFC-enabled packages make it possible to provide a range of interactive customer experiences linked wirelessly to smartphone apps. No Bluetooth pairing is required.

Pad-type switches embedded in the package give consumers interactive experiences, pressing or tapping to produce sounds or control content on the smartphone screen.LEDs and other additional components can be incorporated to meet needs based on the purpose or conditions of use.

The structure of input-output devices such as antenna modules and switches can be customized, allowing controller modules to be built into various types of packaging, including gift boxes and other paper-based formats, as well as moulded plastic and corrugated fibreboard.

Power for the controller is supplied by the smartphone over the wireless NFC connection, eliminating the need to incorporate a battery into the packs. 

Part of the NFC communication circuit built into packages employs a brittle structure. If an attempt is made to separate the NFC tag from the pack, the circuit is destroyed and the NFC tag no longer functions, reducing risks related to removal of the tag, including counterfeiting and grey market diversion of labels, products, or packaging

According to Toppan, the use of NFC means that a high level of security can be provided, for example, by linking to ID authentication systems to ensure that apps and content are only activated when the unique ID of the NFC tag built into the package is verified.

“These packages are very effective for making the most of touchpoints to provide new experiences to consumers when they purchase products,” said Takamitsu Nakabayashi, senior R&D manager at Toppan’s security business.“The combination of easily accessible interactive functions and NFC-enabled ID authentication means that this is a solution that provides both outstanding added value and enhanced security,” he added.

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