The brand recently unveiled a connected bottle for its Phantom men’s fragrance.
The refillable robot-shaped bottle is integrated with an NFC chip. Users can simply tap it with their smartphone and access the Phantom Universe, which is home to exclusive content such as interactive filters, personalized playlists and interactive games.
“Now it’s important that brands somehow exist in the digital space, even if their product is a physical product. They can reach out to spend it with end users. Of course, the goal is to bring what is meaningful to users because there is a lot of content available to them ”, said Curro of electronics company STMicroelectronics, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and present worldwide, including the United States, France, Singapore and China.
The company specializes in NFC (Near Field Communication), a short-range wireless connectivity technology based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).
This technology has found its way into packaging to add intelligence and interactivity to products.
Curro described this technology as a gateway to the digital world, where brands can provide “Content to bridge the digital and physical world in a way that makes sense for their brand”.
In addition to bridging the divide between the digital and physical realms, Curro pointed out that smart NFC solutions could potentially offset the environmental impact of cosmetic packaging.
With growing awareness of the impact of the rapidly evolving consumer goods industries (FMCGs) on the environment, companies have cut back on packaging materials.
For example, many have chosen to get rid of instructional brochures and manuals that more often than not end up in the trash.
With connected packaging, consumers would only have to access a digital copy or even a video with a single tap on their smartphone.
At the same time, the packaging has become more minimalist, not only because it is more environmentally friendly, but also because it is more in tune with the aesthetic sensibilities of today’s young consumers.
“You can have simple packaging that uses less material, but you still have to convey that information through the packaging. So you can provide this information through NFC technology. The user can simply consult a user manual in digital format ”, Curro said.
Reduce adoption hesitation
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology, not only in beauty, but in other industries as well. Curro believes now is the time to step up smart packaging.
“The pandemic has shown the general public how contactless technology can be used. More and more people know what it is now thanks to contactless payment. It was a powerful catalyst for the use of contactless technology in other cases ”, she says.
She added that there is huge potential for rapid adoption in Asia, which is home to a large consumer population of Millennials and Gen Zs with an insatiable appetite for technology.
“Asians like to be on the cutting edge of technology. They are really passionate about technology so I think the adoption of this technology would be faster [in Asia] than other parts of the world ”, Curro said.