Innovation That Matters

Interactive beer label

Interactive beer label reads consumer emotion

Food & Drink

A new beer label combines NFC, AR and facial recognition technology to create a unique customer experience in connected products.


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Label designer Multi-Color Corporation and smart-packaging designer Talkin’ Things have joined forces to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) packaging platform, and have recently produced a beer label that can ‘talk’ to people. The smart label was created as a marketing tool for Black Red Ale beer, and uses Augmented Reality (AR) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to bring the beer label to life.

The NFC technology works like a RFID chip. This enables two electronic devices, such as a smart phone and an NFC chip, to communicate without using the Internet. To engage with the AR, users scan the beer label with a mobile app. When they do this, a skull printed on the label comes ‘to life’ and interacts with the drinker. A facial recognition feature can detect the mood of the drinker, and can customize the conversation accordingly. The AR also asks questions, and can customize new AR scenarios designed to fit with the answers users provide. The AR interaction also provides data about consumers in real-time, allowing the product manufacturer to gather information while building brand awareness. Consumers may be more likely to share information with a company while having what they perceive as a ‘conversation’.

Direct conversation with customers is a growing trend in the food and beverage sector, and many businesses are taking advantage of IoT solutions. Earlier this year, tequila brand el Jimador incorporated NFC tags into custom bottleneck labels and branded coasters. When tapped with a smartphone, the tags allowed customers to submit their favourite soccer story for a chance to win money and prizes. With more and more smartphones now equipped with NFC functionality, it seems likely that we may seem more connected packaging on store shelves. At Springwise, we have seen NFC tech used in packaging before, to detect spoiled meat, and in beauty product packaging. How could connected food items revolutionise shopping?




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