Is there anything Canadians won’t do to be nice? As a country that’s famous for being polite, data suggests the country is split on if it’s worth being a little less than real to keep the peace: according to a recent survey commissioned by Molson Coors’ brand Simply Spiked Lemonade, just over half (51%) of Canadians aged 19+ have lied to avoid conflict and/or protect someone’s feelings. This new-to-Canada alcoholic lemonade drink, on the other hand, is trying to help them be more honest with a clever piece of packaging technology.

Simply Spiked aims to bring awareness to this ‘dishonest politeness’ and help Canadians be their true, unapologetic selves, says the company, with a lie detector housed within a can of the alcoholic juice brand. The “Keep It Real” can features Galvanic Skin Response to monitor sweat gland activity and Pulse Rate electrodes to measure heartbeat, much like a normal lie detector. The ‘Keep It Real Can’ spots the fakes and determines when someone is truly keeping it real, it claims.

To administer the test, the can is connected to a smartphone via WiFi and is conducted via a browser app. The test taker holds the can with fingers over the sensors, and when a lie is detected, a ring of light at the bottom glows red. When the Keep It Real can reads the truth, the light turns green, and blue indicates an inclusive response or error in reading.

It seems, according to the survey – which was conducted on 1529 randomly selected adults – a politeness streak is always present and sometimes Canadians find themselves willing to lie to maintain civility. According to the survey, 39% of Canadians have lied about having plans to turn down an invitation, 26% have feigned liking a birthday gift, and 23% have been dishonest about someone else’s new look.

The Keep It Real Simply Spiked can might be the first lie detector disguised as a can, but it’s not the first to house electronics instead of a ‘boozy beverage’. Miller Light designed a gamepad called the “Cantroller,” and Bud Light designed a console that resembles a six-pack called the “BL6”, according to the report on the Dieline packaging design website.

“I used an ESP32 board with Wi-Fi capabilities to give the can the control it needed, and the internal structure was designed in Autodesk’s Fusion360,” Hugh Elliott, engineer behind the Keep It Real Can, told iPhone in Canada. “This provided an accurate way to visualize where and how the components would fit in the can. Once I knew how everything would fit together, I could begin the process of prototyping, design iteration, and production. It isn’t solely about the experience but also considering safety and security in the experience.”

To conduct the “tests”, the Keep It Real Can is paired with an iOS or Android device. “As the world’s first lie detector in a can, it was a priority to make the experience feel seamless. From the moment someone picks up the can, they know to put their fingertips on the sensors. There is little need for instruction. When the person administering the questions asks and receives an answer, it needs to feel like magic for the person answering. That was the primary challenge. To make it easy to experience but feel complex in execution.”

The product inside this very original can is available in three flavours using real fruit juice: Signature Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, and Blueberry Lemonade. Simply Spiked Lemonade is hosting pop-ups throughout Canada in July and August to let people test their veracity as well as the new drink!

This article was created in collaboration with AIPIA (the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association). For a full update on active and intelligent packaging, come along to the AIPIA World Congress (co-organized by Packaging Europe) in Amsterdam on 14-15 November. The only smart packaging event covering the entire technology spectrum, the World Congress is a meeting place for the global active and intelligent packaging industry where brand owners, innovators, and other stakeholders can network and see and discuss the latest trends and innovations. Register to attend here.