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Brave new world

Above and beyond improving existing businesses and processes, intelligent packaging could even be the facilitator of entirely new kinds of business.

Retailers are already dabbling with entirely digital stores, where no checkout is required. The store automatically registers the items a consumer has chosen, recognises the customer and directly charges a linked bank account. Amazon has already tried and tested the idea. Given the savings and convenience factors, it’s likely a concept that is here to stay and RFID- and NFC-technologies could be instrumental in speeding up widespread deployment.

Packaging may appear a basic commodity distant from a gleaming Silicon Valley techtopia. But it’s not always the flashiest gadget that has the most transformative effect when it comes to improving existing businesses and facilitating new ones. As our world becomes more connected and businesses and consumers start to really explore what that means, the internet of boxes might just be one of the most important developments of all in the transformation towards a fully-digital society.