Italian printing organization StampaSud S.p.a. has launched a new intelligent print and packaging innovation through SmartLab, the labelling division of its packaging operation.

The innovation is called StampaTech, and it is designed to allow consumers and users to access a virtually unlimited amount of information ranging from branding and marketing materials to product origins, as well as track and trace capabilities, all triggered from the packaging printing.

Speaking about the revolutionary new product innovation, StampaSud Commercial and R&D Director Tony Calo states, “We wanted something that allowed digital systems to work at 360° on a platform of print that is in reality the basis for most communication. There was currently nothing in the market that had the ability to do this how we felt it was needed, so we built one ourselves. Now, thanks to our innovative technology, branders, manufacturers and printers and not least end users and consumers now have a brand new dimension on packaging, from which they can retrieve a wealth of information.”

To use the StampaTech service, a consumer needs to download an accompanying mobile application that supports the technology being used. They scan just about any part of the packaging to be redirected to a platform that houses the information, ranging from marketing materials to product origins and freshness indications.

“A consumer sees nothing on the packaging and the information available to them could be anything; it’s unlimited and determined by the company issuing the product," says Calo.

“The process is very simple and uses a technology that can be accessed by anybody. It’s not NFC, it is much simpler than NFC, and it’s not QR code; I think QR codes are limited and very ugly. It supports both iOS and Android and is very straightforward; we can’t disclose too much information regarding the technology used at this point but it’s a mix of digital and special print technologies.”

The company is also using GPS tracking; this enables the company’s database to monitor a product from when it is dispatched until it is received by the end user and also allows manufacturers to find out information such as where in the world a consumer is scanning a company’s product, and when and how many people have scanned it. 

The marketing functions are designed to allow monitoring of client interest and satisfaction as well as upsell and cross sell, recommendations and social sharing of product information and full analytical and cloud services.

The SmartLab innovation is intended as a green, less expensive and involves no secondary elaboration compared to RFID or security tagging solutions, and is reportedl more interactive and enlivened than NFC or QR codes but can be incorporated with these technologies if needed.

The system has been devised with packaging specifically in mind but is adaptable to all forms of print and the introductory package with marketing and track and trace facilities will be free to branding and marketing organisations who register before 2014.