Hybrid media in packaging: Printelligence

Ulf Lindqvist, Maiju Aikala, Maija Federley, Liisa Hakola, Aino Mensonen, Pertti Moilanen, Anna Viljakainen, Mikko Laukkanen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Packages are expected to carry ever more information in a limited space. One solution is hybrid media, i.e., printing intelligent elements on packages. The aim of this study was to find the best way to produce additional business for the package value chain using existing technologies for hybrid media. The approach included a technology survey of 2D applications, interviews with industrial experts from the package value chain, two industrial case pilots with user studies and a study tour of forerunner companies in Japan. Hybrid media can offer benefits in the form of cost savings, new business opportunities, added value to existing business and increased customer loyalty to all players in the value chain. The available hybrid media technologies are 2D bar codes, digital watermarks, imge recognition, fibre matrix, RFID tags and magnetic codes. The pilot tests and user studies showed that additional hybrid media services should include detailed product data, recipes, nutrient requirements and user instructions, and match user demand. Obstacles to their use are cost and complexity, and the fact that they are time-consuming. In Japan, mobile barcodes are part of everyday life. They are well known to consumers and are used on a flat-rate basis. When they were introduced, they were based on consumers' needs, not on early profit. Today, it is a win-win situation with benefits for all the players in the value chain, and many traditional printers have created completely new service concepts for their customers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages52
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7488-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Working Papers


  • Hybrid media
  • packaging
  • 2D codes
  • printed functionality
  • value chain
  • business models
  • user study

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