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High-tech packaging making products more appealing for consumers

June 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
From Band-Aids that project videos of your favorite characters to Legos that let you see how all the bricks look put together, marketers are putting technology to the test on product packaging.

"You can see the action figure moving around before you buy it," said Scott Stein, a senior editor at CNET.com. "We're also seeing it on food products that can pop out and show you recipes or ideas that links to other websites."

They're using augmented reality. That's where an object appears to come to life using a special app and your smartphone's screen. You just hold the phone over a certain point or label on the product andyou find out more details about products.

"So it will look three-dimensional and it will look like it's on that piece of paper or on that product, but it's only being held on your phone," Steins aid.

We've seen augmented reality in products before, but the packaging?

"We know a lot of package is designed to create the sale," said Ron Hill, a marketing professor.

The leading sectors trying the trend so far include autos, food and entertainment, especially toys. It's all about adding value to the product for the consumer, and ultimately securing the sale. Sometimes to keep track of that sale as well.

Not everyone is completely sold on the new tech trend.

"It may seem confusing and it may seem cooler than it actually is," Stein said.

Marketers like that they're engaging potential customers. But what is the customer payoff for their extra work?

"It may just be animation that says hello or an animation of a model you're going to create," Stein said.

Either way, marketing gurus say you will be seeing more and more of it in the future. And here's another added bonus: sometimes these special apps can reveal extra savings before you make a purchase.


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