Sensors integrated to everyday products, for instance a box container could help in determining the product condition, extend shelf life and prevent pilferage and counterfeiting, the entire "intelligence" can be contained within each box or each product packaging.
What we described is an example scenario, this is no longer a theory and has been used by many top brands in the world, including the liquor brand Johnny Walker that introduced a SMART bottle.
Yes, a smart bottle that tells you if it had been tampered with.
“the bottle uses near field communication (NFC) technology, integrated with labeling, to let consumers interact with the package using NFC-enabled smartphones.”
So why isn't such a technology a common practice for every other product at the risk of containment or adulteration?
Concept of Cost Per Product and Demand
When Microsoft was launched, it was one of the most pirated software in the world. In fact, many product developers would admit that there people of cracking codes before you can finish your morning coffee.
Besides, what could be easily replicated, copied on to a small disk or transmitted over the web, is more difficult to control. However, physical shipments - you name it - can be tagged and bagged securly.
Right from shipping to warehousing to logistic tracking to retail and post sales support, a SMART packaging technology could make a lot of difference to both the product manufacturer and to the loyal consumer.
Still, the cost of the product and cost packaging when included with technology, the cost to the consumer goes higher or eats in to operating margin, causing long term unsustainability.
This forces as reduction in demand for products that already being sold at very thin margins, with a typical retail product having 0.5% - 5% profit margins, the investment into protecting the product integrity somehow does not add up.
SMART systems carry the risk of increasing the cost of a product, thus, the ideal placement of SMART technologies are only found in high-end products, products that carry good margin and product that carry high-end clientele.
Rolling out SMART products
Is a decision that a Product owner needs to make when deciding on where and how they want to sell, be placed and to what degree of demand they'd want to address.
Today, the demand for secure, internet integrated product has increased in multitudes and so has the cost of manufacturing and integrating SMART products into the value chain.
Right sourcing, planning, manufacturing, assembly and distribution, product placement could make any product too unique for the competition to even matter.
Such products have the ability to disrupt market, gain high valuation and bring about significant change to world, both from business and societal point of view.