Connecting Physical Objects to the Digital World

Posted by Bill Cummings, SVP - Corporate Communications on Jan 5, 2017 2:57:46 PM

Adweek posted an interesting article this week focused on inventors and ad agencies and how these groups are shaping the Internet of Things.

In the article “How Inventors and Ad Agencies Are Starting to Shape the Internet of Things' Next Phase: Tinkering With the Future”, Marty Swant comments on how “The digital world's rapid interweaving with the physical world is forcing tech companies and ad agencies to constantly bone up on the massive landscape of big data.”

Thinfilm firmly embraces the concept of connecting physical objects to the digital world. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we will be demonstrating connected items such as smart beer bottles and smart medical devices.

Thinfilm’s smart beer bottles and smart medical devices feature unique NFC tags – SpeedTap™ and OpenSense™. The smartphone-readable tags integrate with cloud-based software, helping to create a direct connection between brands and consumers that effectively disintermediates platforms such as Facebook and Amazon.

In addition to the demonstrations, Erwan Le Roy, Thinfilm’s EVP Business Development & GM NFC Solutions and Smart Sensor Products, will be speaking during an OE-A panel session called“Printed Electronics: Key Enabling Technology for IoT”on January 6, 2017 at 1:00p.m. (LVCC , North Hall, N264).

Contact us to see a demonstration.

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Topics: NFC, consumer engagement, mobile marketing, physical-to-digital, consumer electronics show, ad agency, disintermediation, CES, IoT

Can Mobile Connectivity Improve Patient Outcomes?

Posted by Matt Bright, Sr. Director, Technical Marketing on Oct 24, 2016 6:59:05 AM

Whether undergoing treatment for a short-term illness or a chronic condition, one of the most common causes of poor patient-outcomes is the lack of adherence to a therapy regimen.  Patients often do not take medication as directed, so what can be done to ensure that patients take the right dose of the right medication at the right time?

Adherence has long been an issue for prescription medications and should be a concern for over-the-counter (OTC) remedies as well.  

The consequences of non-adherence are significant in terms of patient outcomes.  The U.S.-based Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI) estimates the impact of poor or non-adherence as follows:

- 17% increase in Emergency Room visits and a 10% increase in hospital stays, especially among patients with diabetes, asthma, or chronic gastric disorders

- 50% or more of hospital readmissions are medication related

- 125,000 mortalities annually due to poor medication adherence

In an environment of increasing attention to health care expenses, non-adherence is estimated to cost the U.S. health care system between $100-289 billion every year.

And now, as fee-for-service models are replaced by value-based healthcare and outcome-based payments, adherence management stands out as an opportunity for insurance companies, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies to improve patient care while reducing the overall cost to the system.

Work is underway on a variety of systems to improve adherence, and enhanced patient engagement has already been proven to be effective. A recent study from the National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA) shows that engaged patients are 2.57 times more likely to adhere to medication plans.

Today, pharmaceutical brands and health care providers can leverage an innovative technology to effectively keep patients engaged and informed.  Thinfilm’s NFC solutions – including SpeedTap™ and OpenSense™ tags – are thin, flexible NFC labels that can easily be integrated into primary/secondary packaging, pill bottles, and other containers, making those packages instantly interactive through NFC-enabled smartphones. NFC tags can also enhance patient engagement when integrated into medical devices, such as the YpsoMate® Smart auto-injector pen.  

The simple touch of an NFC-enabled smartphone to a uniquely identifiable NFC tag triggers a digital lookup that can display – on the patient’s own smartphone or one provided as part of an adherence program – up-to-date information about product usage, dosages, ingredients, safety recalls, and other critical data.

The same touch of the smartphone can trigger a digital compliance log that can help patients remember to take the right medication, at the right dose, at the right time. In addition, the patient can have the option to share information with their health care provider and the pharmaceutical manufacturer, as appropriate. 

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Topics: NFC, pharmaceutical, packagong

NFC: A Perfect Mobile Technology for Millennials

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How can bringing intelligence and connectivity to everyday objects influence millennials’ purchasing decisions? And how is a smartphone able to build brand loyalty within this influential demographic?  

The answers are evident when you consider what millennials want in terms of a purchasing experience or brand interaction.

For one thing, an appealing brand story is often a key component of a marketing-to-millennials strategy.  When properly presented, it helps create an engaging experience and establishes an emotional connection with the consumer.

Millennials also want to feel good about the products they purchase. This extends beyond the brand story and touches upon more practical product attributes, such as how it was made, what ingredients it contains, where it was grown, when it was harvested, and the manner in which it was shipped. 

And let’s not forget – with millennials, instant gratification is a primary driver. They want immediate and seamless access to information and they want it on their own terms.

NFC – near field communication – is an ideal technology that meets virtually all of these millennial-centric needs. The technology rests in the hands of nearly every millennial with a smartphone, and year-over-year growth of NFC mobile users has averaged over 112% since 2013.

Plus, NFC provides direct communications between a brand/manufacturer and millennials, after the purchase, not just in pre-sale. The interaction is much less intrusive than Bluetooth or iBeacons, and is easier to use and faster than QR codes – as much as 15 times faster

Tapping a smartphone to an object that has an NFC tag can instantly serve up a promotional offer, peer-generated product reviews, loyalty incentives, or the means to easily share info with friends via social channels – catering to millennial wants and influencing their mobile purchasing experience and decisions.

Through both browser- and app-based mobile experiences, millennial consumers can be immediately directed to relevant information about how to use, prepare, and better appreciate the products being tapped. They can also learn more about product lineage, contribute to a brand’s charitable cause, or instantly reorder a product – all without sorting through search engine results or navigating complicated websites. 

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Topics: NFC, OpenSense, consumer engagement, millennial, mobile marketing

NFC: Ideal for brands seeking seamless mobile experiences and item-level analytics

Posted by Matt Bright, Sr. Director, Technical Marketing on Sep 6, 2016 11:06:35 AM

What is "reality" in an omnichannel world?

We live in the physical world. Yet consumers spend much of their time online, primarily using mobile devices.

Brands and retailers seeking to connect with consumers in both the physical and virtual world are shifting to omnichannel commerce. 

A successful, personalized omnichannel marketing campaign can help brand owners connect with their customers and increase their understanding of buyer behavior throughout a product’s lifetime.

Several technologies have emerged as channel options to deliver consumer experiences that bridge the gap between the real and virtual world.  

Which technology is best for you?

For brands seeking a seamless mobile experience and item-level analytics,  NFC technology is a revolutionary tool. NFC facilitates a continuous dialogue with consumers – before and after-purchase - creating new engagement opportunities within the shopper’s journey.

With NFC, marketers can identify and target individual consumers with context-aware experiences that drive satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.

Thinfilm’s NFC technologies can bring packaging and products to life by adding easy-to-use smartphone interactivity with the simple application of an affordable pressure-sensitive label.

Learn more about how Thinfilm's solutions are able to provide contextualized and relevant messaging throughout the consumer’s shopping journey.  Understand how these interactions will foster deeper brand loyalty and drive repurchase intent while collecting valuable analytics.

Register for "Raising the Bar for Omnichannel Commerce", a Mobile Marketing Association webinar taking place October 13, 2016. 

 

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Topics: NFC, OpenSense, consumer engagement, omnichannel, mobile marketing

Quality Management Systems Enhance Global Competitiveness

Posted by Henrik Sjöberg, Sr. Vice President Product Management on Oct 26, 2015 12:43:00 PM

After a concerted effort by our Quality Management team and the entire Thinfilm organization, I am very proud to report that Thin Film Electronics has received “ISO 9001 Certification.” Our certificate is applicable to sales, technology development, product development and production of electronics by printing.

Compliance to ISO 9001 is a major milestone in Thinfilm’s transition from research and development to design and manufacturing.  The Quality Management System (QMS) we have put in place encompasses manufacturing and assembly of printed electronics and will help us optimize existing processes and provide a framework for continuous improvement. 

Alignment of procedures across our global organization improves Thinfilm’s ability to deliver high quality products and services to our customers.  Furthermore, the establishment of Thinfilm’s QMS has helped us formulate the company’s vision and mission to innovate within the printed electronics industry. 

ISO 9001 certification validates the integrity of our QMS and serves to enhance our competitiveness in the global marketplace. 

 

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Topics: NFC, printed electronics

FlexTech Alliance Awarded $75 Million to Advance Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Posted by Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer on Sep 2, 2015 10:01:48 AM

Congratulations to FlexTech Alliance for receiving a $75 million Department of Defense award to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The new institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program (NNMI), an initiative of the Obama Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S.FHEMII

As Chairman of the Board of FlexTech and a longtime member of the organization, I have seen first-hand how the Alliance has built a successful track record of facilitating collaboration and advancing technologies from R&D to commercialization.

The new Institute, guided by FlexTech, will impact markets beyond defense. Developing an infrastructure for flexible electronics will spur growth in other industries that benefit from electronics that are fabricated on a thin and flexible form factor.

Flexible electronics are already re-shaping multiple markets. For example, we’ve been experiencing increased demand for flexible electronic labels that dynamically sense temperature excursions and help preserve perishable medicine or foods. We also see tremendous interest in wireless NFC tags that allow consumers to communicate with products and help connect the physical and digital worlds.  

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Topics: NFC, printed electronics

How Can “Smart Bottles” Confront Counterfeits … and Improve the Consumer Experience?

In the wine industry – particularly in Asia – counterfeit wine is sadly almost common. According to recent reports, 50-70 percent of wine sold in China is potentially a counterfeit. For premium brand wines, this percentage could be higher.

But what if a connected “smart bottle", that communicated with your smartphone, could tell you if that bottle of wine you’re about to purchase has been illegally refilled, is an all-out fake, or is actually the real thing … among other pieces of information about the bottle's content?  

At Mobile World Congress Shanghai on July 15-17, Thinfilm demonstrated how smart technology can provide a solution to check the authenticity of wine bottles across the supply chain and directly to consumers.

The smart bottle concept – featuring Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense™ technology – can monitor individual bottles that are packaged, shipped, stocked and purchased in their original factory-sealed state. After unveiling the industry's first "smart wine bottle" made with printed electronics at the show, Thinfilm is now executing a live field trial in collaboration with G World and Ferngrove Wine Group. 

In addition to OpenSense’s ability to provide authenticity checks, those who visited our booth for demonstrations were excited to see that our smart technology could also give consumers visibility into product lineage. While authentication of a product’s originality is critical, consumer engagement is now weighed in as a factor when brand owners calculate ROI for such solutions.

Consumers are expressing increased concerns about the way their food, beverages, health and beauty products are grown, harvested, and produced.  Having access to brand information before (and after) a purchase is a valuable way for consumers to learn about their product’s ingredients, manufacturing process, and environmental friendliness.

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Topics: NFC, OpenSense, anti-counterfeiting, consumer engagement

Thinfilm’s NFC Technology - Changing the way consumers, products and brand owners interact

Posted by Kai Leppanen, Chief Commercial Officer on Jun 10, 2015 6:17:14 PM

In the first quarter of 2015, Thinfilm introduced NFC OpenSenseTM, a new near field communication (NFC) sensor tag technology. NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible tags that can detect a product’s sealed and open states and wirelessly communicate content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone or device.

In the same time frame, we unveiled the Johnnie Walker Blue Label® “smart bottle” with Diageo and showcased it at Mobile World Congress 2015. The connected “smart bottle” will allow Diageo to send personalized communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones both before and after opening the bottle.

We are now excited to be partnering with additional leading companies in our efforts to bridge the physical and digital worlds and make everyday items smart. We recently signed several agreements with global leaders in the spirits, tobacco, and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries for demonstration systems featuring Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense product.

These agreements fortify our vision to fundamentally change the way consumers, products and brand owners all interact.

In addition to these commercial agreements, we are teaming up with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to combat global counterfeiting issues. Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense and NFC BarcodeTM products will be the first NFC-based solutions to be included in the WCO’s IPM anti-counterfeiting tool.

Because Thinfilm’s tags contain unique identifiers, it is possible to track products at the individual-item level.  Customs officers will be able to immediately verify the authenticity of products with the wave of an NFC-enabled smartphone, tablet or industrial reading device.

Come learn more about NFC OpenSense and other Thinfilm products at one of these upcoming events.

HBA Global, Health & Beauty America 
June 9-11, 2015, New York, NYThinfilm will be presenting during the Internet of Things conference session.

Cardware 2015 – Payment & Digital ID Insights
June 16-17, 2015, Niagara Falls, Canada
See our presentation “Taking NFC Beyond Payments: New business models enabled by item-level intelligence”.

Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015
July 15-17, 2015, Shanghai, China
Thinfilm is showcasing NFC OpenSense inside the “GSMA Innovation City” exhibition area.

 

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Topics: NFC, OpenSense, world customs organization

Thinfilm demonstrates how printed electronics will help build the Internet of Everything

Posted by Dr. Davor Sutija, CEO - Thinfilm on Apr 15, 2015 2:08:00 PM

This week, Thinfilm will be demonstrating how printed electronics will help build the Internet of Everything.OpenSense_Pure_Elegance

Predictions abound that, over the coming decade, tens of billions of objects - perhaps even hundreds of billions of objects – will become part of the expanding “Internet of Everything”.

The question is no longer whether this will likely occur, but rather, what will this emerging landscape look like? While a good deal of the discussion so far has centered on the types of networks carrying information from these billions of endpoints to the cloud, and the Big Data applications that will mine and analyze this trove, much less has been written about how these ubiquitous endpoints will communicate, and what they will look like.

Conventional electronics are unlikely to be able to scale sufficiently to get to where companies like IBM and Cisco expect the world to be by no later than 2021. Many analysts are beginning to look elsewhere, and a growing consensus now predicts that printed electronics will be a key element in scaling and expanding the range of objects that will soon become “smart”. 

These disposable and wearable products may not need to be as smart as more expensive conventional electronic devices, but they will be performant enough to detect changes in the environment such as temperature, humidity, and other variables, while also helping the consumer determine that products are authentic and have not been compromised.

For brand owners, the expectation that smart objects can engage consumers provides new modes of how to market to the long tail, clustering users into more precise demographics and categories, and approaching the previously unattainable goal of interacting individually with each consumer - the proverbial “market of one”.

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Topics: NFC

Mobile 360 Europe Roundup - Connectivity and the IoT

Posted by Kai Leppanen, Chief Commercial Officer on Dec 18, 2014 5:13:00 PM

This December, Thinfilm was invited to participate in Mobile 360 Europe, in Brussels. The conference brought together industry and policy leaders to explore the opportunities mobile communications provide. Some of the most significant discussions centered on expanding the capabilities of mobile.

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Topics: NFC

About Thinfilm Thoughts

Thinfilm Thoughts is the blog for Thinfilm Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”). The postings published here present our opinions and thought leadership views regarding printed electronics technology and products, the printed electronics industry, and the role that printed electronics will play in powering the Internet of Everything.