The benefits of classic offline media and modern online applications in a single product – SaralNFC.
Printed Electronics simplified through InkTech – Saralon is providing Ink & production technology for sustainable electronics to enable print houses to produce interactive applications inhouse.
The combination of Printed Electronics with NFC technology can substantially lower the cost of products.
Contactless payment by smartphone is becoming increasingly popular during the corona pandemic. This is enabled by NFC (Near Field Communication) – a technology that can now be used in marketing and allows you to enhance your analogue products with digital features to create an unprecedented customer experience. It is a technological milestone for the marketing of physical products and other offline media.
With SaralNFC LightPaper, NFC-enabled smartphones trigger illuminating designs on paper and open specific links on their displays, e.g. online stores, surveys or social media profiles. No app is required.
With SaralNFC TouchPaper, touching various sensors within the paper triggers online content to be displayed on the device. One can integrate up to 9 links to websites, files, pictures, videos or even audio files. No app is required.
“It is challenging to convince the customers – the brand owners themselves or the agencies – of what is possible,” says Ajay Gandhi, MD, Kunal Enterprise. “It is not that easy to reach the brands. And when the path to the brand owner leads through an agency, you are faced with the task of presenting the technology and its possibilities in such a way that they fit into creative concepts that under circumstances already exist.”
Saralon’s core business is the development of functional inks for screen and flexographic printing systems. The manufacturer is currently focusing on the development of various solutions for interactive packaging and print media, as well as new types of light and NFC technologies. The abbreviation NFC stands for Near Field Communication; it is a data transmission standard. To illustrate the functions, Saralon has developed two approaches and is looking for partners, printing companies. These are the Saral NFC LightPaper and TouchPaper.
Saralon is looking for print shops as partners. The “print shop as partner” concept includes Saralon supplying the functional inks. At the same time, the company must guarantee a certain transfer of technology. Hence, it offers technical trainings. “Print shops should be able to use our new technologies to manufacture new products that are individually tailored to the customer and are therefore perceived as special in the market,” describes Ajay Gandhi.
The two approaches work in principle in the same way: If you put a NFC enabled smartphone on the sensor advertising spots or product, information appears on the display depending on what is stored on the sensor. While a digital link, for example a video, and a light design are automatically activated with the Saral NFC LightPaper, the TouchPaper also offers various printed buttons with which different content can be played. The sensor does not need batteries, and neither does an app.
Packaging, mailings, interactive cards and retail applications are the core target markets that Saralon is currently addressing. Brands are fighting more than ever for the attention of customers; they have been using high-quality papers and cardboard, special varnishes or embossing for this. So, you rely on the power of haptics, which has been proven to bring something. However, there is a risk that the success is too low because the competition is doing the same.
In autumn 2020 Saralon used its new SaralNFC technology for one customer who wanted some digital features to be added to their packaging. “The client was from tobacco industry where they have fewer advertising opportunities than other industries. Such a situation naturally forces you to take new measures. With this project the marketer hopes to bring the technology to the masses. The demand for special, high-quality packaging is great. By adding new interactive functionalities brands can engage and communicate through emotions, which is better with a video than with a photo in a brochure.
“Just remember that with the TouchPaper, a sales representative no longer has to lug around the 200-page catalogue, but can present more interactive content on the smartphone with a brochure to a lesser extent,” says Steve Paschky, CMO of Saralon.
The idea of being able to create e-learning documents goes in a completely different direction. One can fill print documents, with which one can certainly learn well, with digital content in the places where analogue is simply not enough. And if a video should be out of date, the sensors can be reprogrammed afterwards.
The two papers create a bridge between printed and digital world and address customers multisensory.
“It is also important that the SaralNFC technologies allow the level of awareness of campaigns to be measured. Classic post mailing cannot deliver that. And that in turn can convince customers. You have to develop new customer groups, even though it requires high effort technology and marketing as a team,” says Ajay Gandhi.
The impact of NFC technology is well known. Printed Electronics has the potential to amplify the impact of NFC on our daily lives. Saralon is working to simplify the production of NFC-related products so that printing companies can produce them using existing printing machines. With SaralNFC LightPaper, bringing a smartphone close to the paper can switch on light from paper and simultaneously open a weblink on the smartphone. Using SaralNFC TouchPaper, once a smartphone is placed on the paper, the paper becomes interactive, multiple weblinks can be opened by touching paper at predefined positions.