Packaging as a product

@loop

It seems like everything has been invented. At least most of the things we use on a daily basis. When was the last time we were so blown out of the water by a product that the whole world actually changed? I’m talking, man on the moon, origin of the internet, kind of monumental moments.

Doesn’t seemed to be very progressive as of late. Sure, no one has reinvented the wheel, but we have Squatty Potties. Soooo, the industry seems to be moving in a life-altering direction, right? (That was extremely sarcastic in case anyone thought otherwise)

Anyways. I’ve seen a slow increase of packaging-centric products enter the market within the past year. A beer company in Florida created six-pack rings that can be eaten by marine life. Chiquita now has a sticker that can be used to track where that individual banana came from all over the globe. A wine company created augmented reality (AR) bottle labels that features characters speaking to you:

Now, clearly the fruit and alcohol markets have stepped up their games. But what’s next? We don’t know. However, packaging is increasingly a more integral part of why a product is actually purchased or not. As sustainability becomes more and more important – especially to young consumers – we see companies allocating extra time to their packaging, and not just the contents.

QR codes “died” a few years back, but with the fairly new iOS11 update for Apple products, users can simply snap a picture on their camera and pull up a QR code’s information. Before this update, you’d have to subject yourself to ad-infested apps that essentially took up space on your home screen for only a 2 minute usage every few months. So, with the ease-of-access modernized, these simple yet effective coding mechanisms could revolutionize the new-wave of packaging to come.

I’m not saying edible beer can rings are equivalent to Facebook or the Spork (very revolutionizing, guys). But with things like this, we could be heading into a whole new product sector – taking the packaging and making it its own product. Check out the new Loop startup that just announced its eco-friendly platform for 2019. Packaging no longer has to be purely disposable, wasteful, and obsolete. Now that’s pretty world-changing.

Delivery Robots could be the cutest new tech idea of 2019

Image result for amazon robot delivery
@amazon

I love Amazon. I’ve used Prime for almost 6 years now, and even after my half-price student discount ends in the near future, I will continue to use it. A teacher of mine who is an avid book worm (he owns thousands of books, and I mean, thousands) told our class he saved almost $5,000 in the first year since getting his Prime account.

The mailing system in our country (and the world for that matter) still amazes me to this day. Yes, certain packages can take weeks to be delivered, and we’ve all had something disappear in the mail at one point or another. But 9 times out of 10, it’s within a few days (in the case of Prime, only 2!) that something – even from across the country – gets to your door.

When you think about how the first few years of the postal service were serviced with horse and buggy, it’s mind-boggling to think of the millions of letters, parcels, packages, and more that are all delivered each day. And not to mention the data the average consumer can get their hands on nowadays. With the Delta app, I get a notification when my suitcase is loaded onto the plane. I know that’s a little different than your average delivery, but with a simple tracking number, I can see one of my packages being delivered tomorrow only has 12 stops until it gets to my apartment building. How is that not crazy incredible?!

I hear people complain about having a shipping confirmation tell them it’ll take 3 days for their order to get to them. 3 DAYS?? C’mon that’s nothing. I understand there are things you can’t wait for, or maybe even need ASAP, but 3 days. The amount of infrastructure, organization of people and places, etc. to get you that fidget spinner you have. to. have. right. this. minute. Give me a break.

So, after this brief gush about one of the modern marvels of the world, let’s insert the latest of the greatest technology (that’s not the saying, but oh well). Amazon is now testing delivery bots. Now, they are completely adorable. And quite honestly I’d love to get a delivery from one of these lil guys; but they do look pretty…dopy. Here’s a short video:

Amazon just started testing these buggers about a month ago. But, Door Dash – a food delivery service from restaurant to home – has been doing research and development of this since early 2017. I honestly haven’t heard much about it, even though this Buzzfeed video had more than 8.7 million views. Guess I’m out of the loop. This short video actually shows the articulation of the three wheels (it’s actually pretty wild!) over curbs, and the camera and sensor systems in place.

Now, my main critique of such a service was actually the possibility of theft. Not necessarily the food (although that would be terribly unfortunate for any hungry person waiting anxiously) but rather the bot itself. One of the Door Dash techs said that they are coming up with ways to deter the thefts however. So the video above kind of debunks my short-lived theory.

I will say, stealing and damaging property were some of the things I thought would ultimately destroy the city scooter phenomenon (back in Portland last year, and now Detroit). But all of the scooter companies seem to be doing great, with most, if not all, of their assets still up and running to this day.

I have to say, I’m kind of excited to see what happens with this. The next revolution of delivery is heating up people! If only Paul Revere could see us now.