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If you ask for the most important goal in marketing, consumer engagement will definitely make it into the top ten. Respectively, smart devices for unique and personal shopping experiences are evolving at high-speed. The hang-tag, a packaging-classic, which will now be reinvented to provide an intelligent solution to consumer brand companies looking for an attention-capturing tool of the next level.

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Thinking and acting sustainably becomes more and more important for everyone – also for businesses and companies. Still, natural resources such as wood and oil are used for manufacturing processes. But did you know that there has been a revolution in the production of paper? With the aim to save forests and to reduce water usage, Times Bridge Management (TBM), in cooperation with Japan’s largest printing company Toppan Printing Co., has invented paper made out of Limestone, a material overlooked for a long time.

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Imagine this scenario: You are sitting in a nice restaurant, maybe celebrating your anniversary, maybe enjoying a long-planned evening with friends, but definitely looking forward to an exquisite meal. Then your food is being prepared by nothing less than … a printer. Dreams of the future?

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Innovative technologies and materials are creating new possibilities for the print packaging industry and resulting in the continuous development of this sector. To find out how our industry is going to evolve within the next years and to identify the upcoming key-trends on the global print packaging market, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany has conducted a joint comprehensive study.

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How do you know if the coffee in your to go mug is ready to drink without trying and maybe burning your lips? Do you have an idea if you can still eat the meat in your fridge even if the expiration date is already exceeded? Actual there is no practicable answer but nanotubes stamps could bring the solution! Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a stamping process that involves carbon nanotubes which might cost-effectively print electronic ink onto almost any surface – whether rigid or flexible.

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Big, bigger, The Box! Within the 3D printing industry, experts experiment with extremes such as printing on a nano scale or aim for big solutions. Especially in industrial 3D printing manufacturers are in need of printers, which can print large parts e.g. for trucks. Most industrial 3D printers are already able to print metal or resin, but not accurate when it comes to printing with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). But, in contrast to metal, FMD 3D printing can be scaled up to create big parts. This is what the Swedish startup BLB Industries uses in their The Box 3D printer – one of the biggest 3D printers in the world.

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It is official: Delhi is the city with the world’s worst air pollution. More and more people using vehicles, the continuing growth of industrial areas and various other reasons lead to an increasing amount of smog released into the air. That is why Graviky Labs, a spin-off group of MIT Media Lab, launched Air-Ink last year. This invention converts exhausted gases into ink.

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Shorter runs, faster cycle times, more customized textile-based products for home and fast fashion – the textile market poses enormous requirements to its players, demanding big-scale printing solutions. With its newly launched Tiger-1800B direct-to-textile printer, printer-and-ink-company Mimaki reacts to these and foresees a bright future for digital textile printing.

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The food industry presents some of the most demanding coding and marking challenges for food companies. During the printing process, which has to be efficient and reliable, codes on products do not only have to withstand extreme variations in temperatures. Color fastness, cleanliness and hygiene are also playing an important role when printing them. This is why the choice of the right coding system for labelling food products is essential.

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Lately, digital drawing and sketching is booming. Where paper and pen are no longer in use, tablets such as Surface, Wacom or iPad and their styluses are taking over. In creating experiences as close to the real as possible, producers face not only a common goal but also a common difficulty. Now reMarkable, the self-named paper tablet, enters the market.

Future Links CW 8 – Multichannel Edition

Omnichannel, multichannel, virtual and augmented reality – these terms become more and more important within a brand’s marketing strategy. This is why our weekly future links focus on developments in these areas – be it short-form shows for Snapchat and the Discover platform, Walmart’s omnichannel presence, Chick-fil-A’s new advertising campaign, an augmented reality effect for Facebook Stories or Lightvert’s ECHO technology.