Energy efficiency is a key design driver in everything from smartphones to cars, and from dishwashers to houses. And an experimental solar-powered house, designed by Valencia’s Cardinal Herrera University and sponsored by Omron, has shown just how far it is possible to go with energy efficient buildings. It was created for the 2010 Solar Decathlon
New packaging materials are not only more sustainable but also smarter. Near field communication (NFC) allows brand owners to communicate with their customers as well. It is predicted that this application will be widespread within a couple of years.
NFC can be regarded as the successor to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which can identify an object by means of radio signals. The chip can be placed inside objects and contains an identification code that can be read remotely. In contrast to RFID, NFC can communicate in several directions at once and process information independently.
In combination with a mobile telephone, this two-sided communication presents manifold possibilities. By adding an NFC chip to the packaging, the product can connect to the Internet through the phone. This enables brand owners to communicate with their customers.
The NFC chip gives packaging and graphic products an additional function, namely that of two-sided communication medium. The consumer is provided with information on the product and the authenticity of the product is confirmed. In the consumer goods industry the possibilities for using this NFC chip are nigh on unlimited. Those taking medication, for example, can be put in direct contact with the manufacturer and read additional information about the medication.
According to experts, NFC is the future, signifying the third technological revolution after the advent of the PC and the Internet. For the time being, the technology is still in its infancy, because few telephones are equipped with NFC. Google and Nokia anticipate that from 2014 it will no longer be possible to imagine life without the technology.