Industry News

WestRock’s Multi Packaging Solutions is ‘Talking Packs’

December 2017: Multi Packaging Solutions, (MPS), a business of WestRock Company and a leader in value-added print and packaging solutions for the healthcare, branded consumer and multi-media markets, in partnership with Smartglyph, a UK technology business, can now offer customers the ability to allow their packs to ‘talk’ to the consumer.

The ‘talking packs’ feature a SmarterBarcode that transforms a standard barcode on any product or packaging format into a two-way interactive communications channel with no changes to the pack. This allows consumers to interact with a brand and product by simply scanning the standard barcode on the product with any mobile device that has a camera.

SmarterBarcodes, requiring no battery, power source or changes to existing artwork or pack, can convey an array of information by sound to both inform and alert the consumer about a particular aspect of a product. Carol Hammond, VP Innovation – Europe, with Multi Packaging Solutions of WestRock, said:  “Once an activated barcode has been scanned it has the ability to educate, advertise or provide a warning depending on what’s required. The instructions on medicines, for example, can be complex and some patients find them difficult to understand especially those with visual impairments. It is now possible to include an audio message to state the name of a brand of medicine, detail on its use or simply the number of tablets a pack contains. Equally, product warnings such as the inclusion of nuts [or ingredients with a high sugar or fat content] can be clearly and easily communicated. The unique benefit of SmarterBarcodes is that a ‘talking’ message is now economically viable and cost-effective even on low-value products. As well as a negligible cost, the information can be accessed by phone in the relevant local language.”

SmarterBarcodes from Smartglyph and MPS is a multi-lingual product and whatever language the consumer has chosen on their phone, that language will be used to communicate. This provides the ability to run a marketing campaign over multiple geographies.  SmarterBarcodes enables a short sound-bite to be played providing a unique opportunity to interact with the consumer. SmarterBarcodes also allow a consumer access to enhanced product information such as videos, discount coupons and competitions or promotions and games.

“The pack’s ability to convey specific product information will be a major support for many brands,” continued Carol. “The technology also allows different ways of communicating information that is exciting and fun helping to add a personality to the brand.”

Try it…just download the Smartglyph app from the Apple or Google Play Store and scan the barcode below for an interactive demonstration.

The demonstration will be in the same language selected on your phone - English, German, Spanish or French.

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at