Client News

2nd March 2018

The iconic barcode to become internet-ready

EVRYTHNG announces a QuickStart Online Tool for brands to connect consumer products to the Web with the standard GS1 identifier codes used in every barcode, enabling mass-scale direct-to-consumer smartphone interaction and supporting an industry-wide initiative to web-enable trillions of barcoded products.

EVRYTHNG, the leading digital identity and data management platform for consumer products and GS1 US Solution Partner, launched a QuickStart Online Tool for manufacturers and retailers to connect their products to the Web at mass scale using GS1 identifiers. The web-enablement of GS1 identifiers, used on trillions of consumer products every year, will enhance the role of the ubiquitous barcode with expanded functionality, connecting every consumer product to the World Wide Web and allowing one code or tag to support multiple applications, including smartphone interaction by consumers. As part of an industry-wide initiative, EVRYTHNG is working collaboratively with leading global consumer product brands, retailers, and other industry stakeholders to help define the next generation of digitised product codes.

GS1 develops and maintains the most widely-used supply chain standards that are fundamental to numerous enterprises around the world. The best-known symbol of GS1 standards is the barcode, named by the BBC as one of the 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy. Following a January 2018 GS1 public call to action with a mission objective that “GS1 identifiers will become linkable for the first time, enabling users to link to them or from them on the web”, EVRYTHNG Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Dr Dominique Guinard is co-chairing the GS1 URI working group, which is meeting on requirements and technical specifications in New York later this month.

Billions of iOS and Android smartphones can already read standard QR codes and NFC tags today. GS1’s call to action for the industry stated: “The short-term goal of this work is to reduce the need for multiple codes on packs, while ensuring that we develop a glide path with industry toward a future where a single 2D barcode could serve the needs of all parties.” A standardized approach to GS1 identifiers with web addresses will make it possible for the conventional 1D barcode that appears on trillions of products made each year to be updated to a single QR code or NFC tag, and which can automatically be read by smartphones to access digital services as well as being scannable by point-of-sale systems.

EVRYTHNG is a pioneer of the Internet of Things and provides a platform for managing the digital identities of billions of consumer products for global brands including Coca-Cola, LVMH, Johnson & Johnson, Diageo, and Unilever. EVRYTHNG’s Active Digital Identities™ provide the ‘cloud half’ for a consumer product, giving each item a web address, managing real-time data about the product, applying analytics and machine learning to drive supply chain and direct-to-consumer applications, as well as connecting with blockchains for transparency and authentication. EVRYTHNG is able to provide each product item with a unique web address using GS1 identifiers and an intelligent digital identity in the cloud to connect that product to the web and drive digital applications.

Brands can use the EVRYTHNG QuickStart Online Tool – released today at www.evrythng.com/gs1 – to create digital identities for their products at industrial scale using existing GS1 identifiers. The tool will generate web addresses for each product item and easily connect to digital applications such as providing dietary information on food and beverage products, mobile checkout for direct purchase of products, post-sale registration and reward, product authentication, and blockchain-backed provenance information.

Niall Murphy, CEO and co-founder at EVRYTHNG, said: “The ubiquitous barcode representing a GS1 identifier has served brands and retailers well for decades, scanned over 5 billion times a day around the world at points of sale. With billions of iOS and Android smartphones now enabled to automatically read and scan NFC and QR codes, the time is now for the GS1 global standard to become internet-enabled, connecting trillions of consumer products to the web. Millions of people already interact with proprietary smart codes from WeChat, Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, and others. A new standard for giving web addresses to products using GS1 identifiers, which we hope to see completed by mid-year 2018, will extend the value of the standard barcode, open products up for smartphone interaction, and make product digitisation accessible to everyone globally. We are at an inflection point that can see the world’s consumer products connecting to the Web at massive scale. Consumers benefit with access to richer product information and digital services on every product. Brands, retailers, and manufacturers are able to generate enormous efficiencies with data from and about their products throughout the lifecycle, and connect directly with their customers and consumers via their products.”

EVRYTHNG works in partnership with supply chain service providers and packaging partners – including WestRock and Crown in the food, beverage, and household goods sectors, and Avery Dennison RBIS in the footwear and apparel market – who together support the manufacture, tagging, and labelling of hundreds of billions of consumer products for many global brands. With the ability to produce products #BornDigital with digital identities embedded as they are made, brands and retailers can rapidly deploy digitised products at mass scale.

Francisco Melo, Vice President and General Manager, Global RFID, Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS), said: “A standard for GS1 identifiers with web addresses will make it possible for integrated QR code and RFID tags to deliver direct to consumer experiences like product information, mobile checkout and rewards with simple smartphone interaction alongside point-of-sale, authentication, supply chain tracking, and inventory management. This is extremely powerful for retail brands and it leverages the unique digital identity we are creating by RFID-enabling items at source or point of manufacture. Our #BornDigital partnership with EVRYTHNG makes possible web-connected GS1 identifiers with digital identities at full deployment scale for the apparel industry and other vertical markets.”

Uri Minkoff, Co-Founder & CEO, Rebecca Minkoff, said: “A single QR code with a GS1 identity for use by supply chain, point of sale systems, and our customers will enhance the #AlwaysOn range we launched in Fall 2017. We expect to reduce costs through simplification of the manufacturing and labeling process, aggregate data throughout our products’ lifecycle insights, and deliver a compelling RM experience post-purchase.”

Daniel Abramowicz, Executive Vice President – Corporate Technology and Regulatory Affairs, Crown Holdings, said: “GS1 identifiers with web addresses is an exciting development for consumer product companies as it connects a single, unique 2D code from a Crown-packaged product to a digital identity in the EVRYTHNG cloud. This enables brands to more easily deliver regulatory and product information, or memorable consumer experiences, all from the physical product, instantly accessible via smartphone. Our #BornDigital partnership with EVRYTHNG means the GS1 identifiers can be deployed with digital identities on the Web on a global scale.”

Peter Durette, President, Enterprise Solutions and Strategy, Westrock, said: “Global consumer product brands face the competitive necessity to build direct relationships with their consumers and to meet industry requirements for making product information easily available to consumers. GS1 identifiers connected to the Web and an intelligent digital identity in the cloud will provide enormous economies of scale, with one code on the product delivering information and services to the consumer, and supporting point of sale and supply chain applications. Through our #BornDigital partnership with EVRYTHNG, we’ve made it fast and simple for CPG companies to digitise their products with global scalability, connecting their products to the Web and making brand and product content available to any consumer via their smartphone.”

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