Agile Innovation Update – March 2015

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds Agile Innovation Update. This month we’re looking at Diageo’s ‘smart bottle’, Samsung’s answer to Apple Pay and a new patent Amazon has filed for 3D printing on the go.

Diageo unveils a ‘smart bottle’ that sends marketing messages to customers

Drinks brand Diageo has unveiled a prototype ‘smart bottle’, for its Johnnie Walker brand. Showcased at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the smart bottle will enable Johnnie Walker to send target marketing messages to customers – scanning the bottle with a smartphone will allow consumers to access advertising, offers and tailored content such as cocktail recipes. The technology will also allow the brand to monitor the bottles through the entire supply chain, in-store and at the point of consumption. Although this type of smart packaging is still in its early stages, it may have interesting implications for research. Could this be the next in a generation of digital insight tools that enable brands to gain feedback on products both in-store and at home?

Samsung to take on Apple Pay with its own mobile payment system

Samsung was another brand making waves at last week’s Mobile World Congress where the tech company announced plans for its own mobile payments offer: Samsung Pay. Like rival Apple Pay, Samsung’s mobile payment service works using NFC technology. But what’s most exciting is that it’s also compatible with older magnetic-stripe card terminals, and therefore doesn’t rely on merchants introducing contactless-enabled point of sale terminals before the service can be adopted. Neither Apple Pay nor Samsung Pay is available to British customers yet, but with the major mobile phone manufacturers trialling these services in the US, it won’t be long until mobile payments come to the UK.

Amazon files patent for 3D printing on the go

E-commerce giant Amazon continues to cement its position at the leading-edge of innovation with news that it has submitted a patent for 3D printing on the go. The patent documents describe a technology that would see customer orders trigger an automated process to 3D print and deliver products, even going so far as to print products inside the delivery truck. Whilst it may be some time until this comes to fruition, it raises interesting questions about the changing nature of the product development process. Rising consumer expectations, emerging disruptors and the fast-moving nature of the external environment have already forced brands to reduce the amount of time it takes to get products to market – which only looks to be accelerated further through technology such as 3D printing.