Seeking Next Generation Consumables Identification and Recognition Capabilities

Background / Description

IPI is working with our Open Innovation partner from UK to seek the next generation of identification and recognition technologies for consumer product consumables.

The client is an established electronic device manufacturer serving the consumer market who wishes to provide intuitive and integrated consumable recognition capabilities for their products. Established brands in the pharmaceutical, consumer goods and luxury product markets are continually seeking ways to protect their products from counterfeits and in some cases, potentially damaging imitations of their products which if used, could be harmful to consumers. Additionally, with the increase in smart devices (including those with multiple consumable options), there is also a growing need for a device to ‘recognise’ the consumable (e.g. cartridge) and thereby allow specific settings to be used, without the need for input by the user.

Technical Specifications

The client is therefore searching for next generation identification technologies to incorporate into their devices to work with single use and/or multi-use consumables. The requirements of any potential solution include: -

  • High success rate (>95%) - tag and reader system allow the device to ‘recognise’ the consumable
  • Rapid / instantaneous recognition to allow immediate use in the device
  • Small form factor (smaller than 1cm x 1cm in size) for easy device/consumable integration
  • Orientation flexibility – i.e. tag can be recognised / registered in any orientation
  • Identify 50+ types of consumable to allow relevant settings to be used by the device
  • Very low power use – must be energy efficient
  • Repeatable use (1000’s of cycles) - reader should have minimum 12months use
  • Capability to be scaled for large scale manufacture (millions of units) within 12-18 months
  • Applicability to high-speed manufacturing / assembly lines
  • Low cost solution when deployed at mass manufacturing (less than 0.25 Euro cost per unit)
  • Immediate availability for demonstration, ensuring use with PoC / consumer testing

Relevant technologies could include:

  • RFID tags
  • NFC labels
  • 1-wire / multi-wire memory authenticators
  • Optical bar-codes
  • Thin film / flexible electronics
  • Non-electronic tags for improved end of life
    • molecular tags / particles
    • printable tags
    • sustainable / edible tags

Potential solutions could be used for:

  • Unique identity / signatures
  • Authentication
  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Quality assurance
  • Supply chain / asset tracking
  • Smart retail
  • IoT applications
  • Wearables
  • Identity management systems

The client is looking for new development and component suppliers to support their global sales efforts. This therefore represents an excellent business opportunity for an ongoing partnership with an established manufacturer. The client is also interested in engaging with small companies who have developed a technology platform that could benefit from additional resources (via the client’s corporate venturing arm) to support expediated scale up.

Preferred Business Model

  • Licensing
  • IP Acquisition
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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