Avery Dennison Experience Center Aims to Encourage Innovation

The company's new I.Lab is intended to put RFID and other Internet of Things technologies in front of users and developers, while also serving as a source for creating new solutions based on their ideas and questions.
By Claire Swedberg

"We've created a unique space," Melo says, "where we can allow companies to see the things that are available, while we can also change that space" as technology evolves. That means if customer or partner needs change, the displays and demonstrations at the center can work to accommodate customer needs.

The center features two main components: One area covers supply chain-based technology with a printing, encoding and tagging area for source tagging, as well as a tunnel and pallet or trolley fixed reader for logistics purposes. The second feature involves retail, including a store area to simulate the retail market for apparel and general merchandise.

Avery Dennison's Francisco Melo
The store area includes RFID-enabled EAS technology, a POS system, a handheld reader for stock-taking, a smart mirror and wide-area readers for hands-free inventory management. It also features a consumer-facing display that employs Avery Dennison's Janela solution, powered by the company's EVRYTHNG Smart Products Platform, to allow consumers to interact with products using their phone. In this scenario, they can employ NFC technology built into Android phones, or a 2D bar code as an alternative with any phone, to access data about a product, which can be enabled both for those shopping at a store, or for customers who have already brought a product home and want to continue engaging with it digitally.

The center will feature all of Avery Dennison's most recent portfolio of inlays, Melo says, and will utilize RFID readers from a variety of vendors. In some cases, he notes, businesses will require the testing of a system with a specific type of reader, which would vary from one company to another.

Avery Dennison expects to gain two benefits from the I.Lab, Melo reports. "We hope it will serve as a support to accelerate adoption in spaces where RFID is already growing," he says, such as retail apparel. Secondly, however, "We are hoping to encourage brands, retailers and companies to explore new spaces." That could include managing temperatures for the cold supply chain or supermarkets to prevent food waste, or tracking parts or baggage for the aviation sector. "We have technology that serves as a base enabler," Melo states. "We want to work very closely with companies to help them be as effective as they can."

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