Avery Dennisons Janela Smart Products Platform is powered by Evrything technology

Avery Dennison's Janela Smart Products Platform is powered by Evrything technology

In what is being billed as the world's largest Internet of Things (IoT) deal to "switch on" the apparel and footwear industry, plans are underway to create unique item-level digital identities for 10bn products at the point of manufacture – providing new opportunities for consumer engagement and supply chain visibility.

The new initiative will see Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) assign individual, serialised digital identities and data profiles to products for some of the world's largest fashion and performance brands over the next three years, which can then be seamlessly connected to the Evrythng-powered Janela "smart products" cloud platform to deliver customised content to consumers and valuable analytics to brands. 

Avery Dennison already specialises in apparel and footwear branding, labelling and RFID solutions, and the new agreement will build so-called Active Digital Identities into products as they're manufactured through printed QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone, as well as near field communication (NFC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) smart tags.

This is the largest number of IoT-connected products in a single deal ever, the two companies believe.

Essentially, what it means is that these new digitised products will be able to interact with smartphones to trigger services that connect more intelligently with consumers.

For instance, brands can become more interactive, providing personalised, real-time mobile experiences and content for each individual consumer and each item of clothing. This might include unlocking personalised digital content, services, offers and extras; links to third-party apps for other rewards and benefits; or letting consumers use their smartphones to reorder products they like, find similar products that they may want to purchase, or access personal styling suggestions.

And products will also be smarter, using real-time data analytics to tackle problems like product authentication for better brand protection and increased efficiency in supply chains.

Data about product materials, manufacturing and distribution also has the potential to deliver total transparency to consumers about where a product came from and how it was made.

And recycling could become a lot easier for consumers and brands alike when a product can trigger specific information on what to do when it reaches its end-of-life, including how to upcycle for a second use or how to find the nearest recycling centre.

"We can make apparel and footwear products smarter and enable them to participate in digital applications and services, helping to drive new consumer experiences, protect brands' value, and provide supply chains with real-time analytics," explains Mitch Butier, Avery Dennison president and chief operating officer.