Parisian fashion fragrance house Paco Rabanne has incorporated NFC technology into its latest men’s fragrance, Phantom. To give customers a new engagement experience. The NFC technology here is to give users automatic access to what the company calls a “phantom universe” digital world.
Paco Rabanne describes the “phantom universe” that. Customers enter through their smartphones as futuristic gaming experiences, music enjoyment and offers for reordering fragrances. The solution uses a Paragon ID inlay with ST’s ST25TV chip. And it is in the Phantom series cap by Faiveley Plast (VPI). FaiveleyPlast (VPI) provides injection molding, decoration and assembly of NFC-enabled caps.
Paco Rabanne’s Robot-Inspired Phantom Cologne
In 1966, Paco Labana, the Spanish fashion designer open this brand use his own name and offers luxury accessories and fragrances worldwide. Over the past few years, Pago has been looking for technological breakthroughs to develop a futuristic fragrance product, not only in how it looks, but also in how it interacts with users.
“Designing a futuristic theme for a new product that extends into the universe has been our dream for many years,” said Fabien Leclercq, packaging development manager at Paco Labana.
In early 2021, Paco Labana met with ST to discuss how to automatically connect its products to the digital world. “The Phantom collection takes users to a new dimension and opens the door to the digital world,” Leclerc said. The product is in a bottle of 100ml and 150ml. The smaller bottle doesn’t include NFC connectivity.
Giuliana Curro, Marketing and Business Development Manager at STMicroelectronics, said, “In early development work, STMicroelectronics worked with Paragon ID and Faiveley Plast to determine how to integrate NFC technology into challenging in the form factor design. We realized that NFC could be a key technology to expand their original idea and realize digital life. In this way, it is not just a static bottle, but a gateway to another world.”
However, this solution requires an efficient chip and antenna design small enough to fit on top of the spray cover.
The chosen technologies include NFC certified Type5 tag ICs. Corot says it provides reliable reading performance when the smartphone is in the general orientation above the cap. The contactless interface of the ST25TV complies with the ISO 15693 standard. ST25TV is NFC Forum certified, ensuring interoperability with all NFC-enabled smartphones.
Paragon ID offers a custom-design small antenna for small available space, an illuminate chrome bottle cap, smartphone or tablet. For consumers, bottle caps serve a variety of purposes.
VPI produces spray caps with built-in NFC technology. After VPI sends each bottle and cap to Paco Labana. Paco uses an NFC reader to confirm that each 13.56 MHz tag is working properly, then fills each robot-style bottle with Phantom perfume. There is a sign on the cap indicating where to lean on the phone. The product is in a box with instructions on how to access NFC content.
There is no need to download any app, users just need to lightly rest their Android phone or Apple iPhone against the cap. Then the NFC reader in the phone will get the ID number of the tag and prompt to open a URL. Initially, users will see a playlist of songs at the top of the charts on a day they can choose, such as their birthday. The system comes with a robot-shaped Instagram sticker so users can create selfies and post them on the social media platform.
Paco Labana reports that future functionality to continue to evolve. When a bottle of perfume runs out, users can use the system to reorder products. The company also focuses on sustainability, offering customers environmentally friendly product containers. That can refill robotic-shaped bottles. By tapping each tag on the NFC phone, they can watch a video showing how to refill the fragrance. The company intends to develop web services in-house.
The technology is easy to deploy, Leclerc said. Because the NFC tags are in the caps before they reach Paco Labana. This simplicity was also a key requirement for Paco Labana. Who wanted the technology to be simple to add to the manufacturing process.
The only change in the manufacturing process after Parco deployed the technology was to interrogate the label. Before they poured fragrance into the bottle to ensure the label was working properly.
Paco Labana said it will continue to expand the “Phantom Universe” concept to provide additional functions and entertainment. “It means expanding little by little,” Leclerc said. “The goal is to allow users of fragrances to find new content in the bottle itself over time. For now, it’s time to understand consumer feedback on NFC connectivity. Too early, although sales of this fragrance have been high. The technology does not capture data about where or when consume the perfume for analytical purposes. But that may be an option in the future. We can do more with it, it’s a good path to the future.”
The ST25TV, part of ST’s NFC and RFID tag ICs family. It offers multiple modes to protect tag access, including kill and untraceable modes. It also has digital signatures that can prove the origin of the chip for clone detection as well as tamper detection capabilities.
In addition, Colo said, ST has launched an initiative calls ST25Connect. Which enables brands such as Paco Labana to connect with all stakeholders in the value chain. And to add NFC to their final products. This includes luxury goods, wine and spirits, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, consumer packaging and apparel.