The Internet of Products
I have a pet peeve. It’s 2017, I am 51 years old, I am what you would call a serial entrepreneur, We are in the middle of a tech revolution and yet, I still find myself struggling to read the stupid nutritional labels in almost every product sold at any supermarket, As a matter of fact, almost every label found in my own pantry is basically impossible to read by a normal human without special powers (except maybe for Cereal and other bigger packages), It gets worse if I dare to even try to look for a specific ingredient or a hint of an ingredient on the back of the package (Try doing that inside the store and see how that goes). It almost seems that CPG companies are in a race to the bottom by printing microscopically.
Unfortunately, The same goes in any Department store in every product you grab, from Nieman to Nordstrom Rack.
It happens in boutiques like the Gap or Zara, It happens at Costco or Sams Club, And it is not only labels and ingredients, It is also instructions and manuals, Like when you unbox an item from IKEA or look for the manual inside any electronic product at Best Buy. Not to mention the headaches anybody gets when trying to find out at The Home Depot if the screws are the right ones for the job or if a faucet will fit, It happens at CVS or Walgreens with OTC products and with Prescription meds, and this is where it gets very serious and very real since it is impossible to print on such small packages, so sometimes it is not even there! Consumers do not have all the information available to them before using the meds or products. Think indications and dosage, Side effects and drug interactions, Precautions, Warnings, Overdosage and contraindications and even medication guides for doctors and pharmacists.
Anyway, you get the idea. This problem is everywhere you look. And, I believe, It really pisses people off unnecessarily. Puts some people in unnecessary risk. And amazingly enough It can all go away with Technology!
This retail insanity has always annoyed me, but It started to really bug me about a year ago since one of my teenage daughters (My wife and I have triplets) decided to never eat gluten again -medical and parental opinions be damned- and since then this problem has been compounded forcing the serial entrepreneur in me to find a solution.
This solution would have to be Universal, Smartphone based and making use of Augmented Reality, Free for the user, Interactive, Small and affordable and easy to print for the retail suppliers and manufacturers and would have to be available to consumers throughout the lifecycle of each package of each product. It would have to be granular to the SKU level. It would have to allow for all types of content (3D animations, HD & 360 Videos, HD Images, etc.) so suppliers and manufacturers could promote, market and interact with each of their customers (a missing link still). It would also have to allow retailers to finally be fully interactive with their customers for ALL their products on display. In order to make it possible It would have to be formed as a for-profit Retail and CPG Industry Association allowing for specific health non-profit association participation too (Diabetes, Gluten, Pediatric, Cancer, Heart and others). This association should provide standards for all involved to adhere to. This platform would have to be cloud based, Scalable and full serviced, Secure and monitored so both Retailers and Suppliers would have peace of mind over the content served each and every time it is needed by its users.
I am happy to report that we found a way of providing this solution while complying with ALL of its requirements. It is ready and available now. Starting today in Mexico at amecora.com and next month in the USA at arws.us
We decided to call this platform The Internet of Products.
Hopefully my pet peeve goes away and most importantly all this effort bears fruit and helps others not only struggling with the same pet peeve but actually even saving lives by providing the correct information before the consumer makes bad decisions.
Oh, and One more Thing…
Pharma and OTC is where We believe our efforts are even more needed. Think indications and dosage, side effects and drug interactions, Precautions, Warnings, Overdosage and contraindications and even medication guides for doctors and pharmacists. My own father was the victim of a wrongly prescribed medication for his age which could have been prevented had He had the access to interaction information warnings straight from the package to his smartphone.
So, This is where it turned into a life mission for me, where, even if we save only one person from medication injury or death, then all this effort would be more than worth it. Pharmaceutical & OTC industry. Industry regulators. We are ready and willing. Let’s do this yesterday!
This one is big, but Technology is big too and can actually solve it. We understand the forces and inertia against this effort, We cannot do this alone, We need help and We need it now. We need people everywhere. Lots of them. Searching for a mission anyone? If so, Get on board! We are and will be hiring in both countries for now. Rest of the world coming up. So, No matter where you are from, Please go to our websites and register and contact us if you think you can help us get this done better or faster in any way shape or form.
The era of The Internet of Products has just begun!