Image via Coroflot
We love smart packaging design, especially when the packaging turns into something useful once the product is opened. With a new concept for iPod packaging, designer
Sverre Wiik Øberg came up with a box that no consumer in their right mind would throw out, mainly because they'd be throwing out the very thing that makes their new iPod function -- the charger. Going well beyond using recycled and recyclable materials, which are the usual nods to sustainability, Øberg designed a package that the consumer will keep for as long as they have the product itself.
The box protects the iPod during shipping, and once it arrives to the consumer, it becomes the charger. A strip of paper wrapped around the box that sports the barcode and product information is removed. A plug pops out of the back of the box and the user just plugs it right into the wall.
The problem, of course, is what protects the box/charger during shipping, since it needs to arrive to the user as a functioning electronic. That's the major hitch that will probably keep this idea in concept phase. But if it can somehow be designed so that the package protects both the charging components as well as the device during shipping, then voila! We have a winning idea for minimalist and multi-functional packaging.
Apple is not necessarily oblivious to this multi-functional packaging idea. The company has come up with an "active packaging" idea that is less than savory to anyone concerned about excess energy consumption and e-waste. The packaging would plug in to the racks at the store in order to keep the device charged while on the shelf; the devices could then receive firmware upgrades or be tested out by consumers before purchase.
Of the two packaging ideas, we definitely like Øberg's better.
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