DNP, Digimarc, SATO and Monic Form "Shopping for the Future" Study Group

Driven by Digimarc Barcode(R)

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Digimarc Corporation
SATO Corporation
Monic Corporation

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), Digimarc Corporation (Digimarc), SATO Corporation (SATO) and Monic Corporation (Monic) are pleased to announce the launch of a study group related to "Shopping for the Future," and collaborative efforts between the partners aimed at creating a market in Japan.

Shopping for the Future is based on the Digimarc Barcode®, a digital watermark technology1 produced by Digimarc, of Beaverton, Oregon. By embedding the digital watermark throughout product packaging, it is possible to significantly boost the speed of barcode scanning at the cash register compared to existing systems. The new system also works without impacting package design. The partners will reach out to retailers, food and daily goods manufacturers, along with POS cash register manufacturers, with a view to expanding participation in the study group, and will promote market expansion activities.


In recent years, changes in the demographic composition of areas where companies do business, in line with the falling birth rate and greying of society, and the evolution of Information Communications Technology have fueled a change in consumer lifestyles and purchasing behavior in Japan. There is an increasing need for retail and distribution outlets to enhance product and service line-ups in response to the diversification in consumer needs, for omni-channel approaches that capitalize on all points of contact with consumers, including at real stores and via the internet, and the need for stores to discriminate themselves from other outlets. At the same time, staff shortages in store personnel, beginning with cash register operators, and surging labor costs are also an issue.

In this latest development, the partners will utilize the Digimarc Barcode® to explore the Shopping for the Future experience. This includes achieving significant improvements in scanning speed at the cash register as a result of embedding a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) 2, a GS1 key code, throughout the packaging. This will help reduce the number of cash register operators, and personnel costs, while also boosting consumer satisfaction.

At the same time, by linking the Digimarc Barcode® to smartphones, investigations will also be made, along with food and daily goods manufacturers, regarding new forms of communication between consumers and retailers.

[Digimarc Barcode®]  

Digimarc holds the license to Digimarc Barcode®, a digital watermarking technology, facilitating the embedding of optional information in packaging, seals and labels in the form of a GTIN GS1 key code that is imperceptible to the human eye. As a result, it is possible to read the barcode from any point on the product, allowing for higher speed, and more accurate scanning of barcode information compared to existing formats that are printed in only one location.

The Digimarc Barcode® can be used by installing dedicated software to existing POS cash registers, handy scanners or smartphones, and scanning product barcodes.

[Case Studies]

Significant improvements in scanning speed

The Digimarc Barcode® is embedded throughout the entire packaging, meaning significant improvements can be made in the area of barcode scanning speed compared to existing systems. And as the code is embedded on an imperceptible basis, none of the design features of the original packaging are impacted by its use.

New forms of communication between producers and consumers

Integrating dedicated software into consumer smartphones makes it possible to read the Digimarc Barcode® contents embedded in the underlying packaging. Doing so helps consumers view a variety of information that it was not possible to include with existing systems due to limited packaging space. This in turn works to increase direct communication channels between producers and consumers, including providing new product information and sales campaign news. It can also be used by retailers to issue coupons and other incentives as they look to develop and enclose customers.

[Shopping for the Future Study Group]

The partners have formed a study group regarding Shopping for the Future, and will serve as group leaders, while aiming for cooperation from retailers, along with food and daily goods manufacturers. Driven by Digimarc Barcode® digital watermark technology, the study group aims to create a market in Japan, in order to overcome the challenges faced by Japanese retailers and manufacturers, and develop innovations that produce a more convenient and pleasant shopping experience for consumers.

[Looking Ahead]

Through the activities of the Shopping for the Future study group, the partners will conduct field tests in FY 2016. Licensing activities and the provision of Software Development Kits targeting retailers and manufacturers of consumer goods will go ahead in FY 2018. Sales of 5.0 billion yen are targeted in FY 2020.


1: Digital Watermark Technology: A technology for the imperceptible embedment of optional data, such as images, audio and video.
2: GS1 key code GTIN: Internationally recognized product identification key, established by GS1, an organization promoting the design and implementation of global standards. Includes JAN codes.
* Digimarc Barcode® is the registered trademark of Digimarc Corporation.
* Other company and product names listed in this release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of those companies.
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.