Unlike other types of printed codes, the new technology, called NaviLens, includes high contrasting coloured squares on a black background. Users do not need to know exactly where the code is located to scan it. It allows smartphones to pick up the on-pack code from up to three metres distance when a blind or partially sighted shopper points their device in the direction of the cereal box.
This then alerts the phone, and the shopper can choose to have the ingredients, allergen and recycling information read aloud to them – as well as reading it on their device using accessibility tools.
The technology is currently used across Barcelona, Madrid and Murcia city’s transport systems, making the cities easier to navigate for thousands of visually impaired citizens.
Marc Powell, strategic accessibility lead at RNIB, said: “This announcement from Kellogg’s is a real game-changer within the packaging world. It marks a significant step-change in how big brands can put accessibility at the forefront of design and packaging decisions and be a catalyst for change.
“Important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult or impossible for people with sight loss to read. Changes like this can provide blind and partially sighted people with vital information for the very first time, giving us the same freedom, independence and choice as sighted customers.
“Designing packaging so that it works for everyone makes complete sense and we hope that other brands will follow Kellogg’s lead in making packaging information more accessible.”