A PACKAGING company that is behind a product which allows consumers to control the taste of soft drinks is furthering its high-tech credentials by announcing plans to develop moving labels for bottles.
Over the past three years, Gateshead-based entrepreneur Amrik Pannu has been developing his Mixicap bottle system, which allow users to add flavourings to their drinks at the touch of a button.
The system will be primarily targeted at the water market and will allow people to add flavourings, sugar and even vitamins and minerals, to their drink after purchase.
The cap, which is planned to go to market this year, will house the additives in both a liquid and soluble form and will even allow consumers to choose how strong they want the taste to be.
Mr Pannu said he was in talks with a major high street retailer to help launch the cap later this year, as well as drinks manufacturers that are keen to purchase the patented molding machines used to make them.
In addition to the caps, the entrepreneur is also planning to move into the area of printed electronics, which he believes will become a billion pound industry by the end of the decade.
He is currently drawing up a business plan to help attract investment, which he will use to develop the technology for consumer use as well as seek cheaper materials to ensure that the the business is cost effective, with many of the components used in printed electronics made up of precious metals including gold.
Mr Pannu, who hopes to secure a second tranche of investment from Newcastle’s North Star Equity Investors later this year, believes he will be able to produce a prototype in five years time.
He said: “The potential of printed electronics is huge and I am confident that we can be a part of it over the coming years. I am already in talks with many of our current clients about the ways in which their products could benefit by being the first to boast electronic displays.
“Obviously, there are many things that need to be addressed before we go ahead with the project, such as sourcing the right product.
“However, I am confident that we can make these plans a reality and begin production by 2015.”
He is now looking to create his own sales force in Team Valley, after working alongside staff from the CPI and PETEC to help get Mixicap off the ground.
As well as the planned launch into the soft drinks market, the company has also attracted the interest of NHS Innovations, with which Mixicap is now researching possible medical use of the application in administering drugs.
He said: “Mixicap has involved a lot of research and development, and, now that we are looking to get it to market this year, we are keen to look at the printed electronics market to help us grow the business .”
The potential of printed electronics is huge and I am confident that we can be a part of it.