Users can read tags with a smartphone to check liquid levels in bottles of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and more

Illustration of the NFC tag label for liquid detection © TOPPAN INC.
Illustration of the NFC tag label for liquid detection

Tokyo – July 5, 2023 – Toppan (TYO: 7911), a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, launched a secure sensing NFC tag with an opening detection function in January 2017. The tag has since been adopted for high-end wines and a number of other products.

Toppan has now added to the secure sensing NFC tag lineup by developing an NFC tag equipped with a capacitive1 sensing function that enables contactless detection of the volume of liquid remaining in a container. Global sales will be launched in August this year, targeting, among others, the cosmetics, medical and pharmaceutical, and liquor industries.

The new NFC label, combining an NFC IC/chip, antenna and capacitive structure for liquid fill level detection, has been made possible by Toppan’s proprietary tag design technologies. A pair of capacitive electrodes formed inside the label make it possible for users to read the NFC tag attached to a bottle with a smartphone and detect the presence and remaining volume of liquid based on the level of capacitance inside the container.

With this NFC tag, users can easily check the volume of liquid remaining in containers whose contents cannot be seen. Companies adopting it will also be able to provide consumers with various customer engagement services, such as content linked to the volume of liquid left in bottles and guidance on additional purchases.

The new NFC tag label will be on show in the Toppan booth at Luxe Pack Monaco 2023 (October2-4), the premier trade show for luxury packaging.


To provide attractive design and protect contents, many luxury goods are packaged in opaque containers. There has therefore been demand from users for methods that enable them to easily check how much liquid is left in the container. For marketing and product development, companies have also been looking for ways to obtain insights on usage and other information after products are purchased. However, currently this is generally conducted via questionnaires and tracking of purchasing data, and there has not been a method for obtaining data closely linked to actual use.

To address these challenges, Toppan has developed an NFC tag that enables easy detection of liquids inside containers. Previously, liquid detection using the mechanism of capacitance has generally been performed using dedicated devices for industrial applications. By equipping an NFC tag with a liquid detection function, however, Toppan has made detection with an NFC-enabled smartphone possible.

Toppan developed a secure sensing NFC tag that enables detection of opening in 2017, and since then has been supporting anticounterfeiting efforts for luxury goods and provision of product information and other content to consumers. Adding the new liquid detecting model to the secure sensing NFC series, Toppan will drive further expansion of the NFC tag market.


・Simple liquid detection using a smartphone—no dedicated equipment needed
A dedicated device is usually required when measuring capacitance to detect liquid. Toppan’s new NFC tag uses NXP® Semiconductors’ NTAG® 22x DNA StatusDetect, a revolutionary IC chip for NFC with capacitance measurement capability. By leveraging proprietary label design technology and equipping the NFC tag IC with an NFC antenna and capacitive structure for detecting liquid inside the container, Toppan has made it possible to detect liquid by simply using a smartphone. The NFC tag can be read without a power source because electricity is generated and flows via electromagnetic induction from the smartphone.
*For accurate detection of liquids, prior evaluation of each type of liquid and the material and thickness of containers is required. Detection is not possible in the case of metal containers. 

・Liquid detection without a dedicated app
When an NFC-enabled smartphone is held over the tag label, the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format)2 data inside the IC chip can be read without a dedicated app. Specifically, a URL, including liquid detection data obtained when the smartphone was held over the NFC tag, can be generated, and users can view the information via a web browser.

・Authenticity verification and provision of product information
In addition to ID information, dynamically computed authentication information is obtained when the NFC tag is read. A high level of security is ensured because the authentication information differs for each reading process and the result of the computation is assessed in the cloud. Regardless of how many times the same NFC tag is read, the URL provided keeps changing, rendering copying or dissemination ineffective. This means it can also be used to verify product authenticity. In addition, campaign information and other content can be shown on the page displayed.

Toppan will expand global sales of the newly developed NFC tag, along with other secure sensing NFC products and eco-friendly NFC tags. Toppan also intends to continue developing applications for the secure sensing NFC series, which combines ID authentication with status detection functions, and will look to bolster the lineup with products matched to a wide range of customer needs.

1. Capacitance expresses the amount of electrical charge that can be stored in a space between electrodes formed by two conductors positioned apart.
2. NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) is a common data format for exchanging information between NFC devices. It is specified by the NFC Forum, an industry standards group that promotes the use of NFC.

About Toppan

Established in Tokyo in 1900, Toppan is a leading and diversified global provider committed to delivering sustainable, integrated solutions in fields including printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials, electronics, and digital transformation. Toppan’s global team of more than 50,000 employees offers optimal solutions enabled by industry-leading expertise and technologies to address the diverse challenges of every business sector and society and contribute to the achievement of shared sustainability goals.

For more information, visit or follow Toppan on LinkedIn

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