One of Unilever’s products, Persil is adding accessible QR codes (AQR), developed with Zappar. The QR will be added to a range of packs. The AQR codes aim to provide access to the full product information to the UK’s 2 million blind or partially sighted.

The QR code will be applied to Persil’s capsules in plastic-free packaging and its Ultimate Liquids range. The AQR codes were created in partnership with Zappar an augmented reality specialist company and were tested in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

As per a standard QR code, they can be scanned with a standard smartphone, the code provides product, usage, safety, and recycling information in a structured way that has been designed with blind and partially sighted users in mind. Its accessibility features display information in a larger text or both in audio-described and voice-guided formats.

The AQR codes have a greater detectability by adding additional markings to existing QR codes.

“Although QR codes have been in mainstream use almost 30 years now, they have lacked the important ingredient of accessibility,”

“This is really about helping make a small but important everyday quality-of-life improvement in people’s lives.”

Zappar CEO and co-founder Caspar Thykier.

The AQR helps brands integrate a layer of accessibility, use their existing database coding system, does not increase the amount of area on the packaging where the code is placed and the development of the code itself is bigger than Unilever, helping to make packaging more accessible for everyone.

“For us, this is bigger than Unilever, and we see it as a first step in helping make packaging more accessible for everyone,” says Unilever’s Laundry Marketing Director, Nadine Slyper.

“We’re pleased to be exploring Accessible QR codes as a business and hope to see other companies and accessibility apps join in this conversation,” she adds.

“More than 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss and by 2050 it will double to over 4 million people,” adds Mark Powell, RNIB’s Accessibility Innovation Lead. “It’s great to be collaborating with Unilever and Zappar on making packaging more accessible for blind and partially sighted people, as we should have the same freedom, independence and choice as sighted customers.”

Nadine Slyper, Unilever Laundry Marketing Director

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