Everything is going ‘smart’ today. You know. TVs, cellphones, automobiles, appliances and a myriad of other everyday thing, but the last thing you expect to be ‘smart’ is a bottle, or alcohol bottles to be more specific. A smart bottle is exactly what the world biggest name in alcohol beverage Diageo has developed. Working with Thin Film Electronics ASA, a developer of printed electronics and smart systems (but, of course), Diageo has unveiled a prototype Johnnie Walker Blue Label “smart bottle”. Usually a smart device benefits consumers, but this connected bottle will benefit its maker more, well, unless if your idea of benefits is a barrage of marketing information pushed to you. In that case, congratulations, this is the bottle made just for you.
Anyways, this “smart bottle” is outfitted with Thin Film’s OpenSense technology, which are basically NFC-enabled printed sensor tags that does a host of thing, including detecting the bottle’s sealed and opened state. To be honest, we see little perks on consumers end, but its maker will gain insight like consumer drinking habit. But do keep in mind that this is a NFC-enabled bottle and only upon contacting with supporting smartphone will it be able to pull those data. So privacy freaks, you’re still safe from prying eyes with regard to your drinking habit. Diageo said the tags and sensor information will allow them to send personalized communications (read: marketing materials) to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones.
As a carrot, the firm did mention that aside from promotion offers, it will also be able to offer consumers “cocktail recipes and exclusive content.” On the retail and supply chain aspect, the tag will allow Diageo to track bottle movements across the supply chain, in-store and to the point of consumption. The sensor tags, which is tamper-proof and permanently encoded at the point of manufacture, will remain readable even when the factory seal has been broken and therefore, doubling as a form of proof of authenticity of the product. As mentioned, at this point, the “smart bottle” is only as effective if consumers willingly participate in it i.e. they choose to tap their NFC-enabled smartphone on the bottle.
If one day, paper-thin cell module is possible – meaning, it can send info without users’ intervention – then we will be looking at whole new plate of privacy issues. Until then, it is up to you if you want to part take in your favorite booze’s endeavor. The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Smart Bottle will be officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.