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Smart Tags for Smart Bottles

capImagine a Bottle of Johnnie Walker Sending You Personalized Messaging

It’s a commercial future ahead. Retailers will be looking to find ways to track customer behavior, buying patterns and user patterns. They will be looking to send messaging that is up close and personal. It will be like never before.

Imagine that you have a bottle of Johnnie Walker and the bottle turns “smart.” The bottle would give promotional offers and suggest cocktail recipes. It is in on the way.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February of this year was an NFC-enabled smart bottle. Two companies are partnering to create a new spin for the role that a bottle plays, Diageo (company that is focused on drinks) and Thinfilm (company that is focused on printed electronics). Together, they have announced a “smart bottle” prototype for Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

The prototype has printed sensor tags, which feature OpenSense technology. This technology works with smartphones’ NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities. With the simple tap of an NFC smartphone, OpenSense tags can determine if a bottled is sealed or opened, which allows Diageo’s technology to track bottle movements. This includes everywhere from moving through the supply chain, in-store and the point of consumption. Even when the factory seal is broken, the sensor tags are still readable. This technology is an additional way to determine authenticity. The codes are placed permanently in the bottle tags when they are manufactured. The codes cannot be copied or modified.

The features of the smart bottle are mostly to stop counterfeiting and control stock. Senior Writer David Meyer in Gigaom commented that there is also a marketing aspect. “Customers will be able to tap the tag, which is discreetly stuck underneath the label at the back of the bottle’s neck, with their NFC-enabled smartphone in order to get ‘personalized’ messages. These messages will be contextual – if they tap the bottle in the store, it may trigger a promotional offer; once bought, it may offer up cocktail recipes or other content.”

“By leveraging OpenSense, Thinfilm is enabling the ‘smart bottles’ to carry digital information that can be accessed via NFC smartphones. Diageo can reap the benefits of the intelligence gleaned from our smart sensors and create engaging experiences for its customers. This is how we will begin to build the real Internet of Everything,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm.

Image by DMedina – via


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