The humble alcohol bottle has one main purpose: to keep your precious adult beverage from spilling out into an unusable puddle. It's mostly a hunk of glass that just sits there looking pretty, enticing you to sample its contents. Now, let's imagine it has a mind of its own and wants to talk with your smartphone.
Thinfilm, a maker of printed electronics, got together with Diageo, a beverage empire that includes Johnnie Walker scotch whisky, Crown Royal, Captain Morgan and Smirnoff. The collaboration resulted in a prototype Johnnie Walker Blue Label smart bottle. The bottle uses thin, printed sensor tags that can detect whether the bottle is sealed or open.
A smart bottle has a lot of potential uses. Liquor shoppers could scan the bottle at the store and receive promotional offers. Once the bottle's taken home and opened, the sensor could trigger a display of cocktail recipes on your smartphone using NFC. Diageo could potentially track the smart bottles all through the supply chain to know if they've been tampered with at any point.
"Diageo can reap the benefits of the intelligence gleaned from our smart sensors and create engaging experiences for its customers,"Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija says. "This is how we will begin to build the real Internet of Everything."
This may smack a little bit of "Big Bottle is watching you." It will be interesting to see if consumers are willing to embrace trackable smart bottles in their home bars in exchange for recipes and brand communications.
The Johnnie Walker Blue smart bottle will go on display in Thinfilm's booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from March 2-5.