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Diageo unveils smart whisky bottle with ‘game-changing’ NFC tags

Diageo Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky bottle with Thinfilm OpenSense NFC tag
INNOVATIVE SPIRIT: OpenSense NFC tags can detect if a whisky bottle is sealed or open

“Smart bottles” that know when they have been opened and then deliver relevant, personalised messages directly to a consumer’s smartphone will be showcased by printed electronics specialist Thinfilm at Mobile World Congress 2015.

The Norwegian company has worked with global drinks giant Diageo to develop a prototype Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky bottle that uses printed NFC sensor tags, featuring Thinfilm’s newly launched OpenSense technology.

Unlike conventional QR codes that are often difficult to read, easy to copy, and do not support sensor integration, OpenSense tags dynamically detect if a bottle is sealed or open and can be read with the tap of an NFC smartphone, Thinfilm says.

The tags, created by Thinfilm in collaboration with Diageo Technology Ventures, will make it possible to send consumers marketing messages, before or after purchase, such as promotional offers to entice consumers to buy, then followed by cocktail recipes and exclusive content once the product is bought, taken home and opened.

The technology adds extra security to the supply chain and relatively lower unit costs, giving impetus to Thinfilm’s stated aim of building the “real Internet of Everything”.

The “game-changing technology” can be used in a range of global markets, including wine and spirits, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health and beauty care, and automotive, Thinfilm adds.

“We believe Thinfilm’s OpenSense technology will deliver tremendous benefits across a range of markets and industries,” says Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s chief executive officer. “The interest we’ve received to date has been tremendous, and we are excited to showcase this next-generation NFC solution during the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“As mobility becomes ubiquitous, consumers want and expect brands to follow suit and deliver custom mobile experiences. But today’s conventional NFC mobile marketing solutions are not technologically advanced enough to create immersive or customizable consumer experiences.

“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.”

Helen Michels, global innovation director, futures team, at Diageo, adds: “Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future.

“Our collaboration with Thinfilm allows us to explore all the amazing new possibilities enabled by smart bottles for consumers, retailers and our own business, and it sets the bar for technology innovation in the drinks industry.”

Thinfilm OpenSense NFC tag
OPEN SENSE: Thinfilm demonstrates how its OpenSense tag is incorporated on a bottle

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