Today marks a pivotal day in the history of booze, one where the centuries-old distilling techniques responsible for our collective Saturday morning hangovers finally collide with modern, 21st century technology.
That’s right, I’m talking about the “smart bottle.” It’s here, and it appears it just may change the face of drinking forever. From a leisurely drinker to a habitual blackout, the smart bottle’s ingenuity will bring something to the table for everyone.
From Marketing Magazine:
Drinks giant Diageo has unveiled a prototype smart bottle for its Johnnie Walker brand that will enable the brand to send targeted marketing messages to consumers.
The bottle uses sensor technology developed by tech company Thinfilm in collaboration with Diageo Technology Ventures, the drinks firm’s innovation hub.
When scanned by a smartphone, the bottle becomes an interactive medium and can trigger promotional offers, cocktail recipes and exclusive content. It was unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
First thing first, I definitely can’t argue with the spirit tapped to debut the smart bottle. Johnnie Walker is classy, but not too expensive; it’s sophisticated, but also embraces your rowdier side after two or three. Great call by the people at Diageo. For the record, the company also owns a myriad of other liquor brands, including Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Ketel One, and Tanqueray. Not too shabby, especially if this thing proves to be a success, because you have to imagine it would be easy for Diageo to slap the specially implemented labels on each of those bottles, too.
Experts are saying the smart bottle could totally change the face of the liquor industry’s supply chain and the consumer experience as we know it.
If adopted more broadly the tech would also enable the business to monitor a bottle throughout the supply chain, in-store and at the point of consumption.
The sensor tags remain readable even when the factory seal has been broken, which would provide Diageo with an “additional layer of security” in protecting the authenticity of a product.
The tag is permanently encoded at the point of manufacture and cannot be copied or electrically modified, which would enable Diageo to prove the authenticity of a product and crack down on counterfeiting.
I feel like the possibilities for the smart bottle are crazy and endless. Yeah, it’ll be awesome to have customized drink recipes pop up on your phone when you interact with the bottle in your hand that is totally not counterfeit, but it’s completely outrageous to think about what other applications this kind of technology could lead to.
What about built-in drinking games? Maybe there’s just a little liability here, but whatever. Or the fact that one day my entire liquor purchase history might actually reside on a server somewhere? Yeah, that’s totally nuts to fathom.
Taking it a step further, though, what if when my bottle of Johnnie Walker gets low and a little lonely, he’ll have the ability to send me a text saying, “Hey buddy! It’s been a while, how’ve you been? It’s chilly here in the back of your freezer haha but I’m almost empty! Soooo if you want to come hang out tonight and drink me, here’s a $5 off coupon to go pick up my twin brother. He’s also named Johnnie!”
I don’t think I could say no at that point. I’d be so taken aback. Seriously, it would be like a liquor bottle had taken a page out of George Orwell’s “1984,” because this is some sci-fi shit going down. It’s cooler than the iWatch times 1,000,000.
It’s still unclear when the smart bottle will hit the consumer market. In the meantime, go harass your local liquor store or supermarket clerk until he either gives you a great parting discount or slips a promotional prototype your way..
[via Marketing Magazine]
Image via Diageo