Printed electronics maker Thinfilm has already partnered with beverage conglomerate Diageo to develop a prototype "smart bottle" of Johnnie Walker whisky, which could send customized messages to people's smartphones, and it's now turned its attention to wine — albeit for a slightly different purpose. It's just announced a similarly "smart" wine bottle that promises to help people detect counterfeit wines.
As the company notes, that's a particularly big problem in China, which is where the bottle will first be tested with the help of the Australian wine company Ferngrove. As with the whisky bottle, the smart wine bottle relies on a thin, flexible label with an NFC tag built into it that can detect whether the bottle has been opened.
That not only lets the bottles be authenticated as they make their way through the supply chain but also lets customers verify the wine themselves and get additional information about it by tapping an NFC-enabled smartphone to the bottle.
Of course, while counterfeit-spotting is the primary focus, the company says that there are also a number of other possibilities for the smart bottle — winemakers could send people a different message or promotional offer after they've opened the bottle, for instance. As of yet, though, there's no word on any other winemakers planning on making their bottles a bit smarter.