SmartX: Johnnie Walker Smarts Up

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Source: Diageo

Global beverage company Diageo has released a world first prototype of a ‘smart bottle’ of Johnnie Walker. The connected bottle aims to revolutionise the role of the bottle in the customer experience and will be on show at next week’s Mobile World Conference in Spain.

The smart bottle has been developed in collaboration with Norwegian printed electronics outfit Thin Film Electronics and aims to use printed sensor tags that can detect when the bottle is opened and sealed. The tags and sensor connect to the customer’s smartphone, allowing Diageo to send personal communications to the consumers.

The tags also create an element of quality control for the liquor supplier as they will be able to track and monitor the whereabouts of each individual bottle from creation. This will ensure security with regards to product authenticity.

‘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,’ said Helen Michels, Global Innovation Director, Futures Team at Diageo.

‘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.’

The tech release comes from Diageo’s innovation program called ‘Diageo Technology Ventures’, a group created to solve the company’s existing business challenges through the use of technology. The smart bottle is the first product to come from the group since its formation in September 2014.

The technology is underwritten by NFC smartphone capabilities and provides an insight into the future of consumer packaging. Consumer appetite is sure to be questioned given that the sensor based bottle can be tracked for its entire existence, from the distillery to the recycling bin. Whether this is something that consumers are willing to forgo, in exchange for greater levels of communication with the brand, remains to be seen.

SmartX is a concept being driven by both mobile and sensor based technology initiatives. As organisations continue to drive greater customer engagement through the use of digital connectivity, innovations such as these will continue to be showcased. OCM.

Source: Diageo

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