Diageo and Thinfilm to unveil smart bottle

Mobile World Congress 2 to 5 March 2015 Barcelona

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The smart bottle aims to enhance the consumer experience by using printed sensor tags featuring Thinfilm’s OpenSenseTM technology, which can detect both the sealed and opened state of each bottle

Diageo, one of the global leaders in beverage alcohol, and Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which is into the development of printed electronics and smart systems, will look to completely change the role of a bottle in the consumer experience, with a prototype Johnnie Walker blue label smart bottle that will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress to be held from 2 to 5 March 2015 in Barcelona. The bottle will be on display at Thinfilms stand throughout the four-day event.

The smart bottle aims to enhance the consumer experience by using printed sensor tags featuring Thinfilms OpenSenseTM technology, which can detect both the sealed and opened state of each bottle. The tags and the sensor information they contain will allow Diageo to send personalized communication to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones. The innovation, created by Thinfilm in collaboration with Diageo Technology Ventures, will make it possible to send consumers targeted and timely marketing messages, whether at retail or after purchase, such as promotional offers, cocktail recipes and exclusive content.

Thinfilms proprietary and patent-pending OpenSenseTM technology makes use of smartphones Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. The technology allows Diageo to track bottle movements across the supply chain, in-store and to the point of consumption, with the sensor tags remaining readable even when the factory seal has been broken, providing an additional layer of security in protecting the authenticity of the product.

Unlike conventional static QR codes that are often difficult to read, easy to copy, and do not support sensor integration, OpenSenseTM tags can dynamically detect whether a bottle is sealed or open with the simple tap of a NFC smartphone. To ensure authenticity, the tags are also completely and permanently encoded at the point of manufacture and cannot be copied or electrically modified.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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