Diageo to showcase ‘smart bottle’ that interacts with consumers

Person tapping smartphone against Johnnie Walker bottle

Diageo is set to unveil a prototype connected “smart bottle” at the mobile phone industry’s Mobile World Congress next month.

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle will allow Diageo to send targeted marketing messages to consumers who tap them with their smartphones, such as promotional offers, cocktail recipes and exclusive content.

Developed in collaboration with Thin Film Electronics, specialists in printed electronics and smart systems, the new bottle aims to “enhance the consumer experience” by using printed sensor tags which can also detect both the sealed and opened state of each bottle.

The technology makes use of the Near Field Communication capabilities found in smartphones. This 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.

Helen Michels, Global Innovation Director, Futures Team at Diageo, said the new smart bottle sets the bar for technology innovation in the drinks industry. She added: “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.”

Davor Sutija, Thin Film Chief Executive Officer, thinks that today’s consumers expect brands to deliver custom mobile experiences. He said: “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.”

The prototype bottle will be on display at Thin Film’s booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from the 2nd-5th March.