Ready for Liquor Bottles Smart Enough To Talk to Smartphones?

The message-in-a-bottle routine is going Wi-Fi. And that means pretty soon you'll have your very own mini Times Square at the bar, right on the bottle.

"Everyone likes to see their name in lights," says Brandon Laidlaw, president and chief operating officer of Pleasanton, California-based Medea vodka, which recently introduced a liquor bottle equipped with an LED message band that can be programmed to scroll any message that inspires you via a free smartphone app.

OK, so maybe it's message ON a bottle. But the point is the same. Bluetooth technology is changing the way drinkers -- and barkeeps -- are interacting with their bottles.

This new use of tech means consumers can customize messages on the bottles they are drinking. Heck, they even can track its exact location. Distributors and bar owners can use the same technology to track purchases and get sales data. And global drinks company Diageo even is working on smart sensor-equipped bottles that communicate with consumers' devices and switch gears -- recipes vs. sales promos -- once the bottle is opened.

The idea is to give packaging a speaking role in an increasingly interactive marketplace.

"Every consumer is walking around with a very powerful computer in their pocket," says Venky Balakrishnan, global vice president of digital innovation at Diageo.

And bottle tech that can harness that isn't limited to the bottle. Currently available devices include wireless pour spouts such as Smart Spout, from Phoenix-based BarVision, which contains RFID technology and electronic tilt sensors to measure and report on every ounce of liquor poured.

BarVision CEO Joe Nolan expects bottles will only up their intelligence levels as more producers bring packaging into the "internet of things," i.e. appliances or other objects that are able to communicate wirelessly. "We're excited about the prospects, that's for sure. It really is all about the software that's...

Comments are closed.