Mobile World Congress: ThinFilm unveils ‘smart bottle’ for Diageo

Sensor shows whether product is authentic or whether it has been tampered with

Drinks giant Diageo is to launch a “smart bottle” which it believes will set the bar for technology innovation in the drinks industry.

The technology behind it was developed by Norweigan company Thin Film Electronics which unveiled a prototype Johnnie Walker Blue Label smart bottle at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The connected “smart bottle” aims to enhance the consumer experience by using printed sensor tags featuring Thin Film’s OpenSense technology, which can detect both the sealed and opened state of each bottle, with a simple tap of a smartphone which has NFC (Near Field Communication).

To ensure authenticity, the tags are completely and permanently encoded at the point of manufacture and cannot be copied or electrically modified.


“The ID will tell you if the bottle is authentic,” Thin Film chief executive Davor Sutija said, adding “the consumer will know the product hasn’t been tampered with. This is especially important in light of incidents such as the powdered milk scandal in China.”

“When the buyer takes the product home and opens the bottle, OpenSense technology will give them new information such as cocktail ideas, tasting notes and paring suggestions,” he said.

The tags and the sensor information they contain will allow Diageo to send personalised communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones.

The technology will also allow 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.