This smart liquor bottle can tell if your $200 scotch has been opened

thinfilm introduces a smart bottle for johnnie walker blue label
Enterprising teenagers have been sneaking their parents’ booze and refilling it with water for ages. Yet few are brazen enough to break the seal on a new bottle of scotch that costs more than a month’s allowance. That’s probably why the target market for the new Thinfilm Electronics smart bottle isn’t paranoid parents but retailers and manufacturers who want to keep tabs on the liquor and ensure its authenticity all along the supply chain.

Diageo has a number of spirits brands under its umbrella, including Smirnoff, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, and J&B. They also make Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which is the first of its liquors to get the smart bottle treatment from Thinfilm. It probably makes sense to start with a bottle of scotch that can cost several hundreds of dollars instead of, say, a $17 vodka, though the added technology only costs tens of cents extra, according to VentureBeat.

Here’s how it works: thin tag sensors distinguish between a sealed and open bottle and give off different signals accordingly. Smartphones using near-field communication can pick up on these signals and tell if the bottle’s seal is still entact. The radio signal powers the connection, so the tags are batteryless.

Of course, why put all this tech onto a bottle just for quality control when you can also target consumers? “The manufacturer can engage in a conversation with a consumer that is more meaningful,” Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s chief executive, tells VentureBeat. When you take home your Blue Label bottle, the tag can also send promotions and other specialized information to your smartphone.

Frankly, we didn’t know we might not be getting the Real McCoy when it comes to our alcohol, but apparently it’s such a big problem in the U.K. that drink makers started putting a special dye in their booze that reacts with litmus paper, so patrons could ensure they weren’t potentially imbibing dangerous chemicals. Label us thankful this technology is on the way later this year.

Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.