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The art of distilling whiskey is centuries old, but that doesn't mean 21st-century tech can't enter the equation somewhere. In the case of this NFC-equipped Johnnie Walker bottle, the tech has entered more on the marketing side, but it's an interesting application nevertheless. The prototype bottle, created by drinks giant Diageo and Thinfilm, a company specializing in printed electronics, uses the close-range wireless tech for everything from inventory to advertising.

The NFC tag is built into the label and barely noticeable, like the RFID anti-theft tags slipped into books. It works like a wireless barcode for tracking the bottle's delivery and store stock, but also lets the buyer scan it for coupons, cocktail recipes or even a warning if the bottle has already been opened. Of course, that also opens up the possibility of "targeted and timely marketing messages," as the company's press release puts it.

There are no plans to put these smart bottles on shelves just yet, but neither is it just a concept item — the smart bottle will be on display at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona next week.

Tasting Bourbon Whiskey

Sept. 2, 201400:58

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—Devin Coldewey