If we look over the last century and examine the rate of technological growth. We can forgive ourselves for feeling a little proud about how quickly things have moved forward compared to the previous centuries. Flying at speed techsmarthere. Moving underwater stealthily. Travelling in space to name a fraction of what the human race has achieved in such a short span of time. The big question though, is could we have progressed any faster and further in that space of time? The answer to that question is a big resounding.
What’s the purpose of a wine label; or for that matter a label on spirits and beer? Obviously, the first response to that question is: to satisfy the Tax and Trade Bureau) regulations. Once that is accomplished, the label space remaining may be used for branding and marketing copy. The fact is, there is very little space on bottle labels to get creative with messages. Now technology is helping solve the limited space on labels by way of RFID (radio frequency identification/ID) technology. Tap a smartphone on a NFC (Near Field Communications) tag embedded on a bottle and see what comes up on your smartphone; assuming there is currently a tag on the label.
Depending on a winery’s budget and the number of smartphones enabled with RFID tag readers (newer smartphones have built-in reader capability), wine, beer and spirits producers can communicate directly with the consumer while they are standing in front of the bottle or can. These electronic tags can impart information in any format. The information can be audio, a message or automatically opening a website page; the choice is up to the winery or craft beverage company. The most economical tag option is to use NFC tags embedded in a label or a very thin flexible film adhered to a bottle.
This NFC technology has different names such as Smart Labels, Tags, and OpenSense Tags; the moniker I use is “Tap Tags”. Smart Labels (originated in the consumer products industry) are starting to appear on food, personal care and pharma items. Although extremely limited, spirits, beer and wine are recent joiners. In fact, company using smart label tags are not just the big players in the food and personal care space but are also used by small start-ups. Basically, tags are a means for producers of products to give the consumer more information than is possible to print on a label. But, the benefits of such tags aren’t just in dispensing more information, it is also about branding, loyalty, increased sales, etc.
Twenty years ago I was involv with a gentleman who is an expert integrator. RFID (radio frequency identification/ID) tag technologies for casinos. His patent techsmarthere technology is used today in allowing casinos to authenticate and track their gaming chips within a casino. Ken Smith, writing for Blackjackinfo.com on November 5, 2012 reported that Wynn/Encore Casino’s. In Las Vegas starting using chips embedded with RFID tags in 2005. Point being: the level of sophistication offered by “tag” technologies. Allow companies to communicate with consumers, even before they buy the product.
A derivative of RFID technology that is gaining acceptance rapidly is the NFC tag. A strong proponent of NFC technology is coming from Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute-the techsmarthere group. They form an alliance called Trade Partners Alliance to explore ways to be transparent with quick. Reliable, actionable, in-depth product information for the consumer. One of their applications involves. NFC tags which takes the consumer, via their smartphone. A navigational landing page. All the consumer is requir to do is tap their smartphone on the NFC tag on the product packaging.
Noted previously, most product packaging has limited space for details. The real estate available on a printed wine label. May not be enough to provide a plethora of information options various consumers are interest in and/or need https://techsmarthere.com/ . Solution why not make it possible for a consumer to tap their smartphone against. Product and instantly be taken to a URL/website/landing page that allows the produce to communicate (in print, video or audio) with a potential customer concerning the product. An adage I hear a lot: You can do anything with enough time and money. Same adage applies to NFC technology. For our discussion I am taking the quickest and most creatively flexible approach to new label technologies; the NFC tag, while not totally forgetting QR codes.