Selinko congratulates Diageo for the launch of its Johnnie Walker smart bottle prototype

Selinko congratulates Diageo for the launch of its Johnnie Walker smart bottle prototype

One year after Selinko launched the first digital anti-refilling solution, Diageo opens the way towards innovation and unveils the first NFC connected spirit, encountering Selinko’s vision of the bottle of tomorrow and confirming that NFC is the best technology to offer both authentication and new consumer experience.


Diageo and Thinfilm recently unveiled the first Johnnie Walker blue NFC smart bottle and will present its prototype at the Mobile World Congress this week. By placing a printed sensor NFC tag behind labels, Diageo aims to enhance consumer experience by sending personalized communications to consumers who read the tags with a smartphone but also to protect the authenticity of the bottle and detect the opened state of each.

Selinko warmly welcomes this initiative, bringing worldwide visibility to this new market of smart bottles we have already predicted a few years ago: people won’t just buy a bottle anymore they will choose a genuine and fully digitally connected spirits experience.

As objects get smarter, the opportunity for brands increases but this should not be at the cost of security. With 50 billion connected products predicted by 2020, security related risks are high and should be managed to enable the widespread adoption of new IoT applications and technologies. To build a trusted ecosystem where consumers cannot be fooled, Selinko believes that products have to be identified at the same level of security than people and payments.

Imagine offering to the consumer an immersive and customizable experience but with a fake product? This would be irreversible in terms of image and consumer loyalty resulting in major revenue losses for the brands.

Therefore, security should not be just an additional feature but a must. Consequently, it is important to well understand that NFC tags range in complexity and security. We can classify the different NFC technologies against several criteria including their security levels.

NFC Tag Types Comparison

Selinko’s solution is based on a strong authentication process. This process is based on a set of keys for each product, an authentication mechanism used in the banking world for more than 20 years. It means that high level of skills and resources would be required to crack one chip and recover one to produce only one fake product.

The Johnnie Walker blue smart bottle is based on a technology offering product identification common for marketing purposes but according to Selinko less appropriate for anti-counterfeiting. In fact, the tags use a protocol that gives the same information (unique URL) to the smartphone every time it receives power from it. This results in a public communication easy to replicate which can’t guarantee to a consumer that he is in presence of genuine bottle

As a reminder, Selinko launched during Vinexpo Hong Kong last year, the only bank-certification level solution to tackle the problem of counterfeiting and fraudulent bottle refilling. The authentication and marketing services can be done online and offline at the highest level of security.