It’s not often that I get to combine two of my life’s passions: future technology and wine. When we think of the wine business, the images that come to mind may be more vineyards sprawling across the French countryside than robots and digital transformation. But the fact is that the industry has always been driven by science, technology and innovation. Today, things are no different. The latest wave of technology-driven change is centered around artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, augmented reality, and blockchain.
Like other industries, winemakers and sellers are facing the challenges posed by climate change, as well as the growing demand for traceability and responsibility from consumers in their supply chains. Technologies like these will help create new solutions as well as drive efficiency and reduce waste. They are also leading to new ways for us as consumers to experience wine consumption. So here’s a roundup of how these trends are changing the way we make, sell and enjoy wine.
Augmented Reality and Smart Packaging
Wine labels are bound to become much more sophisticated. The information will be accessible via QR codes and even AR, giving shoppers information about the products they are buying, as well as the production processes and conditions in which they were made. The Living Wine Labels app powers the “confession” stories of those featured on the bottles of 19 Crimes, with one bottle of Californian red even offering worldly advice from none other than Snoop Dogg. Sparflex has developed an AR wine foil that launches animations and stories directly from the label, much like Californian winemaker Rabble, with labels brought to life with dramatic animations using medieval-style illustrations. Some of this may seem clever, but today’s marketers firmly understand the value of building stronger connections between brands and users by developing technology-driven experiences like these.
Blockchain and NFTs
Anyone keeping an eye on future trends in the wine and beverage industry will have noticed the impact Blockchain, and in particular NFT technology, is already having. It is the very fact that NFTs are “non-fungible”, meaning they are unique, that makes them valuable, as they can be linked to real-world items (such as a bottle of wine) and used as a certificate of authenticity. or provenance. . They can only be sold as collectible works of art inspired by great real-world wines, as is the case with BitWine, an all-digital 1,000-wine collection designed by sommelier Lauren Vaile. After all, if we’re all going to live in the metaverse, why not have a cellar full of virtual wines to show off to your friends when they come to visit? If you prefer to invest your money in real wine, then the WiV platform might be more attractive. All of your NFTs are tied to real wine bottles that are securely stored, meaning that if the owner wants to drink them, they can exchange the NFT for the bottle. On the other hand, if they simply want to sell it for a profit, they can pass the NFT on to the new owner.
Wine Block Chain is a platform that promises to help establish trust and transparency across the industry by allowing every stage of the process to be recorded in secure and tamper-proof blockchain ledgers. Developers EZ Lab recently completed a trial, in partnership with Ernst & Young, in which a bottle was traced and certified from vineyard to bottle. All information can be verified through a smart tag that the customer can scan with their smartphone, from when it was bottled to what pesticides and fertilizers were used during production.
AI and Automation
WineCab has created an AI-powered wine wall complete with a robotic sommelier. The massive installation, which costs about $179,000 if you’re interested, uses AI to choose the perfect wine to pair with your meal before its robotic arm transports the bottle from the wall to its dispenser. The perfect toy for billionaire wine fanatics to add to their mansions.
For a slightly more affordable option, Preferabli (formerly known as Wine Ring) is a recommendation platform not only for wines but also for beers and spirits, learning about user preferences and how to pair the perfect drink with meals. Designed to be used by both merchants and consumers, it is available as a smartphone app or integrated into models from LG’s Signature range of wine cellars.
Many uses have also been found for AI in the growing process, including computer vision solutions provided by Tule that use video to monitor plants as they grow and provide feedback that tells growers when water levels are low. are suitable and what “stress” levels the vines are under.
Ted, the vineyard robot developed by Naio Technologies, helps care for crops and remove weeds, reducing the need for growers to put potentially harmful herbicides into the soil.
Green Brain is a project that harnesses the power of satellite imagery coupled with AI to monitor crop health across entire vineyards, giving growers insight into how well irrigation is working and the health of their crops, offering a early warning when they might be at risk from disease or pests.
Other systems use automated drones instead of satellites, like the one used by Spanish producer Bodegas Ayuso, which combines drones with satellite imagery, ground sensors and data from local weather stations. AI algorithms process all the data to provide actionable insights in real time.
The wine industry is using many exciting technological innovations, and there are many more to come. If you want to be aware of future trends, subscribe to my newsletter, take a look at my books Technological trends in practice Y Business trends in practiceand follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Y Youtube.