Smart whisky bottle: EVRYTHNG, Thinfilm & Johnnie Walker Blue

Earlier this month at Mobile World Congress, we and our partner Thinfilm and customer Diageo unveiled a prototype smart whisky bottle.

The prototype combined our IoT smart products cloud with Thinfilm’s OpenSense™ printed NFC tag and Diageo’s premium whisky brand Johnnie Walker Blue, and demonstrated the business value of connecting a CPG product that’s smart enough to determine whether the consumer is pre- or post-purchase, and to engage them accordingly with relevant content.

(If you’re not familiar with the smart bottle, check out some of the media coverage on GigaOm psfk, +Plastic Electronics and The Daily Mail.)

The joint solution offers end-to-end intelligent product solutions that combine real-time cloud software with smart packaging hardware powered by printed electronics technology. This unique combination can extend the boundaries of the Internet of Things to include billions of everyday items, including consumer goods, food and beverages.

EVRYTHNG-THINFILM joint solution

In the case of the Johnnie Walker Blue bottle, we focused on the OpenSense™: a new Thinfilm NFC tag that detects whether a bottle has been opened, and delivers content designed to engage the consumer based on a series of rules in the EVRYTHNG platform, based on variables that include whether the bottle is closed or open.

However, the joint solution offers even broader commercial applicability. Thinfilm’s range of printed electronics products (including pressure-sensitive NFC & sensor-based smart labels), combined with the flexible, programmable rules engine in EVRYTHNG’s IoT Smart Products Platform, enable cross-industry solutions that include personalized marketing and offer customization; brand authentication and anti-diversion; product serialization and asset management; and track-and-trace monitoring.

Interested in learning more? Download our fact sheet [PDF, 1.1MB]

ABI Research's Hot Tech Innovators report, 2015

Technology analysts ABI Research recently released their “Hot Tech Innovators” report on the most pioneering companies operating in today’s global markets.

As ABI’s Chief Research Officer, Stuart Carlaw, puts it:

“If you are working for a company sitting comfortably in the bird seat of any tech market, these are the companies you need to have on your radar. The companies featured in this whitepaper represent not only the most forceful potential disruptors for tech markets but also the hottest acquisition targets around.”

He adds:

“They all share a common DNA: they are young, they are aggressive, they are nimble, their technology solution fills a needs-gap, and they are on the cusp of imminent breakout.”

Performance at scale: EVRYTHNG

We were understandably delighted to be profiled in this report, and we were particularly pleased that the performance, accessibility and scalability of our IoT Smart Products cloud platform was specifically called out:

“An additional advantage that EVRYTHNG has is the scalability: since the platform has been architectured to support pronouncedly high-volume product environments, it is relatively well future-proofed for any use cases where the future growth in connections and data are difficult to predict.”

Interested in the full report? Download your complimentary copy of ABI Research’s Hot Tech Innovators report

Last week EVRYTHNG attended and spoke at The Economist’s CMO conference in New York. The theme was marketing with a start-up mindset – lean and agile, with an appetite for cutting edge technologies and innovation that can be scaled up fast when it works.

It was a high quality, exclusive and intimate affair of about 200 executives and influencers (in spite of a New York snowstorm’s best efforts to spoil the party). I was there with EVRYTHNG’s investor director Jeff Burde and co-founder and CMO Andy Hobsbawm who was a panelist for ‘Multi-platform: marketing on the Internet of things’.

Interesting pairings of established and growth stage companies kept the sessions lively and varied – for example, Andy was interviewed alongside Howard Pyle, Vice-president of IBM’s marketing innovation group.

Among many points during that particular discussion, Andy re-iterated the criticality of CMOs being able to operate their physical products as core strategic digital assets. Now that a variety of smart tags and connectivity technologies like printed electronics exist, in combination with smartphones and smart software in the cloud, any product can become interactive, trackable, and come with an added digital layer of personalized, real-time services.

By turning products into ‘Always On’ media companies can deliver the most useful, relevant content, tools, and experiences on demand. This digital layer differentiates products at the point of sale, increases switching costs, and creates new usage-based and subscription-based business models. It also powers a ‘product graph’ of powerful data on the associations between consumers and different products – most brands are happy to know how many product units they sold, now they can know who bought it, how and where they used it, how content drives interaction and sales, and what other products their customers also bought and interacted with.

The Big Rethink New York, 2015

Three final notes on conference themes, trends and takeaways:

1. Stay true to marketing fundamentals.

  • There was an emphasis on going back to basics: what does the customer really need? How can the brand help?
  • To be a good marketer, be a human first.
  • Trust. Trust. Trust. Play the long game.
  • It should be pointed out that this message came not just from ‘traditional’ marketers at brands like Unilever, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s, but equally from the CMOs of Salesforce, Pandora and Dropbox.


2. Adtech will not save us.

  • There was a lot of debate about the extent to which adtech has lived up to its promise. Lots ‘buzz’ but not much has been delivered many thought; it over-hyped?


3. IoT is coming.

  • In a mobile-first world, context is king so keep things hyper relevant. So if you are behind with your mobile strategy now, you will struggle even more as IoT picks up and physical things become part of the Web. As we like to say: If you thought there was a lot of data online today, just wait until all the products start talking!



We’re excited to announce that we’ll be at SXSW Interactive this year (although personally rather disappointed not to be able to stay for the music festival too).

We’re looking forward to presenting and meeting with digital innovators, thinkers & doers and leadership brands who are exploring how products can be re-imagined as a combination of hardware, software and real-time data, and how IoT fits into the consumer product manufacturing and retailing landscape. (And, of course, how a cloud-based IoT Smart Products Platform like EVRYTHNG is an essential data management layer in the technology stack to make this happen).

SXSW Interactive 2015

I’ll be attending, along with our VP of Customer Success, Zack Bennett. If you’d like to explore how the Internet of Things and real-time data-management in the cloud to drive applications and customer experiences direct from your products can transform your business, we’d love to talk! Please get in touch and we can schedule in a meeting.

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Austin photograph by Web Designer Steve Floyd

Mobile World Congress 2015

As we announced yesterday, the EVRYTHNG team is looking forward to Mobile World Congress next week. We’re spending time on stage, at booths and in face-to-face meetings, helping consumer product manufacturers understand how IoT drives business transformation by fundamentally changing the relationship between consumers, products and brands.

We’ll be explaining how brands can use an IoT Smart Products Platform like EVRYTHNG to connect their products to the web and manage the associated real-time data to transform how they are made, sold and used. Physical products that come with a digital layer of personalized interactive services use data to improve the consumer experience and supply chain operations over time. They are stickier, differentiated and create new revenue opportunities from subscription or usage-based services.

There are several opportunities to see our IoT platform in action:


* I’ll be speaking on a panel and giving a live product demo in the Business of IoT session on Thursday 5th, from 2.30pm – 4pm CET.
 (If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the session with the hashtag “#MWC15IOT3″).

We’ve collaborated with our partners Thinfilm and client Diageo on a prototype of a smart bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue®, using Thinfilm’s revolutionary OpenSense™ printed sensor tags in combination with EVRYTHNG’s IoT cloud for real-time data management driving applications and analytics. So please drop by the Thinfilm booth throughout the event to see the smart bottle demo

Davor Sutja, CEO of Thinfilm, will give a keynote on Thursday 5th at 9.30am CET, which will highlight the Johnnie Walker Blue® prototype.

I’ll be attending with Curt Schacker, Vice President and Managing Director, Connected Systems; and Nick McNamara from our EMEA Enterprise New Business Development group. So if you’re attending MWC and would like to discuss how our IoT cloud platform can help make your products smart, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to schedule a meeting.