Oslo, Norway – July 10, 2015 – Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), a global leader in the development of printed electronics and smart systems, today announced a partnership with the G World Group (G World), a global authentication company specializing in transparency and accountability solutions. The partnership will unveil the industry’s first “smart wine bottle” built using printed electronics technology at GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2015.
This “smart wine bottle” will feature Thinfilm’s patent-pending NFC OpenSense™ tags and G World’s globally patented SAMSCAN process, providing a compelling choice to global consumers for the purchase of authentic produce and consumables while delivering significant anti-counterfeit protocols for the agricultural and beverage industries. The G World system will also deliver on the new Free Trade Agreement initiatives between Australia and China, facilitating trade between the two countries by providing a transparent and accountable system for producers, governments and consumers.
Following MWC, G World and Thinfilm will execute a live field trial in collaboration with Ferngrove Wine Group, a Chinese-owned, Western Australia premium wine company. Ferngrove is a major supplier of five-star red wine to the APAC region and exports more than 600,000 bottles annually to China alone. With more than 50 designated retail outlets throughout China, Ferngrove provides a direct line of sight from the vineyard to the Chinese consumer.
G World has placed a 7-figure unit order for NFC OpenSense™ tags as part of the agreement with Thinfilm and in conjunction with the planned Ferngrove field trial.
Counterfeit wine, particularly in Asia, is pervasive. Recent reports claim that 50 to 70 percent of all wine sold in China could be fake, with the percentage climbing even higher for premium brands. To better protect winemakers and wine consumers, the G World anti-counterfeiting solution – powered by Thinfilm’s unique NFC technology – will facilitate authentication of individual bottles throughout the supply chain, ensuring they are packaged, shipped, stocked and purchased in their original factory-sealed state.
“The G World system is designed to enhance trade and productivity for industry,” said G World Managing Director, Grant Shaw. “One of the significant outcomes is an anti-counterfeit framework that provides transparency and accountability at all stages of the supply chain. We’re excited to leverage Thinfilm’s technology and believe this solution will be of real value to brand producers as well as consumers that demand authentic products.”
NFC OpenSense™ tags are thin, flexible tags that can detect a product’s sealed and open states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone or device. The tags contain unique identifiers that make it possible for companies to authenticate and track products to the individual-item level using powerful software and analytics tools. In addition, the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken – empowering brands to extend the dialogue and strengthen relationships with consumers. NFC OpenSense™ is the only publicly demonstrated technology that combines smartphone readability, unique identification, and a definitive electronic reading of a product’s sealed or open state.
“Winemakers and retailers currently are in need of a cost-effective and scalable means to track and confirm the authenticity of individual wine bottles across the supply chain. This gap in the current solution set gives counterfeiters an upper hand,” said Thinfilm Chief Commercial Officer Kai Leppänen. “At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, we’re excited to show the industry how smart technology can provide an authentic solution and fulfill this consumer need.”
Mr. Leppänen will speak at MWC Shanghai’s IoT Summit on “Innovative Technology in IoT Evolvement” on Friday, July 17th from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Kerry Hotel, Pudong. MWC Shanghai attendees can also see a demo of the Ferngrove smart wine bottle, along with Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense™ tags and temperature-sensing Smart Labels, at the Thinfilm booth in GSMA’s Connected Life Innovation City, Hall W4 of the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC).
“As one of Western Australia’s preeminent wineries and a major exporter to China, Ferngrove is dedicated to ensuring the authenticity and quality of our premium wines for our loyal consumers,” said Anthony Wilkes, Ferngrove’s CEO. “We’re excited to collaborate with G World and Thinfilm and look forward to implementing this unique solution over the coming months.”