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Château Le Pin Uses NFC to Ensure Its Wine's Authenticity

The French vintner is attaching RFID tags to labels from Selinko, to prove each bottle's authenticity to customers, and to gain visibility into its own supply chain.
By Claire Swedberg

"Each scan gives very useful analytics, [such as] where bottles are distributed, consumed, by whom, and when," Festraets states. This data, however, would be available to Le Pin, "only if the owner [identifies] himself to the brand" when using the app.

Selinko is also adding several additional features, including a "one-scan buy" function with the NFC app, enabling clients to purchase a wine similar to the one they are scanning, by simply responding to a prompt and making a purchase. For example, if a customer was enjoying a bottle of wine at a restaurant, he or she could use a smartphone to read the label's Selinko NFC tag, and then opt to purchase the same bottle for consumption at home, or access the catalog to view other Le Pin products.

Selinko's Gwennaëlle Festraets
In addition, the system includes a feature known as "My Wine Registry," with which users can add wines to a virtual cellar stored on the Selinko server, leave personal notes about a particular wine they have tried and link those comments directly to their social-media networks. Once a label's tag has been read following a purchase, the software could also remove the bottle's digital certificate from Le Pin's records, thereby ensuring that the bottle is not refilled and sold again as a counterfeit product. A Le Pin representative was not made available to comment for this story.

Le Pin customer Olivier François reports that the solution provides him with confidence about the origin of each bottle that he purchases.

"When I bought the vintage of Le Pin 2010, I found a short explanation in my case about this new authentication system, and started to use it," François says. Not only did he read the tags in order to ensure that the bottles were genuine, but he also introduced the solution to friends who enjoyed the same wine. The benefit, he says, is the guarantee that he has "invested in an original product and a feeling of exclusivity with the unique numbering of each bottle. On top of it, I can also declare myself as owner of the bottle," using the Selinko software. Thus, if the bottle were stolen and recovered, François would be listed as its legal owner.

Although the number of NFC-enabled phones in the hands of consumers worldwide is still limited, Festraets says, Selinko expects the mobile handsets to soon catch up with NFC applications. "Even if awareness is today only mature in Asia and in some areas in the United States," she states, "in Europe, the number of NFC services and NFC-enabled devices will strongly increase in the comings months, and will help to develop interest in this technology."

Selinko also provides the anti-counterfeiting solution for other products at high risk of fraud, such as leather goods, cosmetics, or designer clothing or accessories. Customers pay for the solution at an annual rate, which includes the labels and server access.

USER COMMENTS

Tony Rosati 2014-08-21 04:21:33 PM
Nice idea. I understand that EEPROM on those NFC tags last about 10 years before the data starts deteriorating. Wine like this would likely sit in the seller for 10+ years. So does that mean the NFC data is at high risk of evaporating? In that case what is the value of this solution?

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