Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a lot more headlines in the wine presses about these companies (in the US mostly) that are trying to throw a bit of smart technology at the wine industry. First you get the press releases bullishly bigging up these creations as the next best thing since sliced bread, followed a few days later by the (rather cynical) wine press asking what the point of it all is. Who’s got it right?
First up was the Smart Wine Bottle from Kuvee. The point of this was that you had a touch screen wine bottle hooked up to your wifi that could tell you all the info about this wine you desired. Sounds interesting to a point, but would I really want one? Probably not. Add on the £150 price tag, the limited battery life, and the need for capsules to insert the wine into the system and you get the feeling that this was a half decent idea not very well thought through.
Next up was the Somm. This sleek looking bit of kit is a wine dispenser that can hold up to 3 bottles of wine at any one time. With a quick bit of programming it can cater for serving temperatures and aeration needed for each wine. Again, I love the look of it, and I love the quirkiness of it. But again, would I want one? This’ll set you back another £150 and just strikes me as one of those novelty things you’ll get at Christmas and stop using by February. But what do I know?
Overall I’m a big believer in that necessity is the mother of invention. I know Steve Jobs loved to say that the punters don’t know what they want until you give it to them (or words to that effect). As much as I’m not sure that is a fool proof way of looking at things, and especially with these two inventions, I’m still really happy that people are having a go and trying for the next big thing.
Will the next be thing be either of these two? Probably not. They’re fun but, as someone said to me on Twitter, they’re solving a problem that doesn’t really exist. But they deserve good luck anyway for having a go. I’m not just saying that to be nice, I really mean it, and I hope they find some wine-o’s out there with a bit more free cash and cupboard space than me!