The internet of useless things: Kuvée is a Wi-Fi-enabled wine bottle
Glass. So passé. If I tap my wine bottle, I get absolutely nowhere on the internet. If I want to read the label I have to look at a piece of paper, like a peasant. If only there was a way to add a screen… If only there was a way to tape my phone onto my half-empty bottle of Tesco’s finest…
Kuvée is a “smart” wine bottle, recently funded on crowdsourcing site IndieGoGo. It comes with a touchscreen, is Wi-Fi enabled and will allegedly keep your wine fresh for 30 days. The bottle itself costs $179 (£124), but essentially works as a smart sheath for cartridges that slot into it like a particularly lacklustre paintball gun.
To be fair to the designers, being able to keep your wine fresh for 30 days, thanks to a specialised pouring valve that stops air getting into the bottle, does sound useful. Less so is the ability to use the smartscreen to see how many glasses of wine you have left – human eyes tend to do that just fine.
The Kuvée’s screen also lets you order wine on the go, or during insufferable dinner parties full of people swiping their Merlot. After the proposed launch in October, there will be 48 wines available from 12 different wineries, although this will be initially limited to the US with other countries “to follow”.
While the Kuvée’s weirdly charged promo video focuses on the “smart” aspect of the bottle, the real business model here seems to be the cartridges. The idea would be presumably to lock drinkers into a set number of wineries, much like capsule coffee machines lock you into Nespresso or Lavazza. Is there really a market for this though? Surely people don’t need to spend money on a fancy bottle when glass will do?
At the time of writing, the Kuvée has raised $84,089 on IndieGoGo. By comparison, a project to plant trees in the Brazilian rainforest raised $13,358, and a pitch to get medical supplies to Ghana has raised $1,977. I’m just going to leave that hanging there.