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Liquor 2.0: There is now an app for your vodka bottle

Medea Vodka
Source: Medea Vodka
Medea Vodka

It's not exactly a message in a bottle, but it's pretty close.

The California-based spirit company Medea Vodka is rolling out an app for its vodka that enables users to program customized messages to appear on the LED strip wrapped around the bottle.

Medea's programmable vodka bottle has been on shelves since 2010, but it previously had to be manually programmed by pressing buttons on the bottle. The company's new bottles, slated to go on sale in May, will include Bluetooth technology that will enable users to not only program messages, but also track the bottle's location.

While an interactive liquor bottle may sound like a gimmicky marketing ploy, it actually helps Medea collect valuable data, said Brandon Laidlaw, the company's chief operating officer.



Medea Vodka allows you to program in a customized message on the bottle using your smartphone.
Source: Medea Vodka
Medea Vodka allows you to program in a customized message on the bottle using your smartphone.

Because users have to create an account with their email to use the app and because the bottle uses Bluetooth, the company is able to find out the age and locations of the owner. The company can also tell when someone shares access to the bottle, allowing others to customize messages for the screen.

"Basically, we are creating the understanding of who is involved in sharing this great gift," Laidlaw said. "But the important thing is the technology and allowing the users to interact with the bottle."

The company has 30 patents granted for its bottle technology and 20 patents pending, Laidlaw said.

The company will be showing off the mobile app and its new bottle later this month at an industry trade show and will begin selling the bottles—which will retail for $29.99—at select stores in late May.

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