QR Code and Wine – Another Zany Idea from Catavino | Catavino
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QR Code and Wine – Another Zany Idea from Catavino

Gabriella here, hoping to provide you a dash of clarity as to what happened in yesterday’s post. The image you saw was not an elaborate crossword puzzle, nor was our aim to hypnotize you, unless that translated to you sending us cases of great wine. Our intention was to introduce you to one of our many eccentric ideas in regards to wine marketing.

The image you encountered is called a QR-Code, a two dimensional matrix code created in 1994 by the Japanese company, Denso-Wave. “QR” stands for Quick Response, which permits the user to obtain the data at high speed with a scanner. While old school bar codes are capable of storing a max of around 20 digits, QR Code can not only take in several hundred times more information, but various types of information including Kanji, numeric and alphabetic characters, symbols and binary, to name a few. Originally utilized to track vehicle parts, the QR Code is now being used as a convenient and fast application aimed at mobile phone users.

The question being, how in the Lord’s name can you read the QR code we posted yesterday? Simple. All you need to do is download scan reader software to your cellphone. Once installed, turn it on, place the square over the code, and voila, you’ve got info! For how this code can apply to wine, read Ryan’s post below!

Approximately 8 months ago, I proposed an idea to my friend Andre. We decided to create a new label for a wine destined for

the US and targeted to tech geeks. The idea stemmed from my stumbling across a new/old technology called a QRcode. Some of you figured this out and are reading this a day, before I post it to the main page on Catavino, while others are confused and still trying to figure out what happened.

The wine was never bottled, though if someone wants to, just give us a ring. We’ll need a bit of cash and a month to get the wine out there. The idea is simple. This wine has on its label a QRcode, which as described by Wikipedia is:

A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by

Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes.

Now here is the cool part. Your cellphone in your pocket can download a piece of software, and then act as a scanner to scan the label and produce text, links, right on your phones display. This often is a link which takes you to a page of your choosing. Our idea was to create a virtual chat room where you could read wine notes or leave one yourself. Nothing fancy, just a way for you to stand in a wine shop, read a label with your phone, surf to a page and then see what people were saying about the wine.

Pretty cool! But wait, because that’s nothing.
Dynamic Wine Labels (Moo + QRCodes + AVIN)
Take this a step further and you now can have custom landing pages for each market you are targeting. Each label then becomes a custom conversation starter. With a WordPress blog, and some free QRcodes, you can now direct all your consumers to wherever you want. Granted, you’ll need to educate them about the label, but even if you only tell your wine importers, they can then use these tools and show their customers.

It will take time, but it could happen. Sure, there are a fair amount of complications, though fewer than you would imagine.

client of ours is now offering the code on their bottles. It’s a trial run right now, but it’s working, in that people are talking about it. This is happening because of our friend who is now offering QRcodes for every wine they have on their site. So I can browse for a wine, then scan my screen and log the wines in my phone for when I go to the store. Or I can take the label they made and put it on a bottle of wine in my cellar, or my own product.

This is a first step, but I challenge wineries to wake up and think outside the label. Your bottle no longer is a 3D object with a 2D label, the label has just entered the web, and it won’t be coming back.

If you would like more ideas like these, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re full of innovative ideas and would love the opportunity to pass them on to you!

Till soon,

Ryan Opaz

PS: the original page can be found here.

UPDATE: Andre from Adegga offered up some info on their initiative.

We want to make it easier for people to choose wine while they are in
a restaurant or in a wine shop. If a wine uses a QRCode anyone can use
their mobile phone and access other people’s opinion about that wine,
check wine prices on other shops or view a winemaker’s note. The
Adegga QRCode can be used by anyone without the need to ask permission
or pay. One creative example would be, for example, to create wine
bottle tags with QRCodes for all the wines in a cellar so that you can
then easily check the wine’s information on Adegga.

  • Fantastic use of innovation and collaboration with the digital age. Cell phones are the next wave (in that everything will be centralized to that tiny hand-held device) and the more brands that can find a way to interact with it the better. Love the package design and great job with your 1337 speak.

  • I've been playing with the idea of QR codes. I've done some research, downloaded the software for my cell phone, transformed a few pages of my website/blog to be manageable by cell phones with mofuse, etc. The main problem in making this thing available for my wines seems to be the size of the code that have to be printed on wine labels for it to be easily scanned my my cell phone camera (a quite crappy blackberry pearl phone camera). It should be bigger than a big post stamp to work properly, especially if this is to be used in low light environment such as a restaurant. Plus, the technique is not difficult to use but it wouldn't say it is very easy either, it takes a few steps to perform the whole thing (start the software on the phone, take a usable picture, get the link to the web page where the infos are contained).I think it's interesting anyway, and I might use it after all, especially if I can find an easy way to redo the website in mobile format. I'm glad you are talking about it and see if someone has already done it.

  • This mobile application has been getting some under the radar attention lately.Agreed that early adopters will have some bugs to work out but hopefully the app will become more user friendly as it transforms.Thanks for going deep and laying out all the possibilities.

  • If your using WordPress, there is a great plugin to make your site mobile, otherwise you can make mini mobile sites, or micro sites, just for your wines and brand info. All very easy and possibly very effective too!

  • Ciao Gian Paolo,Well my Italian stops here! I agree with you about the size of the sticker code, but we have to see also that the cameras are getting better and better so we can reduce the size. It's also very good that some of them already have a integrated flash that solve the problem of the light. All the steps to perform the operation are not a problem for the new mobile web generation (and that's the ones we have to think about, the future). That's also why Cortes de Cima is testing the system together with Adegga.com in the next major wine events in Portugal and maybe go commercial e the next vintages.

  • Hi Gianpaolo,we've been testing the QRCodes with Codes de Cima and the first tryouts had a few different sizes. We then used a couple of mobile phones with different cameras and we've come to a minimum size that works with 80% of the mobile phones. I agree with José Eduardo that cameras are getting better and better and lots of people already have auto-focus and flash in their mobiles. It's not mainstream yet but it does work well for the people who already use the codes.Ciao

  • Very interesting stuff…wouldn't it be great for your mobile phone to read a wine's barcode! We've recently launched a mobile wine app on the iphone that enables you to research and remember wines from your mobile device. we search multiple databases in realtime to find the exact wine you are drinking and offer professional reviews, ratings, details about the wine, and allow the user to save it to their cellar or purchase it. while we don't yet have barcode readers, we're really excited about it. we hope you'll check us out! http://www.drync.com

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