At Maker Faire 2016, as I walked through the stands of exhibitors, I found a beautiful example of IoT (Internet of Things), 100% Italian – the Wenda system. This system has been developed exclusively for the Italian wine market. It shall apply to wine bottles and aims to offer various control services and protection of the product. All to ensure the excellent quality of a valuable product as it can be a bottle of premium wine. In fact, typically, a bottle of wine can go through various distributions, before reaching the consumer. The bottle can be stored in multiple places, and therefore its quality is no longer under the control of the manufacturer.
The Wenda Project
Wenda was born as start-up project in 2015 and consists of a team of experienced professionals in the industry with over 20 years of experience and ambitious young people from the academic world. Thus the products and ideas of Wenda project born from the union of different professionals from different sectors, from engineering to the food industry. Also born from the high level of innovation provided by the young students and professors of the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna.
The objectives of this project are to ensure the maintenance of quality standards of high-quality wines during all phases of distribution, ranging from the production cellar to the consumer chalice. This can be ensured through various types of controls, in particular three points are those to which the project Wenda has given greater importance:
- MONITORING of wine conservation parameters
- PROTECTION from counterfeiting and refilling actions
- SMART COMMUNICATION of marketing and storytelling contents
These three types of control are carried out on three different levels, managed by different products, each of which represents an aspect of a single Wenda project: an integrated solution.
- The device
- The smartphone application
- The cloud platform on web
The Wenda device
The device is linked to the bottle and through a network of sensors, it starts recording the data collected by environmental parameters in which is located the bottle. The scanned data is sent to the cloud via network. Then these data can be made visible and accessible through an application on SmartPhone. The collected parameters are those which are generally useful in giving information on the conditions to which the matter was referred to the bottle during transport or storage. Moreover, these parameters can describe a possible stress to which the wine can be subjected
The device is able to record the degree of sun irradiation or artificial light emitted on different frequency spectra ranging from ultraviolet, the visible and infrared. The bottles generally are made of dark glass just to ensure a very low wine exposure to external light, however, not sufficient to ensure the insulation in case of strong light emissions.
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Even the outside temperature to which the bottle is subjected, is another important parameter that the Wenda device takes into account. High temperatures, but also too low temperatures, can also severely impair the quality of the wine contained within consistently altering the organoleptic properties of wines often precious.
Another parameter that is measured is the degree of inclination, but particularly the exposure to vibrations or strong blows. Long exposure to vibrations can also partly compromising the quality of the wine.
The Cloud data accessible by SmartPhone
Each bottle to which you connected the device Wenda, is thus monitored at all times. All data are collected in a cloud which is a central database containing all possible data. Thus the manufacturer may at any time check the quality and status of distributed goods (thousands of bottles) and also the consumer can check the quality status and the “story” of the single bottle of wine that has reached his table.
This can be done very simply through a simple application downloadable on smartphones, or via the web directly consulting the cloud.
The Wenda project has placed a focus on a very important aspect for the quality of wine: the possible wine counterfeiting during transport or storage. In fact, the wine may be replaced either partially or totally from a lower quality wine, during the distribution chain, and this would be detrimental to both the manufacturer, but above all the consumer.
In this regard, the Wenda project has therefore devised a system to be applied directly to the bottle cap, thus avoiding the removal of the cap.
The Wenda project is an excellent example approach IoT that soon we will all be involved. These innovative projects will be the precursor of a whole series of innovations that will soon affect (for better or for worse) our lives.