By Evan Ackerman
I live and work in Napa Valley during wine season, but I’m the first to admit that I haven’t a clue about wine. That is, I’m the first to admit it privately (like now). In public, I’ll examine it, swirl it, sniff it, sip it, and pretend to have a clue about what it is and where it comes from while I try and sneak looks at the label. Technology has come to my rescue with the RFID Wine Rack. Not only is it filled with hundreds of color shifting LEDs, but the entire rack has built in RFID readers to keep track of your wine. Using your computer, you can add information to the database, or even run custom queries:
“A handheld browser commands the rack to display multiple types of information and project the results with RGB LEDs directly onto the individual bottles, which are identified by the rack via custom walnut veneer radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on each bottle. For example, a collector planning a dinner party could specify they want to see all of their 2003 Napa Chardonnays whose current market value exceeds $50. WineM will identify and light up just the bottles that match those criteria.”
A chardonnay? From Napa? HA! If you’re going to drink a Northern California wine, go for a big chewy red, even I know that much. But that’s all I know, seriously. A video of the wine rack in action, after the jump.
The prototype was on display at WIRED NextFest in LA; based on the frantic pace at which wineries try to outdo each other (authentic 13th century castle imported brick by brick from Tuscany, anyone?), I’d expect to see this in a tasting room sometime in the near future.