Wine and spirit bottles can now be given covert, secure, unique identities for authentication and traceability following Cambridge-based Flying Null's (FN) launch of what it says is the world's thinnest chipless, non-line-of-sight "smart tag".

The remotely readable “Transfer Tags”, which cost 0.5-3 cents each, can be incorporated into brand labels and, at just 3 microns thick, “have no effect” on wet or pressure-sensitive label application.

They can be laminated, embedded, applied directly to the surface, overprinted or even form part of the final packaging design.

When sandwiched between label and bottle, they can only be removed by defacing the label and thus devaluing the product.