The sensor has been tested on scotch, bourbon, rye, brandy and vodka. It works by using a disposable colored sensor with 36 dyes. Specific liquors cause the dyes to change color when exposed to their vapors, which are partially oxidized in the device. A color pattern shows within two minutes, and can tell what the liquor is based on the understood color pattern of a pure spirit.
Of course, people aren’t going to stick to just 14 brands and five types of alcohol. It’s got a long way to go before it can tell you what you need to know about about every common bottle on the shelf. It is a step in the right direction, though. Spirits haven’t had as big of an imposter problem as wine, but with spirits regularly going for thousands of dollars a bottle through sometimes questionable channels, it’s better to be safe than sorry.