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Wilmington Start-Up Next Glass Launches App to National Buzz

Next Glass
Next Glass is a free app, developed by Wilmington-based entrepreneur Kurt Taylor, that allows users to find new bottles of wine of beer they'll like.

It’s an app that claims to have cracked the code of taste. 

In development since 2012, and in the news for much of this year, Next Glass tells users which bottles of wine and beer they’ll enjoy. 

Incubated by UNCW's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Wilmington-based start-up officially launched its app Thursday. 

Here’s how it works:   the user tells the app a few wines or beers they like.  Then that user can go into a store, scan just about any bottle with a smartphone, and find out how much they’ll enjoy that bottle – within what the company says is a 96% accuracy rate. 

It’s all based on the science of taste, says Founder and CEO Kurt Taylor:

"When wine and beers come into our lab, they’re sampled using several scientific instruments.  The main one we use is maspec." 

Specifically, a liquid chromatography mass spectrometer performs a full-scan analysis of each bottle -- identifying all the different chemical compounds. 

"So you’re talking about thousands of different data points in each bottle of wine and beer.  We take all of that data and combine it with some software that we’ve written that’s able to go through – based on your likes and dislikes and determine how you enjoy different compounds.  So it looks for patterns within the data."

The app also uses social media to allow users to find wine and beer that friends and family will enjoy.  

Next Glass is getting some impressive national buzz.  As of Thursday afternoon, Taylor says USA Today, CNN, and Yahoo! had reported the app’s launch. 

Despite his newfound stardom, Taylor says he and other key company officials are committed to growth in Wilmington. 

The app is free and available in both the Google Play Store and Apple's iOS Store.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.