International designer furniture and furnishings brand Moooi have launched ‘The Button’, an NFC powered authentication device.
The button device uses the latest NFC tag authentication technology, creating a unique code on each tap. This means that the tag cannot be copied as any copy will use an out of date code.
Moooi have integrated the NFC scan technology into Apps for both Android and iPhone. A simple scan of the NFC tag will identify whether the item is genuine or not.
In the words of Moooi, the concept has been created because :
In a world where mass production and counterfeiting are becoming more and more common, we at Moooi believe in investing in the future of good and authentic design. Therefore, we created The Button. A tiny digital superhero that provides Moooi products with an authentic digital identity
Clearly, the device has the added benefit of being able to create a link between the product, brand and consumer. It’s very clearly defined as item designed to help protect the brand against counterfeit items. It’s not pitched as a marketing device or promotional device which can also act as an authentication device. It’s primary pitch is all about authentication.
What’s also interesting is the simplicity to which Moooi have defined the product. It’s a simple, carefully designed item with a simple defined purpose. Moooi have decided to go beyond the idea of simply adding an authentication tag into their products and have decided to create ‘The Button’ as a product in itself.
This, apart from being a clever bit of marketing and great bit of design, also allows the tag to be easily fitted and retrofitted to existing products. It becomes a symbol of authenticity for the products in itself.
In addition, Moooi have done this under their own brand. The NFC authentication device is theirs and the company providing the authentication is them.
Branded authenticity ?
There has long been a discussion within the more enthusiastic circles of the NFC industry that when NFC authentication happens is it going to be under global authentication brands or will it be more diverse. Essentially, will there be an emergence of a single or a few brands that come to define NFC enabled authenticity across multiple brands – providing their stamp of authenticity within other’s Apps – or will brands take that on themselves.
Let’s be clear. Developing and using authentication tags is not easy but there are already back end platforms launching that are designed to help. However, it still requires brands to have their own App and the ability to be able to implement.
Therefore, are off the shelf solutions likely to become the dominant factor ? There are a number of companies already releasing authentication solutions with a plug and play format.
Or possibly, will the technology become the behind the scenes brand within branded Apps. For example, are we likely to see ‘authentication by…’ starting to appear within Apps. In which case, which companies are likely to take the lead.