NFC: The Ultimate Technology Fashion Statement
I recently returned from the three-day Wear Conference in the “Big Apple” (New York City) where I presented to a room crowded with fashionistas and technologists. The conference was very technical focusing on technology in clothing, fiber, sporting goods, etc.
Nearly half the attendees were women in senior technical management positions representing a wide variety of brands including Patagonia, Google, Levi Strauss and Company, Intel, Velcro, Ralph Lauren, Microsoft, Kimberly Clark, Eileen Fisher and Dupont, to name a few. I highly recommend NFC Forum members attend this conference going forward as it is an ideal forum to spread the word to a receptive audience about NFC technology and tags.
The strong turnout for this conference was not surprising as 245 million wearables will be sold worldwide in 2019 – up from 84 million wearable devices sold in 2015 according to CSS Insight. This shows that not only are more people buying wearables, but more wearables implementing NFC are being made – wearables with NFC (especially watches and textiles) will soon become a staple item for consumers. NFC technology is already making an impact in the wearable industry as seen in some of the presentations at the conference. NuCurrent (wireless charging) and Inuheat (fabrics that you can heat up) both talked about NFC technology in their presentations.
The conference was located on 7th “Fashion” Avenue at the Fashion Institute of Technology, an internationally recognized college for design, fashion, art, communications, and business. My presentation was titled Four ways NFC Enables Brands to Connect to a Wearable Tomorrow. My key message was that NFC in a wearable product will improve the customer experience, enhanced brand engagement and help create new, innovative products.
Download Four ways NFC Enables Brands to Connect to a Wearable Tomorrow Slides here.
The four benefits NFC affords brands in the wearable space are:
1. Authentication & anti-counterfeiting. With NFC and mobile authentication services, consumers can be certain they’re buying genuine jewelry, watches, handbags, and other valuable products.
2. Context-sensitive digital content. NFC can provide digital content and services related to wearables, based on real-time shopping needs, to motivate on-the-spot sales, or even information more directly related to the wearable. Recommendations for other items that complement the outfit or product can also create cross-selling opportunities.
3. After-sales service. NFC can enhance the user experience eve after the purchase by tapping to a tag on a wearable. Access to customer care, exclusive brand applications, and tools are convenient to the customer, and even the store by providing personalized rewards that help foster brand loyalty and repurchases.
4. Customer intelligence. By tapping a wearable like smart watch or bracelet to a piece of machinery at the gym, customers can become more informed about their workout seamlessly and more accurately.
NFC technology has steadily grown in popularity and usage since the founding of the NFC Forum. At the Wear Conference NFC was discussed as a leading technology to help technologists and fashionistas innovate and create new products. Companies attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the last few years have prominently discussed and shown NFC-enabled products too. I’m expecting that, next year, the big automotive trade shows in Detroit and Europe will also display even more NFC enabled products. Whereas the retail and payment sector is leading the way with NFC products I’m personally excited to see the NFC innovations spawned by the rising IoT market.
All in all, it’s a good time to be involved with NFC technology. And it is the right time to be an NFC Forum member. To learn more about membership, click here.