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Trimble's RFID-enabled CrewSight automates personnel management on construction sites ••• FinnCode brings NFC-enabled added-value to Italian luxury shoes, bags ••• Ams, STMicroelectronics launch secure NFC mobile-payment solution ••• Estimote adds beacon-sharing to its Cloud platform ••• Mayo Clinic, Gentag partner to develop wireless sensors to treat obesity, diabetes.
By Beth Bacheldor

FinnCode Brings NFC-enabled Added-Value to Italian Luxury Shoes, Bags

Finnish software company FinnCode has announced that Italian luxury fashion designer Francesca Castagnacci is using its Near Field Communication (NFC) solution to authenticate and register its collection of women's handbags and shoes. A Smartrac Midas NFC tag, made with an NXP Semiconductors NTAG 213 IC, is embedded in each product; the tag is encoded with a unique ID number that is encrypted, according to Jari Salmela, Finncode's CTO. The tags are embedded in each handbag or pair of shoes, typically just below or by the logo, says Jacopo Romagnoli, Francesca Castagnacci's chief operation officer and director.

The tags can only be read using a free FinnCode Authentication smartphone app that the customer is instructed to download and install (the app, available at the Google play and iTunes websites, runs on NFC-enabled Android and iOS devices). Once the app is up and running, the customer can then tap the phone near the tag of the bag or shoes, in order to capture that tag's unique ID number. Reading the tag directs the FinnCode app to display data about the product—where and when it was created—thereby proving its authenticity. The customer's registration information (captured upon the product's receipt) is visible, and the customer can input or make changes to the data, which typically includes his or her name and contact information.

The solution also lets Francesca Castagnacci provide its customers with a variety of digital content via the app, including product details, brand news and other information. "Francesca Castagnacci has a complex and dynamic imaginary world, mixed with our extraordinary process of production that involves some of the best handcrafted [goods] in Tuscany," Romagnoli says. "We love to share the story of what you bought. We want to involve you in our new ideas and, if you want, to be informed before anyone else about new products and happenings."

FinnCode has recently established a sales department in Florence, Italy. The NFC solutions provider had already been working with other companies, including Aki Choklat, a designer of shoes and accessories, which began selling a bag in July 2014 that links a digital record about that bag with the physical product itself (see Aki Choklat Brings Authentication and Personalization to Luxury Bags), and Giulietti, a Finnish company that imports and resells Giulietti accordions in Europe. Giulietti reported, in November 2013, that it was planning to use FinnCode's technology to track the sale and servicing of the instruments (see NFC RFID Technology Puts the Squeeze on Accordion Thieves, Counterfeiters).

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