Thinfilm has unveiled a new blockchain-enabled feature that allows users of its near field communications (NFC) technology to learn about a product’s provenance or history, including details on transfer of ownership and its supply chain.
Marketers can now use CNECT Blockchain Services to extend Thinfilm’s base NFC technology, which allows users who “tap” it with a device to trigger an experience or interaction. All iPhones version 7 and up and most recent Androids are NFC-ready.
The feature is powered by Ethereum and is built into Thinfilm’s CNECT cloud platform. Blockchain technology creates a centralized, validated digital history, which makes it a transparent, unalterable way to deliver information.
The company says that the feature works well in any scenario where an end user might be interested in supply chain information, such as food, wine and spirits, pharmaceuticals and more.
A new data point
In addition to a consumer demand for such interactions, Christian Delay, executive vice president of software for Thinfilm, told me that the information gleaned from a consumer tapping on a product can be useful to marketers.
“We’ve been seeing a lot more demand from the consumer side in terms of wanting to have more information on provenance and supply chains,” Delay said. “The consumer demand is there, and the willingness for brands to share that information is there as well,” Delay said.
Delay expanded on its benefits.
You can lead with marketing information, and then users can drill down and see where a product comes from, but you can also lead with the blockchain information in terms of supply chain. We’re focused on consumers wanting this traceability and transfer of ownership, but the other thing that marketers will benefit from is the data from “tap” events, right? So they’ll see actual physical interactions with their products throughout the regions that are distributing the products. And so, I think that’s a new data point and a data set that is very, very interesting to the marketers.
Thinfilm’s blockchain-enabled feature is now available, and the company expects its customers to be rolling it out in products later this year.