Real or Counterfeit?
While shopping for a well regarded jacket on Amazon, Bill Dixon noticed the top review was a one star review. “The jacket isn’t cheap and is a well known staple of the outdoor community, so I was surprised to see any poor reviews. When I looked in more depth, over 15% of the reviews were 1 star and almost all of those were claiming the jacket they received was a counterfeit!”
At the time, Bill was working for LeafLabs, a boutique engineering consulting firm solving challenges for global Fortune 50 tech companies. “After seeing the dozens of counterfeit jacket reviews, my immediate thought was —well-known techniques exist for authentication in the digital world, why can’t we do this in the physical world?” Through that online shopping experience, Aulera Authentication was born.
Fighting Against Knock-offs
Aulera Authentication is tackling the worldwide counterfeit goods market by enabling brands to protect their physical products and better engage with customers directly. Encrypted, unclonable, off-the-shelf NFC tags are embedded in each product during manufacturing, so that every product leaves the factory with a unique digital identity. Using the same technology as Apple Pay and Google Pay, customers can interact with the tag through their smartphones, guaranteeing authenticity through a unique digital experience.
“We see so much potential for brands in enhancing their products with our solution.” explains Bill. “A jacket is no longer just a jacket—now, a customer can tap their phone to the NFC tag and understand the garment’s origin story, prove authenticity, read care instructions, process a warranty claim, or view further product suggestions from the brand. These possibilities are already exciting and other uses will be discovered as tagged clothing becomes ubiquitous.”
Understanding The Problem
Aulera’s process was designed with a focus on seamlessly integrating within factories at full-scale production. “We don’t just ship our customers tags and say, here, just go.” mentions Bill. “We provide a turnkey solution and understand the criticality of the factory and the supply chain. One of our co-founders, Nathan Stempel, joined from McKinsey & Co. and has an MIT supply chain degree—that experience is central to how we partner with brands, and the high level of service we know is essential to ensuring a program is successful.” To date, Aulera’s solution is at work in hundreds of thousands of products.
As customers move increasingly online to purchase garments, Aulera Authentication is positioned to help consumers ensure their purchases are authentic. “With counterfeits becoming mainstream and being featured in the news more often, I see a very near-term reality where consumers are more selective with the purchases they are making and expect this level of security in their purchases—whether it be fashion, outdoor, or footwear. Brands that are able to assure a customer of a product’s authenticity will lead the industry.”
For more information about Aulera Authentication, visit: https://www.aulera.com