Orange awards €10,000 to NFC authentication firm

Near field communicationsMobile network Orange has awarded anti-counterfeiting startup UniSmart €10,000 in its near-field communication (NFC) competition.

UniSmart won second place in the awards for its anti-counterfeiting technology that uses NFC to identify genuine products. NFC is built into most modern smartphones to provide a short-range wireless link between the device and a reader. It could be used to pay for a coffee, or spot a fake.

To authenticate items using a NFC-enabled device, UniSmart is implanting chips into products. Putting a NFC-enabled smartphone next to one of these chips will allow the device to confirm if the product is genuine.

In its profile on the Orange awards website, UniSmart says it is working with manufacturers of medicines, luxury goods and cars. Implanting a NFC chip into a handbag or blister pack of drugs would allow a consumer to instantly authenticate the item using their regular smartphone.

Image credit: yuriy2design / 123RF Stock Photo

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