Buying limited-edition sneakers like Kanye West’s Yeezys is not easy. No matter on the official website, B2C platform or in a store, they are usually sold out in minutes or even seconds. This is the reason of the growth of second-hand online sellers (such as StockX and GOAT), where you can find any hot shoes of Adidas or Nike. These sites are popular because they guarantee the authenticity of these shoes. Take StockX as an example. Any pair of shoes you buy from it has a QR code verification label, but this is only for internal use. Sneaker Con is a company that hosts a global sports shoe enthusiast conference that wants to incorporate 21st century elements into certified games.
Sneaker Con has launched an app similar to StockX and GOAT, where users can buy and sell new and old shoes, and the app supports a technology that makes it stand out: Near Field Communication (NFC). Every time you buy a pair of sneakers from the Sneaker Con app, it comes with a physical tag with NFC. This legal label contains information about the sneakers you bought (including model number, size, status, and SKU number). You just need to open the Sneaker Con app to view this information and click on the Certification tab: A pop-up window will appear and telling you that it’s ready to scan your shoes. Then you just touch the Legit tag on the top of the phone, and if it’s authentic, you’ll see a screen said ” Legit. Sneaker Con Authenticated.”
While Sneaker Con designed the internal Legit tag, the user experience was created in collaboration with Blue Bite, a startup that uses NFC to provide certification services for brands such as Adidas, Bulgari and Pinko. Blue Bite’s software keeps Sneaker Con’s NFC tags safe from counterfeiting. It can use its own proprietary technology to create an unique authentication ID for each transaction, which is to scan between the tag and the phone. This makes them basically impossible to copy.
Alan Vinogradov, CEO and founder of the company, said, “NFC also provides consumers with a digital window to understand the sneaker’s culture, not just as a tool for legalizing products. NFC is not only a symbol of certification, it is also an opportunity to learn more about shoes.” If this legal label is popular, Sneaker Con’s technology may have a real impact on the industry that has traditionally been plagued by counterfeit goods.