Golden Globe 2020 Trophies Digitally Authenticated With NFC Technology

The Golden Globe Awards trophy redesign opens up a conversation on what digital identification of the Golden Globe could mean for the wearable tech industry.

Everyone knows the Golden Globes as a glamourous event that kickstarts the award season. This year it has me a little bit more excited than usual because if you look beyond the charm and thrill of the red carpet, you will find out that the winners are receiving redesigned trophies implemented with innovative NFC component.

When Long-standing Heritage Gets An Update

In 2019, the Golden Globe trophies underwent a massive redesign. Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organiser of the annual Golden Globe Award Ceremony commissioned a new NFC component to be embedded within the trophies to certify its authenticity. It is a change that has continued for this year’s 2020 Golden Globe, where each award had an encrypted digital credential remotely written into the embedded chip. 

Image credit: R/GA and DIGISEQ Ltd

So why did HFPA decide to embed a Near-Field Communication (NFC) smart chip within the base of their trophies? Lars Hansson, VP Executive Creative Director, RGA explained: “The awards are such a high profile and get seen by so many people that this can put them at risk of counterfeiting. We used this insight to ensure that each award is truly authentic and unique by integrating NFC tech with DIGISEQ to improve the security of the award”. 

Creating a Digital Identity for the Trophies in Real-Time

Collaboration played a crucial role in creating the digital identity for the Golden Globe trophies. HFPA worked with UK based firm DIGISEQ, a company that they previously partnered up with back in 2019. Specialising in secure data generation and delivery for wearables and other unique devices DIGISEQ were able to take advantage of an exclusive mobile application downloaded onto their NFC-enabled mobile devices. Upon tapping the trophy on the mobile device, an RSA-based authentication of the award’s provenance is executed, displaying the award details if the trophy is verified authentic. 

Image credit: R/GA and DIGISEQ Ltd

 “DIGISEQ solves a problem by using our provisioning platform and highly secure NFC equipment to deliver a unique digital identity directly into the smart chip within each trophy – as part of the new design”, explained Colin Tanner, CTO, DIGISEQ Ltd. Hansson added,“[DIGISEQ] allowed an added layer to the award for winners and the HFPA because of the digital experience that is activated by the app when it reads the NFC chip. It created so much delight and intrigue as they had not expected a physical award to have digital integration and experience.” 

It created so much delight and intrigue as they had not expected a physical award to have digital integration and experience.” 

Digital Authentication, Why Now?

Digital authentication is in high demand from the luxury goods industry to determine the validity of luxury goods instantaneously. This is because luxury goods are a target for duplication and counterfeit, a problem that the fashion industry knows only too well.  In 2018, Burberry announced they had lost over £28M due to counterfeiting. To counteract this, Burberry had a branding redesign on all their products which they released in London Fashion Week 2018. In 2019, Ralph Lauren announced that they are going to launch Digital Product Identities (IDs) for tens of millions of Ralph Lauren products, starting with the Polo brand. In the same year, the LVHM conglomerate – which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and more – revealed Aura, a blockchain platform in partnership with Microsoft and Consensys. The Ethereum-based platform allows consumers to access the product history and proof of authenticity of luxury goods. 

ALSO READ: Ralph Lauren Unveils a New Technology That Gives Consumers The Power to Authenticate

For the luxury goods market, it is crucial to futureproof the provenance of goods to promote transparency, avoid loss of revenue due to counterfeit and to preserve brand credibility. “What many do not realise is that blockchain provides only part of a secure provenance solution as it is unable to prove the product being protected has not been substituted”, said Tanner. Making recognising counterfeit products seamless as possible for both buyers and sellers DIGISEQ offers a Provenance Service directed at fashion brands and other award shows who want to prevent counterfeit digitally.

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Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.