In a digital age where brands and creators are constantly seeking new ways to engage with their audience, IYK has emerged as a game-changer in the realm of digi-physical experiences.
What is IYK?
Imagine a world where physical products come alive with a touch of your smartphone, where attending a concert or owning a limited-edition T-shirt becomes a gateway to exclusive digital content.
This is the reality that IYK, short for “Identify Your Kit” is creating.
It is a platform that seamlessly merges the physical and digital worlds, enabling brands, musicians, artists, and creators to forge deeper connections with their audience.
The Core Idea
At its core, it leverages the power of near-field communication (NFC) and blockchain technology to tokenize physical items and in-real-life (IRL) experiences.
NFC chips, strategically embedded in various products, serve as the bridge between the tangible and the virtual.
Who invests in the project?
Its groundbreaking vision has not gone unnoticed in the tech and investment communities.
A recent $16.8 million fundraise, led by a16z Crypto and featuring participation from notable investors such as Collab Currency, Lattice Capital, 1kx, Palm Tree Crew, Synergis Capital, Coop Records, and individual leaders like Gmoney, Snowfro, and Justin Aversano, underscores the immense potential seen in IYK’s technology.
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Explaining the Technology
NFC Chips: The Enablers
NFC chips are the heart of its technology.
These chips are placed on a variety of surfaces, including apparel, wood, glass, rubber, and plastic.
Unlike QR codes, which contain static data and can be cloned, NFC chips have unique encryption keys.
They emit dynamic, expiring links, ensuring that anyone accessing authenticated content from an IYK device is doing so from a genuine product.
No App Required
One of the user-friendly aspects of the project is that it does not require a dedicated app.
Most modern smartphones are equipped with NFC reader capabilities, similar to what Apple Pay and Google Pay use.
To access the exclusive content stored within an IYK-tagged item, users can simply tap the NFC chip with their phone.
Gas Fees and Chain Agnosticism
Its technology is chain-agnostic, meaning it can work with different blockchain networks.
It’s most easily compatible with Ethereum Mainnet, Optimism, Polygon, and other EVM-based chains.
NFTs linked to IYK-tagged items conform to the ERC721 standard. On Polygon, the project covers all the gas fees, ensuring a smooth experience for both brands and end-users.
However, on Ethereum Mainnet, users are responsible for their own gas fees.
Proof of Proximity
Security is a top priority for this platform.
To ensure the authenticity of the user, its products emit dynamic, single-visit links via NFC.
These links expire after they’re accessed once or within 30 minutes. Scanning the NFC chip requires physical proximity of about 2cm, making it challenging for unauthorized access.
This “proof of proximity” adds an extra layer of security.
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The Next Chapter: Phygital
A new and captivating concept emerges: “Phygital,” or “Digi-Phygital.”
This term represents a revolutionary fusion of the tangible and the virtual, bringing together real-world products and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create a unique and immersive experience for consumers and collectors alike.
It embodies the idea that physical items, such as clothing, artwork, or collectibles, can transcend their traditional boundaries and become gateways to exclusive, digital content and ownership.
The beauty of Phygital lies in its ability to elevate the value and engagement surrounding physical items.
It transforms everyday products into tangible tokens of authenticity, providing collectors with proof of ownership and access to a parallel digital universe.
This concept is not limited to art or fashion; it extends to various industries, including music, gaming, and entertainment, where the convergence of the physical and digital realms enriches the user experience.
PhygitalX developed by Bacoor is another platform to explore the Phygital space.
Partners of IYK
The project has forged partnerships with industry leaders across various sectors, including fashion, music, and art.
These partnerships have allowed IYK to showcase the versatility of its technology and its ability to enhance the connection between brands and their IRL fans.
Adidas: Adding a Digital Layer of Authenticity
Adidas, a global fashion and sportswear brand, collaborated with IYK to release a limited shirt collection in 2023.
These shirts were equipped with IYK-powered NFC chips, adding a digital layer of authenticity.
Each shirt was uniquely assigned to one of eight “Alter Egos,” making the collection highly collectible and exclusive.
9dcc: Empowering Brand Ambassadors
9dcc’s Networked Products, powered by IYK, empowers brand ambassadors to drive brand growth by gamifying ownership through the product’s chip.
Product owners can participate in weekly competitions, check-in their items at events, and refer friends to purchase, creating a sense of community and engagement.
VÉRITÉ: Exclusive Content for Fans
Independent musician VÉRITÉ used IYK’s technology in her latest Crewneck release.
Fans could tap the NFC chip on the Crewneck to get early access to new songs and sign up for exclusive updates.
The non-shareable links incentivized fans to purchase their own Crewneck, strengthening their connection with the artist.
BB3 Labs: Fostering Real-World Connections
BB3 Labs’ Technical Goods leverages IYK’s technology to encourage fans to meet in real life (IRL) for a chance at rare digital rewards.
This innovative approach blends the digital and physical worlds to create unique fan experiences.
Potential in the Future
The project has come a long way in bridging the gap between digital and physical experiences, but its journey is far from over.
The introduction of the platform is a significant step forward.
This self-service portal allows brands, musicians, artists, and creators of all kinds to deploy digi-physical experiences without the need for technical knowledge.
The Platform & Its Principles
Its Platform is designed with customizability and extensibility in mind.
Brands can sign up with their email and order ready-to-use NFC chips delivered to their doorstep.
The project supports a variety of chip types for standalone use or embedding in products.
Customizing the tap experience is made easy with no coding required.
Brands can deliver exclusive video content through IYK Beams, mark special events with branded NFT drops, and integrate with third-party platforms for more engagement.
For those who want programmatic control, the IYK API provides features like digital twin identification, validated chip scans, and module permissions, enabling unparalleled flexibility.
This allows for the creation of branded worlds and experiences tailored to a brand’s unique vision.
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IYK’s $16.8 million fundraise, led by a16z Crypto, provides the financial backing needed to expand its reach and impact.
With a wealth of insights from successful creator experiences and partnerships, IYK is well-equipped to extend its bridge to more creators and their customers and fans.
Co-Creating the Next Chapter
To brands, musicians, artists, and creators worldwide, the project extends an invitation to co-create the next chapter of digi-physical experiences.
Collaborate with this new platform to redefine the boundaries and craft experiences that resonate both online and offline.
IYK’s technology, driven by NFC and blockchain, has the potential to revolutionize how brands and creators engage with their audience.
Its partnerships with industry leaders demonstrate the real-world applicability of its solutions.
As it continues to innovate and expand, the project is poised to lead the way in the exciting realm of digi-physical experiences.
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