From the Desk of Jason Hart

Trillions of Everyday Items to Be Trusted

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a simple way of saying that everything around us is connected. We’re seeing companies connecting refrigerators, sprinkler systems, motor vehicles and thousands of other segments. When we talk about IoT, we think of permanently connected items — but what about the TRILLIONS of everyday items that need to be trusted, but don’t have the power, space or economics to be permanently connected?

IoT - Internet of Things

As contactless tags such as NFC (near field communication) and RFID (radio-frequency identification) have become more affordable, we’re able to affix them to literally trillions of everyday items, a number that will continue to grow as there is a greater and greater demand for those items to be trusted. It’s important to note that both NFC and RFID are just implementations of contactless technology — Identiv’s vision is independent of the tag format and we’ll implement new standards as they become available.


The same digital certificate technology that Identiv uses to authenticate ID badges and door readers can be implemented today to ensure the authenticity of the Prada bag you purchased last week, your child’s physical electronic toy that synchronizes with an interactive video game, a bottle of wine that may have been subject to higher temperatures than a retailer claims, or the prescription medicine you pick up from the pharmacy.

Using your mobile device to read the tag, you can then gather data from any item — from the bag, the toy, the bottle of wine, the medicine — validate it using industry-standard PKI technology (even when disconnected), or if connected to the Internet, you can upload it to the cloud to access later and compare to future data.


Consider the medicine, for example. Before digital certificate technology, how could you ensure that it was the genuine article, whether it was expired, or had exceed proper temperature ranges?

But what if the manufacturer implanted an NFC tag into the packaging that says “this is a genuine vaccine”? You take your mobile device, you scan the medicine, and you can trust that it is real  — even when disconnected from the Internet, because of the industry-standard PKI technology and digital certificates embedded in the tags.

The world is evolving around us, whether we want it to or not. There is a set of international standards based on digital certificates with everything becoming connected. Identiv provides a single infrastructure with Identiv Trust Services (ITS) that allows our customers to be able to truly trust their worlds.

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