Firstly let us demystify what actually is an NFT? An NFT is a non-fungible token that is unique, think of it as a certificate of ownership that exists on the blockchain. The blockchain is a digital ledger of information that’s very difficult or impossible to hack. NFTs are created when a digital file (commonly a glTF or image file) is minted, this means that a certificate of ownership and originality is granted to the owner. NFTs are often referred to when talking about the Metaverse because NFTs will have real use and value in the digital 3D world when it is created. The Metaverse is currently a hot topic of discussion in technology circles, and a growing number of consumers and brands are starting to purchase ‘land’ and ‘property’ within these digital worlds and ensuring their products also have digital equivalents, NFTs, to enter this digital sphere.
But before we start to exist through a virtual reality headset in a matrix remake, NFTs have real purpose in today’s consumer market.
London Dynamics is proud to be working with leading road bike manufacturer Colnago, to produce a hyper-real 3D visual and 360° view of their new C68 road bike. Not only can the bike be viewed from all angles in intricate detail, London Dynamics’ product configurator allows the customer to select the colour, design and finish on our fully integrated platform. Once the customer has configured their dream bike and confirmed the purchase, the construction of this flagship bike can take up to 6 months. That’s a long time to wait for such a valuable purchase, so approximately one month later the customer is issued with an NFT, in the form of a 3D image file and 360° video of the exact bike they purchased which can be stored in their digital wallet. London Dynamics partnership with MyLime, an innovative digital passport provider, allows for this ultimate ownership experience where the physical product is irreversibly connected to the digital world. MyLime connects the customised Colnago bike to the Automotive Blockchain® where a record of the frame’s manufacture, transport and sale is recorded. Because the data stored on the blockchain is distributed, it can’t be faked or changed once registered, providing ultimate proof of ownership.
This digital image is of course useful when congratulating yourself on an excellent purchase or proudly showing off your new ride to friends, but it also has practical implications when it comes to insurance, proof of purchase and ownership. The NFT allows the owner of the physical product to guarantee the value of their item and creates a digital passport for the physical objects lifetime. This is a valuable asset when it comes to the sale of luxury goods that may gain value with the blockchain ledger being updated with every new owner or accomplishment. Take a classic car for example, which might gain value for each race won, this can be documented on the blockchain which authenticates and adds lasting value to the physical product.
We have been looking at the security provided by blockchain technology to give our customers the confidence to know that the frame they are buying is authentic and to demonstrate the chain of ownership forever.
Manolo Bertocchi, Head of Marketing Colnago
For luxury brands who are just starting out in the digital product space there are other practical use cases for NFTs. Predicting demand for a new design or colour-way can ordinarily be a game of luck, but by pre-launching a digital twin, companies can gauge demand and production quotas can be adjusted accordingly. In addition, the number of B-Corp companies is on the rise, brands must strengthen trust with their customers by being transparent with supply chain verification. NFTs can be used to show a products life cycle citing the origination of raw materials and their environmental impact to ensure transparency to the end consumer.
To conclude, NFT use cases are still in their infancy but it’s clear to see that they can play a huge part in a brands transparency, security and exclusivity. So whether you are a luxury brand thinking of entering the digital world or a consumer purchasing a classic car, it’s clear NFTs are here to stay.
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