Thin Film Electronics (Thinfilm) has announced a partnership with SmartSign. The companies are leveraging Thinfilm's NFC OpenSense technology as a means of addressing rampant counterfeiting that currently exists in many Vietnamese markets, including wine and spirits, tobacco, and home health products.
In delivering this next-generation anti-counterfeiting NFC solution throughout Vietnam, Thinfilm and SmartSign are initially focusing on the wine market in the wine/spirits segment, an industry that has been hit especially hard by fraud.
According to Thin Film Electronics the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a 2014 report that "50% of all alcohol consumed in Vietnam is unrecorded," a scenario which poses major health risks, creates unfair competition for legitimate businesses, and deprives the government of much needed tax revenues.
Counterfeiting and illicit trade are pervasive in Vietnam, primarily due to high import taxes and the huge influx of fraudulent goods from neighboring China and Cambodia. Beyond wine and spirits, nearly one billion packages of counterfeit/illicit cigarettes are smuggled into the Vietnamese market each year.
This figure represents nearly 25% of domestic consumption and costs the government more than US$ 200 million in lost taxes. The Vietnamese government recently established "Committee 389" to unite the Ministry of Commerce, the Customs Department, and the Police Department to proactively combat these increasing levels of product counterfeiting and illicit trade.
Davor Sutija, CEO for Thinfilm, said, "In a region that continues to be significantly impacted by fake products and illegal trade, SmartSign has been a leader in providing commercial anti-counterfeiting solutions to the Vietnamese market." Davor added, "We're pleased to partner with SmartSign and also excited that NFC OpenSense will play a key role in helping to mitigate these serious issues in Vietnam."
Nguyen Hoang Vu, SmartSign's CEO, said, "The counterfeiting issue in Vietnam has grown steadily over the past several years and has severely impacted the country's ability to attract investment." Nguyen Hoang Vu added, "This solution enables the Vietnamese government to increase tax revenue and protect companies against unfair competition from illicit trade in counterfeit products. It also allows businesses to combat the proliferation of fraudulent products and, at the same time, provide relevant information to their valued customers through their smartphones."
NFC OpenSense tags will help prevent these counterfeiting activities, as the proprietary technology allows the consumer, the brand, the retailer, and others throughout the supply chain to verify the authenticity of each bottle.
A growing number of firms in the global wine industry have expressed interest in NFC OpenSense, including Australia-based Ferngrove Wines. Thinfilm, the G World Group and Ferngrove unveiled the world's first "smart wine bottle" powered by printed electronics at Mobile World Congress Shanghai in 2015. The group is planning to launch field trials in 2016.
NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect a product's "factory sealed" and "opened" states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone or device. The tags contain unique identifiers that make it possible for brands and government agencies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using powerful software and analytics tools. In combination with the NFC OpenSense tags, SmartSign has developed a custom mobile app and back-end software to ultimately deliver a powerful end-to-end anti-counterfeiting solution.
Source; Thin Film Electronics