To combat counterfeits of its innovative designs, Holland-based luxury design collective Moooi recently unveiled The Button. Overlaid with an elegant floral motif, the quarter-sized plastic button contains a computer chip that transmits an image of the corresponding product, along with its product code, a unique ID, and details about the origins of the design.
The chip uses near field communication (NFC), the same technology that powers contactless payments on smartphones, to allow the information to be read on iPhones or Android devices running Moooi’s corresponding app. This allows professionals and clients alike to verify the product’s authenticity with ease.
By the end of 2019, the brand anticipates The Button will be a standard, but removable, feature on every Moooi product. For now, Moooi is focused on first chipping its highly copied light fixtures. The brand is also in talks with other players in the design market who are interested in adopting the technology. “If we can join forces, I think we could all benefit from this," says Moooi CEO Robin Bevers. Counterfeiting has long been a detriment to designers, but the ease of authentication provided by The Button’s technology is poised to have a lasting positive impact on the greater design industry.