June 2021

Continuing off our experiments with NFTs that have real-world-value, my friends and I explored the applications of NFTs in the 3D world. Eventually, we came up with the idea of IYK: wearable chips that connect real world items with their metaverse counterpart.

The tech is focused around this NFC chip called the NTAG 424 DNA: it supports AES-128 cryptography, and more importantly it generates a unique code on each read, similar to TOTP protocol. This makes is impossible to clone or overwrite and provides the basis for our product. We basically store a unique reference on an NFC tag and sew it as a custom patch onto clothing. When paired with a web app, the user can tap their phone on the tag to claim or mint an NFT. Doing this changes the dynamics of NFT merch ownership - instead of having an NFT separate from the merch you buy (which is rarely more useful than a participation ribbon), you have a physical chip on the clothing such that whoever owns the clothing can claim ownership of the corresponding NFT. You also get presence utility - unlocking benefits IRL by tapping your tag at an event to claim something or get access to something.

This was one of my favorite projects because I was able to build with a mix of hardware and software. Our chips even got sewn into hoodies! Eventually I left the company because I felt at odds with the toxicity of the crypto community, but the company is growing well as of the time of this writing.