Yorkshire technology firm Kiroco Technology are helping businesses take advantage of the fast growing wearable tech market after securing a number of patents to integrate NFC chips into wearables, specifically jewellery that communicate with smartphones and chip readers.
Having obtained granted US and UK patents Kiroco Technology are now working globally to develop applications, like contactless payments, activated by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology held within a bracelet, key fob or other piece of jewellery.
Nigel Townsend, who has been leading the project since 2012, said the granting of the most recent patents was the culmination of years of research and investment.
“It has been a long and challenging journey to get to this point but it has been worth every moment and we now have patented technology within jewellery that can be used by any business wanting to enter one of the fastest-growing tech sectors,” said Townsend.
The firm has a number of other patents pending and is already working in the medical sector with applications that allow patients with medical conditions or life-threatening allergies to store important medical information in a simple wearable. In an emergency their medical notes could be unlocked from their wearable ID via an NFC smartphone or NFC reader.
Townsend, a third generation master jeweller, said the patents will facilitate partnerships in a range of sectors including banking, retail, resort, entertainment, healthcare and smartphones.
“It puts Kiroco Technology at the forefront of a global industry that is predicted to be worth £30bn in the next five years and will allow us to help other companies take advantage of this massive market,” he said.
“Our patent portfolio has opened up exciting opportunities for us to work with a myriad of organisations.”
In addition to its Wetherby headquarters the firm has offices in Europe and America with a manufacturing base in Asia. Townsend said he hoped the technology would lead to projects within the retail industry, where his own background lies.
“I have always had a real passion for retail and am particularly excited about helping fashion focused jewellery and non jewellery brands enter the wearables arena giving them a competitive edge through their own innovative use of this interactive technology.” he explained.
“Another big market is banking where our technology can be used to make contactless payments and also adds an extra layer of security to banking apps, without giving customers any extra passwords to remember.”
Townsend said: “Getting to this point has been a long process and our team has worked tirelessly on research and development to create something that has huge appeal to a wide range of businesses”.