"A cap is much more than a functional thing you wear on your head," says Capify. "It is an extension of you and your personality."
UK-based start up Capify is introducing a range of NFC-enabled baseball caps.
"The idea of integrating NFC into a cap came from a brainstorm around NFC and how it allows you to connect the real world and the virtual world in a seamless, amazing way," Capify's Robert Wingrove has told NFC World. "I was talking to a colleague about how NFC enables you tell more of a story about yourself or your brand or your interests and then we started thinking about the everyday items a person carries and what those items say about you.
"We then started thinking about fashion accessories and realised that a cap is much more than a functional thing you wear on your head. It is an extension of you and your personality. We thought why not take this expression to the next level with a product like Capify?
"In terms of target customers we have two types of users we are focussing on. A cap as a fashion accessory appeals to an extremely broad audience, that encompasses many different tastes and demographics. It's this flexibility as a fashion accessory that appeals to us since a hip hop fan from Brooklyn would be equally at home in a cap, as a middle age baseball fan from Minnesota.
"But this flexibility can also make it hard to get the marketing message right. This is why one of our key features is that people can update the tags in the hat themselves, using a web based interface that is a bit easier than tagging a tag with an app. We will be working with Flomio to develop this system off the back of their NFC Actions system."
Capify is aiming at two markets for its NFC baseball caps, Wingrove explained: Direct to consumer and commercial/content partnerships. In the commercial arena, for instance, Capify is looking to set up deals to provide exclusive, one-off content through the cap for high visibility brands.
"We feel that linking the hat to exclusive content or usability (like being able to receive discounts at a sports stadium) means we would broaden the appeal of the hats away from just a niche audience like our direct to consumer proposition and take this to all types of users," says Wingrove.
"We plan to work with record labels, sports teams and brands to let the cap be the springboard into getting exclusive content and building a relationship with a brand. Some ideas for this would be if a record label is launching a new album they could send caps to journalists and super fans, where they can download an exclusive song from the link in the cap. Or a sports team can update the link with exclusive team news or info, or tie the cap into loyalty at their stadium where they can tap the cap and earn points when making purchases."
"In terms of go live, we are looking to launch on Kickstarter in mid February and if we hit our funding target we will roll out the caps in mid March. We actually have a few caps available now but in order to bring them down to a decent price point we need to place larger orders which is what the funding would go towards."
Capify baseball caps are available to pre-order at US$39.99 each from NFC specialist Flomio.