World’s first ‘connected’ race suit debuts at FIA WEC opener

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The world’s first ‘connected’ race suit made its debut at the FIA World Endurance Championships this past weekend (April 14/15) at Silverstone. The Adidas Climacool Smart Suit contains a tamper-proofed chip that authenticates the race suit as a legitimate product and confirms whether it complies with current Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and/or SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI) regulations.

The innovation has been developed by motorsport driver equipment specialists Fyshe Limited and Otentico Ltd in response to the challenges of authenticating brands and products and the growing counterfeit market.

The Adidas race suits each contain a smart tag with an embedded near field communication (NFC) chip with a unique identification number, which is digitally signed during the tag’s production so that the tag cannot be cloned, tampered with or electronically modified.

Otentico’s Smart Tags are based on NXP Semiconductors’ NFC chips and produced by one of the world’s leading NFC tag producers using the most secure production methods. Each tag is registered in and verified by Otentico’s server-based authentication platform to offer the highest security architecture. The Smart Tags are superior to conventional static QR codes that are easy to copy and hologram-based labels that require visual identification.

The Smart Suits can be “read” and authenticated by swiping a NFC-enabled smartphone using a free downloadable app. The app shows the Smart Suit’s product details, including imagery, manufacturer, manufacturing date and homologation number and, in the near future, drivers’ details which could include key medical data. The information relating to each Smart Suit and driver is managed in the Cloud.

“With threats of driver disqualifications at major races due to non-authentic or non-compliant suits being presented at scrutineering, the Smart Suit can help eradicate this risk and ensure driver safety,” explained Fyshe founder and managing director Chris Nurse. “Our continued collaboration with Otentico will allow us to start to explore the exciting opportunities of the Smart Tag technology in new areas”.

“Not only is this a cool way of knowing your race suit is authentic, but I can see the technology opening up many other possibilities,” added Richard Lietz, reigning FIA GT Pro world champion. “Driver data not related directly to the clothing, such as medical details, would be an interesting development.”

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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