IKEA’s Space10 has proposed an unusual use case for non-fungible tokens: linking them to in-real-life (IRL) furniture to encourage better care and a longer lifecycle of said furniture. This next-gen use case puts NFTs as an “amplifier” of real-life objects and encourages better stewardship of items to eliminate the costly “purchase-to-waste” cycle of most furniture.
In the example Space10 uses, customers can buy a chair, which comes with a code. When the customer scans a code, they mint an NFT on the blockchain: a small seed, which later can grow into a full tree. That seed develops over time, the longer a person owns the chair. It also reacts to certain events, like if the customer repairs the chair.
When the person wants to buy a new chair, they can bring it to a facility for a trade in. The next customer that inherits the chair will inherit the NFT attached to the chair as well. As such, the lifecycle of the chair and the NFT continue. Space10 calls this initiative Carbon Banks, based on the idea that our furniture acts as a “carbon sink” and keeps carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Space10 partnered with a few organizations for the initiative, most notably Zünc Studio to design the art for the NFT trees and WINT Design Lab to explore using NFTs to help customers build emotional connections to IRL objects. Zünc Studio shares on the Carbon Banks website how it arrived at a “grafted look” for the trees, with different parts representing themes featured in the initiative.
Space10, IKEA’s research arm, bills itself as an organization that focuses on how to make life better for everyday people on the planet. Its Carbon Banks initiative is clearly a conversation effort and an interesting use of NFT technology.
NFTs Find Interesting Use Cases in 2022
In 2021, it seemed the primary use case for non-fungible tokens was profile-pictures and the communities they formed. In 2022, use cases for NFTs have broadened. This year, we have written countless articles about individuals and companies using NFTs in unusual ways. Here are three, all from December 16th.
First, Aston Martin announced it was launching its first independent NFT collection. The NFT set will feature art modeled after three of the brand’s iconic cars — the Vantage V8 Coupe, Vantage GT3 Racing Model, and 1980 Vantage V8. In an interesting twist, NFT collectors will be able to race these NFT cars in a metaverse game.
Next, Warner Music Group shared that it was partnering with DressX to produce NFT clothing lines. The non-fungible clothing items will take advantage of a burgeoning industry for virtual merch, as seen in Roblox’s revelation that it had sold 1 billion fashion items on the platform.
Lastly, Deepak Chopra, a renowned writer, revealed that he was launching an NFT collection in partnership with TIMEPieces. While celebrity NFT drops aren’t unusual, this one has an interesting angle: The NFTs will contain a Chopra-written book fully readable on the blockchain.
Space10’s new use case for NFTs shows companies are still innovating in this nascent technology space. If the implementation of this initiative is successful, it wouldn’t be surprising for more companies to follow suit.