Catching the fakes with just your smartphone camera

Just snapping a photo could save you from buying non-genuine goods
Catching the fakes with just your smartphone camera

Counterfeit goods is quite the buying hazard when you’re shopping in Asia. Apart from sticking to the adage “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”, what else can buyers do? NEC has the solution and all it requires is sticking an extra piece of kit on your smartphone lens.

Just take a picture

Catching the fakes with just your smartphone camera

The quality of fake goods has become such that they even come in grades, with the highest grade fakes being nearly indiscernible from the real thing.

Yet there is a way for luxury goods to tell themselves apart from fakes, namely unique surface patterns. NEC’s technology will be able to recognise those surface patterns thus separating the real deal from the fake wannabes.

NEC is aiming the technology at retailers more than shoppers. Manufacturers would just need to take a picture of a product using a special magnifying lens. From the photos, the unique patterns would be recognised and saved then uploaded to Internet servers.

Shops could then verify products merely by using said lenses attached to smartphones, which would be a great time-saving measure as compared to ordering batches of goods only to find they were imitations.

NEC sees the system being used not just for genuine product verification but to completely replace product ID tags. It would save on production costs and appease customers who don’t like how tagging detracts from the aesthetics of their purchases.

It wouldn’t just be handbags, wallets or the like; NEC says even metals have their own unique identifiers, much like fingerprints that can be used to identify small parts like nuts and bolts.

No word on pricing or fee structures as yet, but NEC is planning to push the technology out by April.

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[Source: WSJ]