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'Tags' Let Your Phone Spot Counterfeit Stuff


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Using a smartphone to verify the authenticity of a product.

University of Copenhagen researchers have developed a system to prevent product counterfeiting by giving individual items a unique label, or "tag."

Credit: Kristian Egelund/Unsplash

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have developed a system to prevent product counterfeiting, by giving individual items a label, or "tag," that corresponds with a unique identifier.

The tag is comprised of transparent ink impregnated with microparticles that can be sprayed on a bar code on paper, using physical unclonable function technology.

The particles form a random, unique pattern of minuscule white dots that is impossible to duplicate.

The system allows each product leaving a factory to be assigned an individual tag for registration in a database.

Consumers also can use this system to authenticate products with a smartphone, by employing an app to scan an item's particle fingerprint, and check for a matching database image.

The University of Copenhagen’s Thomas Just Sorensen said, “Today, consumers are not able to check for themselves whether an item is genuine or not. They must trust every step of the production and supply chain. Our system provides every step in this process with equal access to the system.”

From Futurity.org
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