Looking for an anticounterfeiting solution to protect your products and customers? Read on to understand the competing technologies and how to select the best one for your organization.
Salzburg, Oct. 29, 2020
If you’re considering anticounterfeiting solutions for your organization’s products, you may be asking, “How secure are the underlying anticounterfeiting technologies that will be protecting my products and what features do they provide that can enhance the customer’s experience?”
You’ve likely come across the terms QR code, microprint, and NFC tag (near-field communication). These terms represent common approaches to authenticating genuine products. How do you decide which of these technologies protects you from counterfeiters and assures your customers they have a genuine product? Technology evolves quickly, and counterfeiters have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to bypass your efforts to protect your products and customers. Let’s look at each of these technologies and consider the pros, cons and trade-offs.
Most consumers recognize QR codes and immediately know to scan the code with a QR code reader app. This familiarity is among the strengths of QR code based approaches. Once scanned or entered by the user, these codes are validated in a central database. Their wide acceptance means that tools are readily available to duplicate QR codes even if they are serialized. Without second-factor validation, every QR code is fully functioning – meaning a copy is a good as the original. Combined with the ease of duplication on standard office equipment and the possibility of linking to any website (real or fraudulent), they are not a useful security mechanism.
Consumers are less likely to recognize microprints, and their small size makes them difficult or impossible to locate and read. This reduces its usefulness considerably as a security mechanism. Like QR codes, microprints can be copied using high-resolution cameras, scanners and printers – technologies easily obtained by counterfeiters. There’s no easy way for consumers to read and validate microprints. And while it is possible to incorporate two-factor authentication, the lack of an easy-to-use and reliable microprint reader and unique and randomized security codes significantly impairs microprints usefulness.
RFC and NFC chips are electronic devices, typically small limited-function computer chips that transmit digital data using radio waves readable and programmable by special hardware. Embedded or attached to a product, they can be “cloned” using expensive special equipment easily obtainable by counterfeiters, limiting their use as a security mechanism. Some materials can block their radio waves or prevent an RFC/NFC reader from assessing their data, rendering them ineffective. One advantage to RFC/NFC chips is that, like QR codes, they can be read by phones with RFC/NFC readers and special software making them relatively accessible. While tamperproof versions of RFC/NFC devices are available, they are expensive.
Holograms are often positioned as a security device; however, they only provide a cosmetic function without enhancements and do not have inherent security features. Holograms also lack second-factor validation.
The most robust and secure form of authentication is based on a unique Holographic Fingerprint™ that incorporates 2-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication plays a vital role in ensuring the security of products by combining two different factors, such as a unique label and validation of the label with a stored image. The system sounds simple, but it is impossible to duplicate, unlike other anticounterfeiting solutions.
The solution incorporates a tamper-evident security label with a 3-dimensional holographic image. On each holographic image, a unique ID is printed and stored for later validation. A transparent “shield-shaped” mask is applied, and due to the natural randomness of this physical process, each shield is unique.
The holographic image is hot stamped onto each label. This process, too, introduces randomness and ensures the label cannot be duplicated. An image of the final label is stored for later validation with an easy-to-use smartphone app. Using computer vision and machine learning, the free smartphone app can identify authentic products as genuine with a simple scan.
One benefit of this approach to authenticating genuine products is its ease-of-use anywhere along the supply chain, from manufacture through distribution to the customer. Without special hardware, partners, distributors and retailers can ensure their inventory is genuine with a simple smartphone scan.
Consumers, too, can verify they have a genuine product simply by scanning the label. The smartphone app can also push promotional messages and offers directly to consumers, making this solution both the most secure and innovative.
We developed this Holographic Fingerprint™ to ensure your customers know they have a genuine product. If you can’t trust your anticounterfeiting solution’s underlying technologies, your customers can’t trust you.
There are a few additional features that you may not be considering that go beyond the assurance that consumers have received a genuine product. For example, does the solution require special equipment? The best solutions provide an easy-to-use and reliable app that allows consumers and partners to authenticate genuine products from anywhere worldwide. Some authentication solutions also enable manufacturers to directly send informational or promotional messages to consumers, enhancing brand trust and delivering an exceptional consumer experience.
Authentic Vision’s solution provides an easy-to-use and free smartphone app called CheckIfReal, that runs on every smartphone. In addition to authenticating products in real-time, the app can also directly deliver informational and promotional messages to consumers. This functionality allows manufacturers to create compelling and unique customer experiences to enhance trust and build their brand.
Want to learn more? Please take a look at our Solutions page
About Authentic Vision
Authentic Vision provides anticounterfeiting and authentication technologies designed to protect your organization’s investments in product innovation, brand value, and reputation while creating new opportunities to increase trust and engagement with consumers. The company’s unique Holographic Fingerprint™ tag, mobile authentication app, and real-time analytics capabilities protect physical assets from counterfeiting and alert brand and product owners to potential fraudulent activity. Their anticounterfeiting and authentication technologies help to minimize lost revenues and mitigate liability due to counterfeits and create new opportunities to engage with consumers through loyalty programs, incentives, and future experiences that bridge the physical and digital. Visit AuthenticVision.com to learn more about their solutions, view case studies, download their consumer app, or read the latest insights on how anticounterfeiting and authentication technologies can help your organization.
Gernot Kalchgruber, Authentic Vision