Identifying counterfeit and fake products can be a difficult task and requires ample knowledge of the characteristics and appearance of the original objects. A new artificial intelligence-based app claims to identify whether a product is genuine based on a single photo clicked with a smartphone. The app uses optical AI to identify an object and does not rely on bar codes, holograms, markers, RFID technology, stickers, or engraved markings. However, it can only authenticate products that are already registered with the service.
Developed by Washington-based Alitheon, the FeaturePrint app can be installed on a smartphone and used for “identification, authentication, or traceability” of a product. Without special scanners or cameras, a user can point their smartphone at a product and identify an authentic product for high value items like gold bars and luxury items, while tracing supply chains and detecting counterfeit items.
According to Alitheon’s website, the FeaturePrint optical AI technology can recognise small surface details of any physical item and then convert them into a mathematical set of numbers. Instead of identifying a class of products like other services, this method allows the user to identify a specific object that has already been registered with the FeaturePrint system.
“Proxy” authentication systems like barcode labels, seals, or engraved markings are regularly used to mark products as genuine, but Alitheon point that these markings can be damaged or lost over time. They can also be manipulated and copied in order to commit fraud. In contrast, the company claims that its FeaturePrint service can identify even damaged or broken products, works even when the products are rotated or captured from a different orientation, and supports versioning for audit histories of individual products.
While the company’s website has multiple videos showing the product in action, there are no details on how products are enrolled into the FeaturePrint system and how a user can identify an authentic product. Unfortunately, FeaturePrint isn’t available to the public to download via the Google Play store or the App Store, while it appears that corporate clients can gain access the service.