Developer says its app can spot counterfeits and fakes using a smartphone camera

Counterfeit and knock-off products can impact you in many ways. Suppose the pharmacy you get your medication from accidentally buys knock-off or counterfeit inventory. Would you really want to be driving in a car that has fake brake pads that were purchased by the body shop you use? App developer Alitheon has created FeaturePrint, an AI-based app that can spot counterfeits, fakes, and knock-offs by taking a single photo. And the app works with a wide variety of products.

As the developer says on its website (via PetaPixel), “Pick up a car brake pad, a circuit board, a bar of precious metal, or your collectable baseball card. Are you sure it is what you think it is? Is it what it should be? What is the consequence if it isn’t? Eliminate these questions and avoid the doubt. Be FeaturePrint sure!” With global counterfeits now a $2.3 trillion “industry,” the FeaturePrint app uses a photo and software to identify the digital footprint on every item.

Imagine using an app and a photo to verify the authenticity of different items

Alitheon writes, “Using a photo, our FeaturePrint Optical AI software ‘sees’ and converts the minute surface details of physical items into a unique mathematical identity. From gears and circuit boards to watches and collectables, no two objects are exactly the same, even though they may have just come out of the same production line.”

Even though the app uses your phone’s camera, FeaturePrint is not an image. “It is a set of numbers characterizing the unique features of an object. Features common to similar objects are rejected, and only the information that makes this object unique is preserved.” A FeaturePrint confirms a particular object, not the kind of object it is. For example, the app might confirm a certain Intel Core i9 processor, not the class of all Intel Core i9 processors.

The app replaces barcodes, QR codes, or RFID tags that can fall off, get covered up, or get counterfeited. The FeaturePrint app is not available from a smartphone app storefront. The app is for businesses and if you represent a company that needs what FeaturePrint provides, you will need to get in touch with Alitheon by filling out their contact form. Pricing is not mentioned on the website.

The app is used by the London Bullion Market Association to identify and authenticate gold bars

The app is currently used by the London Bullion Market Association to identify and authenticate the gold bars it receives to make sure that they are legitimate and are not from an illegal source. “We applaud LBMA and its members as together we work to secure the world’s gold and precious metals reserves and supply chains,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO at Alitheon. “Companies and consumers are used to having data at their fingertips. Now they can be sure the gold bar or gold product they are buying is authentic, ethically sourced, and legal, from a simple photo taken on their phone.”

As Alitheon says, “Alitheon’s FeaturePrint optical AI technology securely links the physical and digital worlds. A FeaturePrint is a digital representation of the inherent random features unique to an object that arise from the object’s creation. FeaturePrinting allows high confidence distinguishing of individual items out of millions of similar and so-called “identical” objects.”

As the developer points out, “Each FeaturePrint is unique, even between objects that have been made to be identical and manufactured in the same way, and thus appear identical to the human eye. It is to a solid object what a fingerprint is to a person, but with vastly more detail and associated with vastly higher recognition and authentication confidence. Of the plethora of various objects, we have FeaturePrinted and identified, we have never made a high-confidence mistake.”

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