It’s been said that there are a whole lot of things that are fake in this world. And it’s true. The rise of unique luxury items in an increasingly homogenous world has made counterfeit products an immense problem. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigations recently estimated the cost of counterfeit in the US to be $600 billion annually.
Counterfeit and Fraud Detection
One of the problems in combatting counterfeits is that anything can be copied. So, if you put a special ‘authenticity’ tag on an expensive pair of shoes, there’s nothing to prevent that tag itself from being copied. It’s analogous to when your bank card is ‘duplicated’ (virtually or digitally): Banks can’t tell which card is real versus which card is fake. However, what they can detect is if the same card’s credentials are being used in two different places at the same time. They can also detect abnormal usage patterns, which in turn allow them to detect that counterfeiting and fraud have taken place.
Using QR Codes: An Illustration
QR Codes are not foolproof. They can be duplicated in the same ways as the products they can protect against counterfeit. But QR Codes can be used in unique and creative ways to detect and deter fraud. Take, for example, the famous Rubik’s Cube, the world’s best-selling toy, and likely the most copied one as well. An interesting idea would be to embed a QR Code that scans to tutorials, or a solver’s club. For extreme security, they could create a unique code for every cube sold. Or, to simplify matters, they could create a unique code for every market they sell in, or for every retailer they sell through. By watching scan patterns of these codes, they could readily detect if a specific code was being over-scanned or scanned in anomalous locations. This could greatly diminish copy-cats.
Openscreen for Counterfeit Detection
Openscreen’s easy-to-use and powerful SDK allows retailers in any market to generate and embed the creation of unique QR Codes, at scale, via their product and package manufacturing machines. With minimal cost, companies could drive savings that would help magnify their return on investment. They could also go further and leverage QR Codes to allow customers to register product ownership, which would help to create lasting post-sale relationships with them.