Innovation That Matters

New device can spot fake luxury goods


A new on-demand authentication solution hopes to enable trust in high-value goods transactions.

Entrupy is a new portable scanning device that uses machine-learning algorithms to accurately distinguish between genuine items and accurate fakes of the same product. The system works by taking microscopic photographs of the object and then comparing them with a database of around three million images across a range of objects, taking into account all the details of the material used and the quality of the workmanship.

“The classification accuracy is more than 98%, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” said Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, a Professor at New York University.

The system is non-invasive, and does not damage the merchandise. Usually it takes around 15 second to test a product, and it could go some way to combatting the enormous and highly profitable worldwide market for counterfeit goods. Some reports suggest that counterfeit trafficking accounts for 7 percent of the world’s trade. It’s clearly a popular invention, as it’s already received USD 2.6 million in investor funding, and has successfully authenticated around USD 14 million work of goods.

In a similar vein, a research team invented an ‘artificial tongue’ that can differentiate between various whiskey brands, and we recently heard of an app that allows companies to determine where on the supply chain their products would be most vulnerable to counterfeiting. With that thought in mind, do you think the war on counterfeiting could soon be over?



Download PDF