If you’re someone that likes to find good deals online, then you’ve probably stumbled upon a counterfeit or two during your time. And it doesn’t help that fakes are increasingly sophisticated – sometimes even fooling the original manufacturers themselves!
It’s a huge problem in the camera accessories market and it makes your vendor relationship that much more crucial. After all, fake parts and accessories can really do a number on authentic gear in some cases. For a small discount, it’s just not worth it but, really, it’s outright fraud if you’re buying something phony when you thought you were getting the genuine article.
FeaturePrint from Alitheon hopes to make these issues a thing of the past. Using artificial intelligence and your smartphone, the app can distinguish a real item from a counterfeit product.
Here’s how it works:
“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 collectibles, no two objects are exactly the same, even though they may have just come out of the same production line.”
The blog post discussing the technology posits how it can be more broadly used to identify products similarly to how a barcode works. It’s some pretty heady stuff and no shock to us that it uses our current favorite topic, AI.
“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. 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.
“With FeaturePrint, proxies such as barcodes are unnecessary as we make the object its own identifier. FeaturePrinting enables accurate tracking on an assembly line and throughout distribution channels. It prevents counterfeiting not by detecting counterfeits but by identifying originals. It enables human biometrics with no possibility of profiling and creates the unbreakable object link that Blockchain needs to be secure and that smart contracts need to function.
At induction, unique random characteristics of the object are characterized and the resulting digital fingerprint – the FeaturePrint – is stored. At authentication, identification, or point of trace, a new FeaturePrint is extracted and compared with reference FeaturePrints to activate retrieval of the stored information or to determine that the object has or has not previously been seen.”
You can view a demonstration of the app in action on YouTube at this link.
Any thoughts you might have on FeaturePrint are welcome in the comments below.
Check out some of our other photography news at this link.