This App Will Reveal Fake Products Using 5MP Camera Phone; Works Without Internet As Well!
It is the story about Deepak Gupta, in the early 2000s, who had just returned to Kanpur after finishing his PhD from Berkeley, was unable to find medicine for his sick daughter.
The Big Problem Of Fake Products
As per the report, after some exploration, he came to know that the medical college in the city where the chances of getting the medicine were higher as the shops were better stocked.
But, Gupta had a bigger concern not only about finding the medicine but he wasn’t sure whether the drugs were authentic or not.
This incident inspired him to dig deeper into the field of counterfeit consumer goods and an astounding revelation came out.
According to a World Health Organisation report, India is the source of 35% of the fake drugs in the world and one out of five drugs sold in the country are fake.
As per the industry body, the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) claimed that counterfeit consumer goods cause nearly Rs 1.05 lakh crore losses in the country this year.
After this finding, Gupta took it as a mission to help people distinguish between what’s genuine versus what is fake.
How Does It Work?
Gupta came up with the idea that if every authentic product has a unique code attached to it, a code that cannot be duplicated then it will remove the doubts from customers’ minds.
He started developing 3D secure labels, each of which has unique cryptocodes and physical unclonable function (PUF) In 2013, which means the labels cannot be cloned.
According to him, these labels can be placed on products, whose authenticity can be verified using a mobile app that will scan the tags and tell you whether the product is genuine or fake.
After three years, IIT-Kanpur, Gupta’s alma mater, allowed the commercialization of these labels under its National Centre for Flexible Electronics.
In the same year, Gupta officially founded TransPacks Technologies with his IIT-Kanpur friend Sudhanshu Bahadur and former Intel-India employee Pranav Asthana.
Their flagship product- the 3D labels and the verification app earned was named ‘Checko’.
How Does It Ensure Authenticity?
Bahadur said “All you need is a smartphone with the Checko app and a 5 MP camera to scan the codes and identify the authentic products. The app doesn’t even require internet for its services,”.
The working of Checko is pretty simple. Consider an example, when a brand orders a certain number of Checko labels, let’s say 10 lakh labels for a particular item, the firm prints and supplies the tags only to the brand.
When this brand pastes these labels to its authentic product and when the consumer scans the item using the app, it will confirm that it is indeed authentic.
What Happens If The Same Checko Tags Are Placed On Fake Items?
To answer that Bahadur said that the 3D secure tags are given only to the brand.
He said “If a counterfeiter wants to make and supply fake products in the market, they will have to copy the Checko label in order to fool the consumer. But, since the proprietary printing method we use produces a unique physical feature for each print, no one can replicate or reproduce the labels, including us,”.
Still, somehow if the counterfeiter remakes the Checko label in some way, that’s where the Checko app will strike.
Bahadur said, “When the customer scans this item before purchase, our app will alert that this is a fake item,”.