If you can’t tell if a Rolex or a knockoff Prada bag is fake, your NFC-enabled smartphone will be able to. Toking on a long-standing problem with counterfeiting, French company Inside Secure has released the Vault150 security module, a NFC-based chip that can be embedded into any product a retailer might wish to have authenticated by prospective buyers. This could become as easy as literally embedding the chip, as NFC chips require no power source, can collect RF energy from an NFC reader such as a smartphone and complete an authentication request for a potential buyer.
For more intricate products where the chip might have to be buried deeper, Inside Secure has also offered several antenna options that allow the chip to be placed well within an item and still communicate with an NFC reader. In cases where a module needs to be embedded in items like a bottle of wine or pair of shoes, the chip can use a slew of voltage, frequency or temperature change sensors to sense if someone has tried to alter the chip’s information and return a warning from there. Along with authentication purposes, the devices could also ping a shopper’s handset (in addition to doing cool things like opening doors) when they came within a certain range of a product, informing them as to the savings they might be about to pass by. Final pricing and availability has yet to be announced and there’s no guarantee that this will spot every fake, but it’ll probably be better at the task than the current champ (yes, Chumlee).
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