Image by Jiří Fröhlich from Pixabay Counterfeits of luxury goods are so easy to find. In any large town, there are street vendors selling knock-offs. Even at the beach, poor copies of sunglasses from famous brands are being touted up and down the seafront and in shops.

The luxury goods market spends hundreds of millions of pounds each year looking to stamp out counterfeiting. Solutions such as holograms and NFC chips have had limited success as criminal gangs counterfeit those as well.

Now Origify from Bosch says it has the answer. Very high-definition photography of items before they are shipped from the factory. The images are of such detail that they show every imperfection with Origify claiming it means each image is akin to a unique fingerprint for the luxury items.

Oliver Steinbis, Inventor + Project Lead, Origify
Oliver Steinbis, Inventor + Project Lead, Origify

Oliver Steinbis, who is responsible for the project in the Bosch Group said, “Every single product even in an industrially manufactured series – in the case of a watch, the dial or the movement; in the case of a handbag or shoes, the leather and surface structure – has unique features on its surface that are not repeated in the series and that we can capture with Origify.”

How does it work?

There are three steps used by Origify:

  1. Each dedicated Origify hardware module has a special camera that captures multiple images of an object and stores it in a dedicated cloud. That image is taken directly after production and the camera can be added to the production line if required.
  2. The image is stored with additional data that cannot be falsified or changed. This is done using tamper and forgery-proof technologies. What those technologies are is not clear.
  3. Using an app and a suitable smartphone anyone can compare images taken of an object with those in the database. If there is no match, the object is a possible fraud and needs further verification. The image will be retained throughout the entire lifecycle of the product enabling greater traceability.

Of course, this solution only works for new goods as they are manufactured. For most luxury goods manufacturers, this does nothing to reduce the amount of counterfeiting of existing items.

Origify has a solution. Existing goods can be imaged at service centers and repair shops. It says. “This applies in particular to the business models operated in the jewelry and watch industry by manufacturers, large jewelers or online retailers, such as “Certified Pre-Owned” or “Pre-Loved”. Here, pre-owned luxury products are reworked and certified – and can also be recorded via Origify.”

Steinbis goes on to say, “In extensive feasibility studies, we have already been able to prove the functionality for a wide range of luxury products – watches, jewelry, eyewear, shoes, leather goods and much more. Origify offers a reliable solution for capture, storage and subsequent verification that is available to brand manufacturers on a turnkey basis.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

This solution is more than just protecting the margins and intellectual property of luxury brands. It is about protecting the public from being scammed. Of course, for those who knowingly buy a fake to pass it off as real, nothing will change. They will continue to knowingly buy counterfeit goods.

For the innocent buyer who is at risk of being duped into buying a fake, this offers a solution to prevent them from losing their money. It is not just manufacturers and buyers who will be interested in this technology.

There is likely to be a real interest from the insurance market, which is moving towards a Know Your Object approach. This was pioneered by Everledger with its blockchain protection for precious stones, wine and art. By being able to prove that the object is not a forgery, insurers will be able to insure with confidence.


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