Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Counterfeiting

Fraunhofer is developing machines with built-in copy protection (Photo: Volker Steger)

Mention counterfeit goods and most people will probably think of knock-off watches or pirated DVDs, but counterfeiting is a much wider problem. Everything from aircraft components to groceries are faked on a regular basis, with a third of industries affected at an estimated worldwide cost of US$650 billion dollars. German machine tools are a favorite target and to help combat this the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) in Garching, Germany, is developing new technologies and techniques to make counterfeiting of these items more difficult.  Read More

An AutoCAD rendering of one of the QR codes, being read by a smartphone

Along with the possibilities of fluorescing dyes and butterfly-wing-inspired printing techniques, there could soon be a new weapon in the fight against counterfeiting – invisible QR codes. Researchers at the University of South Dakota and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have developed a process for applying such codes to glass, plastic film, and paper products such as bank notes.  Read More

GoldMoney uses GE's ultrasound scanning technology to ensure the integrity of its gold hol...

Evidently all that glitters is not entirely gold. Just ask the many disappointed bankers and investors who have discovered some of their large gold bullion bars were ersatz - real gold on the outside, far less valuable tungsten on the inside. Enter General Electric with its Phasor series of portable ultrasonic detectors. Using non-invasive technology identical to that deployed in peering at developing fetuses, GE's devices allow a quick and thorough examination of gold bars for flaws, bubbles and even different materials.  Read More

A new system for detecting counterfeit whiskey is simpler and less costly than traditional...

So, is that really Johnnie Walker Blue that you’re drinking, or is it perhaps actually Johnny Woker Bloo? Counterfeit Scotch whiskeys are more common than you might think, with the Scotch Whiskey Association reportedly handling between 60 to 70 active cases of counterfeiting at any one time. While there are lab tests that can identify the fakes, not every bar owner or restaurateur has the time or funds for those. Fortunately for them, scientists from Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde have devised a quicker, simpler, less costly system.  Read More

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology have developed a...

As any reader of detective fiction will tell you, no two fingerprints are alike. The similarly unique physical structure of microchips could help manufacturers protect their products from piracy, thanks to research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology. The team has developed technology that makes use of slight variations generated during manufacture to produce unique, clone-proof digital fingerprints.  Read More

Fluorescing dyes have been used to indicate well-bonded and poorly-bonded coatings on a fu...

Watermarks, bar codes, RFID tags and holograms are all used on various products to make them harder to copy. One limitation that these things have in common, however, is that they are all added to just part of the product. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research have now developed an anti-counterfeiting measure that is applied to the entire product - fluorescing dyes. Needless to say, counterfeiters will have a much more daunting task when a whole product serves as its own authenticity label, as opposed to one small part of it.  Read More

Xerox demonstrates its flourescent anti-counterfeit technology.

May 31, 2007 Due to the expensive equipment required, anti-counterfeit printing measures have largely been the domain of government money-printing mints. Now, a bit of clever thinking at Xerox has resulted in a new method of using standard colour printer toner to produce flourescent anti-counterfeit watermarking that shows up under UV light, making bogus copies easy to spot.  Read More

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