Pune-based start-up Neurotags is adding a new dimension to the business of counterfeit detection. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), it aims to do away with RFID tags and holograms used to detect counterfeits. “RFIDs and holograms are extensively used but are easily replicable. We have seen cases in pharma industry where the packaging of the fake medicines were as good as the real ones, including the holograms. Again, a lot of online customers complain about receiving fake products,” says Nitin Gupta, co-founder, CEO and CTO, Neurotags.
The start-up was founded in early 2017 with the aim to find a digital solution for detecting counterfeits. “Without digital solutions, the industry suffers an annual loss of $1.6 trillion,” says Gupta. Asked about the reason behind naming the codes as Neurotags, Gupta says, “They are not just codes, there is a lot of intelligence under the hood! Since we use Machine Learning and work on neural networks, we wanted to retain those terms in our brand name.”
With the help of algorithms and AI monitoring, the start-up provides two unique codes to its clients which cannot be replicated. The codes are algorithmically linked. These are implemented at the manufacturer or warehouse level where the item is checked and packed for shipping. One of the codes is placed externally on the package while the other can be found inside after breaking the packaging seal. The external code is scanned during the time of sale. The package is tracked using IP addresses or GPS. When the customer scans the internal code with his mobile, the item gets tagged to his username or marked as ‘opened’ in the firm’s server. The scanned code is sent to an AI monitoring system which is cloud based.
“The AI system tracks the pattern of the route taken by the package. If there is any anomaly in the route or if the internally placed codes are scanned from different locations, AI kicks in and detects it,” explains Gupta. “In some cases, to prevent tampering of the codes, we use a unique set of numbers that users can key into their mobiles.” Neurotags is working on patenting the whole process.
Currently, it is working with healthcare, electrical and electronics, FMCG, home appliances, footwear and clothing companies. The technology has applications in consumer durable goods, electric vehicle (EV) mobility, pharma, medical devices and document verification sectors as well.
The codes are capable of harbouring information such as warranty and loyalty programmes also.