A spin-off company from Lancaster University, Quantum Base , is working to create a smartphone app that will be able to identify counterfeit goods. Yearly, counterfeited and pirated goods cost billions of dollars in lost revenue. In the medicine production industry alone, this cost is estimated around $200 billion, and the impacts are more than monetary, they can also be deadly .
The app that Quantum Base is developing a way to ID products based on ‘fingerprints’ that the materials have. At an atomic scale, quantum physics is able to amplify irregularities in these materials, allowing consumers to compare the product with the genuine product produced by the provider .
The app works when the producers identify the unique IDs of their products. These signatures are created at a quantum level meaning that they cannot be copied, cloned, or simulated. The ‘fingerprints’ can then be integrated into any product and easily identified with the app, enabling people to check the authenticity of a product easily .
If everything goes according to plan, the app should be available at the beginning of 2018, and has the potential to get rid of counterfeit products . This will save money and assure the quality of purchase. In turn, this product could possibly save thousands to millions of lives yearly when applied to the medical industry.