You can readily find a convincing copy of your Gucci bag and Rolex watch. In fact, the replicas are so realistic that you will be hard pressed to distinguish them from the real ones.
The team from Nanoga has come up with the latest technique to thwart the flourishing counterfeit trade. They have developed a method to etch the crystals with nano-watermarks on the Swiss watches.
The nano watermark will not be visible to the naked eye but will appear when it is lit by the UV light. The technique has been patented by a startup named Nanoga. One of the developers from Nanoga said that the method employs photons to engrave the watermark. The technology can be used to carve on glass, ceramics and metals.
“In a machine normally used to make LEDs, the substances are deposited onto the surface as a vapor. Using lithographic printing, certain areas are then activated in order to create the watermark. In a form of atomic gymnastics, the atoms that have been activated react when exposed to ultraviolet light, instantly revealing themselves to the human eye.”
The process was developed at EPFL and is intricate enough to ensure that it cannot be faked.
“The lithographic printing is done on a nanoscopic scale, which means that discrete details difficult for the naked eye to read even with the ultraviolent light can be added. And this translates into greater security. A tiny series number that’s no bigger than a grain of sand can, for example, be carefully marked and will be visible only using a very strong magnifying glass.”
CEO of Nanoga, Nasser Hefyene is an expert in the business of the fake watches. He explained the motivation and objective of the project:
“The aim was to combine tried-and-tested technologies in order to design a new security system that cannot be reproduced.”
It took the researchers two years to develop the technique. It is now ready to help you find a real deal. Here’s a video detailing the technology: