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According to Sky News, New York-based startup Entrupy has developed a device that can spot fake goods with 98% accuracy. The new gadget can even identify mistakes with stitching or leather quality that experts struggle to spot.

Expensive fashion brands like Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Hermes are on most peoples’ wish list when buying handbags, clothes, or accessories. However, with counterfeit goods often sold online and on the streets, people get ripped off all over the United States on a daily basis.

Entrupy says it already has 160 business customers on its books, including online retailers, who want to protect their reputations by ensuring the products they sell are exactly what they advertise them as.

Entrupys’s device uses a small handheld microscope camera along with computer vision software. The firm claims the device can spot fakes for 11 leading brands, including Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.

Entrupy’s co-founder Vidyuth Srinivasan told Bloomberg that second-hand clothes stores currently use specialist staff to detect counterfeits, but he said that “for businesses that are growing, that’s not a scalable solution.”.

Srinivasan’s team worked with Yann LeCun, a leading researcher in the computer vision space and the director of Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI) research team, as well as a private investor, to put the device into production.

Device checking for counterfeit goods.

During the development process, Srinivasan’s team found that computer algorithms could be trained to tell the difference between genuine luxury handbags and counterfeits.

Srinivasan told Bloomberg that his device is independent to the brands themselves, who “prefer not to acknowledge there is a second-hand market for their products.”

However, the inventor says that now more and more sales are being made online, leading brands need to look at ways of ensuring that customers stick with them by weeding out the bad seeds. Srinivasan says Entrupy can offer solutions to an ever-growing problem.

The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) claims that counterfeit goods cost US businesses more than $250 billion each year. What’s also startling is that counterfeit merchandise is directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs.

The global figure for the trading of fake goods tops more than $600 billion annually, and the epidemic appears to be getting worse as people cut costs to survive in an unpredictable global economy.

Entrupy says it already has 160 business customers on its books, including online retailers, who want to protect their reputations by ensuring the products they sell are exactly what they advertise them as.

The devices are currently being ‘loaned’ to retailers and even some customers at a cost of $99 a month, with an initial subscription fee of $299.

It takes bold actions like these to ensure the products we buy are really what we are paying for. Fake goods are causing major disruption not just to online sales but also the job market right across America. The fewer fake goods on sale means more jobs for fellow Americans and a reassurance that the products we buy are genuine.

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