Counterfeiting is a huge problem that is ubiquitous to almost all products and markets. Almost everyone will have experienced counterfeit merchandise, from fake trainers and football shirts, to money and passports.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that the global trade for counterfeit goods was $200B in 2005 and it has only grown since. There is also a social impact to counterfeit products; 30% of fake drugs are estimated to have no active ingredient, directly resulting in over a million deaths per year.
Have you ever purchased an item thinking it was genuine and later realised it was a fake? Do you wonder about how safe your identity is online? Vulnerabilities in current anti-counterfeiting technologies allow identities of individuals, organisations and commodities to be faked for criminal gain. The problem lies in the macroscopic nature of these identities; RFIDs, holograms, fingerprints and irises can all be copied or cloned.
Our answer lies in the atomic world, where the laws of quantum mechanics exist. These can be harnessed to produce security tags that are impossible to copy. Please move on to the next element of our exhibit to find out more!