Emerging technologies are having a profound impact on all industries - and the sector of product authentication is certainly not an exception. Indeed, over the past years, the skyrocketing demand for readily-available international products has put the global distribution system in front of new challenges. And, among these, are the growing risk of counterfeiting and fraud.
Luckily, new technologies can be efficiently used to minimize the risk of counterfeiting, protect product authenticity, and give manufacturers and customers unprecedented levels of visibility into the supply chain. And, the Metaverse is the leading technology behind this transformation. Learn how to use this technology to safely authenticate products in the guide below.
Before diving into the different ways to use the Metaverse to your advantage, it is important to be clear on what the Metaverse meaning is and why it is difficult to craft a specific definition.
Firstly, this is an emerging technology, and much of its potential, future uses, and implications are still unknown. In turn, this makes the definition of Metaverse incredibly dynamic - and radically different from the meaning of the term as it was coined by Neal Stephenson in 1992.
Nonetheless, to understand what the Metaverse is and how it works, it is important to understand that this technology is supported and fuelled by a wide range of other innovations, including the Blockchain, Cryptography, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and the Internet of Things.
These technologies have enabled the creation of virtual space that is collective, shared, and enhanced by computer-generated environments and features, which is today called the Metaverse.
Here is how this technology can help manufacturers fight product counterfeiting and fraud.
3 Ways To Authenticate Products Using the Metaverse
The Metaverse is opening new opportunities for the product authentication and supply chain management sectors. And, that is thanks to the technologies behind it, including Digital Twins, NFTs, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things. Here are a few safe Metaverse-supported ways to prevent counterfeiting and guarantee product authenticity to your customers.
Using Technologies Such As Digital Twins and NFTs
The first, safest, and most efficient way to prevent counterfeiting involves the creation of a digital twin of each product or unit a manufacturer is looking to track throughout the supply chain.
A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical item that exists in the Metaverse and that reflects each movement and transaction the physical asset experiences. By creating digital twins of a product in the supply chain, manufacturers, distribution managers, and consumers can track each item throughout the supply chain journey to the consumer and beyond.
When creating digital twins, manufacturers can utilize technologies such as Non-Fungible Tokens - or NFTs - strings of numbers and letters, which are unique and impossible to alter and represent a physical asset in the metaverse.
Leveraging the Benefits Offered by Blockchain Technologies
The reason why NFTs are so effective in preventing counterfeiting and fraud is that they are supported by the blockchain - and, in turn, they benefit from the same features and properties of this digital ledger.
Blockchain is deemed to be such a revolutionary technology because it provides a way to record, store, and share transactions in a secure and unalterable way.
When using this system in the supply chain, manufacturers can monitor and track each transaction and handoff concerning each product. And, even more importantly, they are able to make this information - including proof of origin and authenticity - accessible to other employees, third-party providers, and consumers.
Moreover, introducing a blockchain system allows manufacturers to create an end-to-end tracking system that provides accurate, real-time data about a product’s journey, status, and conditions.
Introducing Smart-Packaging Solutions To Boost Unit-Level Traceability
Creating digital twins of physical assets and tracking them through the supply chain thanks to underlying blockchain infrastructures is certainly one of the most efficient ways to authenticate products and ensure their authenticity.
Nonetheless, these systems work even better when paired with other technologies, including smart packaging solutions. Technology-enhanced packaging incorporates systems such as NFC, RFID, and tamper-evident labels that allow manufacturers to monitor the conditions of a product throughout the supply chain.
This is especially important for pharmaceutical products, as well as personal protection equipment, fragrances, and other fast-moving consumer goods. Indeed, when adulterated or refilled, these assets can represent a severe public health risk.
Luckily, manufacturers can now use smart packaging solutions and the digital representation of physical items to monitor in real-time the status of each product. What’s more, when these systems are paired with IoT devices, manufacturers can also deliver this information to consumers, thus boosting trust and ensuring that buyers can make better-informed decisions.
Working With a Specialized Product Authentication Expert
The Metaverse is undoubtedly a complex technology with the potential to disrupt many industries. However, since this technology is still in its early years, introducing it within a business or organization might not always be straightforward without the help of a product authentication expert. Thanks to a team of specialized professionals, organizations can benefit from ad-hoc product authentication solutions and seamless integrations.