Meet Entrupy, A Portable Scanner For Detecting Counterfeit Bags
24 November 2017

Meet Entrupy, A Portable Scanner For Detecting Counterfeit Bags

In our current economic climate where luxury is becoming increasingly less accessible, especially with the several price hikes per year, with some brands increasing their prices up to 20% bi-annually, its no wonder that many are looking toward preloved items, or personal shoppers that serve as bag (and other designer wares) mules so we all can save as much as we can because it’s a known fact that everything is always cheaper in their country of origin, right? But then again when it comes to purchasing preloved, or relying on personal shoppers, there’s always risk involved, because counterfeiters are getting much better at their “craft” these days. I mean, I’ve had several friends pay the retail price for an “authentic” designer bag or item, only to find out later that they weren’t all that legit to begin with even though they came with the “full set”, which included a printed receipt with the boutique’s address on it.

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all personal shoppers or preloved resellers can’t be trusted – I haven’t lost my faith in all of humanity just yet – but there are certainly those dishonest ones that give all those in the second-hand or personal shopping market, a bad name just because of those few rotten eggs. I know that preloved stores and services do have their in-house authentication teams to personally vet through the items before putting them on the shelves, but as I mentioned, counterfeiters are getting better at replicating, coupled with the likelihood of human error and unintentionally overlooking certain minute details, nothing is foolproof.

From the introduction of blind stamping, holographic tags, and microprinting, the Maisons have done their bit to try to minimise counterfeiting as much as possible, but yet, counterfeiters still manage to pass their fake wares off as the real deal.

And now, enter Entrupy, a handheld device conceptualised by co-founder Vidyuth Srinivasan, that works like a handheld microscopic camera that allows anyone with a smartphone, to authenticate any luxury accessory or item, within a couple of minutes. Its camera has the ability to magnify objects up to 260 times, thus allowing us to detect tiny gaps in leather grains, paint overruns, misshapen stamp marks, or shoddy stitching and workmanship that would not have been visible to the naked eye. Oh, and this handheld device has a wireless connection isn’t just for authenticating designer bags – it also works on clothing, jewellery, phones, computer accessories, automotive parts, shoes, and even crude oil! Perhaps the only thing that it doesn’t work on, is porcelain or diamonds. Once your item has passed the authenticity test, you’d get a Certificate of Authenticity. The gadget, however, is not for sale. Instead, it can be leased for an initial fee of US$299, with monthly plans beginning from US$99.

Co-founder Srinivasan of the New York-based startup also addressed concerns surrounding the possibility of counterfeiters perfecting their craft even more with these devices, but assured that they

“have mapped significant parts of how, where and when authentic goods were made, [so] for the fakers to beat the system, they need to use the exact same specs as the authentic goods made in the last 100 years. … I wouldn’t completely rule it out, but it is incredibly hard” [emphasis added]

Now, here’s a look at how this actually works:

Image via Bloomberg