Purchasing luxury goods and high end electronics online can often bring into question the authenticity of such products. IBM is aiming to eliminate the gray areas of supply chains with an optical tool used to inspect items at the microscopic level.
In short, a small external sensor is placed over a smartphone camera. The sensor is pressed against a product for testing of validity. A combination of spectroscopy, imaging, and artificial intelligence algorithms produce a result to determine whether a certain good is authentic.
When examining objects at micron levels, patterns and textures invisible to the human eye regularly stick out like a sore thumb. Two products produced with only slight differences in material will have drastically different small scale appearances.