Counterfeiting is a booming industry; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated in 2009 that it generates approximately $250 billion in illegal revenue. What’s more, the industry has expanded rapidly in the last decade to include goods like olive oil and drugs like birth control. As a means of helping to curb the trend, MIT scientists are currently developing microscopic nanocrystals that can be applied to goods and legal tender. The hope is that these crystals will make it easier for everyday consumers to detect fakes with only their smartphones.
Check out the video from MIT which explains how their prototype works today with only an iPhone and a device which connects to the phone: