RFID technology is great for inventory management, less so for brand protection

Veracity Protocol’s smart technology is easy to use, fast, and 100% tamper-proof.

Veracity Protocol
4 min readApr 8, 2021

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an embedded technology that utilizes electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID tag contains a tiny radio transponder, radio receiver, and transmitter. When triggered by an electromagnetic interrogation pulse from a nearby RFID reader device, the tag transmits digital data, most often an identifying inventory number, back to the reader.

RFID tags can be used in logistics for supply chain visibility and inventory tracking in apparel, pharmaceuticals, and more. It can be attached to any product from documents to electronics and even to clothing. Many of your favorite brands use RFID for their products, bringing the total market value of RFID tags to over $12B.

Despite the introduction of new capabilities for inventory management, there are still a few shortcomings that have yet to be addressed. One of the main concerns is cost. To apply RFID tags to products at scale, companies must invest money and make alterations to their manufacturing and/or packaging processes. This increase prevents many from ever making the switch.

Many brands use RFID technology, but criminals are able to remove and/or duplicate the tags.

Another concern is accuracy and reliability. Tags are manufactured en masse, and companies often run into the issue where they don’t function properly or respond incorrectly. This problem was recently highlighted by RFID skimming events, when criminals used readers to steal information from nearby credit cards.

Many brands use RFID technology, but it’s expensive, invasive, and can be unfriendly depending on the environment.

As RFID becomes more common, questions have been raised about environmental sustainability too, as the tags are most commonly composed of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Although PET can be recycled, RFID tags also contain metal radio parts. Moreover, because of the way they are embedded, it complicates the recycling process for the entire product. At scale, RFID tags create a significant amount of plastic waste that does not help in the battle towards a more circular economy.

RFID can be attached to any product from electronics to clothing.

Despite being an improvement from QR codes and barcodes, RFID technology is still not a complete security solution. The main reason is that RFID tags are external additions to each item. As a result, RFID tags are highly vulnerable to tampering and third-party manipulation. Louis Vuitton's recent $15 million counterfeit bust demonstrates how easy it is for embedded RFID tags to be removed and duplicated by criminals. A recent massive counterfeit operation uncovered a production of thousands of fake Louis Vuitton bags with NFC sensor chips, a feature even the real ones don’t have yet.

Criminals are able to remove and duplicate embedded RFID tags.

Veracity Protocol has addressed these shortcomings with the development of the Physical Codeᵀᴹ. Using computer vision technology, companies can now rely solely on a product’s unique material structure to protect itself. This allows for a highly accurate and quick authentication system that is non-invasive to the product.

Physical Code™ cannot be changed, manipulated, or tampered with because it is based on an item’s unique material structure — unlike tags, chips, or invisible markers.

Veracity Protocol’s technology can secure the authenticity, identity, and security of any product — without special hardware, embedded tags, chips, or markers. Consumers are able to easily identify products using just a smartphone camera. Veracity Protocol’s technology has 99.9% accuracy with real-world applicability and works in various light conditions, angles, and on many materials.

Physical Code™ is a non-invasive and tamper-proof solution to represent an item’s unique material structure.

Unlike RFID technology, the Physical Codeᵀᴹ is impossible to reverse-engineer, tamper with, or duplicate. Veracity Protocol can be seamlessly integrated within the manufacturing process and is also cost-efficient at scale at a fraction of the price of RFID tags, making it a cheaper, greener, and more effective alternative for many different use cases.

If a company still wants to keep their existing RFID mechanisms, Veracity Protocol can work in tandem with them. Our non-invasive and seamless integration allows it to work with RFID tags so that companies can take advantage of the strengths of both technologies.

To replace your RFID mechanisms — or to augment their security — reach out at hello@veracityprotocol.org.

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Veracity Protocol is an award-winning startup that builds a Vision AI Standard to protect people and products in the digital world. The standard guarantees the highest level of trust and security for verifying the identity, authenticity, and integrity of physical objects using a smartphone.

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