The global fake handbag market is over a billion dollars. It’s of course illegal and authenticators pour in several hours of study to understand the intricate identifiers as well as to keep abreast of these changing details. The menace of counterfeit bags is especially relevant to buyers of pre-loved goods. Even after shelling out hundreds or thousands of bucks, post the discounted rates, there is still no guarantee about the bag’s authenticity.
But not anymore. Like in most walks of life in today’s world, there’s technology to the rescue. Entrupy is an app, powered by artificial intelligence, that takes on the challenging task of separating the wheat from the chaff.
In short, this is how it works. There is a device that comes along with the app. This device needs to be placed on the surface of the bag being verified. Microscopic images are then sent to the app that has complex algorithms analyzing these images. Within a span of a few seconds, the authenticity certificate is out. The accuracy of the app currently stands at 96% but as the app gets better at learning, thanks to AI, this number will go higher. In addition, there are 11 brands in its catalog at the moment and only select bag models – Balenciaga, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada. But the app is not affiliated to any of the brands listed above.
One important clarification about the intended users of the app though – it is aimed at businesses to ensure their customers have certificates of authenticity during purchase. The microscopic device costs $299 and there is a monthly usage fee depending on the number of authentications to be done.
While this seems to be a step in the right direction, it would be interesting to see how it pans out in terms of improved accuracy, increase in the coverage of brands and models, and more importantly, acceptance among consumers, businesses and the brands themselves. The acceptance paired with further technological advances could help the makers bring about improved pricing plans.
An interesting parting snippet – the founders of the app – Vidyuth Srinivasan, Ashlesh Sharma and Lakshminarayanan Subramanian – are of Indian origin! 🙂