IBM are taking us into the future, and we could be experiencing it within the next 18 months. And the latest super-advanced tech will go hand in hand with Distributed Ledger Tech – blockchain.
Working on a Microscopic Level
The tech, named “crypto anchor verifiers”, is essentially a very small computer that can detect information on a tiny scale. In fact, these computers, according to IBM, are no bigger than a grain of salt, and incredibly cheap to manufacture. Arvind Krishna, IBM’s Head of Research, said:
They’ll be used in tandem with blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to ensure an object’s authenticity from its point of origin to when it reaches the hands of the customer. These technologies pave the way for new solutions that tackle food safety, authenticity of manufactured components, genetically modified products, identification of counterfeit objects and provenance of luxury goods.
The concept behind these verifiers is that they act as detectors, seeking out variations in products that enable them to distinguish between real and fake, ethical and unethical – in real time. And the tech will be able to detect these differences on a level much more discrete and detailed than the human eye ever could.
Where Does Blockchain Come in?
As Krishna said, blockchain provides an ideal method of storage for data along a supply chain, meaning that every single scan that every single anchor verifier makes can be recorded on a sophisticated blockchain, which will quickly ensure that an enormous data set is built up.
And perhaps the most versatile aspect of this tech is that it will produce data and information that is easily downloadable to any smartphone, meaning that a consumer could potentially scan a shop window and immediately bring up huge amounts of data related to the supply chain and individual product authenticity. Such a product has the potential to put an end to product fraud and immoral practices.
Donna Dillenberger, an IBM fellow, told Forbes:
We as consumers buy things, and somethings we pay a premium to make sure this is really a particular gem grade or really an extra virgin olive oil or really a $1,000 bottle of wine. What we can do at the point the oil, gem or product is grown or developed, is record that and send it to a blockchain.
The obvious link that we will all be making straight away is whether this can be applied to diamonds – possibly the most well-known product to have severe issues with fraud and immorality. And the good news is that it can – and will. All that remains to be seen now is how long we have to wait before a prototype is launched and demonstrated – and IBM don’t think we’ll be waiting long.
Do you think micro verifiers could put a permanent end to product fraud? Let us know your thoughts.