- A new technology is making it easier for sneaker resellers to weed out fakes.
- Product authentication technology provider Entrupy released its Legit Check Tech (LCT) solution earlier this month, which uses artificial intelligence to determine whether a sneaker is counterfeit or not.
- The technology is meant to equip high-level resellers and marketplaces with a quick way to authenticate sneakers.
- Counterfeiting is a big problem for sneaker resellers. Authorities recently busted a counterfeiting operation that shipped $470 million worth of fake Nikes to the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
One of the biggest problems in the sneaker resale market may now be more manageable.
Earlier this month, product authentication technology provider Entrupy released its Legit Check Tech (LCT) solution, a device that uses artificial intelligence to determine whether a sneaker is counterfeit or not — and it only takes about a minute to use.
Fake pairs of popular Nike and Adidas sneakers are rampant in the resale sector. Authorities recently busted a counterfeiting operation that shipped $470 million worth of fake Nikes to the US.
“You have a sense of betrayal when you buy something and you’re scammed off of it,” Entrupy cofounder and CEO Vidyuth Srinivasan told Business Insider. “And I think that’s really what we’re trying to address.”
Resale marketplaces and consignment shops like StockX and Urban Necessities use trained human authentication specialists to verify sneakers in-house. But for independent resellers that don’t use middleman marketplaces to sell their goods, the threat of counterfeit sneakers is a serious problem that can be detrimental to business.
Counterfeit sneakers are pervasive on websites like eBay that lack authentication specialists, and at trade shows like Sneaker Con. For the most part, it’s up to resellers and buyers to determine whether a pair is authentic or not.
For Entrupy, which already provides an authentication solution for luxury handbags, the plan is to sell the new sneaker authentication devices to retailers and high-level resellers. Instead of replacing humans, the goal is to equip authentication specialists with the technology to diminish any possible errors in the verification process. According to Srinivasan, the device is designed to help save high-volume resellers time and money while instilling their business with credibility.
“Nothing has slipped through our system, and we’ve tested hundreds of fakes of multiple different qualities,” Srinivasan said.
Entrupy has not released details on the price of each device, but a representative said that the company will likely use a pricing model that corresponds with each seller’s monthly transaction volume.
Though perhaps not the intended purpose, the device will likely enable independent resellers to grow their business without the help of a middleman authentication specialist.
“Maybe with this, everyone can create their own marketplace,” Srinivasan said.
Here’s how the device works to catch counterfeit shoes in a matter of seconds:
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It can be hard to tell if a sneaker is fake just by looking at it.
Entrupy’s LCT solution works by analyzing each shoe in a pair to determine whether they are authentic or unidentified.
First, you pick the pair you want to check and connect your phone to the technology’s corresponding app.
You then choose the brand of the sneaker in the app: Nike or Adidas.
Next, snap a photo of the shoe’s tag …
… and then place each shoe of the pair into the device, one at a time, starting with the left one first.
The wooden box is equipped with eight cameras that simultaneously snap images of the shoe from multiple angles.
These cameras are actually iPods.
Eight images of the first shoe will populate within in the app in a matter of seconds.
Next, repeat the same process for the right shoe in the pair.
Artificial intelligence then analyzes the images and determines a result. Either the shoes get verified …
… or they are unable to be identified.
It takes about 60 seconds on average to complete one pair’s authentication. The device works for a variety of Nike and Adidas sneakers.
Srinivasan said that he and his team are learning how to make the technology better everyday and that he’s happy to be proven wrong if it means he’ll learn more.
“It’s frustrating and painful,” Srinivasan said regarding the feeling of getting duped by a counterfeit good. “And if we can protect someone from that happening to them, it is gratifying as an organization and personally, too.”