Blue Bite has figured out a way to authenticate whether a product is real or counterfeit using a smartphone. The company aims to reduce global counterfeiting, which reached $1.2 trillion in 2017, according to the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report.

The company said it has created a cost-effective, secure, and scalable service for high-value brands to authenticate items with the tap of a smartphone. Brands can additionally leverage this new, always-on, direct-to-consumer content channel to provide exclusive experiences to consumers.

Consumers can get started by downloading the free iPhone app Decode from the App Store today. The report cited above predicts global counterfeiting will reach $1.82 trillion by the year 2020. The app uses the near-field communications sensor in the smartphone to determine authenticity.

“We realized that both brands and consumers have a role in fighting counterfeits,” said Mikhail Damiani, Blue Bite CEO, in a statement. “So we built an authentication service that is not only affordable but easily accessible and scalable, bringing product-authentication technology to everyone.”

Luxury goods have been particularly hard hit, where a “10 percent loss of sales” has been reported.

“Counterfeiting is a challenge we’re constantly battling, and it’s something we can’t totally control. And while there may always be a counterfeiting market and individuals who buy knockoffs, it is our job to protect our customers and brand by searching for a solution to mitigate this very real issue,” said Marco Boccalini, Mr & Mrs Italy’s marketing manager, in a statement.

Brands know a solution is needed, but no existing solution addresses all of the challenges that come with authenticating products. Current services can cost “millions of dollars” and cater to brands or customers instead of both, which is critical for a lasting solution.

Blue Bite

Above: Blue Bite can verify if a product you are going to buy is authentic.

Image Credit: Blue Bite

To solve the trillion-dollar problem haunting brands and customers alike, Blue Bite has introduced its pay-for-performance authentication service.

Blue Bite is making product authentication available to everyone by democratizing the sophisticated systems required to enable item level authentication at scale. Blue Bite achieves this with its end-to-end product authentication as a service suite. All brands, regardless of size, can now leverage best-in-class, item-level security and pay one transparent monthly bill.

“When we learned of Blue Bite’s authentication service we immediately jumped at the opportunity to implement this simple yet sophisticated and highly secure solution,” said Alan Vinogradov, founder of Sneaker Con, in a statement. “In fact, we built an authentication app on top of Blue Bite’s solution to ID and authenticate the authenticity of the sneakers at our conferences. Ensuring that the sneakers are authentic is imperative to our business.”

Blue Bite also empowers customers with the ability to authenticate products before they buy, ensuring the product is genuine. Blue Bite executes this through its web-based authentication experiences (which work across any NFC-enabled smartphones) and enables an even higher degree of security through its mobile app, Decode (currently available for iOS).

Once installed, customers can simply tap an enabled product to both authenticate it and access exclusive content.

Because a user needs to have a product in-hand to interact with it, brands can be confident that those authenticating their products are in fact real users with physical items. As a result, valuable content can also be securely embedded into the experience of owning a physical product. This item-exclusive content can include: access to events, entertainment media, early access to buy limited-edition items, user feedback forms, and more. These kinds of experiences open up new ways for brands to talk to customers.

Blue Bite is launching its authentication suite with a number of brands, including Pinko, Sneaker Con, and Mr. & Mrs Italy. By implementing this authentication suite within their products, these brands are able to uphold brand integrity and ensure customer confidence in their purchase, the company said.

For brands looking to get started, Blue Bite’s authentication suite works across major NFC manufacturers. Technical launch partners include Smartrac, Temera, HID, and Lab ID.