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MIT Unveils Revolutionary ‘Tag of Everything’ to Combat Counterfeiting: A Breakthrough in Authentication Technology

MIT researchers have created a groundbreaking cryptographic ID tag to address the limitations of traditional RFID tags like size, cost, energy needs, and security risks. This tiny, battery-free tag, known as the ‘tag of everything,’ can authenticate various products, aiding in the fight against supply chain counterfeiting.

Inspiration from a Car Wash

Researchers drew inspiration from a car wash for the innovative design of the tag. Unlike traditional fragile RFID tags, which authenticate membership but can be easily tampered with, this new tag focuses on authenticating the item itself.

Microscopic Metal Particles

The team mixed microscopic metal particles into the glue attaching the tag to the product. These particles create a unique pattern on the item’s surface, akin to a fingerprint, detectable using terahertz waves. If a counterfeiter tries to remove and reattach the tag, the pattern is destroyed, making the tag virtually unhackable.

Machine Learning Model

A machine-learning model is integrated into the technology, identifying similar glue pattern fingerprints with over 99% accuracy, bolstering its anticounterfeiting capabilities.

Versatile Application

The tag is tiny enough to fit on almost any product, from industrial components to medical devices, operating on low power levels supplied by photovoltaic diodes. It ensures robust security, employing a cryptography scheme for secure communications.

image: MIT

Limitations

The sensor must be within 4cm for an accurate reading, with the angle between the sensor and tag less than 10 degrees. However, researchers are optimistic about overcoming these challenges in future iterations.

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