Got questions? No problem!

We are here to help. Below you’ll find answers to Laava’s most commonly asked questions. Why is the Laava Smart Fingerprint the upgrade from the QR code? How does Laava prevent counterfeit? Can Laava technology be integrated into existing packaging and labelling, blockchain and traceability solutions? If you have any additional questions or prefer to speak to someone directly, you can get in touch via our LiveChat or contact our friendly Customer Support team, based in Sydney, Australia.

In a word: no. You can serialise using QR codes, but they were never designed to secure or authenticate. So, if you apply a QR code to a product or document, it is immediately spoofable: anyone can create them instantaneously using simple tools available on the web. A fake QR code on a fake product takes you to a fake website.

This excerpt from an Austrade ‘Success Story’ says it all: “QR-based technology was especially troubling for Reid Fruits, as counterfeiters simply created their own QR codes that linked to a fake authentication website – a technique known as ‘spoofing’.”

Laava Smart Fingerprints are different. They are more secure than a QR code will ever be. They are a unique, randomly generated image. They are the upgrade from the QR code.

“The best way to avoid malicious QR codes… is simply not to use them.” IDG David Geer, Chief Security Online Magazine (2013)

The good news is: no! In fact, Smart Fingerprints are more cost-effective than technology like NFC. We have developed an affordable price structure so that businesses of all sizes and from all sectors can start using Laava Smart Fingerprints. After initial set-up, Smart Fingerprints are priced from A$0.01 each.

Good news! No app is required to scan a Smart Fingerprint. Users simply scan using their phone browser or via Laava’s WeChat mini-program. Laava’s technology platform can also be easily embedded within your business website or app to create a seamless scan and brand experience.

Laava’s secure verification immediately creates a level of trust between brands and consumers. The Laava digital platform can then be fully customised to each business, by being populated with content that strengthens the bond between consumers and brands. Special product offers, video content, social following – it’s all easy to introduce into your businesses branded Laava digital platform.
A collection is a grouping or batch of Smart Fingerprints. All of the Fingerprints in a collection share the same scan-result screens and business rules, but every Smart Fingerprint is a unique image. No two Smart Fingerprints are ever the same.
Our Laava WeChat mini-program has its own secure WeChat code that will redirect the user to our Laava scanner – no typing is required. It’s a seamless scan process from the consumer’s perspective. A large number of our Laava Smart Fingerprint customers are exporting goods to Asia and seeing some great results in terms of foiling counterfeit attempts on their products and connecting directly with their customers.

No problem. Laava provides a number of comprehensive and adaptable solutions. For on-demand printing, our Laava Connect API suite enables you to provide specific data or updates to each batch or ‘collection’ of Smart Fingerprints.

For pre-printed labels, you can elect to include batch or sequence numbers with your Smart Fingerprints, which provides an easy solution to update Laava when the data changes. This can be done using CSV exported and imported within Laava Manage, or via the Laava Connect API, all able to be self-managed, with the Laava team ready to offer you support along the way.

Only Laava can create Smart Fingerprints. Unlike QR codes, barcodes and other identifiers, Laava Smart Fingerprints do not carry instructions or data. The consumer’s phone camera captures the Smart Fingerprint, and then it’s matched against the database of existing Fingerprints on the secure Laava server.

Once matched, the Laava rules engine determines what message is returned to the consumer: ‘verified’, ‘suspected counterfeit’ or another defined status. If an attempt is made at creating fake Fingerprints, they won’t be recognised as real and the product will not be verified.

If a bad actor were to create an image that looks a lot like a real Smart Fingerprint, we still ‘detect’ this activity – but it won’t match in our database, so it will not verify.

Hackers can’t hack the Smart Fingerprint as it doesn’t contain encrypted or encoded data. It’s just a unique image, so there’s nothing to hack.

No, this is a misconception. The only thing that makes these technologies seem more secure is that they’re more expensive for counterfeiters to implement than QR codes. Mobile phones have NFC readers, so if consumers simply wave their phones over a chip and get a result, then NFC and RFID are as spoofable as a QR code. The good news is that Smart Fingerprints are also cheaper and easier to deploy than less secure alternatives like NFC.

For a number of good reasons. Counterfeiters will always have access to creating QR codes themselves and swapping them out (known as spoofing – consumers are none-the-wiser when scanning them). Additionally, QR codes were designed for identification, not authentication. They carry instructions and data so are vulnerable to hackers because the data is on display, even if it’s encrypted. Finally, optical, image-recognition technologies are only improving each year, far beyond traditional scanning technologies. Laava decided to invest in technology that can be continuously improved, rather than technology that is at the end of its development roadmap.

Working with QR codes is an unwinnable battle for authentication, which is why we threw out the scannable code rulebook and designed a true authentication solution from the ground up.

Proprietary QR codes create major confusion for the consumer. If it looks like a QR code, consumers will expect it to work with any QR code reader. Counterfeiters can take advantage of that by using normal-looking (but fake) QR codes to redirect consumers to their desired website. Even if the user is required to download an app to scan the proprietary QR code, the issue remains: a fake app to download can be created. Consumers do not require an app to scan a unique Laava Smart Fingerprint, making it a superior, more secure and consumer-friendly solution.

Yes, that could happen – but this isn’t as big a problem as you might expect.

Firstly, Laava has a number of strategies to foil copies, starting with a rules engine that can be customised by the business owner with conditions such as limiting scan count and defining locations for authentic scans – this is how Laava was able to shut down multiple counterfeit attempts on our customer Reid Fruit’s products in early 2020. We can also incorporate multiple Smart Fingerprints – for example, one inside packaging and one outside, both needing to be scanned to authenticate the product.

Additionally, there are a number of printing and label techniques that can be used to complement the Smart Fingerprints, making them more tamper-proof.

At the end of the day, counterfeiters aim to make as much margin in their illegal operations as possible by finding easily exploitable products and making many copies. If you protect your products with Smart Fingerprints, it moves into the ‘too-hard basket’ for counterfeiters to bother with: chances are they’ll simply move on to another product to counterfeit.

Smart Fingerprints aren’t built on or reliant on blockchain to work. However, Smart Fingerprints are the perfect link between the physical world and blockchain. Laava partners with a number of innovative blockchain and traceability businesses, making integration quick and easy via Laava Connect.

No – Smart Fingerprints are created, tested and activated by our system before they are provisioned to you for use. However, Fingerprints need to be printed or positioned on your product correctly, to ensure they will scan without issues. Check out our helpful print specifications and guidelines for printing Smart Fingerprints to ensure you’re set up for success.

The number of Smart Fingerprints that can be created are virtually limitless by design. In the same way that you won’t share the exact same fingerprint with another person on earth, Smart Fingerprints are entirely unique and won’t be repeated. The generation of millions and billions of Fingerprints is easily achievable.

Laava Smart Fingerprints®, product authentication technology

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