An app for detecting document forgeries has been developed by a team of researchers at ETH Zurich.

According to the developers of the smartphone app, the organization issuing a document will provide it with a QR code. Then, the original will be saved in encrypted form on a server while a printed copy will be sent to the recipient.

Source: ETH ZurichSource: ETH Zurich

To ensure the authenticity of the printed document, the verification app created by the researchers is opened and used to scan the QR code. Assuming the document is authentic, the app will flash a green light.

The ETH Zurich team explained that this process can take just seconds, with the app comparing the individual images of the film sequence against the original. If even the smallest changes are detected, the document is flagged in real time on the screen.

Designed to authenticate the legitimacy of documents such as rental agreements or legal proceedings, the researchers are aiming to also authenticate three-dimensional objects — like luxury watches — in the future.

In a bid to commercialize the technology, the team has created the ETH spin-off company called “Thenti.” Thenti is preparing to conduct a pilot project with the city of Zurich wherein debt collection register extracts from the city's debt collection offices will be checked for authenticity.

For more information about the app, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of ETH Zurich.

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