Ghanaian startup mPedigree, which originally used mobile phones to secure pharmaceutical products against counterfeiting, has continued to expand the applications of its technology with the launch of a solution aimed at ensuring automobile components are genuine and certified.
The mPedigree anti-counterfeiting solution is a cloud-based system that creates unique 12 digit numbers which are put on single packs of medicines hidden under an opaque layer, only to be revealed when the consumer is buying the product. A customer can then send these PINs by SMS to a special shortcode, and within 15 seconds receive a reply confirming if the product is original or fake.
Disrupt Africa reported last year mPedigree was planning on making forays into the more profitable consumer space after the success of its anti-counterfeiting solution in the pharmaceutical industry.
The expansion into automobile components follows recent applications in agriculture and textiles, and is designed to crack down on the high number of accidents caused by fake parts in Africa and Asia.
“Around the world, a frightening number of deaths can be attributed to fake and substandard automotive components,” mPedigree said.
“Yet, road safety activists rarely shine the spotlight on this problem with the same intensity that they do on other drivers of road accidents, such as alcohol.”
To tackle the issue, a group of auto parts manufacturers and marketers – including Kotec, Chitec, and LZNF Corp – have come together to jointly deploy solutions that can help buyers of auto parts in a number of African, and shortly Asian, countries easily, quickly, and at no cost confirm if the auto-component they are buying is genuine and certified by local authorities.
This initiative is powered by various Goldkeys technologies, such as EarlySensor, developed and deployed by mPedigree. Products that can be instantly validated using text messaging, a web tool, and a camera scanning app include motor cylinders and spark plugs.
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