A low cost tagging system that provides discreet, scannable product identification is now available for brands concerned about counterfeiting or parallel imports. The iDent tag's cost is around one tenth of the simplest radio frequency identification (RFID) alternative, according to David S Smith, the transit packaging company behind the launch. The small tag can be hidden inside a pack or label and, unlike barcodes, can be scanned automatically with no "line of sight". David S Smith has teamed up with technology company Flying Null to integrate the system into a viable format. "The initial interest is likely to be in the counterfeiting area" , said David S Smith sales and marketing director, Mike Alvis. But its track and trace' potential also means that unique identification could permit selective product recalls. Each tag is encoded at source with an electromagnetic pattern that can be read anywhere in the supply chain by fixed or handheld scanners, but not amended. The half-micron cobalt coating could be integrated into the packaging of wines and spirits and other high value items says David S Smith. {{NEWS }}