3D barcodes ensure pills (or microchips) are genuine.

Popular Science reveals a new way to check if a little thing really is what it’s labeled as:

Researchers from the University of Bradford and Sofmat, an anti-fraud technology company, developed a system to add microscopic indentations to the surface of a product. Tiny pins are set to different heights, each encoding a letter or digit. The pins can either be embedded in the mold a product is made from or stamped on afterwards.

The resulting code is almost invisible, and too tiny to feel. But a quick laser scan could prove a product’s origin, which the engineers say could track and verify products to combat fakes. The annual global value of counterfeit goods has been projected to be more than $1.5 trillion by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Counterfeit electronics are a problem, and counterfeit medication can be downright dangerous, containing the wrong dose or no active ingredient at all. This is especially an issue in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates more than 25 percent of the medication consumed in poorer countries is counterfeit or substandard.