Counterfeit coin detection

Sensors used in some optical mice to guide curser movement could also be used to cheaply detect counterfeit euros, according to research published by the University of Lleida (UdL).

Researchers at UdL conducted tests to establish the effectiveness of a prototype device by rotating a  €2 coin a few millimeters away from the sensor.

The sensor then captured the images from the common face of the coins and compared it to images obtained from genuine coins using algorithm developed by the team.

Marcel Tresanchez, a researchers at UdL, said: ‘The same operation could be performed with a webcam, for example, but the advantage of these sensors is their small size, low cost and the angle of vision reduced to such an extent that the raised image of coins can easily be captured.’

Tresanchez said that infrared or LED-based sensors would work better than laser technologies due to the size of the images captured. He added that these images need to be taken in real time with a minimum resolution of 15×15 pixels.

According to the team, the results showed that the system, designed to work alongside other forgery identification techniques, allowed for the detection of counterfeit coins better than a layperson, but at a similar level to that of an expert trained to do so.