Chroma Experience

inoVerify — Guarantee authenticity and gain customer data

Over a long period of time, we have designed and implemented a white-label product family for inotec from Neumünster to verify authenticity and obtain customer data. This enables users to find out in a simple way and in a very short time whether a purchased product is an original or a counterfeit. Retailers and manufacturers can use the data to gain information about their customers' purchasing behavior and preferences.

Mann mit Armbanduhr in den Bergen


inotec Barcode Security GmbH

Business fields

Customized identification solutions, Europe's leading expert for permanent barcode and RFID identification, planning, design and implementation


Creation of a large-scale system for the administration and query of product-specific authentication features with connection to common CRM solutions


Creation of a distributed, scalable system that manages identifiers as a management and analysis platform; design and implementation of white-label clients for mobile devices to query identifiers and participate in incentive programs


Consulting, product design, architecture, UX design, UI design, backend development, web application development, mobile application development


Java EE, PHP7, PostgreSQL, Native Android (Java), Web Components, Markdom

Project summary


Detecting counterfeit products is important for everyone. For customers, but also for manufacturers. Inferior quality can be annoying with a pair of shoes, but with medicines it can quickly become dangerous. It becomes damaging to business if a defective plagiarism is not recognized as such and attributed to the manufacturer of the original. So in 2009, we were commissioned to develop a system for checking the authenticity of products.

Procedure, activities and solution

In the first phase of the project, we dealt intensively with both the functional and the technical requirements. At first glance, the technical requirements were manageable. In terms of designing a globally reliable, distributed and significantly scalable system, we quickly realized that the details of the architecture and execution had a significant impact on the feasibility of the project.

Thus, we were forced to adapt our thinking to the circumstances. In many ways, the circumstances behaved adversely to the patterns that usually occur. Instead of high business complexity, for which we find simple technical solutions, we have to deal with quite simple business requirements, whose technical execution, however, is highly complex. Instead of a few large ones, huge amounts of tiny database transactions occur.


In the end, over the course of more than 10 years of many iterations and changing detailed requirements, we designed and implemented software that took into account the changing conditions and requirements. The fact that we never had to question our architecture in the process gives us the good feeling that we had assessed the situation correctly at the beginning.

Project duration

10 Years

Product cycles


Major Releases


Seal variants


Nutzung von inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X) mit dem Handy
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Nutzung von inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X), auf dem Handy
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Nutzung von inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X), am Laptop
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Dr. Ulf Sparka
Dr. Ulf Sparka General Manager inotec Barcode Security GmbH

Target-oriented, flexible and always with good ideas - the cooperation with Chroma Experience was a stroke of luck for us.

Just an idea

A system for checking authenticity that involves the least possible effort for both customers and manufacturers - we were contacted with this exciting idea in 2009.

The basic idea was impressively simple: numerical codes are created which are attached to the product packaging in a concealed manner by the manufacturer. A customer who has purchased a product equipped in this way can uncover the code and easily find out whether this product is an original.

Manufacturers should be provided with self-adhesive labels for this purpose, which can be used with commercially available - and often already existing - labeling machines. An easy way to allow customers to verify should be offered via SMS. This way, customers would not have to register and could use the service pseudonymously. In addition, it was envisaged that customers would be remunerated for the query via their mobile phone bill to provide a further incentive to use the system.

Our task was to design and develop software that would generate these codes on the one hand and receive and respond to customers' queries on the other.

What reads simple here was to turn out to be a complex problem that presented us with new challenges.

First field test

Once we had found a producer for the labels, which are now known as seals, and a service provider for the connection to the mobile communications infrastructure for the automated receiving and sending of SMS, we were able to start with an initial implementation.

At its core, this comprised a web-based service for managing the numeric codes. Here, new codes could be generated and incoming queries could be processed. Only the query of a known but never before queried code led to a positive result.

Echtheitssiegel mit QR-Code
Different types of seals at a very early stage of evolution

An administration portal for manufacturers was linked to this service, which could be used to order new seals, assign ordered seals to a product and view statistical evaluations of the seals already assigned. In addition, an information website aimed at consumers and companies was created, which could also be used to initiate the checking of a code.

Unfortunately, the idea of giving customers credit for checking had to be abandoned at an early stage. It turned out that while all German mobile phone providers can bill third party services via the phone bill, none can implement the reverse.

Nevertheless, the Kiel-based pharmaceutical company Galen succeeded in winning a first customer for a pilot phase.

The evolution of the idea

With the experiences of the pilot phase, the marketing of the system, now called IT`S TRUE, thus began and at the same time its constant further development.

Because consumers cannot - as planned - receive credit for their efforts, the effort for consumers had to be minimized. The increasing prevalence of smartphones at this time suggested that apps for Android and iOS should be developed, which made it possible to query the codes automatically via the Internet. For this purpose, a QR code was added to the seals to make the code machine-readable; the apps were able to read the seal using the camera and provide feedback within a very short time.

Karte aus inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
User Interface – Realtime Event-Tracking

From discussions with interested manufacturers, further possibilities for improvement became clear. For example, the desire was expressed to be able to individually design the response texts for individual products in the event of a positive result and - moving away from SMS - to also be able to integrate graphics. However, in order to avoid the manufacturers having to create a response text for each individual product, a customized structure for maintaining the product master data was designed and implemented. This allows templates with placeholders - for example, for the product name or a product image - to be created and assigned to a group of products. The system automatically replaces these placeholders with the concrete values before the response for a product is transmitted to a customer. The structure is hierarchical, so that the response texts for subordinate products can be refined as required. Manufacturers' value-added offers - such as a bonus points program or a customer survey - can also be linked in this way.

Dr. Ulf Sparka
Dr. Ulf Sparka General Manager inotec Barcode Security GmbH

Thanks to Chroma Experience's experience and ambition, the complete implementation corresponds to the usual high inotec quality.

In addition, the seals have been expanded to include a second, public code in the form of a data matrix symbol. This is not used to check authenticity, but to identify a product, for example in existing track & trace systems. To enable a smooth integration of the labeled products into such systems, the data matrix symbols generated by our software follow common standards, either GS1 DataMatrix or ANSI MH10.8.2..

Echtzeitnutzung von inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X) auf einer Karte
User Interface – Realtime geo-referencing
Kund*innenansicht in inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
User Interface – Evaluation of user behavior

The public code enables a variety of possibilities. As an application example, we have created an app that can capture the data matrix symbol and query all stored product information. This can include the best-before date or direct access to a suitable instruction manual. This function was also integrated into the apps for authenticity verification.

Userflow für inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
Customer Journey Map

But things have also developed behind the scenes. While the pilot phase was still based on a one-dimensional process in which seals for an entire batch were ordered, printed, shipped, delivered, received, affixed and released for use, manufacturers can now order seals in stock and assemble them as they wish. In doing so, seals can be unlocked at will, but also reported as lost, destroyed or stolen. Furthermore, we have implemented a complex user and rights management, so that a manufacturer can assign different tasks to different employees without having to allow access to the entire system.

Further development

In the meantime, this complex software product, which we supported from the beginning in conception, planning, implementation and operation, is marketed by the label specialist inotec, which was originally only involved as a seal producer. Since 2018, the product has been significantly changed and expanded to include essential functionality for integration with CRM solutions. The name was also changed again; the inoVerify product family was formed around the core application.

Preview Prüfung durch inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
User Interface – Product capture and identification
Meldung potentieller Fälschung durch inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
User Interface – Report of suspected forgery

As part of the customizations, a proof-of-concept application was designed and implemented from scratch to validate the updated product direction. Components of the application include a mobile native application for Android, a prototype web service, and a web application that acts as an administration and statistics service.

Frau nutzt inoVerify, ein Projekt von Chroma Experience (Chroma X)
Project Management
Paul Lewandowski
Requirements Engineering
Paul Lewandowski
Martin Brecht-Precht
Technology Lead, Architecture
Torsten Krause
UX-Research, UX-Design
Martin Brecht-Precht
Backend development
Andrius Baliutis
Martin Brecht-Precht
Frontend development
Michael Seelisch
Mobile development
Torsten Krause