Emirati inventor Reem Al Marzooqi testing her invention, Mayar Image Credit: XPRESS/Ahmed Kutty

Dubai: A Emirati woman engineer in Abu Dubai has developed a scanning device that detects counterfeit products.

Called Mayar, the unique invention combines the technologies of laser and X-ray machines to find out if a product is fake or genuine.

According to its designer and creator Reem Al Marzooqi, the device has been approved by the management of Abu Dhabi International Airport and will soon be installed at the airports.

The way it works

Mayar scans the chemical composition of an item without harming or changing its properties. The chemical composition of an original product is fed into the machine. If a product is fake, the Mayar detects it in less than three minutes.

Reem said Mayar will be extremely useful at places lie the airport. “I often see customs officials at security checks struggling with unknown objects. In some instances they have to send it for lab testing. Mayar can spare them all this trouble,” she explained. Reem said Mayar can scan both solid and liquid items including cosmetics.

“It can even tell you if a product has lost some of its properties during shipment.”

Reem said it took her three years to develop the device. “One of the biggest challenges was to make its prototype. Since the device uses laser and X-ray technology, I could not prototype it on my own. Eventually, I had to get it done in the USA. It cost me Dh300,000 and I had to take a loan but it was worth it,” she said.

Inventor by heart

Inventing new products is not new for this creative Emirati. In fact, Reem is the first Emirati to be granted a patent in the US for designing a car – a ‘Lower Extremity Vehicle Navigation Control System’ – which can be driven hands-free. “The car uses a system whereby the steering acceleration and brake levers are entirely foot-controlled, allowing people to drive without using their upper body.

“I was prompted to develop the vehicle after watching a television show in which Jessica Cox, the world’s first licensed armless pilot recounted how she struggled to drive distances using just her feet.” Reem is also the creator of Mozo, a specially designed robot that speaks to children with autism. Again, she took inspiration from a real life incident. “My neighbour’s son was heart-broken when his nanny left him. He could not familarise himself with the new maid so I thought of creating a special robot that would remain with him for the rest of his life.

“I’m passionate about inventing new products which are useful to the society. As an Emirati I get lot of benefits from my country. Inventing useful products is my way of giving back to my country,” she said.

How it works

The machine has a dual technology - a laser scanner and an X-ray.

All solid and liquid items including cosmetics can be scanned under the machine to check their authenticity.

The device is connected to a computer which gives the composition reading of the material.

A software installed in the computer already has the original data of properties of various items. So if the reading does not match this composition then we know the product is not genuine or has lost its properties due to over-exposure.