Device Of The Week


As a small boy I collected autographs. I still have the books and some of the signatures may be worth marginally more than the pen, ink and paper used to collect them.

These days the scrawl of a celeb is thought to enhance the value of the book or product that they are endorsing. But can you be sure of the provenance of the autograph? Of course, if you have queued up at some emporium for the privilege of getting the “personality” to scrawl some bon mots on your purchase, you can be reasonably certain. But what about pre-signed product?

This week in a court case involving the cook, Gordon Ramsay, the existence of a shady device, the Autopen, was revealed. Celebs, apparently, fed up with the tedium induced by writing their signature multiple times resort to the use of a machine called the Autopen which uses a signature smart card or USB flash drive to store and replicate their autograph. Ramsay claimed that such a device was used to put his signature on a rent guarantee. The beak threw the argument out but in the process shed a new light on the value of pre-signed products.

You have been warned!