Xerox on Wednesday announced a pair of printed packaging labels with embedded memory designed to help curb counterfeiting.

Also known as printed memory, the labels are equipped with up to 36 bits of rewritable memory. That may not sound like much in a world that deals largely in gigabytes and terabytes but according to Xerox, it's enough to store up to 68 billion points of data.

The second product is even more secure, building on the first with an added cryptographic security layer. Labels of this variety include a unique, encrypted printed code that can only be read by authorized personnel using a reader that works with a secure smartphone application.

Steve Simpson, Xerox vice president in charge of the project, said it makes it possible to ensure the integrity of a product from the time it leaves the factory to the time it gets into the hands of a customer.

Xerox intends for businesses and government to use the labels to help secure, authenticate and track products they distribute. A pharmaceutical company, for example, could use the labels to secure and track shipments to local pharmacies.

Xerox is quick to point out that traditional anti-counterfeiting methods like invisible ink, holograms and RFID tags are often expensive to implement and can be copied. Its printed labels are said to be less expensive and more difficult to counterfeit as each label is uniquely encrypted.