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Methods for Producing Covert Barcodes with Authentication Markers

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Barcodes are the once and future king in the area of product identification. Over the past few years barcodes have maintained their place as the first line of defense for product authentication because they pack so much information in such a small area. They are used for everything from track and trace to two part product authentication. Complexity of barcodes and the systems needed to indentify and verify them are continuing to grow. It seems their main limitation is that they are more often than not, visible because most barcodes are validated through optical systems. A visible barcode is one that can be replicated by a counterfeiter. However, the overt, visible nature of barcodes is not likely to change anytime soon as more and more barcodes are being validated by the end user by means of scanned images, submissions of photographs to online databases, apps on mobile phones, or handheld scanners in warehouses.

BrandWatch Technologies has the ability to produce a host of covert barcodes that will make identification and verification of the barcodes more secure than ever. By understanding the limitations of the current state of the art in covert marking detection hardware, a plan was formulated to explore ways of circumventing those limitations by changing the ways the barcodes are printed. By linking the covert markers with the newest developments in ink technology, new and unexpected ways of producing barcodes were discovered. We will outline ways to connect the cutting edge of authentication markers to printing ink technology and identification hardware to produce covert barcode systems while maintaining the integrity of customer facing overt barcodes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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