Viewpoint: Smartphone technology calls in holograms

Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the Intercontinental Hologram Companies Association, considers new choices for model security and anti-counterfeiting made by hologram validation applying smartphone know-how.

Holography has served to bring smartphone digital conversation in the brand name protection and authentication house nearer as the protection technologies discovers new outlets and innovative programs.

In turn, this is driving continued expansion as rising quantities of organisations settle for the pros holograms offer you and devote in electronic-centered interactive options for their goods to safeguard from global brand piracy and counterfeiters.

In distinct, we are seeing myriad prospects showing for brand name security and anti-counterfeiting through hologram validation working with computer system eyesight on smartphones the use of smartphones with built-in cameras has been transformative and graphic and online video information captured on these equipment dominates so a lot of up to date daily life by social media, entertainment, recognition and validation. So identified as ‘computer vision’ has become each ubiquitous and acquainted a effective software for the validation and recognition of holograms.

For illustration, the shopper can validate the integrity of a holographic tax stamp on a wine bottle although a special identifier one-way links it to an information and facts technique (monitor and trace) which will confirm the authenticity or not of the products. The use of a cellular app in the consumer’s smartphone ‘interrogates’ the hologram and queries for all the embedded stability factors by analyzing the interaction by way of mirrored gentle.


As a security factor, holograms are presently powerful products in their own suitable, and ‘fake’ holograms – which are charge prohibitive to produce – can be detected mainly because they are typically duller than, or absence the complexity and fine details of, bona fide ones, enabling inspectors and shoppers to distinguish the serious from counterfeit very swiftly.

But this presupposes that persons – in specific customers – know what they are hunting for in the first position. Also often, they you should not. Additional to this, whilst the visual homes of holograms are intended as a initially line defence for the public, they commonly incorporate hidden capabilities for inspectors (e.g., customs officials) which need exclusive readers. Whilst not necessarily high priced, this sort of audience want to be set in the hands of individuals inspectors, which can be logistically problematic.

This is wherever holograms using computer system vision occur into their very own, offering all the benefits of physical digital protection through ubiquitous smartphone visitors for authentication, provide chain observe and trace, gray market monitoring. They can also be used as an integral portion of an enhanced, upgraded warranty administration scheme and products return programmes to encourage more robust client assurance.

Presenting a significant degree of counterfeit deterrence, a new era of digital improved optical functions, which integrate holographic outcomes and offer overt, covert and forensic options, herald a phase-improve in parts in the protected document field and other locations in the coming couple many years. For occasion, the Portuguese mint and official printing office environment INCMLAB’s UNIQODE venture has led to a new encoding technologies produced by and embedded into holograms that can be verified by on the web and offline mobile gadgets, avoiding item adulteration and facilitating traceability.

Highly versatile, this is an productive machine-readable information and facts program employed to check and quickly validate safety files which also has broader brand safety purposes in the client sector spot. UNIQODE incorporates a safety hologram that encodes special and irreproducible layers of optical capabilities. By being accessible to its users, it also permits the customer to assistance manufacturers and authorities in the combat against counterfeiting, further advertising and marketing self-assurance in the market.

It’s possible to use authentication technological know-how to support the way to certify persons who have immunity from the virus. In an exciting improvement, OpSec has a keep track of and trace product to hyperlink a COVID-19 take a look at final result or vaccination, which carries a distinctive identifier, with a code on a government grade holographic intelligent label. This can be connected to a person’s passport or other identity document and then be confirmed by, for instance, passport management officers employing a uncomplicated smartphone app.

It stays proper that as holography proceeds to obtain at any time new and distinct ways to embrace electronic interaction, the engineering by itself continues to be undimmed – a highly protected factor acceptable for visual identities for brand protection, shielding versus counterfeiting and securing tax revenues as part of tax stamp keep track of and trace programmes.

But the use of smartphones usually takes it to a new stage, combining these virtues with the means to supplement visible protection with a raft of new options for electronic security and product administration.

This article is centered on a paper offered by Nuno Gonçalves from the Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda (INCM), the Portuguese condition printer and mint, at the Holography Meeting 2021