November 6, 2013
HNGN reported on the new anti-fraud technique developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, involving the printing of “liquid-crystal lasers” onto products to help tackle the issue of counterfeit goods, with the team able to “meticulously control” the laser’s colour and pattern combinations using an inkjet printer.
“The detector takes advantage of this by shining a second, laser pulse on to the printed one,” the university explained in a press release. “It then reads the wavelength of the light emission from the printed laser through a dedicated software, and reproduces that reading as a pattern on a spectrograph.”
Fake currency and fraudulent pharmaceuticals are among the objects that the technology could potentially be used to detect; although it is claimed that the printers are able to be used on a wide range of products “because it is applicable on almost any surface”.
Dr. Damian Gardiner, a researcher on the project, explained the reasons behind the development of the technology: “Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are sold fake pharmaceuticals under the mistaken belief that they will help them, while counterfeit products cost companies hundreds of billions of pounds […] We think that our printed lasers could be used to protect both products and people.”
A video featuring the technology can be viewed here.
Categories : Products and Technology