Colour security

A security printing solution addresses the growing global problem of product and document counterfeiting.

Developed by Colour Secure, the company’s ‘colour signatures’ promise to extend sophisticated anti-counterfeiting protection to a far wider audience than previously possible, and are verified by a colour reading terminal employing a novel form of spectrometer designed by Cambridge Consultants.

Colour Secure’s technology uses special security inks that create unique and discreet colour signatures that can be printed onto labels or documents using standard printing technology. These signatures can hold encrypted information such as product ID, to combat attempts at forgery. The colour signatures are virtually impossible to copy and cannot be read by any other commercially-available terminal. The printing can even be done using a conventional office printer and security inks.

Cambridge Consultants’ role has been to help combine the low-cost security technique with a simple colour recognition capability that can accurately measure invisible-to-the-eye information embedded in the colour signatures.

To achieve this, Cambridge Consultants produced a novel spectrometer, which has been integrated into a compact handheld verification terminal developed by the electronics design and manufacturing consultancy Ingenion Design.

The resulting package is allowing the security company to demonstrate its colour signatures, and to provide development kits to users such as governments and corporations.

“Cambridge Consultants’ colour reading technology is helping us to widen the potential applications for our security process substantially – as it helps to bring authentication costs down to a level that makes sense even for small volume applications”, says Professor Peter Keay of Colour Secure.

“We’ve managed to come up with a spectrometer element that can be built for a relatively low price in volume, helping keep the cost of terminals down to enable Colour Secure’s product to be commercialised at an attractive price,” adds Dr. Bob Jones of Cambridge Consultants.

The technology can be applied in many industry sectors as an anti-fraud tool or administrative aid.