Thursday, September 19 12:38:45
Cork's Tyndall National Institute, Ireland's largest ICT research centre, today announced a new low-cost anti- counterfeit technology to tackle the E485 billion global market in fake goods.
The new readable device combines an optical hologram with unique electrical signatures on an aluminium label for the first time and is technically impossible for forgers to copy.
With projected costs as little as 10-15c per label for a fully integrated radio- frequency ID (RFID) tag, the new technology could revolutionise the authentication and tracking of credit cards, medical devices and high-end consumer goods. These product sectors are scourged by counterfeit copies costing billions in fraudulent transactions and lost revenue each year.
Dr Aidan Quinn, Nanotechnology Group, Tyndall, explained: "Government and Industry are constantly looking for new ways to combat illegal counterfeits and credit card cloning. In Ireland alone last year, E20 million was lost to fraud on Irish cards with E3 million of this caused by skimmed cards."
"It was essential that the device itself was un-cloneable, tamper-proof and affordable to end users. This was achieved through the application of Tyndall's anotechnology expertise and the fabrication and processing infrastructure available in Tyndall's Flexi-Fab facilities. Being able to manage everything onsite helps to continuously improve the process technologies and streamline the research to market cycle," he said.
The four-year research initiative (2009- 2013) was funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Research Cluster "FORME" (Functional Oxides and Related Materials for Electronics). The Tyndall research team based in Cork included Dr Aidan Quinn, Dr Micheal Burke, and Dr Mary Manning. A patent application was filed in June 2013.
The research team is currently in discussions with industry to explore opportunities with sectors where authentication and traceability are paramount to ensure the safety and integrity of the product. Key market segments which could benefit from the technology include RFID chip-based technology such as credit cards and smart cards, passports, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and food products.