Fighting fakes with integral 3D barcode

29 October 2015

Engineers have developed a 3D barcode which can be built into products during manufacture. The anti-counterfeit marker is virtually invisible to the naked eye and impossible to detect by touch. It can be read using a laser scanner, allowing anything from phones to pills to be tracked and verified.
The 3D barcode is made up of tiny indentations in the surface of the product, created by pins which are integrated into its mould. The pins can be set at different heights, each step corresponding to either a letter (A-Z) or a number (0-9). The prototype works with a four pin array, enabling over 1.7 million different configurations (News Item University of Bradford, 10 September 2015).
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