Hologram with a diffraction bar code

Hologram with a diffraction bar code is a new method for anti-counterfeit goods protection.

The widespread introduction of holographic elements for protection of various types of products and securities in the world and in the Republic of Belarus, as well as constantly evolving techniques and technology of hologram production creates prerequisites for emerging of counterfeits. In today’s world various technologies increasing the degree of protection of holograms are widely applied. To improve protective properties of relief holograms, they are supplied with various protective elements.

Those include recording of various hidden images readable by different devices and polarizing glasses, introduction of microtext into the overall image of the recorded hologram, which can be read with the help of high-precision microscopes, and creation of certain effects providing the unique character of the protective element to be created, etc. However, unfortunately, one cannot say definitely that a hologram with all the above elements is authentic without a thorough and costly expertise.

To effectively control the holographic products used in the domestic market, two problems have to be solved. The first problem includes development of different schemes of holographic coding of protective elements; the second one includes creating compact devices for decoding of this information.

At the same time, an issue immediately arises — how to create a protective hologram with information encoded within it, which would be impossible to counterfeit and which would be readable with a compact portable device synchronized with a PC for easy maintenance of an electronic database in order to control the movement of the product protected with this hologram, and if this is possible at all. Product of this kind will be discussed further.

This product is a new protective means for the labeling of goods, documents and securities — the hologram with a holographic diffraction bar code.

This development was carried out within the “Document Protection” State Research and Development Program by B. I. Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus together with Belarusian State University EI, Holography Industry CJSC and Minsk Printing Factory of Goznak RUE commissioned by the Department of State Marks of the Republic of Belarus. Nowadays, this technology is patent pending.

Compared to a printed bar code, a diffraction bar code has field elements produced with diffraction gratings instead of printed bar elements. Since the diffraction gratings are recorded digitally and superimposed one onto another, one can say that a hologram with a code is extremely difficult to reproduce.

Hologram with a diffraction bar code is:

- a different optical characteristics of diffraction gratings

- a switch-effect in the form of an abstract pattern in order to impede visual identification of the encoded information

- a microtext in the white-space bars of the bar code

The process of verifying the information encoded in a hologram is very simple. After pressing a button on the device and passing the reader over a Unigram, the processed signal goes through the USB port to PC. Then, a specially designed program pre-installed on the PC recognizes the encoded signals. The identification allows to accurately determine the authenticity of the hologram. The introduction of a bar code to the hologram allows to carry out semi-automatic verification of a Unigram minimizing operator’s impact on the operation result.. If the display shows an encoded character set, then, respectively, the Unigram is authentic. If there is no encoded information, “No code” appears.