Anti-counterfeit technology news in brief

Exhange of ideasFeaturing updates from Kodak, Consumer Physics, Applied DNA Sciences, TruTag and Matsamura Engineering.

Collectibles specialist Panini America has agreed a new contract with Kodak Brand Protection Solutions to protect its trading card and memorabilia products from counterfeiting, as well as to create a points-based customer reward scheme. Kodak says it has been providing 'ultracovert' security features to Panini since 2008 and the two companies are now expanding their relationship to build a web-based hub - along with a mobile app - that will allow collectors to "self-authenticate their trading cards and eliminate issues related to potential counterfeit trading cards on the secondary market."

Consumer Physics has developed a tiny, handheld near infrared (NIR) spectrometer - called the SCiO - that could have a wealth of applications, including the identification of adulterated foods or counterfeit medicines, according to founder Dror Sharon. The device was developed with the help of $2.7m in funding from the Kickstarter crowd-funding website. Eventually, the device will be launched as a consumer gadget with an expected price tag of around $299, says Sharon. The device "allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent directly to your smartphone," according to the company.

Applied DNA Sciences has been awarded a research grant from the US Missile Defense Agency for counterfeit avoidance, which could lead to the deployment of the company's botanical DNA markers in as many as 100 electronic component manufacturers. The contract is valued at around $975,000 over two years, according to APDN, which is also supplying markers to companies providing FSC 5962 electronic components to the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

TruTag Technologies has been named a 2014 R&D 100 Award Winner by R&D Magazine for its inert, edible barcode technology, which can integrate into the fabric of a product without packaging or labels. The awards recognise and celebrate the top 100 technology products of the year, and a full list of the winners in 2014 - which also include the likes of Dow Chemical, Thermo Fisher, Siemens, Mettler-Toledo and MIT is available here. TruTag is the only winner in the brand security space this year.

The founder of Japan's Matsamura Engineering Co claims his firm has developed a device - based on ultraviolet, infrared and magnetic field sensors - that can reliably spot even the most sophisticated counterfeit $100 bills, according to a Bloomberg report. Some of the counterfeits appearing in the market are so-called 'Super S' types, which are hard to spot even with the detectors used in banks and other financial institutions, according to Yoshihide Matsumura, but can be identified using his new instrument. The US introduced a new $100 bill last year with a 3D security ribbon designed to make it harder to copy.

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