Catalent licenses digital watermark software from Digimarc

Media enhanced packagingCatalent Pharma Solutions has licensed a software technology Digimarc which will allow it to offer packaging with enhanced functionality to its clients, including product authentication.

The license includes mobile visual search software which will allow consumers to retrieve information from printed packaging, product inserts and labels using smartphones and other digital devices, said Catalent, which specialises in contract packaging, printing and other outsourced services for the pharmaceutical sector.

The mobile software "enables the phone's camera to 'see' digital data that has been embedded into all forms of printed materials, including advertisements, editorial content, brochures, posters, product packaging, labels and more," it said.

Catalent refers to this information-rich material as "media-enhanced packaging" (MEP), noting on its website that it takes the form of a unique digital watermark embedded directly onto product packaging graphics that can be used for a plethora of applications.

For example, the technology can be used not only to authenticate a product, but also provide additional value to customers via coupons, discounts, language options and other pertinent information, including real-time videos and ads displayed on their phones.

Moreover, unlike 2D barcodes or QR (quick response) codes, the digital codes do not take up space on packages and are imperceptible to human senses, but can easily be detected by smart phones and camera-equipped computers.

Victor Dixon, vice president and general manager at Catalent Pharma Solutions, said: "We believe that working with Digimarc will uniquely position us to assist the pharmaceutical and consumer packaging industries to better inform and engage the consumers of their products."

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