Covectra debuts new version of StellaGuard smart label

Covectra has launched a new version of StellaGuard, a smart label that combines track and trace with authentication that can be carried out using a smartphone.

The updated version of StellaGuard comes four years after Covectra first introduced the platform, which features a unique, serialized 2D datamatrix code, tamper-evidence and an authentication feature in the form of a film incorporating holographic "stars" in a random, non-repeatable pattern.

Four years on, and the platform has undergone significant changes, in part to keep pace with the improved performance of smartphones, according to Covectra’s chief executive Steve Wood.

One example is a shift from 2D datamatrix to QR codes, which are used more widely for smartphone applications, told

In addition, the original app released in 2017 used two images – one for the barcode, and another for the star pattern – but the new version is also to capture both simultaneously.

“This greatly reduces the time required to do the scan,” according to Wood, and – as the label images no longer have to be stored in the cloud – the response time has also been speeded up.

Another new feature is the inclusion of an online dashboard that brand managers can customise for their applications, and have it available on every phone as a customised, free-of-charge app.

"Today's global brands are scrambling to step up their efforts in cracking down on the number of counterfeited products streaming into the supply chain every day," said Wood.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already exposed the vulnerabilities of supply chains, and Wood believes that is raising the profile of brand protection and supply chain security technologies.

“We believe that there will be a greater need for brand protection given the economic pressures resulting throughout the world, and given the relative ease of producing and distributing counterfeit products,” he added.

Covectra says existing security product labels either require specialised reading devices or lack the ability for manufacturers to comprehensively trace their products through the supply chain to the consumer.

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