YPB adds to technology portfolio with Motif Micro buy

Micro-barcode readingAustralia-listed YPB Group has agreed to buy Motif Micro, a company specialising in smartphone-readable microscopic barcode technology, for $7m.

Motif Micro's technology platform makes use of what YPB describes as "non-replicable identifier technology", which allows products to be uniquely encoded at the item level at a very low cost and was developed at and licensed from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

"With this technology, YPB will commence production of microparticale barcodes from proprietary polymer nanocomposites for authentication of a vast array of good," said the firm, adding that it would be able to produce the micro-barcodes in a wide variety of "shapes, sizes, physical properties and sensors."

One potential application for the technology could be to use the micro-barcodes to authenticate pharmaceutical products, with the microparticles also incorporating a sensor that can detect if a medicine has been exposed to unsafe temperatures during shipping.

The technology will be made available commercially within 12 months, with only modest capital expenditure, said YPB, which specialises in covert tracers.

The micro-barcode technology was developed in the laboratory run by Prof Patrick Doyle at MIT and has been featured in the journal Nature Materials.

"This platform attracted significant (and unsolicited) venture capital interest in its own, but YPB's market position, vision and team represent an unparalleled opportunity in the industry," said Doyle.

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