Nanobar-Code – Multifunctional Product Identification And Protection System
The suggested system of product protection has several characteristics. Let us consider them. Two-dimensional array code with original design (Fig.2) containing the field for company logo in the code center and information field with additional auxiliary elements in the shape of rectangles for the code orientation alignment during reading. Code is applied directly on the surface of the product itself and laser technology of product labeling is used for this purpose. In case if it is necessary to apply code on the intermediate carrier, the technology of transfer or thermal transfer printing can be used or special polymer film TessaLaser can be used.
Information capacity of two-dimensional code is considerably increased at the expense of use of ultrahigh information recording. If we compare NBC and QR Code with the same number of symbols, the advantage of NBC is clearly visible by the code size and information capacity as well (Table). Due to the special software, large volumes of information can be contained in NBC, by several orders greater than in any other two-dimensional code. NBC visualization in the form of image indicates its similarity with the standard two-dimensional codes (QR Сode, Data Matrix) by the internal structure but the size of NBC cells is larger by 5-10 times.
Important peculiarity of NBC includes the capability to record the symbolic and other digital information – graphic, audio, video (Fig.3).
Other peculiarity of NBC includes the fact that the special software allows accomplishment of multilevel encryption before the information encoding (Fig.4).
Information contained in two-dimensional code can be partially or fully close for outside users, in other words, it can be encrypted using the standard algorithms and original cryptographically secure algorithms of encryption as well. Symmetrical AES and asymmetrical RSA encryption are applied in NBC.
In the general form, the system has multi-functionality. The capability to generate the various combinations of NBC is projected. In this system it is possible to form completely open (without encryption), completely close (all information is encrypted) and combined NBC. Combined NBC contains “open” and “close” areas (parts) which allow decoding and checking information at different levels depending on the user access rights. In addition, NBC can contain the electronic digital signature (EDS, Fig. 5).
Using “open” NBC it is possible to apply it in the capacity of local database or storage of large volume of information (up to 10 000 000 characters or up to 10 Kb of bit information). And in order to have access, the internet connection is not required. It is sufficient to accomplish scanning of such NBC-database and having decoded it with the help of decoding program it is possible to receive full information on the object to the personal computer.
When using completely “close” or “partially close” NBC (combined), the encoding program has the function of formation of symmetrical and asymmetrical keys which are formed at the encryption stage from the information introduced by user in the form of password (AES) or earlier generated symmetrical and asymmetrical keys (RSA). And during the formation of completely “close” NBC, the formation of symmetrical or asymmetrical keys can occur in manual or automatic mode. During decoding, the key is entered manually or downloaded from the key storage base automatically.
When using combined NBC, the formation of symmetrical or asymmetrical keys is accomplished in the manual or automatic mode but separately for each of NBC parts.
When using NBC with EDS, the formation of asymmetrical keys is also accomplished in the manual or automatic mode. In such case, the second part of NBC plays the role of “signature” of the first (open) part confirming its authenticity and integrity. During decoding, the key is entered manually or downloaded from the key storage base automatically.
Thus, NBC can be used for identification and counterfeit protection of legal products. In this case the following two variants of the technology of NBC formation can be recommended. The first variant – NBC application directly on the surface of protected product. Second variant – NBC application on the special polymer films (TessaLaser) allowing automatic formation of the labels with different size which have capability to be destroyed in case of their removal from the product surface.
In both above-mentioned variants NBC is applied on the product surface or film using the labeling lasers; their peculiarity consists in the capability to perform high-speed and simultaneously high-quality labeling including the situations when the products move in the flow (they can be applied in flow lines). Time needed for the labeling of one product is 5 to 20 sec. (depending on the size of NBC) and time needed for the formation of 1 label on the film TessaLaser is 15 sec.
In case of NBC application directly on the products for one group of lasers (fiber), different metals, plastics and rubber can be used in the capacity of labeling materials and for the other group of lasers (CO2) NBC application can be accomplished on wood, paper, cardboard, glass and plexiglass.
Stage of reading and recognition of the information contained in NBC refers to important component of the whole system of NBC application for the product identification and protection. Taking into account ultrahigh density of the information which is recorded in NBC, two types of the special optical scanners are recommended for NBC reading; these are inexpensive mobile microscopes or more expensive and more functional web-cameras. With the help of these optical systems NBC is read and via USB connection the image is transmitted to the personal computer where its recognition and information decoding takes place.
Thus, the general cycle of the whole system of NBC application includes the following stages (Fig. 6):
•Information encoding in PC;
•Formation of the executive program for laser;
•The process of NBC application on the product using laser;
•Reading with the help of NBC optical system and transmission of its image to PC;
NBC can be used for the protection of information in different forms (text, graphic, audio and video formats) with the capacity up to 10 kB in the same manner with the capability of its storage in the database or for the purpose of its forwarding via the internet to other user without risks of its disclosure and reading by third parties. At the same time, information protection is ensured by the multilevel system of information protection based on the use of algorithms of symmetrical and asymmetrical encryption and random number generator, which is sufficient for the protection of common consumer or PC user.