Top marks for new brand protection App

by Jeremy Plimmer

smart phone authentication digital watermark digimarc discover

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011


Digimarc has recently launched the Digimarc Discover™ Online Services Portal (OSP), a web-based service for newspaper and magazine publishers, marketers, and advertisers to link articles and advertisements to enhanced content, interactive ads and many other multi-sensory experiences. The Digimarc Discover OSP is the first offering of its kind, and the only service to enable the embedding of digital watermarks into publications to deliver enriched content on smartphones. Unique to the Digimarc Discover Platform is its ability to use various content identification technologies as needed, including the company’s patented digital watermarking technology. In print, digital watermarks can be thought of as invisible barcodes that are quickly detected by computers, networks and digital devices like smartphones. They differ from barcodes; however, in that they are easily embedded into all forms of media and are imperceptible to human senses. Digital watermarking solutions do not require publishers to give up valuable space in magazines and newspapers; nor do they impact the overall layout or aesthetics of the publication. In packaging and labelling applications the same benefits apply. Valuable space is not taken up with bar codes that are used as ‘pointers’ to steer customers to website content that will provide more information or further ‘experiences’ such as movie clips or sound files. Can this procedure be used as an authentication tool? Here at Product & Image Security we could immediately see potential for this technology in the authentication field. We spoke to Digimarc and Jeri Owen, their VP of Marketing confirmed the Company was able to supply a software application that would enable brand owners and printers to embed invisible watermarks containing serialisation codes or URL’s within suitably printed digital images. “We have worked closely with a number of digital print providers and can confirm that it is now possible to recover discrete as well as continuous watermarks from images that are digitally printed on labels and packaging. All that is required is a smartphone and an ‘App’ that can be downloaded to an i-Phone or Android enabled handset”. We can see unambiguous authentication using smartphones becoming a popular technology especially as systems such as Discover will gain traction on their ability to interact with users by supplying a number of benefits that are initially unrelated to product security. One feature of Discover is that it can be used to ‘listen’ to music and extract the watermarks embedded in sound tracks in order to identify unfamiliar tunes for the listener. It can also be used in conjunction with TV programs to guide the viewer to further content available online. Imagine reading the Sunday Paper and then being directed via a watermark to a recently recorded sporting achievement. It’s this ‘holistic’ approach to utilising the new medium that’s exciting because product authentication will become just part of a much broader activity for consumers in future. Appraise the App for yourself at:

About Jeremy Plimmer

Jeremy Plimmer has 35 years of experience in the security related print and packaging industry working originally as sales development director for manufacturers of passports, high security print and labels and more recently as a consultant. He is a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Materials and Mining, chairman of the West Midlands Packaging Society as well as vice chairman of the East Midlands Packaging Society.

Read More


About the foundation

The Product & Image Security Foundation is a non-profit making trade association which was originally formed under the name of Label & Tag Security International (LTSI) in the early 1990's.

Today it operates with more than 100 members in 27 countries and is the premier international forum for manufacturers, suppliers and users of labels, tags, packaging, identification systems, materials and systems for any form of product security, brand image protection or product traceability applications and technology.