Last year, more than 60,000 counterfeit Canadian bank notes passed into circulation. But a new ink from the Velocity Science startup Arylla could change that.
Three nanotechnology engineering students, a shared program between the Faculties of Science and Engineering, developed a series of inks with unique optical signatures that can be easily viewed when scanned with a smartphone camera. A different series of coloured bars appear on the screen for each ink.
You are using your flash and the camera to activate the material," says co-founder Perry Everett. "When you take a picture it is processed using several different algorithms to extract the information."
The information that identifies a product as legitimate is embedded in the ink and decoded by a mobile app inside the smartphone.
The nano inks can be applied to just about anything from money to tiny microprocessors to handbags. Since the inks are also biocompatible and non-toxic they can be applied to pills and even liquids, such as pesticides.
Last month, the company (formerly known as Black Box Technologies) won $25,000 at the Spring Velocity Fund Final competition.