Researchers have created invisible Quick Response (QR) codes that could help fight a growing battle with counterfeit money and goods.

Researchers have created invisible Quick Response (QR) codes that could help fight a growing battle with counterfeit money and goods.

 
The University of South Dakota and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology found that the codes, which have become popular as a means to download apps or access product information, could be utilised to help fight counterfeiters, with the complexity of the codes making them difficult to fake.
 
They can be printed on paper, glass and a wide range of other materials in a mixture of nanoparticles and blue and green fluorescent ink, which makes it invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen under an infrared light.
 
 
QR codes are becoming the standard in the industry, thanks to the fact that they can hold up to 100 times more information than normal barcodes. They have particularly become synonymous with smartphones, where they are widely used, but they could be as much a tool of security as marketing.
 
The technique could be extended to be even more secure, with the potential for a microscopic message or symbol to be hidden in the QR code, potentially in different colours, which means even the infrared light won't show it without the use of a microscope.
 
One setback to the idea is the fact that the initial process takes around 90 minutes, which is a long time to design and print a single code. However, once the original code is made it can be mass printed in just 15 minutes.
 
Source: BBC