Cholesteric Spherical Reflectors are a new way to create invisible machine vision markers that cannot be cloned.

Researchers propose invisible, unclonable machine vision markers made of cholesteric reflectors

In the past three decades, our digital world, which we access via smartphones and computers, has become so rich and detailed. Much of the physical world now has a digital counterpart. The physical and digital worlds are merging as wearable digital devices, robots and Augmented Reality (AR), enter the physical world. Physical items also get digital representations on the digital side.

Crypto technologies, such as blockchains, can help to protect these digital twins from manipulation and allow them to be uniquely identified. These technologies are extremely powerful in enabling trust, which helps to combat counterfeiting, improve supply chain transparency and enable circular economy. A weakness is the lack of a universally applicable and versatile identifier for physical items as reliable as a Blockchain. The physical and digital twins are no longer connected, which limits the technical potential.

A new paper published by Light: Science & Applications from an interdisciplinary group of scientists led Professors Jan Lagerwall, (physics), and Holger Voos, (robotics), from the University of Luxembourg in Luxembourg and Prof. Mathew Schwarz (architecture, construction of built environment) at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (U.S.) proposes an innovative solution for this problem. They use cholesteric spherical reflectives (CSRs) to create unique fingerprints that are unclonable