Holograms to be smaller, nicer and more important

Longer version of the following text was published in Czech in www.sciencemag.cz

People will need a personal document or another physical carrier of personal information for their identification and authentication also in future. Counterfeiting of documents will become more and more difficult a most people will be able to recognize genuine from falsified easily. Holograms will play a key role in this development. It is stated in a paper about next decade holograms prepared by OPTAGLIO researchers.

 A proven security rule sais that personal identification and authentication should be based on three factors. What I am (biometry), what I am owning (e.d. a card) and what I know (e.g. PIN). There are some thoughts that this three-factor authentication may be replaced by a simple validation with voice, fingerprint, iris etc. However, such simple biometry application opens serious security issues. If a list of card number is compromised (which happens relatively frequently), the cards can be replaced. Compromisation incident connected e.g. to a fingerprints list leads to insoluble problems.

It is thus realistic to presume that biometrics will be only one of authentication information resources and that people will need also a physical item. This item /document should meet the following criteria.

  • Imitation is impossible or close to impossible.
  • Decision genuine /false is based on the item itself, without any dependence on information systems access.
  • Decision genuine /false can be made easily and without special equipment.

Security holograms together with providing clear information help to meet some of these challenges. If users understand what visual effect should they look for, they can make a genuine /false decision fast and easily.

However, the protection against imitation is complicated by the fact that the attackers are more and more advanced and sophisticated. According to OPTAGLIO experts, foregone generations holograms can be copied now. Therefore we can expect the following trends: More advanced visual effects and growth in optical quality of holograms.

  • A decrease in space of holograms.
  • Change in prevailing technologies. Current dot.matrix holograms will be pushed to a low-end brand protection and decorative use.
  • Holograms will be printed directly on protected items rather than stuck, hot stamped etc. New technologies will be needed to ensure it.

It can be also expected that more and more producers of different kinds of things will protect their products with microholograms. By the way, it is a common trend that technology developed for a military or police use becomes more and more generally available for purposes of everyday life. It is likely that holograms will be found on items such as a toothbrush in a few years.

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