Smartphone-based secure identities for global value chains through physical features in the barcode system

Jan. 01, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2024

In the project, a unique and tamper-proof validation of products is being researched. Products can be analyzed by using a mobile device with or without connection to the internet, i.e., without access to a database. The SmartID technology can be embedded in existing track & trace infrastructures. This enables high compability with commercially available printing processes. Therefore, QR codes, DataMatrix codes, and all other ISO-certified barcodes can be used as basis of the validation label.

In the project, Fraunhofer FOKUS researches and develops a unique method for encrypting, printing, and reading the labeling. In particular, a method for generating a new type of barcode with an additional information layer, which represents part of the labeling, is being developed and its printing on products is being evaluated. By means of an innovative app for smartphones and tablets, the verification of the marking is enabled and presented in a demonstrator.

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP, Secure Information Technology SIT, and Open Communication Systems FOKUS collaborate on the project. In addition, an industrial advisory board with different expertise along the entire value chain accompanies the project work.

The project is funded by Fraunhofer's internal PREPARE program for inter-institute, sophisticated preliminary research in preparation for new business areas.