Posted by META® Team on Dec 10, 2021 1:00:00 PM

Thwarting Counterfeiters With Nano-Optics


Connect and Protect 

It is well established that brand protection is successful when security features are easy to authenticate but difficult to replicate. A security label requires more than technology, it also requires great design with unique authentication effects, and Nanotech’s LiveOptik™ technology balances this need of public recognition and technical sophistication. The brand-customer relationship is one built on trust – customers rely on brands to deliver the products that meet certain standards. To retain their reputation and customers, it is crucial that organizations take robust measures, adopt new technologies and strategies to protect consumers and educate them on how to spot counterfeits. 

There are two primary metrics that any anti-counterfeiting solution needs to meet – First, it needs to aid in the authentication of the product. An optical security feature can do this by being Visible, Usable and Known. To be visible, the feature needs to work in multiple lighting conditions, display eye catching ‘unique effects’ backed by designs that are simple, interesting and exciting. For the public to understand and authenticate effectively, the features must be intuitive for the user without requiring too much education or explanation. 

Secondly – the feature needs to deter simulation. It should be founded in technology that is novel, complex, or rare enough that it can’t be purchased off-the-shelf or easily manufactured by would-be counterfeiters. Moreover, it should deliver unique effects that can’t be simulated through legacy means or technologies. Not updating brand protection strategies or using solutions that is decades old because it has ‘always worked for us in the past’ only encourages counterfeiters and criminal groups that already hold expertise in duplicating labels. The visual design needs to CONNECT with users and be secure enough to PROTECT against counterfeit. 

Why is it important to fight counterfeiting?

The global economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy continues to increase and is estimated to surpass $2.3 trillion by next year. According to Forbes, counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise market, even exceeding the illicit drug trade. Beyond the loss of revenue, there are many other significant impacts: Severe health effects and safety concerns, loss of life due to counterfeit medicine, PPE, and even counterfeit batteries. Loss of consumer confidence in a brand or marketplace can take years to repair.  

Done properly, overt visual effects continue to serve as the MOST important front-line defense against counterfeiting. Brands need to ask themselves – do our current Brand Protection initiatives deter counterfeiters? Are the current labels too complicated for a customer to validate? What effects and technologies offer customizable, quick authentication while extending the brand protection life cycle?

A Toolkit of Authentication Effects  

Nanotech has focused our efforts on delivering features with bright colors, recognizable shapes, movement , depth, and effects – the exact visual triggers that millions of years of evolution have optimized human visual receptors  to detect and respond to. These effect combinations prompt our natural instincts to take notice of and engage with the design, promoting self-authentication by the user. Our toolkit of innovative nano-optic based visual effects to combat counterfeiting is available to brands and designers that are looking to build an extremely secure, custom solutions that works well with their brand. The effects below are shown in isolation for easy understanding, in real world applications these can be combined in any number of ways to support extensive design options: 

Glide Effect – Glide effect combines multiple layers and omni-directional movement to deliver an intuitive and engaging experience.


Drift Effect  – A simple, bright, pattern moving behind static text or elements. It is designed in such a way that the feature activates in the vertical direction, while staying consistent when tilted horizontally.


Nano Float – This float effect showcases multiple layers of 3D depth, so that the design appears to descend down within the security feature. As the user tilts and interacts with the security feature they can peer around the shape or pattern. 3D stereo depth is an important tool as it is one of the quickest ways the human eye can recognize and authenticate depth.


Nano Appear – Offers a bright and consistent ‘On/Invisible’ effect, where portions of the design completely disappear at some angles.


Nano Switch – This ‘On/Off’ effect demonstrates multi-image activation, with bright colors and shapes. Areas of the image will trigger and activate at specific angles – holding their assigned color, without exhibiting the rainbowing of traditional holograms. This is a key point for brands that want to incorporate their own brand guidelines and colors and avoid an effect that can be easily confused with another solution.


LivePortrait – This effect leverages the ultra high-resolution of nanotechnology and the rich RGB color palette of nano-optics to deliver photorealistic portraits and scenes.


Wallpaper – Uniquely secure, patterned design available in a format that is broadly supported and durable across a wide range of material substrates and application processes. Ideal for multi-product applications as it can be cut into a range of sizes and shapes.


LumaChrome Holographic – Nanotech’s colour shifting LumaChrome technology is combined with an embossed holographic security pattern to deliver advanced brand protection.


Additional Customization 

  • Serialization  
  • Intaglio or laser etch printing  
  • QR codes, barcodes for track and trace programs 
  • Tamper-evident releases to prevent harvesting of authentication devices 
  • Custom printed logos  
  • UV integration to add a covert effect to the brand protection solution.   

The demand for innovative authentication technology will continue to grow as we work together to stay ahead of the counterfeiter. Nano-optic visual effects offer new ways to connect with users – to encourage interaction and self-authentication. Optical security solutions are effective when they are easy for consumers to use but difficult to simulate or replicate. All of our film and labels are available in multiple formats and can be used for brand protection, anti-counterfeiting, and smart packaging in multiple industries like pharmaceuticals, cannabis, retail membership and gift cards, electronics, imaging supplies and more. Feel free to contact us for our latest sample kit or to set up a meeting and discuss your brand protection needs. 

Learn More!

Topics: LiveOptik™, Brand Protection, LumaChrome™, Holographic

META® Team

Written by META® Team