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BrandWatch develops biometrics for taggants


BrandWatch Technologies, which develops and manufactures microscopic particles called “taggants” and detection devices has completed a new detection device called TAU, which provides brand owners, integrators, and governments the ability to differentiate multiple products, inks, and documents with a single IR taggant maker.

“The TAU is a significant advance in the world of security taggants,” said Neil Ivey, CEO of BrandWatch. “The TAU is essentially a biometrics reader for taggants. It is programmable, and will not recognize any taggant or material until it is programmed. The unique part about the TAU is that it looks at more than just the taggant. TAU examines both the visible and invisible responses of the taggant and its surroundings.”

The TAU works by examining the complete environment of the taggant. It takes into account the color or lack of color of its carrier, the type of substrate or packaging it is applied to, the coat weight of the ink or coating, the distribution of the taggant, along with other proprietary measurements. This creates a very specific “signature” which is programmed into the TAU through a software program developed by BrandWatch.

BrandWatch has received orders for the new units in advance of its completion. “The industry seems very excited about the TAU,” said Ivey. “The prospect of using a single taggant across several product lines is very appealing, as it increases supply chain security and decreases the need to handle multiple materials. The fact that this device is essentially a forensic lab tool miniaturized for use in the field gives everyone great confidence in its ability.”

The tool can be used as a forensic tool when paired with BrandWatch’s software, but that its value lies in its portability. The firm describes the TAU as a portable, handheld device that blurs the line between covert and forensic analysis. It is a programmable device that does not need to be returned from the field in order to be updated with new signatures.

BrandWatch also offers a DNA component that can be added at the same time as its IR Taggant. Like all DNA, detection requires a standard lab test.

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