Holographic growth to lead the future of safety of products

Developments in new anti-counterfeit technologies will help support the growth of holograms in 2024, according to Paul Dunn, chair of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).

09 Nov 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

New technology developments lead hologram growth in 2024

Micro-lenses, micro-mirrors and plasmonics are among the rapidly-emerging optical devices that have evolved on the back of holographic and diffractive technologies, and are seen as part of the natural evolution of optical science by R&D teams. 

In turn, these technologies require new foils, different manufacturing processes and different originating technologies to get them fully to market and achieve commercial viability. This opens up more opportunities for hologram manufacturers to secure additional market share and demonstrate how holography continues to secure new applications and remain a relevant technology.

However, manufacturers and their R&D teams in the coming months will need to assess the viability of these nascent technologies and challenge themselves to come up with a new generation of authentication and anti-counterfeiting technologies for traditional applications.

Paul Dunn said, “What’s clear is that the speed of technical evolution is increasing and developments in digital technologies are probably the most significant to impact the future of anti-counterfeiting solutions in 2024 and beyond - a view supported by many in the optical devices sector.”

He said that we will continue to see optical technologies merging with digital solutions and optical security by combining technology functions. He feels this presents a strong future with holograms continuing to be a key component, reflecting how they are evolving, developing and finding new commercial outlets.

Holographic authentication and track and trace systems will continue to help underpin international efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to bolster overt and covert protection strategies beyond the next 12 months.

Dunn said, “Counterfeiting is a massive global threat, continually placing governments, brands and the public at risk - and will continue to be tackled effectively to minimise the impact on society. Despite the continued economic, social and global supply chain challenges, we expect to see growth in 2024 with countries enhancing and bringing forward their anti-counterfeiting plans which feature holograms.”

He added, “Again, these holograms will become even more integrated with other technologies to create intuitive brand engagement programmes while simultaneously, authentication through scanning a QR code on the label acts as a secondary product verification method. This provides unified and easy-to-use platforms for brands to interact and engage with their customers.”

High security print applications will continue to increase, as holography origination capabilities are brought in-house, cutting the innovation cycle and allowing security printers to get their technologies specified for new currency work.

Sustainability will also continue to be a priority in 2024 with manufacturers investing more in strategies to cut carbon footprint as part of their corporate responsibility strategies. IHMA is leading efforts through its Sustainability Working Group to encourage best practice by sharing information and showcasing company wide initiatives.

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