December 1, 2017

UConn gets patent for security improvements to QR code technology

UConn and engineering professor Bahram Javidi say they have been issued a patent for a system that helps prevent the counterfeiting of QR codes.

QR codes, or Quick Response codes, are small black and white boxes found a wide variety of products that improve upon the standard barcode technology by more efficiently storing data.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the university and Javidi, UConn's board of trustees professor of electrical and computer engineering, the U.S. patent, as reported in IEEE Photonics Journal.

Javidi and his research team's patented technology, which uses advanced 3D optical imaging and low-light encryption on QR codes, transforms an ordinary QR code into a cybersecurity tag that can be used to protect the authenticity of microchips.

The development could have significant potential for use in the semiconductor and electronic manufacturing industry, because the improved QR code helps guarantee that the microchips are not recycled or counterfeited, a problem that can be expensive and dangerous in chips used for military applications, UConn said.

Javidi's invention provides several advantages over traditional QR coding options. First, no internet connection is required to read and authenticate the data stored in the image, eliminating the risk of a user being redirected to a malicious site. The technology is also inexpensive, easy to apply, and can be read using standard devices like smartphones, UConn said.

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