Xerox bets printed memory labels, encryption can thwart counterfeiters

Xerox launched two printed memory labels including one with encryption designed to track a product's condition, handling and authentcity.


Xerox on Tuesday rolled out two printed memory labels that are designed to store information designed to curb counterfeit products.

Printed memory refers to electronic labels that can be attached to products to track condition and authenticity. Xerox has also added security tools.

Xerox in December licensed printed memory technology from Thin Film Electronics, which is developing printed electronics. Under the arrangement, Xerox would produce printed memory at its plant in Webster, New York. Xerox and Thin Film are also collaborating on smart labels.

The first label is called Xerox Printed Memory, which is a label that can store up to 68 billion data points. These data points can track how a product has been handled in distribution as well as tracking information.

For security purposes, Xerox introduced Xerox Printed Memory with Cryptographic Security. This second label has an encrypted printed code such as a QR bar code in memory. Authorized personnel can read the code with a smartphone application. Xerox argues that the printed memory and encryption can be used to thwart counterfeiters.

Each Printed Memory with Cryptographic Security label is uniquely encrypted.

As for the industries targeted, Xerox is pitching pharmaceuticals as well as government agencies. The security feature were cooked up by PARC, Xerox's research arm.

Xerox's Printed Memory could be used as one more tool against counterfeit products. Today, tools such as invisible ink, holograms and RFID are used to thwart counterfeiters. Those technologies can be copied.

The company has been bolstering its services business as well as focusing on data management as well as new document technologies.