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Proceedings Paper

Watermarking spot colors in packaging
Author(s): Alastair Reed; Tomáš Filler; Kristyn Falkenstern; Yang Bai
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Paper Abstract

In January 2014, Digimarc announced Digimarc® Barcode for the packaging industry to improve the check-out efficiency and customer experience for retailers. Digimarc Barcode is a machine readable code that carries the same information as a traditional Universal Product Code (UPC) and is introduced by adding a robust digital watermark to the package design. It is imperceptible to the human eye but can be read by a modern barcode scanner at the Point of Sale (POS) station. Compared to a traditional linear barcode, Digimarc Barcode covers the whole package with minimal impact on the graphic design. This significantly improves the Items per Minute (IPM) metric, which retailers use to track the checkout efficiency since it closely relates to their profitability. Increasing IPM by a few percent could lead to potential savings of millions of dollars for retailers, giving them a strong incentive to add the Digimarc Barcode to their packages. Testing performed by Digimarc showed increases in IPM of at least 33% using the Digimarc Barcode, compared to using a traditional barcode.

A method of watermarking print ready image data used in the commercial packaging industry is described. A significant proportion of packages are printed using spot colors, therefore spot colors needs to be supported by an embedder for Digimarc Barcode. Digimarc Barcode supports the PANTONE spot color system, which is commonly used in the packaging industry. The Digimarc Barcode embedder allows a user to insert the UPC code in an image while minimizing perceptibility to the Human Visual System (HVS). The Digimarc Barcode is inserted in the printing ink domain, using an Adobe Photoshop plug-in as the last step before printing. Since Photoshop is an industry standard widely used by pre-press shops in the packaging industry, a Digimarc Barcode can be easily inserted and proofed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9409, Media Watermarking, Security, and Forensics 2015, 940906 (4 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083134
Show Author Affiliations
Alastair Reed, Digimarc Corp. (United States)
Tomáš Filler, Digimarc Corp. (United States)
Kristyn Falkenstern, Digimarc Corp. (United States)
Yang Bai, Digimarc Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9409:
Media Watermarking, Security, and Forensics 2015
Adnan M. Alattar; Nasir D. Memon; Chad D. Heitzenrater, Editor(s)

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