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Magnetic identification

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Mag-ID (Magnetic identification)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-07-31

The project consortium consisting of BOGEN (technical project coordinator, project coordinator until Juli 31st, 2020, SME), INESC-MN (project coordinator starting Aug 1st, 2020, research, INESC in this document), and INSPECTRON (SME) is working on bringing the novel identification solution for track & trace, anti-counterfeiting and product verification to market.

INSPECTRON had developed a magnetic ink barcode reader and has implemented this in a project before the MagID project. BOGEN had developed with INESC a new technology to read magnetic ink with TMR sensing technology in a previous project.

Combining these approaches results in a disruption for the identification and authentication/anti-counterfeiting markets with MagID, the magnetic readable barcode based on ink.

The objective of this action is to introduce MagID as a cost-efficient alternative for high volume tracking & tracing, brand protection and inspection and to replace passive RFID as a cheap solution for high volume applications. Since magnetic barcodes are dirt resistant, the technology will replace some barcodes with a more reliable read. The technology allows for distance reading, which means that the information can be read through coatings, e.g. parts before and after a paint booth can be identified automatically with the same technology. This can be used for tracking and tracing of components in a subassembly e.g. in identification documents to ensure that personal data and pictures are matched in the process and after assembly. Together with a verification-as-a-service platform, SMEs can provide authentication and validation services world-wide. Magnetic barcodes can replace many RFID solutions as they are environment-friendly without separate electronic device disposal.
The project team has worked on different work streams to achieve the project objectives. The team has worked together in several workshops and aligning the work with regular project status meetings.

The main work performed by partner
• INESC has focused on optimizing TMR sensors for the two different applications, the swipe reader and the one-shot reader. For the swipe reader, the TMR sensor developed in the project achieve a higher sensitivity which will lead to finer structures to be read. For the one-shot reader, a line sensor was developed and it will be improved towards a matrix sensor.
• INSPECTRON improved the swipe reader with new hardware, firmware including new sensors from INESC. At the same time, the software platform for verification has been updated significantly.
• BOGEN has created a minimum viable product for the one-shot reader, that can read barcodes, decode different barcode types and transmit the information via USB or Bluetooth to a computer or a mobile device.

The industry partners have worked significantly on the preparation of the marketing activities and focused on customer development during this phase. All partners have worked on disseminating information about this project and the results.
The project achieved many different steps that extend the state of the art. INESC created new TMR sensors with higher sensitivity than existing magnetic ink sensors. The Portuguese institute also created successfully a line sensor for reading multiple sensor elements at the same time.

INSPECTRON created a new swipe reader and a stripe reader, that extend the applicability of magnetic barcode reading. The company also extended the functionality of the planned verification as a service platform and implemented the key functionality.

BOGEN created a one shot-reader that can read and decode a barcode with one read. The barcode can be read using the INESC line sensor, a new firmware decodes the barcode and the interfaces to a computer were implemented.

In the next phase of the project, the consortium strives to implement the swipe-reader and the one-shot reader with higher reading reliability. The one-shot reader will be extended with better sensors to extend the reading length and width. The one-short reader will be converted to a communication enabled device, that will be usable in WiFi and mobile communication environments.

At the same time, the team will focus on implementing demonstrations of the new technology and marketing for the new solution.

The project will result in a low cost and environment friendly alternative to RFID and will extend the application space to new areas, which are currently unserved by RFID due to cost and technical reasons.  
One shot magnetic barcode reader
Magnetic Barcode
Swipe magnetic barcode reader