At Last: Copyright Protection That Works!

Innovation January 16, 2017

You must have noticed that right along with the arrival of our everything digital era there has been a rampant increase in the copying of material posted online. Whether it be images, blog posts, videos or even entire books there seems to be no end to what these copy thieves will purloin. Of course there has been numerous attempts aimed at thwarting such outright thievery, yet to date there has no method or technology that can be consistently relied upon.

At least until now. It turns out that there may be a solution to this worldwide problem in the very near future. It turns out that this possible new solution is a work in process at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. There, Yishi Shi is working with a team of colleagues on a optical watermarking system.

Truth be told, optical watermarking as a copyright protection technology has been looked at before. Yet the challenge with existing optical watermarking is that the process is both cumbersome and involves several steps to put into effect.

On the other hand, the researchers at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed what looks to be a revolutionary technique. This radical new optical watermarking technique is unique for a number of reasons. Perhaps most importantly, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences optical watermarking technology is a single step process. In addition to that, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences process uses an optical setup that is markedly simpler than existing techniques in use today.

But hold on, it gets even better. It turns out that the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences optical watermarking technology can be used to optically encrypt data. In addition to all of that, this technology can be used to actually hide information within the images themselves.

For the record, you may appreciate learning that the new method is based on a rather esoteric optical technology. The not so common optical technology is referred to as single shot ptychography encoding (SPE). All you really need to know about this SPE methodology is that it means that the desired optical watermark is put into place without the need for mechanical scanning. As in Single shot, just as the name implies.

According to the researchers at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences their technique is the first practical optical watermarking technology. Stay tuned to see how this plays out. Perhaps this new technology will put an end to the rampant copying and pasting from others that is present today.

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