With headquarters located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland in Vevey, AlpVision is known as the world’s leader in digital technologies for product authentication and counterfeit protection. But this isn’t how it all started. Back in 1997, Two of the future founders, Fred Jordan and Martin Kutter met at the EPFL while working on their PhD theses and laying down the fundamentals of the company. Fred and Martin were both performing R&D in the field of Digital Watermarking and Martin wrote his thesis on this topic and received the best thesis award of the year. Fred and Martin have always had a special drive to invent and create felt that their R&D work was ideal for a start-up. With the help and support of Roland Meylan as mentor the three created AlpVision in 2001.
The core idea for the business was derived in the year 2000 and it took a little less than 1 year to come up with the Cryptoglyph, a security feature based on digital imaging for document protection. First patents were filed, and the business adventure started.
In 2001, the three co-founders establish the first legal status for AlpVision as a limited liability company with an initial share capital of CHF 20’000. In 2002, the founders were able to convince a business angel to invest 600k CHF, an amount just enough to bring the company to profitability in 2003. Since then, AlpVision is profitable and the founders enjoy managing a growing company.
Yes, We can
An elite team of AlpVision is headed by Dr. Martin Kutter and Dr. Fred Jordan. When AlpVision was created in 2001, many business experts and start-up coaches said that this will never work out, a company cannot be run by two leaders. Well, 19 years later they both proved them wrong. AlpVision’s management drives for excellence and pragmatism. The general attitude is “Yes we can. Whatever you want, we can do it, and if we do not know how, we will learn it.” In addition, strategic decisions are in general made in such a way as not to put the company at risk. If AlpVision lost all its customers at once, the company can survive for two full years with its full staff, enough time to recover from the shock.
Dr. Fred Jordan has served as CEO since the inception of AlpVision. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and patents and co-inventor of Cryptoglyph and Fingerprint, AlpVision’s core technologies. In 1999, he received his PhD from the Swiss Technology Institute (EPFL) – Signal Processing Institute (ITS) in Lausanne. Whereas, Dr. Martin Kutter serves as President and Chairman of the Board. He also holds a PhD from the Swiss Technology Institute in Lausanne (EPFL) and a Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA. For his PhD, Dr. Kutter received the “Best thesis award” in 2000. He has published over 25 publications, including many books, and has filed numerous patents. He has built his career on solid industrial experience and has earned an impressive scientific reputation. He is another coinventor of Cryptoglyph and Fingerprint.
Delivering Top-Notch Solutions
AlpVision’s success lies in its capacity to permanently innovate and adapt to specific customer needs. The solutions proposed by AlpVision are unique in that they can be easily deployed, do not require change in the production, and use standard or no consumables. Its broad range of offerings include:
Cryptoglyph: AlpVision’s Cryptoglyph is an invisible marking applied on to printed packaging or products, such as tobacco of pharmaceuticals. The digital invisible marking is applied to the packaging using regular overprint varnish and standard printing processes. Integrated with prepress, the Cryptoglyph adds a pseudo-random pattern of invisible micro-holes (40 to 80 microns) into the standard varnish layer.
Non-intrusive and totally invisible, these micro-holes cover the entire surface of the packaging or label without changing its design. Digitally encoded within the artwork, AlpVision Cryptoglyph can be easily integrated into any existing packaging or label printing process at zero production cost. Authentication of a protected product is performed using standard smartphones.
AlpVision Fingerprint: AlpVision Fingerprint is a unique and breakthrough covert anti-counterfeiting solution that tracks and authenticates mass produced objects manufactured by processes such as molding, stamping, rolling, and tooling. This solution applies to a wide variety of molded parts, including bottles and caps, electrical appliances, mechanical parts, precious metals, gold bars, imaging supplies, most plastic moulded products available on the market today and watches.
With no changes to the standard moulding practices, AlpVision Fingerprint leverages the intrinsic microscopic surface irregularities found in a mold and uses these unique characteristics as the means of authentication (as opposed to adding safety features.)
The process requires capturing a digital image of the mattefinished surface of a molded part and storing it in a database. This image is then used as a reference to perform product authentication. It follows that one image per mold is sufficient to authenticate an entire line of objects produced by the same mould cavity.
AlpVision Fingerprint provides instant authentication, which not only helps confirm the authenticity of the object, but also increases the reliability of other safety features. While AlpVision Fingerprint cannot provide a complete track and trace system, this software solution can identify the original mold cavity, help locate the equipment manufacturer, and determine the approximate production date. As a consequence, agents in the supply chain will be less likely to smuggle molded parts to counterfeiters.
Secured QR Code: As QR codes and other codes become more and more mainstream, AlpVision has released a secured version of QR codes using variants of Cryptoglyph and AlpVision Fingerprint. The secured QR codes are indistinguishable from non-secured codes and hence add an invisible authentication layer, an extremely important feature especially for Track and Trace system. QR code reading and authentication is performed simultaneously using a regular smartphone.
Brand Monitoring System (BMS): AlpVision’s Brand Monitoring System provides the necessary logistical platform to monitor brand protection activities, pinpoint threats, and have users take effective action in order to secure the supply chain. The BMS system provide real-time statistics on product authentications and even allow to monitor quality control activities during production.
Enhancing Product & Document Protection
Based on innovation and creativity, AlpVision strives to provide brand owners and value document issuers with efficient and effective digital security solutions, compatible with complex industrial constraints, in order to enhance product and document protection against counterfeiting and other fraudulent attacks.
AlpVision’s digital solutions for product authentication are applicable to a wide variety of items, including packaging and labeling, plastic and metal products, and high-value documents. Its solutions are commercialized worldwide under license agreements as entirely customizable turnkey computerized systems.
Generally, AlpVision works with the industries including, Pharmaceuticals, Tobacco, Government, Footwear, Wine & Spirit, Watch, precious metals, automotive lubricants, and many other industries.
A Novel Approach
AlpVision has created unique proposal against counterfeiting and fraudulent attacks. Its solutions protect over 30 billion products yearly and are being implemented by more than 200 printers worldwide.
All its solutions are: Covert with no visible markings, with no additional consumable, no special reading devices, no production changes, instant positive authentication, and low cost AlpVision is a clear leader when it comes to digital authentication solutions. With nearly 20 years of activity and of which the last 15 years were profitable, AlpVision is a reference in the field.
Adapting to Changes
AlpVision’s core technologies are based on very efficient and powerful signal and image processing algorithms, all packed in a software shell according to customer needs. Its technologies are permanently evolving, and the company keeps adapting to market changes and new needs. This includes for instance the inclusion of AI based processing methods 8 years ago. Ultimately, AlpVision’s goal is to become a “de facto” standard for authentication solutions. To achieve this goal, the company is constantly innovating, diversifying, working on increasing its sales, and monitoring IP and filing new patents.
“High sophisticated ACF-products, presented by professionals! I’d like to work with the AlpVision Team all the time.” “In the field of security and the fight against counterfeits it is imperative to have a partner that is best in class, trustworthy and dedicated to constant improvement as well as customer service. Our experience to date is that AlpVision and its team excel on all these fronts.”
“Excellent company to work with. Developed and implemented exactly as per customer requirements. A company that goes the extra distance to ensure they deliver a quality product and on-going support.”
“AlpVision consistently demonstrates a deep expertise in anti-counterfeiting technologies, but also their detailed understanding of implementation and various use scenarios. They are a true partner we have relied on to support our ACF strategy and deployment over many years and also the years to come.”
“AlpVision always provided creative solutions that met and exceeded our expectations. We could not have done a number of challenging projects without the know-how and skills developed by their Team. Flexibility, high-level of expertise and understanding are some of AlpVision’s greatest strengths. Supplying quality service and a reliable partnership were the key for the success.”
Quote: “AlpVision solutions protect more than 30 billion products, it just works.”