New technologies in security printing are evolving for more complex and sophisticated printing technologies, with overt and covert features and exploring all kinds of properties of new and traditional materials. Furthermore, extremely high-end technologies often rely on validation made in forensic laboratories or using expensive proprietary devices. However, consumers, and authorities, have in their hands smartphones which turns to be powerful devices. These almost ubiquitous devices can be used to validate several features in the card, without the need to buy or use specific devices, thus achieving a cheap and fast solution.
We present the UniQode system which allows for the use of a cryptographic graphic code along with holograms and ink mixed with special visible metal particles (glitter). The hologram plays a central key role in the validation of these printed visual identities, mainly because, despites being a traditional security element, it is difficult to reproduce and forge with high quality. On the other hand, the validation of hologram is still made with traditional methods, in forensic environments. Consequently, the consumer cannot easily be sure of the authenticity of the product secured by the hologram. We thus explore the validation of the hologram using mobile devices, presenting a state of the art technology to read and analyse them, bringing the authenticity validation to the hand of the consumer.