Industry Award Winners Reflect the Pinnacle of Success for Holography

23 Nov 2023 | Press Release

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) awards has once again seen commercial innovation and creativity at the heart of global holographic growth and success.

The Excellence in Holography awards come as the sector continues to see achievement during challenging economic times, marking the pinnacle of success for those at the forefront of developing innovative or commercially viable holography products or techniques in the last 12 months.

The judges were impressed by strong advances in new application areas and the continued integration of traditional holograms with other technologies to deliver added value authentication solutions, together with a host of augmented packaging and enhanced design possibilities.

The full list of winners is:

  • Best Origination – QUANTUM – Inspired by Nature, Meta Materials Inc (Canada)

Meta Materials

  • Best Innovation in Holographic Technology – PicoMaster Single and Multiple Beam Direct Write Lithography, Raith Laser Systems B.V. (Netherlands)

Picomaster

  • Best Applied Security Product – Green LongLife RollingStar® Hologram Micromirror LEAD Mix, Louisenthal (Germany)

Louisenthal

  • Best Applied Decorative/Packaging Product – 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Book, Hazen Paper Company (US)

Hazen

  • Best Display or Emerging Technology Application of Holography – Snapshot CHIMERA® Holographic Portraits, Hologram Centre (Korea)

Hologram Center

  • Best in Show (new category for 2024 based on the highest score of all the submissions) – QUANTUM – Inspired by Nature, Meta Materials Inc (Canada)

The winner of the Best Origination category, and overall winner of the Best in Show,  was Meta Materials for its QUANTUM stripe banknote authentication product. Based on the company’s  award-winning KolourOptik® technology, QUANTUM stripe combines movement, 3D stereoscopic depth, and multi-colour effects in an ultrathin form factor.

The QUANTUM stripe is readily integrated into banknotes with industry-standard processes and equipment. Moreover, it is manufactured using clean, renewable hydroelectric energy within Meta’s high-security production facility, ensuring sustainability and environmental responsibility.

According to the judges, ‘the IHMA board are looking for innovation, visual distinction, aesthetics and differentiation.  It is clear to us all that the plasmonic developments by Meta, are among a new range of optical technologies pushing the boundaries of anti-counterfeit security features and developments in recent years’.

 The ‘Best Applied Security Product’ category went to the Green LongLife RollingStar® Hologram Micromirror LEAD Mix produced by banknote security specialist Louisenthal of Germany. This supports the holistic concept of optimised storytelling and counterfeit resilience in an innovative way by outstanding integration to the print and attractive and dynamic animated structures.

The judges particularly noted the complex combination of micro (holo) and macro (mirror) structures and colour shift, integrating a traditional hologram with a micromirror feature incorporating ‘great’ dynamics and 3D.

This posed a significant technical challenge for origination, tool production, embossing and production of a modern and secure LEAD stipe, producing an application that is extremely difficult to counterfeit and is quick and easy to authenticate, even in low light. Guarantees intuitive recognition. It is also compatible with all banknote substrates. Along with the sustainable properties of the Green LongLife note, the LEAD carrier foil has a 70% recycled content.

 The ‘Best Applied Decorative/Packaging Product’ category was secured by the 11th Enshrinement Yearbook cover for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. This has been created using Hazen Paper Company’ HoloJet® paper, projecting an amplified refractive three-dimensional image of a basketball symbolising the Hall of Fame Dome.

This year’s cover includes Fresnel Lens technology and a new holographic element that Hazen calls ‘Metal-Morphosis™’, which utilises a new deep-groove system for sharper images and greater dimensionality. Appearing to move and change with the angle of light, the holographic treatment induces engagement and interaction with the book.

The custom holograms were created at Hazen’s US holographic laser lab, then micro-embossed and transfer-metallised onto smooth, 12-point WestRock Tango C2S using Hazen’s environmentally friendly Envirofoil® and HoloJet® process. The holography is created with an optical structure that is imparted on the surface of the paper (underneath the printed graphics) with an ultra-thin polymer layer that is less than 2 microns in thickness. Envirofoil is a non-plastic paper that is recyclable as paper.

Korea’s Hologram Center landed the Best Display or Emerging Technology Application of Holography’ has conducted a project using the digital CHIMERA™ holographic stereogram printing technique combined with image interpolation using a neural network. This required only 12 cameras to record 34 x 44 cm, with 250 μm hogel resolution, full-parallax portraits.

This industry first the judges said, highlighted how ultra-realistic, full-colour, and full-parallax snapshot holographic portraits can now be recorded – a great advance compared to previous techniques – offering a new recording technique to enable holographic portraits to be developed and disseminated to the public on a larger scale.

The Excellence in Holography awards, held online 21 – 22 November, recognise outstanding achievement; marking success for suppliers, manufacturers and end-users who have brought forward innovative or commercially viable hologram products or techniques over the last 12 months.

This year’s event comes as the IHMA continues to develop its role as the leading voice for those involved in global commercial holography. Chair of the IHMA, Dr Paul Dunn, commended the standard of entries as being of the highest quality, representing an innovative industry at the forefront of the fight against brand piracy and counterfeiting.

Dr Paul Dunn said: “What’s clear to see in this year’s crop of winners is that the speed of technical evolution continues unabated, particularly developments in digital technologies which will probably be the most significant to impact the future of anti-counterfeiting solutions next year and beyond.

“We are seeing optical technologies merging with digital solutions and greater levels of optical security by combining technology functions. These awards mark ongoing advancement in the design, development and technology of commercial holograms, which continue to find fresh and innovative ways to add value and heightened levels of security and packaging enhancement to products used by millions of consumers the world over.”