Hawaii Patent of the Month – February 2024

TruTag Technologies, Inc. has pioneered a groundbreaking system that redefines hyperspectral imaging capabilities, offering unparalleled speed, flexibility, and precision in spectral measurements. At the core of this innovation is a tunable Fabry-Perot etalon, working in tandem with a detector and a sophisticated processor.

TruTag is building the technology needed to support microscopic barcodes which can be used to tag, track, and trace all kinds of consumable goods. From pharmaceuticals to fine wine, every industry is fraught with fraud. In fact, up to 20% of “fine wine” is not authentic and 22% of all seized counterfeit products are footwear. When you spend money to acquire a high end product, you want to be sure that you are getting what you pay for. And when you need specific medication, you want to be sure you are not consuming a fake pill. TruTag’s invisible and edible barcodes can be decoded by consumer-friendly mobile apps so that you always know if you have the real deal or a faux.

The recently patented field calibration for spectral measurements is crucial to the design of the TruTag system. Existing hyperspectral imaging solutions, such as push-broom grating and liquid crystal tunable filters, are limited by the time it takes to capture data. This poor timing severely limits their application. TruTag’s approach with Fabry-Perot etalon provides a near-real-time solution making it possible to scan and read a microscopic barcode with an app.

The system’s key component, the tunable Fabry-Perot etalon, introduces a unique feature—an adjustable gap. This settable gap plays a pivotal role in capturing and manipulating light for spectral analysis. The detector, whether monochrome or a combination of RGB and IR, measures the transmitted light intensity through the etalon.

What sets TruTag’s system apart is the processor’s ability to determine a calibrated spectral measurement with remarkable accuracy. This calibration relies on a carefully selected set of settable gaps and a reconstruction matrix. The matrix, in turn, is crafted based on calibration measurements using field material targets, stored full calibrations, and the chosen set of settable gaps.

Calibration measurements involve strategic selections, such as field material targets, narrowband illuminations, or subsets of mirror gaps. The calibrated spectral measurement can further refine specificity by choosing particular illuminations, subsets of settable gaps, or even capturing images using the detector.

The brilliance of TruTag’s invention lies in the adaptive nature of the system. The reconstruction matrix, essential for accurate spectral measurement, is determined dynamically. It can scale prior calibrations for specific field material targets or create a composite of reconstructed matrices from multiple targets.

In the calibration process, the system’s efficiency shines through. It can operate with fewer settable gaps, source wavelengths, or field material targets than traditional systems, providing optimal results with minimal data input.

This hyperspectral imager system addresses the challenges faced by conventional technologies, offering near real-time data collection with unparalleled spatial uniformity, resolution, and range. Whether in identifying substances rapidly or detecting threats in various environments, TruTag’s system showcases the future of hyperspectral imaging—a future driven by precision, speed, and adaptability.

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