University of Ulster start-up wins funding for digital watermarking
The university reports that a team of its academics, based at the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Ulster’s Magee campus, have developed digital watermarking technology to ensure the security of transmitted data through hidden software messages. The company CEO is Dr Joan Condell.
It has secured an additional £125,000 in a second round of NISPO (Northern Ireland Spin Outs) funding, with additional support from a private investor.
“HidInImage technology could be used in many different situations, such as authenticating identity to tighten security at airport checks-ins and other public access points; securing watermarking for forensic photographic and video evidence transmitting sensitive information like medical records securely; as a means of strengthening protection of copyright; or guaranteeing that images and videos have not been tampered with,” said Dr Condell.
“The digital watermarks are embedded directly into the content of a digital image so, although the watermarks can’t be seen by the human eye, they can be recognised and read by enabled software and/or hardware for authenticating, tracking or monitoring purposes. The embedding technique used by HidInImage is impervious to image and data compression so the image can be copied and moved around without anyone knowing that the text exists.”
Steganography is the science of writing hidden software messages in such a way that only the sender and intended recipient realise they exist, and HidInImage is a result of a decade of research into the area.