Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- April 24, 2002

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department Receives Gift From Digimarc

A gift from Digimarc to Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department will give students the ability to combine the power of print media with the power of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

"The rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web has not resulted in the decline of printing, but has enhanced and advanced the capabilities of print as a multimedia medium," said Harvey Levenson, professor and head of the Graphic Communication Department.

Called Digimarc MediaBridge (valued at more than $25,000), the equipment will enable students to place digital watermarks in printed images. Digital watermarking creates an inherent identity in all media content, so that when a watermarked printed page is held in front of a desktop computer camera equipped with Digimarc reader software, a specified or targeted Web page automatically opens.

"For example," Levenson said, "take the case of a reader seeing a promotion for an automobile in a direct mail piece or brochure. If the reader wants to learn more about the vehicle, such as features and other models, all he or she has to do is hold the printed page five inches from the camera and that specific Web page opens. The prospective consumer can then browse the site for more information."

The same type of digital watermarking can be created for any organization involved in printed marketing or packaging promotions -- non-profits, clubs, service organizations, and health and safety agencies.

"The uses of this technology are tremendous," Levenson said. "It can be used to see where a stadium seat is located by holding a digitally watermarked ticket up to the camera, after which a picture of the stadium seating arrangement pops up on the screen. A book or brochure on any topic can have the digital watermark embedded to give the reader more information by accessing a special Web site."

Steve Whaley, director of the Digimarc Embedding Institute and Field Engineering Services, said, "We are pleased to provide Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department with the tools and technologies to learn more about how Digimarc MediaBridge technology integrates print packaging and marketing promotions with the Internet and offers companies a new and effective means of interacting with their customers."

Digimarc equipped one of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication computer labs with technology for 16 computers, including Digimarc MediaBridge Embedding Software, licenses, cameras, a scanner/reader and training.

Penny Osmond, Graphic Communication assistant professor, is incorporating the Digimarc technology into her consumer packaging class. "The idea of combining a printed product with a Web-interface connection is exciting, especially in the consumer packaging arena. Digimarc offers a unique niche in package design for companies to be able to leverage their advertising and promotional power," Osmond said.

Digimarc Corp., based in Tualatin, Ore., is a leading provider of digital watermarking components and technologies used in a wide range of security, identification and brand protection applications. Digimarc ID Systems LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Digimarc, is a major global provider of secure and durable personal identification solutions and is the chief producer of drivers licenses in the United States. Digimarc ID Systems produces identification documents for governments around the world.

Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department, founded in 1946, enrolls approximately 300 students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in graphic communication with concentrations in printing and imaging management, electronic publishing and imaging, design reproduction technology, and individualized study. With more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories, the department has one of the best-known programs of its kind in the nation and is the largest in the western United States. It has one of the largest industry-supported programs in graphic arts education, with the vast majority of its equipment and facilities having been donated by industry.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: For electronic images to accompany this news release, please contact Jo Ann Lloyd at (805) 75601511 or jlloyd@calpoly.edu.)


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