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Digimarc CEO: Company Continues to Eye ‘Significant Growth Opportunity’

As the Digimarc Barcode and Discover platforms continue to expand, the company sees a “significant growth opportunity,” according to Digimarc CEO and chairman Bruce Davis.

Digimarc has “new revenue streams that are growing, but not yet material” to the company’s overall business, he told the Needham & Company Emerging Technology Conference in New York May 16.

The company, which he said has about $56 million in cash on hand and no debt, raised some capital in August to meet demand in overseas markets, he said, noting the company opened an office in Cologne, Germany, and is also working in Japan to launch Digimarc Barcode in those countries.

Digimarc created a “transformational technology that will impact all of the global supply chain,” he said, referring to Digimarc Barcode as the “barcode of everything” and saying that it “outperforms conventional UPC” barcodes.

The rollout of Digimarc Barcode is “under way with retailers and consumer product manufacturers,” he said, adding that the platform improves “consumer engagement via smartphones” and is expected to save retailers billions of dollars in operational efficiencies.

“There are many, many other applications anticipated as we scale the market,” he said, calling the market an “enormous” one — but one that’s “difficult to quantify.” Digimarc sees a “larger addressable market” than there is for traditional barcodes, he said.

Customers of Digimarc Barcode include U.S. retailer Wegmans, and he expects a “wide range” of Digimarc Barcode applications to be used by that retailer in its supply chain and retail stores, he said.

“The question that all of retail is facing is how to improve auto identification – how to improve it for operational efficiency and how to improve it for consumer engagement,” he said, stressing that his company’s platform enables those things. Retail solutions with Barcode that Digimarc is promoting now include easy checkout, consumer engagement and smart label activation, he said.

“In the R&D area, we’re doing some work on shelf-edge labels,” he also said, referring to the price stickers on retail store shelves that he said are easier to work with than the info on product packaging

Digimarc has also been working with Hewlett Packard (HP) on serialized barcodes, he noted. Digimarc announced early last year that it signed a license deal with HP to deploy Digimarc Barcodes in HP’s Link Technology, “enabling invisible watermarking to create dynamic adaptive digital experiences from any printed material such as product packaging, photos, textbooks and education materials.”

Digimarc Barcodes can carry the same Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN) product data in traditional UPC/EAN consumer barcodes, but can also include serial numbers or other information.

Because they are invisible, Digimarc Barcodes can be “imperceptibly replicated across all surfaces of print and packaging,” it said in the news release on the announcement. Digimarc Barcodes make every part of the printed material readable by a smartphone or industrial scanner, and that “enables a wide range of potential applications,” it said at the time.

Digimarc also has “many supply chain partners” in the movie business that are focused mainly on security applications, Davis said May 16.