A new technology process designed to prevent counterfeit copying of compact disks has gone on sale across the world, and 3DCD Ltd, the company behind the introduction of holograms to CDs is hoping that it will become an industry standard. According to a report in Multi Media Trade News On-line, the computer games industry loses $2.7bn, the music industry $2.24bn and the business software industry $7.8bn to counterfeiters every year. Now Applied Holographics Plc of Washington, Tyne & Wear and Charlottesville, Virginia-based Nimbus Manufacturing Inc have joined forces, developing and marketing 3-Di.D. Nimbus manufactures CDs and Applied Holographics manufacture holograms, with Nimbus owning the license for the new technology. There are two different ways in which a hologram can be applied to a CD, producing two different results. The first, Edge to Edge covers the entire disk, a sophisticated machine required to put the hologram into the CD, which the company says is a substantial investment, but after that it costs peanuts. The second process is known as Security Band which puts a hologram on either the inner mirror band – the center of the disk, or on the outer circumference of the CD. The second process is much cheaper, with companies who want to apply this method to their CDs not having to purchase the costly machinery that is required for the Edge to Edge production.
The company envisages that if an industry standard emerges from 3-Di.D, it would be the Security Band method. With CD piracy particularly prolific in the Far East, Italy and Eastern Europe, especially in the software market, the company will be targeting those areas first and expects the take up rate to be quite high. Having only been on the market for a short period, the company hasn’t made any direct sales of the technology as of yet, but Nimbus Manufacturing has started using 3Di.D in the production of its CDs, with a number major customers such as IBM Corp, Hewlett Packard Co and Microsoft Corp requesting holographic CDs. The company originally intended that 3Di.D would be a security and prevention device, but has since discovered that the entertainment industry is keen to incorporate holograms into its CDs for entirely cosmetic reasons. Nimbus has recently manufactured 2 million Edge to Edge CDs for a set of limited edition remastered soundtracks from the Star Wars Trilogy.