Smart Water

SmartWater consists of a liquid containing a code which can be read under ultraviolet light.[1] It is intended to be applied to valuable items, so that if they are stolen and later seized by police, their original owner can be determined. Another application is a sprinkler system that sprays a burglar with the (invisible) fluid, which cannot be washed off and lasts for months, to generate evidence which connects a suspect to a specific location.

SmartWater comes in three variants, “Index Solutions”, “Indsol Tracer” and “SmartWater Instant”, which use different techniques to embed such a code – which, according to Phil Cleary, allows “millions of chemical signatures” and is an identifier superior to genetic fingerprinting DNA.

The “Index Solutions” variant is a water-based solution containing low-level additives, which are blended using a binary sequence to ensure uniqueness. The Index Solution is contained within a spray system which is activated by an intruder detection unit, similar to a burglar alarm, and marks the intruder with a unique forensic spray, which the police locate using a black (UV) light.[4]

The “Indsol Tracer” variant is a polymer emulsion[5] which blends different chemical agents according to a binary code allowing 10 billion different possibilities, as stated by the company.[3]

The “SmartWater Instant” variant consists mainly of a copolymer of vinyl acetate in isopropyl alcohol.[6] This fluid contains millions of tiny fragments; a unique number called “SIN” (“SmartWater identification number”) and registered in a national police database together with the owner’s details, is etched into each of those particles.


I found the fact that the invisible solution remains evident for months. Knowing this would be a certain deter for criminals. Possible application to mobile?


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