SmartWater consists of a liquid containing a code which can be read under ultraviolet light. 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.
The “SmartWater Instant” variant consists mainly of a copolymer of vinyl acetate in isopropyl alcohol. 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?