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Popular Techniques-mark Cards With Invisible Ink

One of popular techniques in gambling fraud involves the use of invisible ink marks printed on the back surface of playing cards. Such covert patterns are transparent in the visible spectrum and therefore invisible to unaided human eyes. Invisible patterns can be made visible with ultraviolet (UV) illumination or a CCD camera installed with an infrared (IR) filter depending on the type of ink materials used. Cheating games often wear contact lenses or eyeglasses made of IR or UV filters to recognize the secret marks on the playing cards. This paper presents an image processing technique to reveal invisible ink patterns in the visible spectrum without the aid of special equipment such as UV lighting or IR filters. A printed invisible ink pattern leaves a thin coating on the surface with different refractive index for different wavelengths of light, which results in color dispersion or absorption difference. The proposed method finds the differences of color components caused by absorption difference to detect invisible ink patterns on the surface. Experiment results show that the proposed scheme is effective for both UV-active and IR-active invisible ink materials. More information from Cards999.