Interviewee: Ronald Erickson
Company: Visualant, Inc.
Trading Symbol: VSUL
About Ronald Erickson
Ron Erickson spotted something special from his first encounter with ChromaID technology. Ron sees Visualant as uniquely positioned to facilitate innovation in photonics. Ron says that the most exciting application of Visualant’s technology is the one that hasn’t been imagined yet.
Ron has been seeking and finding new ways to make a difference for decades. His early companies helped define personal computing, including online software provider Egghead Software and MicroRim, a database developer.
Ron has an intuitive understanding of opportunities that are ready for him to get involved in. He says that there is no substitute for luck, but that luck serves the well-prepared.
About Visualant, Inc.
Visualant, Inc. (VSUL) is focused primarily on the development of a proprietary technology which is capable of uniquely identifying and authenticating almost any substance using light to create, record and detect the unique digital ?signature? of the substance. We call this our “ChromaID” technology.
We have developed a proprietary technology to uniquely identify and authenticate almost any substance. This patented technology utilizes light at the photon (elementary particle of light) level through a series of emitters and detectors to generate a unique signature or “fingerprint” from a scan of almost any solid, liquid or gaseous material. This signature of reflected or transmitted light is digitized, creating a unique ChromaID signature. Each ChromaID signature is comprised of from hundreds to thousands of specific data points.
The ChromaID technology looks beyond visible light frequencies to areas of near infra-red and ultraviolet light that are outside the humanly visible light spectrum. The data obtained allows us to create a very specific and unique ChromaID signature of the substance for a myriad of authentication and verification applications.
Traditional light-based identification technology, called spectrophotometry, has relied upon a complex system of prisms, mirrors and visible light. Spectrophotometers typically have a higher cost and utilize a form factor more suited to a laboratory setting and require trained laboratory personnel to interpret the information. The ChromaID technology uses lower cost LEDs and photodiodes and specific frequencies of light resulting in a more accurate, portable and easy-to-use solution for a wide variety of applications. The ChromaID technology not only has significant cost advantages as compared to spectrophotometry, it is also completely flexible is size, shape and configuration. The ChromaID scan head can range in size from endoscopic to a scale that could be the size of a large ceiling-mounted florescent light fixture.
In normal operation, a ChromaID master or reference scan is generated and stored in a database. The Visualant scan head can then scan similar materials to identify, authenticate or diagnose them by comparing the new ChromaID digital signature scan to that of the original or reference ChromaID signature or scan result.
ChromaID was invented by scientists from the University of Washington under contract with Visualant. We have pursued an aggressive intellectual property strategy and have been granted nine patents. We also have 21 patents pending. We possess all right, title and interest to the issued patents. Ten of the pending patents are licensed exclusively to us in perpetuity by our strategic partner, Intellectual Ventures through its subsidiary IDMC.
In 2010, we acquired TransTech Systems, Inc. (“TransTech”) as an adjunct to our business. TransTech is a distributor of products for employee and personnel identification. TransTech currently provides substantially all of our revenues. We intend, however, to further develop and market our ChromaID technology.