Single inscribed "microdots" were originally developed by the US military in the 1940s to covertly identify items. It became obvious the tiny plastic discs would be useful for espionage as the grain size message carriers were very easy to conceal and transport. It was not until the early 1990s that microdots became a commercially feasible product. A US engineer was the first to develop a low cost process to inscribe information onto thousands of microdots.
The first application of microdots was in the casino industry. Thousands of fake casino chips are manufactured and gambled through casinos worldwide. In 1995 authentic chips were permanently marked with microdots, allowing for them to be distinguishable from the counterfeits.
The US manufacturer of microdots was bought by Australian interests to form DataDot Technology Ltd (DDT). The company has since grown to become a global leader in identification technologies.