|3262144 ½||1966-07-19||3262144H.pdf||United States Patent Office 3,262,124 1/2 Patented July 19, 1966
Identification verifying product and device
Peter J Albiani, Weston, Mass, assignor to Veri-Kard Corporation, Boston, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts. Filed May 24, 1961, Ser. No 112,391 1 Claim. (Cl. 235-61.7)
The present invention relates to the verification of identity and, more particularly, to systems of the type in which a card or other token is presented as evidence of the identity of its bearer. In one such system, a prospective purchaser is the holder of a so-called credit card which indicates that he is authorized to receive credit when he presents this credit card to any of a group of participating vendors, suppliers and other prospective creditors. In such a system, problems may be encountered when an identity token of the foregoing type is lost and thereafter is used by an unauthorized holder into whose possession it may happen to fall.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a novel product and device for ensuring that only the authorized holder is capable of presenting an identity token in an acceptable manner. The product is an identification token characterized by coded indicia which are not decipherable by inspection but which are intelligibly known by the authorized holder to represent a series of alphanumeric characters. In using this token as a credit card, the holder presents it to the prospective creditor and communicates to the prospective creditor the series of known alphanumeric characters. The device serves to verify the authorization of the holder (as well as the authenticity of card or other token itself) by comparing the series of communicated alpha numeric characters, which are set into the device by the prospective creditor, with the series of cryptographically coded indicia on the token, which are automatically sensed by the device. If the series of characters communicated by the holder corresponds to the series of characters represented by the indicia, the device will verity the proposed transaction by permitting a record to be printed, a switch to be actuated, etc. On the other hand, if the series of characters communicated by the holder does not correspond to the series of characters represented by the indicia, the device will reject the proposed transaction by preventing a record from being printed, a switch to be actuated, etc. Although the following description is in reference for illustrative purposes to a credit card system it will be understood that the present invention is applicable to a variety of other systems for use in plant security equipment, generally accessible equipment operation, bank depository equipment, document release equipment, traveler's check identification, generally accessible coded lock equipment without fixed combination, passports, etc. For example, in using this token as a key for a generally accessible coded lock, the holder inserts it into a seat after presenting a manually engageable read-in mechanism.
Other objects of the present invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter. For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a credit card and verifier embodying the present invention; FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1, taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and FIG. 3;
FIG 3 is a top plan view of the device of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a component of the device of FIG. 1, the section being taken substantially along the line 4-4.
Generally, the token illustrated in accordance with the present invention is a credit card in the form of a flat rectangular stratium of suitable plastic material having coded notched which designate ciphered characters and the name and address of the authorized holder in raised characters capable of causing an imprint through carbon paper on a suitable record. The decoding device includes a housing having an inaccessible and unobservable interior chamber, a carriage upon which the aforementioned credit may be mounted for insertion into the chamber, a manually adjustable decoding component presenting visible characters for selection by the creditor, an automatic comparator component for sensing the notches on the credit card and comparing the characters indicated thereby with the characters of the manually adjustable component, and a readout component that is operable when the characters of the credit card and the characters of the decoding component correspond but that is inoperative when they do not correspond. The arrangement is such that an unauthorized holder of the card has no available information by which the characters represented by the notches on the card may be determined and such that when the card is seated on the holder and the holder is directed into the interior chamber for a determination of correspondence, the operation of the comparator component cannot be observed.
The embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the drawing is shown as comprising a credit card 10, composed for example of a suitable polymeric material such as rigid polyvinyl chloride, that has a flat rectangular shape 12. Embossed in card 10 are the name and address 14 of the approved holder of the card in terms of raised characters that project outwardly from the from face of the card. Also embossed in card 10 are notches 16 which are depressed into the front face of the card. Each notch is presented by an oblique face 18, which continues rearwardly from the front face of card 10 and a wall 20. The different notches 16 are positioned in different rows at different distances from edge 25. Credit card 10 cooperates with the verifying and imprinting device 26 shown in perspective FIG. 1.
As shown, verifying and imprinting device 26 includes a housing 28 for supporting and enclosing operative components of the device within a chamber that is protected from examination by an operator. At one extreminity 30 of the housing 28 is a bed 32. Movable in bed 32 from a position that is manually accessible to a position within housing 28 that is inaccessible and unobservable is a carriage 34. carriage 34 presents a seat for the reception of credit card 10 and is provided with a finger tab 36 by which the carriage 34 may be moved between its extreme positions by the operator. At the other extremity 38 of housing, 28 is a ridged portion containing an opening 40 and a window 42. Accessible through opening 40 are knurled portions 44 of the peripheries of a series of discs 46. Indicating portions 48 of the peripheries of discs 46 bear sequential characters which are selectively observable through window 42. Projecting from within housing 28 is a print bar 51 that can be manually operated only when the characters 48 set up at window 42 correspond to the characters representing by notches 16 of credit card 10. Details of the mechanism by which indicia 48 and indicia 16 are compared now will be described in reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.
As is best shown in FIG. 2, carriage 34 includes a flat base 50 which is slideable along the upper face of bed 32. Carriage 34 is provided at its four edges with an upstanding rim 52 that is provided with a shoulder 54
for seating credit card 10. Bed 32 is presented by a horizontal plate 56, the longitudinal rims 58. 58 of which constrain carriage 34 for reciprocal motion and the transverse rims 60, 60 of which limit the inward and outward motion of carriage 34. Horizontal plate 56 is mounted on the base of housing 28 by cross-webs 62 and 64.
In the illustrated device, each of discs 46 has two elements. As shown in FIG. 4, these elements constitute a disc element 65 of greater diameter, the periphery of which is knurled and graduated as indicated above, and a disc element 66 of lesser diameter which is rotatable with disc element 65 by virtue of a pair of pins, 68 and 70 that project through registered openings in the disc elements. Disc element 66 is provided peripherally with a series of detent notches 72 and a series of inwardly projecting code notches 74. In engagement with the periphery of disc 66 s a detent 76 which is pivoted as at 78 in a clockwise direction by means of a spring (not shown). Associated with each of detent notches 72 is one of code notches 74 in such a way that when detent 76 is in engagement with a selected one of detent notches 72, a selected one of code notches 74 is presented along a particular radius 80 for a reason now to become apparent.
The indicia of one column of credit card 10 is compared with the selected indicia of one of code discs 66 by means of a simple mechanical interconnection 82 which includes a code readout finger 82 and a code detent bar 84. Code readout finger 82 is slideable within a guide provided by the inner rim 60 of bed 32. A pair of yokes 86 and 88 constrain code detent bar 84 and code readout finger 82 for parallel motion with respect to each other, yoke 86 being fixed to code detent bar 84 at 90 and being slideable on code readout finder 82 at 92 and yoke 88 being fixed to code readout figure 82 at 94 and being slideable on code readout bar 84 at 96. Suitable helical springs 98 and 100 urge code readout bar 84 and code readout figure 82 into their outermost positions. An unlocking cam 102 is pivoted to code detent bar 84 as at 104 and presents a finger 106 which may or may not be capable of being received by a notch 108 in the following manner.
After credit card 10 is inserted into carriage 34 and finger tab 36 is engaged in order to move the carriage into the interior of the housing, each code detent bar 84 is lifted from its rest position by the bevel 109 at the inner edge of carriage 34 and slides across the surface of card 10 until a notch 16 is encountered. Detent 110 at the most forward extremity of code readout finger 82 thereupon drops into notch 16 so that code detent bar and the code readout finger both are moved rearwardly with the card. Because code detent bar 85 is coupled iwth code readout finger 82 and the yokes 86 and 88 constrain the code readout finger and the code detent bar (or parallel motion with respect to each other, the motion is transmitted to detent finger 112 causing it to enter the slot which is aligned with radius 80. When credit card 10 reaches the end of its travel by virtue of the abutment of carriage 34 against rim 60, finger 106 is aligned with notch 108 if detent notch 74 at radius 80 corresponds to notch 16 in credit card 10. In consequence print release bar 51 may be actuated in order to cause a platen 116 printed as at 117 to strike a carbon paper 118 and a paper record 120 against the embossed characters 14 of card 10. Carbon paper 118 and paper record 116 may be inserted into position with the aid of a guide 121. If any of the characters selected on the various discs does not correspond with its presumed counterpart on the credit card, print release bar 51 will not be operable, because finger 108, which extends across all of the code readout fingers, will not be aligned with all of the notches 108 of all the code readout fingers.
By varying the location of the slots in the discs, it is possible to set up any of a variety of dissimilar codes. Such a variation will not permit breaking of the code since there will be no consistent pattern among the rows of coded notches in card 10. Thus, it would be necessary for a person trying to break the code to obtain a large number of code patterns and their corresponding identification numbers before it would be possible to obtain the standard pattern, which is known only to the card printer. Since it is possible to scramble the coding inside the original card embossing machine and since any code identification tags could be attached to the card with the code designation hidden from view, even the operators of the card embossing machines would be unable to determine the code pattern.
In operation, credit card 10 is seated in carriage 34 and the code number, which is not imprinted on card 10, is communicated by the card holder to the prospective creditor who thereupon sets discs 46 so that the code number is visible though window 42. Thereafter the prospective creditor manually engages finger tab 36 and directs the credit card into the interior of the housing. By virtue of the operation of interconnection 82 if the indicia of credit card 10 matches the indicia set upon discs 46, the prospective creditor will be able to operate print bar 51. IN consequence, the name and address embossed on the credit card will be imprinted by the mechanism shown generally at 114.
The present invention thus provides an extremely simple and inexpensive mechanical device for verifying the acceptability of any credit card presented..
Since certain changes may be made in the above described device without departing from the scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted in an illustrative and not in the limiting sense.
what is claimed is:
A device for verifying the identity of the holder of a token, said token presenting coded indicia designating ciphered information and raised alphanumeric indicia designating known information and raided alphanumeric indicia designating known information, said device including a housing having an exterior portion and an interior portion providing a chamber, seating means for receiving said token, said seating means being movable between a first position at said exterior portion and a second position in said chamber, selecting means presenting selective alphanumeric indicia designating coded information, said selecting means including a larger diameter portion and a smaller diameter portion, said selective alphanumeric indicia being on the periphery of said larger diameter portions, said smaller diameter portion, having radial slots, a plurality of code readout fingers selectively actuated by said coded indicia when said seating means is at said second position in said chamber, said selecting means including a plurality manually rotatably alphanumeric indicia periphery, printing means when actuated for imprinting a record of said raised alphanumeric indicia, said code readout fingers projecting into said radial slots when said coded indicia designating ciphered information and said selective alphanumeric indicia correspond, interlocking means for enabling actuation of said printing means when said coded indicia and said selective alphanumeric indicia correspond and for preventing actuation of said printing means when said coded indicia and said selective alphanumeric indicia correspond and for preventing actuation of said printing means when said coded indicia and said selective alphanumeric indicia do not correspond, and detent means limiting movement of said selecting means to incrementally discrete angular positions.
References Cited by the Examiner
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,078,084 4/1937 Lasker 235-61.11
2,625,324 1/1953 Sundstrand 235-61.11
2,714,201 7/1955 Whitehead 235-61.7
R. C. Bailey, Primary Examiner
D. W. Cook, G. Shaw, Assistant Examiners.