|Publication number||US20050058800 A1|
|Application number||US 10/877,812|
|Publication date||Mar 17, 2005|
|Filing date||Jun 25, 2004|
|Priority date||Jun 25, 1998|
|Also published as||US6531262, US6780564, US20030003394|
|Publication number||10877812, 877812, US 2005/0058800 A1, US 2005/058800 A1, US 20050058800 A1, US 20050058800A1, US 2005058800 A1, US 2005058800A1, US-A1-20050058800, US-A1-2005058800, US2005/0058800A1, US2005/058800A1, US20050058800 A1, US20050058800A1, US2005058800 A1, US2005058800A1|
|Inventors||Nabil Lawandy, Charles Zepp, Andrei Smuk, Marianne Krieg-Kowald|
|Original Assignee||Flexplay Technologies, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (6), Classifications (23)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to optically readable data storage media and, more particularly, to techniques to render said media unreadable after being read at least once.
It is often desirable when distributing software or other information, such as music and films, that is recorded on a medium to insure that only one party is enabled to access the recorded information. For example, a company that sells computer software will find it advantageous to enable only the purchaser to read the software from a disk and transfer or install the software to computer memory, such as a hard disk, while preventing subsequent access by other parties to the software.
It would also be advantageous when renting content on an optical media, such as a DVD or a CD, to provide only a limited amount of time during which the content can be viewed or otherwise accessed, and to then prohibit further viewing or access (referred to herein as a limited-play mechanism). In this manner the person renting the media need not return the media, as after the limited amount of time expires the media becomes unusable.
Successful readout of an optical disk by all current disk readers heavily relies on a number of parameters that characterize the readout laser beam on its path from the laser to the reflective data layer of the disk and back to the optical pickup system of the reader. The electromagnetic wave structure of the readout beam is described by intensity, phase, polarization, and wave vectors of the wave components that constitute the readout beam. The wave structure of the beam determines geometrical and propagation parameters of the beam, such as beam size, angle of incidence, and angle of convergence.
In addition to reading the data layer of a disk, the reader performs other functions, which are as critical for playability as the data readout itself. These functions include auto-focusing, auto-tracking and error correction. The first two functions allow the reader device to actively control motion of the laser head and spindle motor in order to maintain the required position of the beam relative to the disk. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of the wave structure of the beam throughout its path inside the disk material is a key not only to the successful detection and decoding of the information carried by the beam, but also for the continuity of the readout process.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,815,484 discloses an optical disk having a reflective metallic layer with a plurality of data structures (provided in the form of pits and lands) and a reactive compound superimposed over at least some of the data structures. The reactive compound is a photochromic compound which changes from an optically transparent condition to an optically opaque condition when subjected to readout light and/or atmospheric oxygen. When the compound becomes opaque it prevents readout light from being detected by the readout apparatus, thereby effectively rendering the optical disk unreadable.
A significant perceived disadvantage of this approach is that manufacturing, processing and storage of the disks would require an oxygen-free environment. In addition, the coating materials should be degassed to an oxygen-free state and maintained in this condition.
Another disadvantage is that most of the chemical moieties described have poor light fastness, which would allow a limited play disk to be photobleached and converted to a permanent play disk.
Furthermore, in some cases it may be possible to remove a layer of the photochromic compound, thereby defeating the purpose of providing same on the media.
In general, the unauthorized removal of a layer on the media in an attempt to defeat the limited-play mechanism, and thus extend the useful life of the media, is undesirable.
Reference may also be had to commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,011,772 for disclosing the use of a barrier layer, the removal of which initiates the action of a reading-inhibit agent to prevent machine reading of information encoding features on an optical disk. The reading-inhibit agent may also be activated by exposure to optical radiation, or by rotation of the disk.
It is a first object and advantage of this invention to provide an improved system and method to render an optically readable media, such as, but not limited to, a laser disk, a compact disk (CD), or a digital video disk (DVD), unreadable.
It is a second object and advantage of this invention to provide an improved system and method to render an optically readable media permanently unreadable, after having been read at least once.
It is a third object and advantage of this invention to provide an improved system and method to prevent or discourage tampering with a layer intended to limit the useful life of the optically readable media.
It is still another object and advantage of this invention to provide a mechanism that relies on evaporation of a substance for modifying the optical properties of an optically readable media so as to render the media optically unreadable.
It is still another object and advantage of this invention to provide a mechanism that relies on sublimation of a substance for modifying the optical properties of an optically readable media so as to render the media optically unreadable.
It is another object and advantage of this invention to provide a technique that increases optical scattering from a surface or layer of an optically readable media so as to render the media optically unreadable, and/or to defeat an attempt to remove a limited-play mechanism of the media.
It is another object and advantage of this invention to provide a mechanism that alters a surface characteristic of an optically readable media so as to detrimentally affect a readout apparatus tracking process during an attempted readout of the media.
It is a further object and advantage of this invention to provide a mechanism that causes surface topography changes to an optically readable media so as to detrimentally affect a readout apparatus feedback and tracking process, thereby adversely affecting the fidelity of the readout.
The foregoing and other problems are overcome and the objects and the advantages of the invention are realized by methods and apparatus in accordance with embodiments of this invention.
A method is disclosed for making an optically readable media unreadable, as is a media that operates in accordance with the method. The method has steps of (a) providing the media with a readout surface layer that is non-flat (i.e., textured in some way, such as by embossing, scratching, depositing a non-planar layer or regions, such as droplets) and that inhibits optical readout of the media; (b) applying a coating layer to the non-flat surface layer to smooth the non-flat surface and to enable optical readout of the media; and, after an initiation of a readout period, (c) reducing a thickness of the coating layer so as to expose the non-flat readout surface layer, thereby inhibiting optical readout of the media. Preferably, the coating layer is substantially index matched to the readout surface layer. In one embodiment the step of reducing the thickness includes a step of evaporation or sublimation of at least one component material of the coating layer.
Further in accordance with these teachings a method is disclosed for discouraging tampering with a readout-limiting mechanism of an optically readable media, as is a media that is constructed so as to operate in accordance with the method. In this embodiment the method has steps of: (a) providing the media with at least one layer that embodies the readout-limiting mechanism; (b) providing a textured surface that forms part of a layer that underlies the at least one layer, where the textured surface inhibits optical readout of the media; and (c) applying at least one coating layer over the textured surface to smooth the textured surface and to enable optical readout of the media, wherein removal of the coating layer exposes the textured surface thereby inhibiting optical readout of the media. The readout-limiting mechanism can include a layer that changes from an optically transparent state to a state that inhibits successful readout of data structures located on the media or, more generally, a layer that changes from a first state that enables successful readout of data structures located on the media to a second state that inhibits successful readout of data structures located on the media. The readout-limiting mechanism can function as well as one of the coating layers.
The above-mentioned change to the second state from the first state can be induced by an increase in optical absorption and/or by an increase or a change in mechanical stress in a layer or layers, and/or by an increase in optical scattering, and/or by evaporation of a volatile compound, and/or by sublimation of a volatile compound. A volatile compound or material as employed herein is one that is capable of supporting or participating in a material transport driven by a concentration gradient between the material and a surrounding medium, examples of which are evaporation and sublimation. Stated differently, a volatile compound or material is one that is capable of losing mass through a transport mechanism to a surrounding medium.
In a further embodiment of this invention an optically readable media is constructed to include a surface region that encodes information that is optically readable by a reading device and a transparent readout surface layer that contains localized regions each containing a volatile compound having an index of refraction at the readout light wavelength that is closely matched to the material of the surrounding readout surface layer. The localized regions are responsive to an initiation of a readout period for losing at least some of the volatile compound, such as by evaporation or sublimation, for creating voids within the transparent readout surface layer. The presence of the voids increases the optical scattering and thereby inhibits optical readout of the media.
It should be noted that in the embodiments that employ surface roughness or voids, that the optical transmission through the layer can be essentially unchanged.
In various ones of the embodiments of this invention a barrier layer can be provided to protect and to inhibit or regulate the loss of the volatile substance to the surrounding medium, effectively isolating a layer containing the volatile substance from the surrounding medium. The barrier layer could be provided as a peel-off layer for isolating the volatile substance from the surrounding medium at least until it is desired to use the media in the readout device. The media can be packaged in a sealed container, such as a plastic bag, that contains a source of the volatile compound, thereby inhibiting loss of the volatile compound from the media until the media is removed from the container and exposed to the surrounding medium.
The limited play disk is preferably packaged in a sealed container with a source of an agent that inhibits transport of a volatile species from the color forming layer or from a layer that sublimates, wherein the onset of the limited play period coincides with the opening of the container.
It should be understood that the foregoing and other various aspects of the teachings of this invention may be implemented alone or in combination to achieve the purposes set forth herein.
The above set forth and other features of the invention are made more apparent in the ensuing Detailed Description of the Invention when read in conjunction with the attached Drawings, wherein:
Referring now to
It should further be noted at the outset that as employed herein an “optically encoded” or “optically readable” media or medium is intended to cover a number of various devices wherein data (such as a computer program), audio (such as music) and/or video (such as a film), collectively referred to herein simply as information or content, is stored such that it can be readout when a lightbeam (either visible light or invisible light) is applied to the medium. Such a medium can include, but is not limited to, laser disks, compact disks (CDs), CD-ROMs, and digital video or versatile disks (DVDs), as well as certain kinds of tape.
In general, the media of interest to this invention incorporates some type of mechanism that is capable of altering an optical property of the light, for example, the wavefront, optical noise content, intensity and/or wave emission wavelength. Also, the reflectance and/or transmission property of the media can be changed.
By rendering the media “unreadable” it should be understood that it is not necessary to make the entire media unreadable. For example, it may be necessary to make only a relatively small portion of a boot record or a directory of contents unreadable such that the entire media becomes unusable or unreadable, or such that some predetermined portion of the media becomes unusable or unreadable. Making the media unreadable may also imply adversely affecting a readout device optical feedback and tracking process. By example, readout laser focus adjustments may not be able to react quickly enough to a modified surface profile of the media, resulting in an inability to maintain the correct tracking. This has been found to manifest itself as “skipping” through a music segment of a compact disk, or to otherwise negatively impact the fidelity of the output.
The optical scanning system 1, which may be conventional in construction, generally comprises a disk drive 10 and an optical scanning head 30. The disk drive 10 is generally adapted to move an optically readable disk 20, such as a CD-ROM, relative to the optical scanning head 30. In the embodiment shown in
Referring now to
More particularly, and by way of example, the light source 32 may include a laser diode 36 or other such suitable device for generating the interrogating beam 100 of optical radiation. The beam 100 generated by the laser diode 36 may be directed through a quarter wave plate 40 and through polarizing beam splitter 38 as shown in
Still referring to
As is shown in
Alternatively, the interrogating beam 100 generated by the light source may be focused by the lens at the surface of the lands 25 and not the pits 27.
In either case, it can be appreciated that the change in reflectivity between two states (corresponding to whether the interrogating beam 100 is incident on a pit 27 or on a land 25), provides a mechanism to encode binary data (i.e., ones and zeroes) into the surface of the disk.
The preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described hereafter assuming that the interrogating beam 100 is focused at the surface of the pits 27 in the reflective surface 28 of the optical disk 20, though the teachings of this invention are equally applicable to the case where the interrogating beam is instead focused at the surface of the lands 25.
Still referring to
Lactone dyes are generally colorless so long as the lactone moiety remains intact. However, by modifying the environment, for example by lowering the pH and/or by changing the micropolarity, the lactone ring is cleaved and the intensely colored cationic form of the dye is obtained.
Referring now also to
In greater detail, the colorless lactone shown in the reaction scheme shown in
The functioning of this color changing system is based on a four component equilibrium. The equilibrium is between the colorless lactone form, the colored quininoid form, and the number of acidic and basic sites associated with the permanent and the volatile components of the color changing system.
In general, the rate of color change is dependent on the type of solvent and its boiling point. By selecting an appropriate solvent, complete color formation can occur within a range of a few minutes to several hours to even longer times (days). Moreover, the final maximum absorbance at the readout wavelength can be modified over a range of absorbances by changing the lactone moiety to acidic site ratio.
In other embodiments of this invention the polymer provides a basic environment while the evaporating solvent has an acidic nature. In this case the color change occurs when the system transitions from acidic to basic due to evaporation.
The “undyed” state of the disk may be maintained by storing the disk in a way that prevents the solvent from evaporating, described in further detail below.
Further in accordance with an embodiment of these teachings an amino-phthalide dye in a 4-vinylphenol polymer (av. MW 8,000) was cross-linked in the presence of formaldehyde.
In any of these embodiments the coating 20A may be applied by a spin coating procedure. As an example, for the amino-phthalide dye in the 4-vinylphenol polymer embodiment a layer thickness equal to or less than about one micrometer was found to be optimum, and DVD readability was found to be disabled when the absorbance at 650 nm was equal to or greater than about 0.5.
A solution was prepared of 1 g poly(4-vinylphenol) (MW=8,000) in 10 ml ethanol, 2 ml N,N-dimethylformamide and 200 mg of 3-[2,2-bis(4-diethylaminophenyl)vinyl)-6-dimethylaminophthalide. Glass slides, DVD and CD disks were coated with this formulation to produce a 500-700 nm thick layer. The coating was dried at 60-70 degrees C. for a few minutes, which caused the generation of an intensely blue colored dye. This blue dye was transformed back to its colorless state by exposing the slides or disks to a controlled atmosphere of an amine or amide based solvent (e.g., fonnamides, acetamides, pyrrolidinones). The colorless state was maintained when these slides and disks remained sealed in polyester or polypropylene bags along with an absorbent medium, such as filter paper, that contained a few drops of the corresponding solvent. Upon removal from the bag, color formation occurred again. Depending on the boiling point of the used solvent, the color formation could be timed. For example, with the formulation described in this example, and by using 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone as a solvent, a maximum absorbance of 0.7 at 650 nm was achieved after about six hours at room temperature.
Modification of the polymer to lactone ratio was found to control the maximum achievable absorbance at 650 nm. It is important not to just increase the concentration of lactone groups, but to also adjust the number of acidic sites available to the lactone moiety. When glass slides and disks were coated with a formulation of 1.5 g poly(4-vinylphenol) (MW=8,000), 10 ml ethanol, 2 ml N,N-dimethylformamide and 300 rng of 3-[2,2-bis(4-diethylaminophenyl)vinyl)-6-dimethylaminophthalide, a maximum absorbance of 1.7 at 650 nm was obtained after about six hours at room temperature.
If high boiling amine or amide-based solvents are used; e.g., b.p.>100.degree. C., the solvent can be added directly to the formulation and exposure of the coating to a controlled solvent atmosphere can be omitted. For example, when slides or disks were coated with a formulation of 1 g poly(4-vinylphenol) (MW=8000), 10 ml ethanol, 2 ml 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone and 200 mg of 3-[2,2-bis(4-diethylaminophenyl-)vinyl]-6-dimethylaminophthalide, and then dried for 5 minutes at 50.degree. C., a slightly tacky colorless layer was obtained. The color change to blue occurred at the same rate and to the same level of absorbance as described in Example 1 of this embodiment.
A further aspect of these teachings is a mechanism to control the process by which the color change occurs, and hence the duration of the readable state of the optical media.
As a further control over the time that the media remains in the playable state, and referring also to FIG., 13, the color-changing layer 302 can be biased with a chromophore selected to absorb at the desired wavelength, e.g., at about 650 nm. By causing the layer 302 to exhibit some amount of absorption that is less than the maximum amount of absorption that is tolerated before the media become unreadable (the readability threshold), the time required for the media to decrease the transmission of the layer 302 to the readability threshold, due to the evaporative mechanism, is reduced. The use of the bias chromophore can also be advantageous to insure that the transmission of the color changing layer 302 will not asymptotically approach the readability threshold, without actually crossing it. It should be noted that the readability threshold may vary from reader to reader due to differences in laser output, detector sensitivity, and other factors. The use of the biasing chromophore can thus be advantageous to insure that all media will become unreadable in all readers within approximately the same amount of time.
One suitable biasing chromophore for a disk 20 used with a reader employing a 650 nm readout wavelength is a dye known as 3-Diethylyamino-7-diethyliminophenoxazonium perchlorate, or Oxazine 725, which has an absorbance maximum at 646 nm in ethanol.
As a further aspect of this invention, composite and multi-player (multi-wavelength) coatings can be employed as an additional feature. Such multi-wavelength coatings provide absorption maxima at two or more wavelengths that coincide with possible readout light wavelengths, e.g., 630 nm and 780 nm for CDs, 630 nm and 650 nm for DVDs, and to also accommodate future higher density readout wavelengths at 440 nm. The multi-wavelength coating can also be used to absorb a specific wavelength and a range of wavelengths, such as 635 nm and the range of 750 nm to 800 nm.
As a further aspect of this invention, texturing of a surface layer of the disk 20 can be employed to defeat an attempt to chemically or otherwise remove the readout wavelength absorbing coating., weaken its adhesion to the disk 20, or otherwise tamper with it. A goal of this aspect of the invention is to make a removal of the color forming polymer result in a non-flat (textured) read-out surface of the disk, rendering it permanently unreadable. This mechanism preferably relies on an introduction of optical noise beyond the correction limit of the disk readout device, or beyond an ability of the tracking mechanism to compensate, or on a combination of both.
This aspect of the invention may be implemented using several approaches. One approach is to produce a surface texture on the read-out side of a disk by patterning the original disk material as shown in
Preferably, the readability degrades until the disk 20 becomes unreadable due to the color forming coating 302 turning opaque, substantially opaque, or until it simply blocks a sufficient amount of light so that the disk 20 is no longer readable.
In this regard it should be noted that it is not necessary in this embodiment, or in any of the other embodiments of this invention that employ the color forming coating, for the coating to be become optically opaque, as the disk 20 may become unreadable or unplayable well before a state or condition of optical opacity is reached.
Further in accordance with these teachings, dissolving or otherwise removing part or all of the color forming coating 302 exposes the three dimensional structures 300 of the textured surface, with the result being that the disk 20 remains or becomes unreadable.
Another aspect of this invention is to produce a single composite coating as shown in
As was stated above, the successful readout of an optical disk 20 by current disk readers heavily relies on a number of parameters that characterize the readout laser beam on its path from the laser to the reflective data layer of the disk and back to the optical pickup system of the reader. The electromagnetic wave structure of the readout beam is described by intensity, phase, polarization, temporal pattern and wave vectors of the wave components that constitute the readout beam. The wave structure of the beam determines geometrical and propagation parameters of the beam, such as beam size, angle of incidence, and angle of convergence.
If the integrity of the readout beam is compromised by optically inhomogeneous or non-uniform disk material, in accordance with an aspect of these teachings, the playability of the disk 20 can be impeded due to failure in any of the three beam functions: data readout (error correction), auto-focusing, and auto-tracking.
In accordance with this aspect of these teachings a limited-play mechanism for the optical disk 20 is based on a transformation of a reactive surface layer of the readout side of a disk, which results in modification of the surface parameters of the layer, such as flatness and roughness. The transformation can be induced by physical and/or chemical processes. Physical processes include evaporation or sublimation of a coating substance, as well as material loss resulting in a change in a concentration gradient of a component initially present in the layer. The component can be lost into the surrounding medium by means of, by example, diffusion and desorption. Chemical processes include chemical reactions induced by light, by loss of a component initially present in the layer, or by absorption of a component from the surrounding medium.
One specific case of such a transformation of the surface layer results in a bending or warping of the disk 20 (flatness of the surface is adversely affected), which renders the disk 20 unreadable. This can be implemented, for example, by coating the disk 20 with two different layers, at least one of which is reactive, with the different layers having non-matching expansion coefficients or elastic constants. The transformation in this case results in disk warp (e.g., a “bimetallic plate” effect). Another specific case of the transformation of the surface layer results in surface topography formation (surface corrugation, optical roughness of the surface is affected) which renders the disk 20 unreadable. This can be implemented, for example, by coating the disk 20 with a reactive layer in which the transformation induces elastic stress in excess of the tensile strength of the layer material. This results in multiple ruptures and fragmentation of the coating layer and, therefore, a significant optical roughness of the surface, which makes the disk 20 unreadable due at least to increased scattering of the readout light without significantly changing the transmission of the coating.
Another embodiment of these teachings involves surface topography formation due to evaporation of a solvent, which non-uniformly modifies the surface tension of the layer material, resulting in increased surface roughness (Marangoni effect) and increased optical scattering.
In these embodiments an increase or change in mechanical stress in at least one layer results in the disk 20 becoming optically unreadable.
One example of a reactive compound suitable for such an application is a chemical moiety that undergoes cis-trans isomerization, such as modified azo-benzene, when exposed to spatially non-uniform light (radiance), such as that developed in the readout beam. The transformation of this compound from the trans to the cis configuration is accompanied by a volume change which, in the geometry of a layered coating, results in a generation of elastic stress.
In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, a method for rendering the optical disk 20 unreadable includes the steps of: a) providing the optical disk 20 with at least one layer which undergoes surface deformation in the presence of a stimulus, such as a transport of a volatile constituent compound to the surrounding medium, as can be caused by evaporation or sublimation of the constituent compound; and b) selectively removing the volatile constituent compound from the layer to the surrounding medium for inducing a deformation in a surface of the layer. The surface deformation thus induced during the play process, or more generally during the period during which successful readout of the disk 20 is possible, causes an aberration in the beam, which may prevent focusing of the beam at desired locations on the features of the data structures 23 during readout. This results in a general failure to readout the data on the disk 20 during the readout process.
An attempt to tamper with the readout inhibiting mechanism, such as by removing the top, smoothing protective coating layer 200, thus results in exposure of the underlying rough coating layer 201, thereby rendering the disk 20 unreadable.
It was noted that the smoothing, protective coating layer 200 may include the color formation layer 302, as was described previously. In this case removing the color formation layer 302 results directly in exposure of the underlying textured (non-flat) surface of layer 201, thereby rendering the optical disk 20 unreadable.
Further in accordance with these teachings, and referring to
Another method of producing a textured surface, as was described above in reference to
A next step C applies at least one sublimation coating 200 and, optionally, another coating 200A which permits the volatile compound of the sublimation coating 200 to pass through. The optional coating 200A may thus function as a protective coating, as well as a coating that controls the rate of sublimation and, thence, the playable lifetime of the disk 20. The result of applying the layer 200 is that a smooth, playable surface is provided for the optical disk 20, as the underlying non-flat surface has been planarized by the sublimation coating layer 200. Applying the (optional) protective barrier layer 200A is shown generally at step D, which also represents packaging the disk 20 in an airtight package containing a sufficient amount of the sublimating species to enable a two way transport. At step E it is assumed that the package is opened, thereby starting the playability period, and step F shows the result of the sublimation process after it has progressed to a point where the sublimating layer 200 is essentially totally removed. This exposes the underlying rough or textured surface of the disk 20, rendering the disk 20 unreadable. It should be noted that a sufficient degree of surface roughness may be achieved to prevent playability long before the entire sublimation (smoothing) layer has been lost to the surrounding medium, depending on the height and/or depth of the features provided on the non-flat surface of the disk 20.
In order to demonstrate that a colorless, transparent solid may sublime at a rate that would be useful for rendering an optical disk (e.g., a DVD) unreadable, adamantane (Mp.=261-271 degrees C.) was pressed into a round metal container with a surface area of 0.785 cm.sup.2. In this way the sublimation would be from the surface of the adamantane only. The weight loss due to sublimation at room temperature was determined by weighing the container at various times and subtracting the weight obtained from the original weight. This data, and a graph of the data, is shown in
It can be seen that the rate of sublimation is quite linear with time, and in this case had a value of 0.516 mg/hr/cm.sup.2. Assuming this rate of sublimation it can be shown that a layer of adamantane would lose thickness at a rate of 0.48 microns per hour. In other words, a layer of adamantane that is five microns thick, coated over a textured (non-flat) surface of an optical disk 20, as described above, would sublime and expose the textured surface in about 10 hours, thereafter rendering the optical disk 20 unreadable.
In order to prevent a premature loss of material by evaporation or by sublimation into the free volume of the optical disk packaging material, a barrier (which could be opaque or substantially so) in the form of a peel-off sheet can be affixed to the read-out surface of the disk 20. The barrier is one that is impenetrable to the volatile component or components that are placed on the read-out surface of the disk 20 (e.g., such as the above mentioned adamantane in the sublimation embodiment or the above mentioned solvents in the evaporation embodiments). The volatile component(s) may be those used in the anti-tampering embodiments of this invention, or in the readable lifetime-limiting embodiments. In any event, the barrier in the form of the peel-off sheet serves to inhibit transport, such as by evaporation or sublimation, until removed prior to use of the disk 20 (
The CBA may be a solid, a liquid or a gas. Examples or release mechanisms include evaporation, sublimation and diffusion through a membrane. The carrier 502 of the CBA can be implemented as a patch or swab of material with a developed surface (e.g., fibrous or porous), or a CBA-absorbing material, such as a polymer. The CBA release kinetics can be adjusted through various parameters of the carrier 502, such as size and position in the package 500 relative to the disk, and/or through porosity or permeability. For the evaporative embodiments, the CBA could be the same solvent that forms a part of the color forming coating layer 302 (
Opening of the package 500 results in rapid loss of the CBA from the package, as well as depletion of the CBA carrier 502. The equilibrium between the CBA gas and the disk 20 is then permanently sifted towards decreasing CBA concentration, which corresponds to the onset of the limited-play time. As such, triggering of the limited-play mechanism coincides with the opening of the package 500.
In any of the foregoing embodiments it is within the scope of this invention to provide the further protective transparent coating (e.g., the barrier coating 304) to improve the robustness of the optical disk 20. For those embodiments that interact with the surrounding medium (e.g., those that sublime, or evaporate, or that absorb atmospheric water vapor, etc.), the protective layer is constructed so as not to prevent this action. As was described previously with reference to
In various embodiments of this invention the material that comprises the readout-inhibiting layer can include a lactone dye, such as crystal violet lactone, poly-p-(hydroxystyrene), ethanol, N-methyl pyrrolidinone and ammonia and formaldehyde, or the layer can comprise cellulose acetate butyrate, ethyl acetate, silica gel, and benzyl alcohol, or the layer can comprise a salt of a volatile amine, a non-volatile acid component and a lactone dye or a pH indicator dye, or the layer can comprise a water damp polymer film containing a pH indicator dye, wherein during storage the layer is exposed to an atmosphere of a gas whose water solution is one of acidic or basic, and wherein upon removal from storage a volatile gas evaporates from the water damp film, and the pH changes causing a color change in the pH indicator dye.
It can be appreciated that a number of embodiments of the teachings of this invention have been described herein, and it should be further appreciated that the teachings of this invention are not intended to be read in a limiting sense to encompass only these described embodiments.
For example, in a further embodiment of this invention one need not provide a substantially uniform coating or layer of a material capable of evaporation or sublimation on the readout-surface of the disk 20. In accordance with this example, and referring to
Polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) may be employed in a further embodiment, wherein the PDLC is poled and assumed to be in a bistable state. In this case thermal effects due to the readout laser beam are used to destabilize the oriented state of the PDLC, resulting in a the disk 20 becoming unreadable. It is also within the scope of these teachings to replace the liquid crystal material with a sublimating or evaporating agent.
Furthermore, in the multiple-wavelength embodiments that were disclosed above it is within the scope of these teachings to incorporate multiple chromophores for biasing the color forming coating for each of the wavelengths of interest. Further in this regard, the biasing chromophore(s) can be located in the color forming layer 302, and/or in the barrier layer 304, and/or in a third layer. Also, for the multiple-wavelength embodiment a single color forming coating 302 can be used, or multiple color forming coatings 302 can be applied, one for each wavelength of interest. Note that the multiple color forming coatings need not be placed one above another, but could instead be placed in the same plane at different locations on the readout surface of the disk 20.
It can further be appreciated that as aspect of this invention is a method for setting a duration of the limited play period of the optical disk 20. Referring to
It should thus be apparent that various alternatives and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments of this invention may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the teachings of this invention. Accordingly, the teachings herein are intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variances which fall within the scope of the claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5582434 *||Apr 24, 1992||Dec 10, 1996||Flexcon Company, Inc.||Tamper-resistant labeling|
|US6087075 *||Nov 7, 1997||Jul 11, 2000||Label Systems, Inc.||Holographic tamper-evident label|
|US6338933 *||Jun 24, 1999||Jan 15, 2002||Spectradisc Corporation||Methods and apparatus for rendering an optically encoded medium unreadable|
|US6531262 *||Oct 17, 2000||Mar 11, 2003||Spectradisc Corporation||Methods and apparatus for rendering an optically encoded medium unreadable and tamper-resistant|
|US6780564 *||Jul 30, 2002||Aug 24, 2004||Flexplay Technologies, Inc.||Methods and apparatus for rendering an optically encoded medium unreadable and tamper-resistant|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7753797||Mar 17, 2006||Jul 13, 2010||Igt||Security methods and apparatus for a tangible medium containing wagering game outcomes|
|US8353757||Apr 17, 2006||Jan 15, 2013||Igt||Methods and systems for representing outcomes of a casino game in a non-casino game format|
|US8715067||Jan 9, 2013||May 6, 2014||Igt||Methods and systems for representing outcomes of a casino game in a non-casino game format|
|US20050037181 *||Jul 8, 2004||Feb 17, 2005||Flexplay Technologies, Inc.||Methods and apparatus for rendering an optically encoded medium unreadable using a volatile substance transport inhibit layer|
|US20060178187 *||Apr 17, 2006||Aug 10, 2006||Walker Jay S||Methods and systems for representing outcomes of a casino game in a non-casino game format|
|US20060246984 *||Mar 17, 2006||Nov 2, 2006||Walker Jay S||Security methods and apparatus for a tangible medium containing wagering game outcomes|
|International Classification||G11B7/24, G11B7/005, G11B3/70, B32B3/02|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S430/146, G11B20/00608, G11B7/26, G11B23/281, G11B20/00086, G11B20/00695, G11B7/252, G11B7/005, G11B20/0084|
|European Classification||G11B7/26, G11B20/00P, G11B7/252, G11B23/28A, G11B7/005, G11B20/00P6B3, G11B20/00P11E, G11B20/00P9B, G11B7/24|