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Publication numberUS3059112 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1962
Filing dateFeb 18, 1959
Priority dateFeb 18, 1959
Publication numberUS 3059112 A, US 3059112A, US-A-3059112, US3059112 A, US3059112A
InventorsRogal Edward
Original AssigneeUniversal Controls Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tag reading product and apparatus
US 3059112 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct.- 16, 1962 Filed Feb. 18, 1959 E. ROGAL 3,059,112

TAG READING PRODUCT AND APPARATUS 2 Shuts-Shoot 1 ANNUNCIATOR PRINTER CALCULATOR KEYBOARD 28 INTERLOCK MATRIX CONVERTER DETECTOR TAG CASH DRAWER &CONTROL FIG.2

INVENTOR ATTORN EYS Oct. 16, 1962 E. ROGAI. R 3,059,112 I TAG READING PRODUCT AND APPARATUS H 6 6 6 6 6 o 6 6 b FREQUENCY GENERATOR co m 10 10 \10 g m O 9 9 x "3 l I Q E u. f2 1 Hit-{In INVENTOR I BY czra/affi W 9 ATTORNEYS United States Patent Maryland Filed Feb. 18, 1959, Ser. No. 794,028 Claims. (Cl. 250-71) The present invention relates to the registration of data and, more particularly, to the automatic registering and processing of data recorded on tags or the like aflixed to separate articles of the type involved in a commercial transaction.

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a product by which data may be recorded and a system by which data may be processed. The product is in the form of a tag or the like presenting regions of difierent physical character, each region being designed in a novel manner to respond, when energized, with radiation of a wavelength that represents the order of a digit (e.g., the units, tens, hundreds, etc. column of a decimal number) and of an intensity that represents the value of a digit (e.g. a decimal magnitude ranging from 1 to 0). The system comprises a novel association of reading and processing components including different detectors that respond to the wavelength and intensity of the radiation from the different regions, and logical circuitry that processes the outputs of the difierent detectors.

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 object of the present invention reference should be had to the following detailed disclosure taken in connection with accompanying drawings wherein:

'FIGURE 1 is a mechanical perspective of various components of the system embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a block diagram of the system of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a tag embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevation of the tag of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 5 is a schematic diagram of certain of the components of the block diagram of FIGURE 2.

Generally, the present invention is illustrated herein in connection with a tag including different surface regions which generate fluorescent light of difierent wave lengths when excited by ultraviolet radiation, and a reader including an emitter of ultraviolet radiation light and different photocells for producing electrical indicia of the fluorescent light of different Wave lengths received from the different surface regions. The arrangement is such as to avoid problems of precise positioning of the tag with respect to the reader. The diiferent regions of any tag represent a multi-digit number being characterized by different wave lengths representing the units, tens, hundreds, etc. orders of the different digits and by different emission intensities representing the various decimal magnitudes of the different digits. The emission intensity of any surface region is a function of its area which may be preselected in any convenient way. In order to render the digit representing intensities independent of the position from the the tag with respect to the reader, the tag is provided with a reference surface region having a unique fluorescent response to the exciting radiation. The reference region serves to produce a reference intensity as a standard of comparison with which the digit representing intensities may be compared. In a typical situation, the data of several tags, which are aflixed to several independent packages, are to be automatically registered and processed. The number of photocells of the reader correspond to and discriminate among the number of different wavelengths of radiation emitted by the digit representing the reference regions.

As shown mechanically in FIGURE 1 and schematically in FIGURE 2, the illustrated system comprises a detector 20 for receiving radiation from successive tags affixed to various articles of merchandise, a converter 22 for translating signals received from the detector to digital data, a calculator 24- producing signals representing totalized data corresponding to a sequence of signals received from converter 22, an interlock matrix 26 for interrelating the operation of an auxiliary keyboard 28 and a cash drawer 3% with the remainder of the system and a printer 32 for producing a sales slip recording the digital and totalized data. As shown, the system of FIGURE 1 is applied to the sales locations at the exits of a supermarket, which exits each include a booth 34 into which merchandise 36 is conveyed by a suitable endless belt 38. Each article of merchandise 36 is provided with a tag 40 of a type to be described in detail below. Detector 20, converter 22, calculator 24 and printer 32 are mounted and contained in a suitable housing 4-2 that provides a pair of annunciators 44 and 46 to be viewed by the customer and the operator, respectively. Keyboard 28, interlock matrix 26, and cash drawer and control 30 are mounted and contained in a suitable housing 48, which also is conveniently accessible to the operator. Interlock matrix 26 serves to lock out information provided automatically at the option of an operator when keyboard 28 and instruction buttons 50 are operated. Thus an operator can compare the visual indicia of tags 40 with the indicia appearing on annunciator 46 as the tags are reading automatically when key 52 is punched. A sales slip 54 hearing a visual record of the transaction is ejected by printer 32.

As shown (FIGS. 3 and 4) each of tags 40 includes a backing 55, at the rearward face of which is a suitable adhesive 56, and a plurality of adhesive tape sections 58 at the rearward face of each of which is a suitable adhesive 59. Each of tape sections 58 contains a ditferent fluorescent material of the type that emits fluorescent light of particular wave length in response to excitation by ultraviolet radiation. In the form shown, element 58a is composed of a material such as silver sulphate (Ag SO material 58b contains a material such as a manganese carbon hydrate (Mn(C H O '4H O), section 530 contains a material such as thorium nitrate (Th(NO and section 58a contains a material such as thorium sulphate (ThSO These materials fluoresce respectively in the yellow, red, green and blue regions of the spectrum under excitation by ultraviolet light at 3650 A. and room temperature. Tag 40 also is provided with a region 60 that is provided with visual indicia corresponding to the coded indicia represented by sections 58a, b, c, and d.

Certain of the details of the system of FIG. 2 are shown in FIG. 5, which generally includes as components, a detecting component 20, a source of ultraviolet radiation 62, an optical focusing component 64, a photodetector component 66, and a data converting component 22. Data converting component includes a digitizing switch matrix 68 that is responsive to the output of detector component 66, a digital output section 70 that is responsive to the output of switch matrix 68 and a control network 72 for sequencing the operation of the system.

In order to read the data on one of packages 36, its tag 40 is pressed against a window 74, which is pivoted at 76 and spring pressed into a normal position against a stop 78 by a helical spring 80. When tag 40 is so pressed against window 74, a contact 82 closes to apply is a positive pulse to the grid of a thyratron 34. In consequence, tube 84 conducts so that the voltage across its associated capacitor 86 is applied across a resistor 88 to ground. The voltage drop across resistor 88 is applied across the terminals of an ultraviolet gas discharge tube 90. The resulting flash, of predetermined duration, from tube 90 is directed by a reflector 92 through a half silvered mirror 04 and through window 74, reflected by mirror 94 and refracted through an objective 96 into detector 66. Detector 66 includes a spherical mirror 98 having an opening 100 through which light may be received from objective 96 and a plurality of openings 102, 104, 106 and 108, in which are disposed red, green, blue and yellow filters, respectively. Behind filters 102, 104, 106, and 108 are photomultiplier tubes 110, 112, 114 and 116, the cathodes of which are connected to ground through resistors 118, 120, 122 and 124. These resistors constitute cathode follower outputs, across which analogue voltages are generated. These outputs are applied to associated rectifiers 126, 123, and 132 in order to charge associated storage capacitors 134, 136, 138 and 140.

In consequence, the voltages across capacitors 134, 136, 138 and 140 are functionally related to the intensities of the radiation received by photomultiplier tubes 110, 112, 114 and 116.

In accordance with the present invention, the foregoing analogue values are digitized by converter 22. Converter 22 includes three voltage dividers 142, 144 and 146 in association with output capacitors 134, 136 and 138.

Each of these voltage dividers includes ten resistors 148, one end of each of which is connected to a terminal of a resistor 150. The other terminal of resistor 150 is connected to ground. The other terminals of resistors 148 are connected to discrete pole points of a sequence 152 that is associated with one of three scanners 154. Each of scanners 154 is associated with one of capacitors 134, 136 and 138. Each of scanners 154 is ganged to a pair of auxiliary scanners 156 and 158, the positions of which select an appropriate digital output. The digital output is in the form of selected pairs of frequencies, which pairs may be termed chords. It is apparent that ten digits may be represented as ten diiferent combinations of two out of six frequencies. Although, two out of five frequencies alternatively could be used, two out of six serves to provide sufiicient redundency to ensure accuracy of the present system in accordance with in formation theory. In other words, any individual digit from 0 to 9 of a first decimal column or order of a multidigit number or field may be represented by a code of two out of six frequencies, any individual digit from 0 to 9 of a second decimal column or order may be represented by a code of two, out of six other frequencies, etc. The two out of six frequencies presenting the first decimal order, the two out of six frequencies presenting the second decimal order, etc. all may be combined for transmission at one time while retaining their identities for separation by suitable discriminating circuits. In the form shown, the various frequencies are produced by a frequency generator 159 and applied to the various pole points of sequences 161 that are associated with scanners 156. It is apparent that the position of scanners 154 determine the positions of scanners 156 and, therefore, the combinations of frequencies appearing at output leads 163.

Scanners 154 halt at appropriate pole points of sequences 152 in the following way. The junctions between resistors 148 and resistor 150 are applied to the grids of thyratrons 160. The plates of thyratrons are connected to input terminals of the coils of control relays 162. The output terminals of control relays 162 are connected to ground. These relays are associated through appropriate switching with stepping solenoids 164, which operate to step scanners 154 from pole point to pole point, and are associated with release solenoids 167, which serve to reset the system after any given reading. The operation of this switching will be described below in connection with the operation of control circuit 72. At this point it is sufficient to state that this switching serves to hold scanners 154 on pole points that correspond to the intensities of the signals from photomultipliers 110, 112 and 114.

The voltage across capacitor 140 serves as a standard for the voltages across capacitors 134, 136 and 138 in the following manner. The voltage across capacitor 140 is applied through a resistor 166 to the grid of triode 168, which serves as a cathode follower stage. The output of triode 168 is applied as a variable bias to the cathodes of thyratrons 160. Thus, the brighter the yellow standard radiation, the more the voltage across capacitor 140 and the higher the potentials on the grids of tubes 160. Since the voltage dividers are adjusted to digitize the voltages across capacitors 134, 136 and 138, it will be understood that the signals applied to the grids of tubes 160 are compared to the standard voltage applied by tube 163 to the cathodes of tubes 160.

Control circuit 72 operates converter 22 in the following manner. When tube 90 is fired, negative pulse 160 is generated at the grid of an input stage 170. The output 171 of stage 170 is inverted as at 173 and applied as a gating signal to the cathodes of phototubes 110, 112, 114 and 116 to render them operative only during a predetermined portion of the decay curve of tube 90. This output 171 also fires an output stage 1'72 in the form of a thyratron tube. When tube 172 fires, cathode relay 174 is energized and is locked through contact 176 to B+. Relay 174 also applies 3-]- through contact 178 to stepping magnets 164. At this point, capacitors 134, 136, 138 and 140 have been charged by photomultipliers 110, 112, 114 and 116 in re sponse to the incident radiation through filters 102, 104, 106 and 108. In consequence, scanners 154 operate successively to contact pole points 152. As any scanner 154 moves from pole point to pole point, there is a sequential increase in the voltage applied to the grid of its associated thyratron 160 by virtue of the voltage divider action between resistors 148 and resistor 150. When this scanner 154 has reached a point at which the voltage across its associated capacitor results in a rise above the threshold potential on the grid of thyratron 160, thyratron 160 fires. Thus, relay 162 is energized, the current through stepping relay 164 is cut 011 and scanner 154 comes to rest. Thus, also, a reset relay is energized in order to return all components of the circuit to a condition at which another tag may be read.

In operation, tags 40, to which differently colored tapes 58a, b, c and d have been applied, are aflixed to articles of merchandise 36 to be sold. After being carried by conveyor 38 to the reading station beneath housing 42, the tags are pressed against windows 74 to permit their energization by ultraviolet light from tube 90 and their emission of fluorescent light for reflection by mirror 94 through objective 96 into detector 66. In consequence, the analogue voltages produced by photomultipliers 110, 112, 1 14 and 116 are translated by converter 22 to signals at output leads 163 in the form of combinations of frequencies representing digital values. These signals operate to actuate annunciators 44 and 46 for observation by a customer and a sales person, to actuate calculator 24 for the purpose of producing a total to actuate printer 32 for the production of a sales slip 54 and to actuate cash drawer control 30. The transaction is consummated when keyboard 28 is actuated by the sales person for the purpose of causing cash drawer control 30 to open and the transaction to be permanently recorded in a suitable totalizer 31.

Since certain changes may be made in the above described product and 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 a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

l. A data processing combination comprising a plurality of different media thereupon, said different media being of different physical character by which they respond to exciting ultraviolet radiation with characteristic fluorescent radiation of different Wavelength ranges, said different media being of different extents in geometrical area by which said different wavelength ranges are of different analogue intensities, energizing means for generating said ultraviolet radiation and directing said ultraviolet radiation toward said media, detecting means responsive to said different wavelength ranges, said detecting means providing signals having different analogue magnitudes that are functionally related to said different analogue intensities, and means for converting said different analogues magnitudes to different digital values.

2. A data processing combination comprising a plurality of different media thereupon, said different media being of different physical character by which they respond to exciting ultraviolet radiation with characteristic fluorescent radiation of different wavelength ranges, said different media being of different extents in geometrical area by which said different wavelength ranges are of different analogue intensities, energizing means for generating said ultraviolet radiation and directing said ultraviolet radiation toward said media, detecing means responsive to said different wavelength ranges, said detecting means providing signals having different analogue magnitudes that are functionally related to said different analogue intensities, impedance means for receiving said signals in order to develop unknown voltages thereacross, and converting means including a plurality of impedance means for developing reference voltages thereacross, and a switch means for step-by-step comparison of said unknown voltages with said known voltages, said comparison providing digital values of said analogue magnitudes.

3. A data processing combination comprising a support, a plurality of different media on one face thereof, said different media being of different physical character by which they respond to exciting ultraviolet radiation with characteristic fluorescent radiation of different wavelength ranges said different media being of different extents in geometrical area by which said different wavelength ranges are of different analogue intensities, energizing means for generating said ultraviolet radiation and directing said ultraviolet radiation toward said media, a plurality of different detectors responsive to said different wavelength ranges, said detectors providing signals having analogue magnitudes that are functionally related to said intensities, and means for converting said analogue magnitudes to digital values, said different de tectors receiving radiation of different wavelengths through filters of different transmission ranges, said detectors being disposed at exit apertures in an internally reflecting sphere having an entrance aperture, said different wavelength ranges being directed from said product through said entrance aperture, said base having its other face provided with connecting means for affixing said base to another object, said Wavelength ranges representing orders of said digital values and said intensities representing increments of said digital values.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said connecting means is a pressure sensitive adhesive.

5. A data processing combination comprising a support, a plurality of different media exposed on one face thereof, said different media being of such different physical character as to respond to exciting incident ultraviolet radiation with characteristic fluorescent radiation of different wavelengths, said difierent media being of different geometrical areas by which said different Wavelengths are of different intensities, energizing means for directing said ultraviolet radiation toward said media, a plurality of different detectors responsive to said different wavelengths, said detectors providing signals having magnitudes that are functionally related to said intensities, and means for converting said magnitudes to digital values, said different detectors receiving radiation of different wavelengths through filters of different transmission ranges, said detectors being disposed at exit apertures in an internally reflecting sphere having an entrance aperture, said different wavelengths being directed from said product through said entrance aperture, said support having its other face provided with adhesive means for fixing said support to another object, said wavelengths representing decimal orders of said digital values and said intensities representing unit increments of said digital values, means providing a window for transmitting said ultraviolet radiation and said fluorescent radiation, a partially reflecting partially transmitting oblique means at said window, said energizing means being positioned to transmit ultraviolet radiation to said oblique means and said window to said media, said entrance aperture being positioned to receive fluorescent radiation from said oblique means and said window.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,387,512 Hilberg Oct. 23, 1945 2,704,634 Rauch Mar. 22, 1955 2,888,570 Toulmin May 26, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2387512 *Feb 10, 1942Oct 23, 1945Du PontLuminescent adhesive tape
US2704634 *Jul 2, 1949Mar 22, 1955 Rauch
US2888570 *Apr 26, 1955May 26, 1959Ohio Commw Eng CoApparatus for controlling machines and processes
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3227886 *May 21, 1962Jan 4, 1966Machinery Electrification IncPhotoelectric article coding and classifying device
US3473027 *Oct 14, 1966Oct 14, 1969American Cyanamid CoProcess for recording and retrieving information employing photoluminescent inks which luminesce under ultraviolet illumination
US3492478 *May 18, 1966Jan 27, 1970American Cyanamid CoInformation retrieval from symbols based on presence and absence of coding components,the information being retrieved in discrete electrical pulses
US3538311 *Nov 23, 1966Nov 3, 1970Zellweger Uster AgMethod and apparatus for the automatic accounting of purchased items
US3560745 *Apr 26, 1966Feb 2, 1971Crowe John WMethod and apparatus for marking cased containers by radiation of sensitive emulsions
US3582623 *Jan 10, 1969Jun 1, 1971American Cyanamid CoDetection of mixtures of narrow band photoluminescers
US3599389 *Jun 9, 1969Aug 17, 1971Dart Ind IncTube-filling machine with tube-positioning mechanism
US3619568 *May 6, 1969Nov 9, 1971John F TaplinSystem and method for identifying and labeling blood packs
US3737631 *Jul 12, 1971Jun 5, 1973Super Key AssoAutomatic checkout and inventory control
US3946203 *Jun 26, 1974Mar 23, 1976Recognition Equipment IncorporatedOptical reader fluorescence control
US4602151 *Dec 21, 1983Jul 22, 1986Erling PerssonTag reader
US4642526 *Sep 14, 1984Feb 10, 1987Angstrom Robotics & Technologies, Inc.Fluorescent object recognition system having self-modulated light source
US4760247 *Apr 4, 1986Jul 26, 1988Bally Manufacturing CompanyOptical card reader utilizing area image processing
US4833609 *Jun 18, 1987May 23, 1989Ncr CorporationERC with operator prompting for entering quantity of selected multi-item packaged goods
US4896791 *Nov 10, 1988Jan 30, 1990The Savings Spot, Ltd.Coupon dispensing system
US5019694 *Sep 29, 1989May 28, 1991Ncr CorporationOverhead scanning terminal
US5278396 *Jan 8, 1992Jan 11, 1994Ncr CorporationRetail checkout apparatus
US6047889 *Jan 21, 1998Apr 11, 2000Psc Scanning, Inc.Fixed commercial and industrial scanning system
US6189784Dec 21, 1999Feb 20, 2001Psc Scanning, Inc.Fixed commercial and industrial scanning system
WO1988005578A1 *Jan 19, 1988Jul 28, 1988Savings Spot LtdCoupon dispensing system
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/372, 235/468, 235/383, 250/566, 250/461.1, 235/491
International ClassificationG07G1/00, G06K7/10, G06K7/12
Cooperative ClassificationG06K7/10871, G07G1/0045, G06K7/12
European ClassificationG06K7/10S9E1, G07G1/00C2, G06K7/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 3, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: INTEGRATED TOTAL SYSTEMS, INC., A CORP. OF DE.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ROGAL, LAURA ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ROGAL, EDWARD, DECEASED;REEL/FRAME:003826/0954
Effective date: 19751020
Owner name: INTEGRATED TOTAL SYSTEMS, INC., CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROGAL, LAURA ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ROGAL, EDWARD, DECEASED;REEL/FRAME:003826/0954