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Publication numberUS3783290 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1974
Filing dateMar 1, 1971
Priority dateJun 12, 1967
Also published asDE1772620A1, DE1772620B2, DE1789116A1, DE1789116B2, DE1789116C3
Publication numberUS 3783290 A, US 3783290A, US-A-3783290, US3783290 A, US3783290A
InventorsFujii M, Miyamoto K, Sano Y, Yamaguchi I, Yamaguchi M
Original AssigneeCanon Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Indicia identification system
US 3783290 A
Abstract
The invention relates to an apparatus for identification of a concealed sign, such as a signature, on a card or the like and comprises a fluorescent member, a light source for stimulating the fluorescent member, a retaining member for holding the card carrying the concealed sign during the identification process and an infrared ray source. The apparatus of this invention may further include an optical system for directly comparing the visualize image of the concealed sign with a second sign and an instantly lighting circuit for the light source.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Fujii et a1.

[ INDICIA IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM [75] Inventors: Motoharu Fujii; Isao Yamaguchi, both of Tokyo; Kimio Miyamoto, Yokohama; Masaru Yamaguchi, Tokyo; Yozo Sano, Fujisawa, all of Japan [73] Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Tokyo,

Japan 22 Filed: Mar. 1, 1971 211 App1.No.: 119,613

Related U.S. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 735,823, June 10, 1968,

abandoned.

[] Foreign Application Priority Data June 12, 1967 Japan 42/37469 Feb. 12, 1967 Japan 42/50067 [52] U.S. C1. 250/456, 250/461 [51] Int. Cl. G01d 7/06 [58] Field of Search 250/65, 71, 78, 65.1,

250/71.5, 83.3 H, 219 Q; /2; 283/6; 117/1, 1.5; 315/105, DIG.5-D1G.7, 100 U; 356/71- Jan. 1,1974

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,166,998 l/1965 Watson 250/ R X 3,996,617 8/1961 Heckschor.. 250/71 R 2,901,653 8/1959 Gilmore 313/109 3,519,881 7/1970 Engel et a1.. 315/ U 3,487,210 12/1969 Hubert...- 250/78 3,455,577 7/1969 Kikumoto 250/219 Q Primary Examiner-James W. Lawrence Assistant Examiner-Davis L. Willis Att0rneyWard, McElhannon, Brooks & Fitzpatrick 5 7] ABSTRACT The invention relates to an apparatus for identification of a concealed sign, such as a signature, on a card or the like and comprises a fluorescent member, a light source for stimulating thefluorescent member, a retaining member for holding the card carrying the concealed sign during the identification process and an infrared ray source. The apparatus of this invention may further include an optical system for directly comparing the visualize image of the concealed sign with a second sign and an instantly lighting circuit for the light source.

10 Claims, 18 Drawing, Figures PAIENTEU 3.783.290 I SHEET 2 0F 6 .1 INDICIA IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM RELATED CASES BACKGROUND This invention relates to a new apparatus for identifying concealed signs or signatures and more particularly relates to an identifying device utilizing the quenching effect of infrared rays on fluorescent material.

of late, the demand for the maintenance of secrecy in the handling of informations such as test data, specifications of machines and tools and signatures and the transmission thereof has significantly increased. For ex ample, in the banking industry, wherein the banks have several branch offices in various parts of the country and withdrawals and checks may be cashed at any number of these branch offices, there is a strong demand for a means to identify the withdrawer or casher of the check. Moreover, with the advent of the credit card, an effective means for identifying the party using the credit card has been intensively sought.

With reference to the banking business, in order to identify a withdrawer, there is presently nothing to depend upon except the signature on the withdrawal slip or check. Accordingly it is a simple measure for a maliciousparty to withdraw sums from a bank account or cash a check by simply imitating the signature on the note.

Therefore, various methods have been utilized to overcome these problems, such as issuing identification cards with the picture or finger print of the authorized user thereon. However, even when thesecounter measures are employed, it is not always possible to obtain effective protection for the depositor.

In accordance with an additional safeguard, a concealed signature or stamp of the depositor is placed on an identification card or withdrawal slip and same is given to the depositor. When the depositor wishes to withdraw money from the bank, he is requested to write his signature or to stamp his own stamp, and the written signature or stamp is compared with the concealed signature or stamp to confirm his identity. Thus, when an unauthroized user attempts a forgery, the signatures will not agree and the withdrawal of the deposit can be rejected. When the above system is employed, confirmation is easily accomplished and it is possible to attain the effected protection for the depositor.

In accordance with one conventional method for concealing a signature, the original signature is de formed so that it can not be directly read. However, for this method, complicated optical systems and mechanisms are required for deforming the original, and, thereafter, a second system is necessary for reading the deformed signature. As an example, it is known to use fiber randon prisms to prepare a deformed image by modulating the arrangement of the image points of the normal image of the signature. The thus concealed image is decoded by using a decoder having the same image modulating function. However, when such method is employed, two devices are necessary i.e., one for deforming the signature and the other for decoding the deformed image, and, therefore, the cost becomes high. Additionally, when the deformation of the signature is simple, a malicious party may easily decode the concealed sign by guessing at the clue for the deformation without using any specific decoder; but only by changing the image arrangement of the deformed image. Therefore, the various contriivances for preparing a deformed image becomes complicated and materially increases cost.

SUMMARY Briefly stated, our invention comprises an apparatus for concealing a signature or the like wherein the signature is inked on a card which permits the passage therethrough of infrared rays. The ink which is used is of the type which blocks penetration of infrared rays. The surface of the paper having the signature is covered with an ink which visible light cannot penetrate, but infrared rays can. Alternatively, the surface may be covered with a thin film having similar properties with respect to ray transmission. In such manner, the signature of the stamp may be readily concealed.

The detection and identification of the signature thus concealed is carried out by projecting an infrared ray pattern of the concealed image on a, fluorescent plate, the whole surface of which fluoresces, thereby quench ing only the infrared pattern portions on the fluorescent plate to form a visible image of the concealed signature. The visible image may then be compared with the signature of the party making the withdrawal by placing them adjacent each other or overlying oneanother. In addition fluorescing of the fluorescent plate in our device is effected by stimulating the fluorescent plate with an ultraviolet ray source having an instant lighting circuit. In such manner, the identifying operation can be instantly carried out.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new apparatus for identifying and detecting a concealed image, such as a signature, by utilizing the quenching effect of fluorescent matter by means of infrared rays.

Another object of this invention is to provide an identifying apparatus that does not require any special device for concealing. a sign or pattern.

Other objects, characteristics and advantages of this invention will be clarified from the following detailed description wherein:

FIG. I is an aslant view of a card on which a sign or pattern is concealed;

FIG. 2A is a diagram showing the concealing of a sign or pattern on a paper by coating the paper shown in FIG. 1 with an ink which prohibits the passage of light rays but passes infrared rays;

FIG. 2b is a diagram showing the concealing of a sign on the paper shown in FIG. 1 by sealing the same with a thin film; 3

FIG. 3 is an aslant view showing the arrangement of the elements of the device when identification is carried out;

FIG. 4 is a diagram showing one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an aslant view of a complete apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken across line 1-1 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken across line lI-II of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a vertical cross-sectional view of a plate for attaching a fluorescent plate according to the invention;

FIG. 10 is a vertical cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the plate for attaching the fluorescent plate;

FIG. 1 l is a partial cross-sectional view of the invention showing the manner of fitting the fluorescent plate to the apparatus of the invention;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged partial vertical cross-sectional view of the switch pin portion of this invention;

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 12 showing the switch pin in its second position;

FIG. 14 is a partial view of the printed base plate for the switch shown in FIGS. 12 and 13;

FIG. 15 is a circuit diagram of the apparatus of this invention; I

FIG. 16 is a diagram showing the optical system of the device of this invention;

FIG. 17 is a partial view of this invention showing the base plate wherein the card bearing the pattern to be identified is placed;

DESCRIPTION In accordance with the present invention, an original image 2 of a signature or stamp is written with an ink which blocks passage of infrared rays on a surface of a recording member 1. In general, writing paper has low permeability for visible rays or ultraviolet rays, but high permeability for infrared rays. Also, an ink which is mainly composed of carbon black has a strong effect on the passage of infrared light therethrough, as well as visible light. In accordance with the invention, the original signature is placed on the recording member 1, such as a card, and obscured by smearing an ink 3 thereover. The ink permits infrared rays to pass therethrough, but prohibits the passage of visible light so that the signature cannot be seen. As shown in FIG. 2B, the surface of the original image 2 may be sealed with a thin film 3' having the same properties as the abovementioned ink, and in such manner, the original signature is concealed. With respect to the covering of ink 3, any ink may be used which has oil black as the main component. In cases where visible light can pass through the card or paper 1 and the sign or pattern of the original image can be observed on the back side of the paper, the back side is also coated with ink or sealed with a thin flim.

In carrying out the identification of the concealed signature, the paper 1 having the signature 2 in the concealed state is placed on a fluorescent plate 4 as is shown in FIG. 3. An infrared ray source 5 and a filter 6, which passes only infrared rays are placed behind the paper 1. On the opposite side of the paper 1, there is placed an ultra-violet ray source 7 and a fluorescent plate 4. The infrared image of the concealed sign is formed on the surface of a fluorescent plate 4 by the infrared rays passing through the paper 1. In other words, the portions of the surface of the fluorescent plate 4 other than the portions corresponding to the image of the concealed sign are quenched by the infrared rays while the portions corresponding to the concealed signature illuminate fluorescent light. In such manner, the concealed signature is visualized and identification is possible.

FIG. 4 illustrates the principle of the present invention as applied to an identifying device wherein the in frared light source 5, the infrared filter plate 6, the fluorescent plate 4, and the ultraviolet light source 7 are arranged horizontally in that order. The filter plate 6 is supported at the lower portion thereof so that it can be tilted freely, as is shown by the dotted line. The card 1 bearing a concealed signature is placed between the filter plate 6 and the fluorescent plate 4. The filter plate 6 is pressed against the card 1 so that the card 1 is closely contacted to the fluorescent plate 4. Behind the fluorescent plate 4, a half mirror 9 is provided for reflecting the light coming from the fluorescent plate 4 upwards. Below the half mirror 9, there is provided a base 10 whereon the card 11 bearing a second signature to be compared with the concealed signature is placed. A light source 12 is provided on the upper side of the card 11 so as to illuminate same.

In the identification procedure, the fluorescent plate 4 is wholly illuminated by the irradiation of the ultraviolet light source 7 provided behind the fluorescent plate 4. The fluorescent plate 4 is also illuminated through the card 1 bearing the concealed signature. by the infrared light source 5. Thus, the infrared rays which are not blocked by the ink of the concealed signature are projected on the'fluorescent plate 4. As a result, the concealed signature 2 written on the card 1 is formed as a visible image on the fluorescent plate 4. This image is thereafter reflected by the half mirror 9 and can be observed by an operator from the position 13. At the same time, a card 11 bearing the signature to be identified is placed on base 10 within the same view-field, thereby allowing for the comparison of the two signatures by parallelly placing or overlaying same.

FIG. 5 shows another principle of the apparatus of the invention, wherein the card 1 bearing a concealed signature is inserted between a base plate 15 and an infrared ray filter 6. The filter 6 is rotated on shaft 8 to press and retain the card 1 between the base plate 15 and the filter 6. An infrared ray lamp 5 is provided behind the infrared filter 6 and at the same time an optical system composed of a lens 16 and an aslantly provided reflecting mirror 14 are provided behind the base member 15 and positioned in such manner as to reflect the ultraviolet image on a fluorescent plate 4 provided with an ultraviolet light source 7. A half mirror 9 for reflecting the light coming from the fluorescent plate 4 is aslantly provided in front thereof. Below the half mirror 9, a base 10 is positioned so that it is approximately the same distance from the half mirror 9 as the half mirror 9 is from the fluorescent plate 4. The card 11 bearing the signature to be identified-is placed thereon and a light source 12 for illumination is positioned above same.

In the above-mentioned system the infrared ray pattern of the concealed signature on paper 1 is transmitted through an optical system such as the mirror 14 and the a 16 to the front surface of a fluorescent plate 4, i.e., the side of the plate 4 which is stimulated and illuminated by the ultraviolet ray lamp 7. In such manner, a quenched image of the concealed sign is generated on the surface of a fluorescent plate 4. This image is observed on the half mirror 9 while the signature on card 11 on the base 10 can be observed through the window section of half mirror 9, thereby providing an easy comparison. Therefore, in accordance with this system, the infrared ray pattern and the illuminating surface of the 1 fluorescent plate 4 are overlaid on the same side to generate the quenching effect.

In the embodiment of FIG. 4, when the concealed image on card 1 is pressed-contacted between the infrared ray filter 6 and the fluorescent plate 4, the concealed image is inverted by the half mirror 9 and the opposite image can be observed by the operator at position 13. Thus, when identification is carried out, it is necessary to invert the card 11 bearing the second signature to effect a correct comparison. On the other hand, in accordance with the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the infrared ray pattern of the card 1 is inverted with the right side to the left, and therefore in order to observe the normal image, the infrared ray pattern must be inverted and placed with the right side to the left before entering lens 16.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 through 8, there is shown a unit encompassing our invention. The unit comprises a base portion having a box 17 which encloses the electric circuit for lighting the infrared lamp and the ultraviolet ray lamp described hereinafter. Located above the box 17, is a box 20 enclosing the detecting and identifying mechanism such as a lamp, fluorescent plate, and an optical system. The box 17 of the base portion and the box 20 are united to form the casing of the instant apparatus.

A rectangular opening 21 is provided at the top of box 20 and an operating board 22 is mounted adjacent thereto so that it may be pushed into the opening 21 from outside when identification is carried out. A shaft pin 24 is provided on one end of the board 22 and extends through the box 20, thereby providing a rotation point for the board 22. An L-type lever 25 is fixed on both side wall portions of the operation board 22, and pins 28 are provided on arm-plates 27 fixed on both sides of a pressing plate 26. The pins 28 slidably engage a U-shaped retainer in the lever 25. A retaining plate 29 for retaining the paper at a predetermined position by press-contacting the paper bearing the concealed signature in parallel with the pressing plate 26 is also provided, and the retaining plate 29 is provided with a guide pin30 at each of the corner portions thereof. (cf. FIG. 8). On the pressing plate 26, there are provided holes at the portion corresponding to the guide pin 30 of the retaining plate 29, and the pins 30 on the retaining plate 28 are respectively passed therethrough. At each pin 30, a spring 31 is provided between theret aim ing plate 29 and the pressing plate 26. The end portion of each pin 30 has a head 32for preventing the guide pin 30 from being disjonnected from the pressing plate 26 by the biasing of return spring 31. (See FIGS. 7 and 8) As a result, the pressing plate 26 and the retaining plate 29 are connected via pins 30 and return spring 31.

In addition, the retaining plate 29 has an arm 33 mounted on both sidewall portions thereof, such as by screws. At the other portion thereof, the arm 33 is rotatably supported by a shaft 33'. Accordingly, when the operation board 22 is pressed, it is pushed down in a clockwise direction with the fulcrum 24 as the center. This, in turn, pushes the pressing plate 26 via the L- lever 25 fixed on the operating board 22 and pin 28. As a result, the pressing plate 26 rotates the retaining plate 29 in a counter-clock-wise direction with the shaft 33' as the fulcrum, while the return spring 31 is compressed.

A plate 34 for mounting the fluorescent plate 38 to box 20 is provided on the front surface of the retaining plate 29. A document bearing the concealed image is inserted between the retaining plate 29 and the fixed plate.

As shown in FIG. 8, the central portion of the retaining plate 29 accommodates a glass plate 36. A plate 34 is mounted to the box 20 and has an opening in the central portion thereof which corresponds with the windows in pressing plate 26 and retaining plate 29. A metal frame 37 for retaining a fluorescent member is inserted in the open area of plate 34. I

As is shown in FIG. 9, a' fluorescent plate 38, coated with fluorescent material 39, is placed on a glass plate' 38, and a thin film 49, such as Mylar, is used to cover the plate 38. The thin film is fixed with a retainer 41 to hold the fluorescent plate 38 onto the metal frame 37. In an alternative method, as shown in FIG. 10, a fibrous layer 40' is used as a face plate instead of the thin flim of Mylar.

Referring again to FIG. 8, an ultraviolet light source 42 is provided on the front side of the fixing plate 34 which illuminates the surface of the fluorescent plate 38. The fixed plate 34 is mounted on the box 20 in such manner that the fluorescent plate 38 fixed on the central portion thereof and the glass plate 36 inserted onto the retaining plate 29, areal! positioned in agreement.

In order to light the ultraviolet light source 42, and infrared lamp 35, a switch pin 50 is provided which passes through a hole 43 in the retaining plate 29 and fixing plate 34. The switch pin 50 also passes through a hole provided in the card 1 bearing the concealed 'sign and, therefore, will not'operate the respective lights unless the hole in the card is at such position.

A lamp 44 for illuminating the matter bearing the second signature to be identified is provided at the front portion of the plate 34 for fixing the fluorescent plate. The lamp 44 is provided with a hood 45 which directs the light of the lamp toward the base 19. Thus, the matter bearing the signature to be identified is fully illuminated when it is placed on the base 19. A glass plate 46 is mounted into a window at the bottom of box 20 for observing the matter bearing the signature to be identified.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the switch pin 50 is provided with a washer 51 at one end thereof and is moveably inserted into a small hole provided at the lower portion of the window 26' in pressing plate 26. A skirt washer 53 is made of an electroconductive material and is in contact with pin 50 at thecentral portion thereof which it abuts an annular projection provided on the pin 50. A coil spring 52 is provided between the washer 53 and the pressing plate 26, and the switch pin 50 is biased thereby towards holes 54 and 43 provided in the fixing plate 34 and the retaining plate 29, respectively.

A printed base plate 58 is adhered to the retaining I plate 29 and provides contacts 56 and 57, as is shown in FIG. 14. The switch pin 50 is allowed to enter hole 43 of the fixing plate 34 through a hole provided at a predetermined position in the card bearing the concealed signature. In such manner, the conductive washer 53 provided on the pin 50 contacts the two electrodes 56 and 57, thereby completing an electrical circuit.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show enlarged views of the switch pin 50 of FIG. 11. In FIG. 12, the card 55 bearing a concealed signature is not provided with a hole at the same position as that of the switch pin 50, ahd in this case, the switch pin 50 cannot enter hole 43 of the fix ing plate 34. Therefore, the conductive washer cannot contact the electrodes 56 and 57 of the printed base plate 58 and the electric source switch of the infrared and ultraviolet light sources cannot be turned on. However, in FIG. 13, the card 55 is provided with a hole in the position of the switch pin. In this case, the switch pin 50 enters into the hole 43 and the conductive washer contacts the electrodes 56 and 57, thereby completing the electric circuit and illuminating the respective lights.

FIG. 15 is a circuit diagram of the embodiment described above, wherein: plug P is connected to an AC outlet; PL is a pilot lamp; S, is the main switch; FM is a fan motor for cooling; S is a switch comprising a conductive washer 53 provided on the switch pin 50 and the electrodes 56 and 57 on the printed base plate; Rel, is a relay which is operated when the switch S is turned on, and has movable contacts a, through a.,; L and L, are the lamps for illuminating the matter to be identified and are serially connected to a variable resistor VR for regulating the brightness. An infrared ray lamp L is provided behind the pressing plate 26, and is serially connected to the movable contact of the relay Rel,

and the resistor VR for regulating the amount of irradiation.

Fluorescent tubes FL, and FL are connected in series to the moveable contacts a, and a of the relay Rel, which are respectively connected to the circuit connecting the filaments of the light source. The contacts a, and a are normally closed and are, therefore, the contacts for discharging thermoelectrons within the respective tubes. For preventing noise, we provide capacitors c and 0 Thus, the respective lamps are serially connected to the movable contacts a a, of the relay Rel,. Therefore, when the switch S is closed and the relay Rel, is operated, contacts a, and a are in the off state and a high voltage is applied between the two filaments of the fluorescent tubes and the respective lamps are lighted.

Accordingly, when the hole punched through the card 1 bearing the concealed signature and the position of the switch pin 50 are in agreement, the switch pin enters the hole 43 provided in the fixing plate 34 and the electroconductive washer 53 contacts the electrodes 56 and 57, thereby completing the circuit, i.e., the switch S is turned to an on condition, and as a result, the relay Rel, is operated and the movable contacts a, and a of the relay are turned to an off" condition and contacts a and a, are turned to an on condition. In such manner, the respective lamps are turned on simultaneously.

FIG. 16 depicts the optical system of our invention, wherein the numeral 36 is the pressing plate which is inserted into the retaining plate 29. The retaining plate 29 is overlaid with the fluorescent plate 38 provided on the fixing plate. For the sake of convenience, in this figure, the two plates 36 and 38 are shown in intimate contact, but actually, between the two plates, the card bearing the concealed signature is inserted.

A reflecting mirror 47 is provided for inverting the quenched image formed on the fluorescent plate 38. A second reflecting mirror 48 is positioned to direct the inverted image which is reversed by the reflecting mirror 47 to the eyes 59 of the viewer. Additionally, the mirror 48 inverts the image so that it is seen in its correct position. The aslantly provided reflecting mirror 48 is a half mirror, i.e., only half the mirror reflects, which leads the quenched image to the eyes of the operator and through which the operator can see the image of the matter bearing the signature to be identified, which is placed on base 19'. A magnifying glass 49 is placed in the viewing aperture. Between the base 29, and the optical system, a glass plate 46 is stationed for preventing dust from entering the optical system.

The distance between the half mirror 48 and the base 19 is adjusted to be equal to the sum of the distance between the half mirror 48 and the reflecting mirror 47 and the distance between the reflecting mirror 47 and the fluorescent plate 38. Therefore, the quenched image on the fluorescent plate is reflected by the reflecting mirror 47 and the half mirror 48 and is viewed by the operator with the virtual image thereof formed on base 19. 1

As shown in FIG. 17, the base 19 is connected to an adjusting screw 60 and the base portion thereof is freely inserted into the hole 62 provided on the base plate 61 of the box 17. The base portion of the screw 60 has a washer, and when the adjusting screw 60 is rotated, the base is moved horizontally in the direction shown by the arrow. Thus, adjustment of the base 19 and the half mirror 48 in a lengthwise direction of the light path can be carried out.

I-Iaving described the basic components of our invention a brief explanation of its manner of operation will now be given. When a person desires to cash for example, a check, the check bearing his signature is placed on the base 19 and an identification card bearing his signature in a concealed state is inserted into the slot 23 of the box 20 and between the retaining plate 29 and the fixing plate 34. The operation plate 22 is then rotated in a clockwise direction on the shaft 24, and the pressing plate 26 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction through the pin 28 and the L-shaped lever 25.

, When the pressing plate 26 is rotated, it compresses the springs 31 and the retaining plate 29 is pushed by spring 31 provided on the guide pin 30 and is rotated in the counter-clockwise direction with the shaft 33 as the fulcrum. Thus, the card 55 is closely held between the pressing glass plate 36 of the retaining plate 29 and the fluorescent plate of the fixing plate 34 .(see FIG. 11). The card 55 has a punched hole at a predetermined position at the lower portion thereof, and when the punched hole agrees with the position of the switch pin 50, the switch pin 50 is introduced into the hole 43 in the fixing plate 34 and the electroconductive washer provided on said pin contacts the electrodes 56 and 57. This, in turn, activates the infrared ray lamp 35, the ultraviolet ray lamp 42 and the illuminating lamp 44 within the box 20.

When the ultraviolet lamps 42 provided on the upper and lower side portions of the fluorescent plate 58 are lighted, the fluorescent layer coated on the fluorescent plate is stimulated and illuminated. When the infrared lamp 35 is lighted, the infrared ray pattern of the concealed signature is irradiated onto the flurorescent plate, and the quenching effect is generated, resulting in a quenched image formed on the fluorescent plate.

This image is readily observed by the operator as the normal image-through the reflecting mirror 47 and the half mirror 48. At the same time, the signature to be identified, placed on base 19, can be observed through the transparent half of mirror 48. Thus, the identification can be readily carried out by arranging the two images to coincide.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for verifying an indicia such as a signature, comprising in combination:

an identification member formed of a material which passes infrared rays therethrough, said member having first and second opposed surfaces,

indicia provided on one of said surfaces of said identification member, said indicia being formed of a material which prevents the passage of infrared rays therethrough,

means provided on said member for covering said indicia, wherein said covering means is formed of a material which passes infrared rays and prevents the passage of visible light rays,

support means for releasably supporting said member,

infrared ray generating means positioned for irradiating said first surface of said identification member,

a plate having a layer of fluorescent material means coated thereon for being irradiated to provide a uniform fluorescence which is quenchable by infra red rays, said plate being disposed on the side of said identification member adjacent said second surface, and

irradiating means disposed for irradiating said plate to cause fluorescence of said fluorescent material means, whereby said fluorescent layer provides a display of said infrared rays passing through said identification member.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said identification member hasat least one coded perforation therein and said support means includes detecting means having at least one detecting member for sensing said one perforation, and having switch means actuable by said detecting member and connected to activate said irradiating means when said detecting member senses said perforation.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising means for transmitting said infrared rays to provide a sharp infrared image of the Outline of said indicia on said flurorescent layer, said transmitting means including a light transmitting member provided between said fluorescent member and said support means, said light transmitting member covering and closely contacting said fluoresecent member.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said support means includes two plates which pass infrared rays, at least one of said plates being movably arranged to clamp said identification member therebetween.

5. An identification member for use in an apparatus for identifying concealed indicia on said member, wherein said apparatus includes an infrared light source, a fluorescent member and a ultraviolet lamp, and wherein said identification member comprises:

a card formed of a material which passes infrared rays;

indicia provided on one side of said card, said indicia being of a material which blocks the penetration of infrared rays; and

a filter coating on saidcard for covering said indicia, said filter coating being ofa material which prohibits the passage of visible light therethrough and per mits the passage of infrared rays.

6. The identification member ofclaim 5 further comprising a second filter coating covering the side of said card opposite the side bearing said indica.

7. An apparatus for identifying indicia, such as a signature which has been concealed on a recording member, said indicia being formed of a substance which blocks the penetration of infrared light and being concealed by a layer of a material which prohibits passage of visible light therethrough, said apparatus comprismg: l

a base member, said base member having an area for placing an indicia bearing doucment for comparison with said concealed image on said recording member;

a housing mounted on said base member;

means for removablyretaining said recording member disposed within said housing, said housing being provided with an area for insertion of said recording member into said retaining means;

infrared light generating means mounted within said housing and positioned to irradia'te said rcording member;

a fluorescent member mounted within said housing,

said fluorescent member having a layer of fluorescent material subject to quenching by infrared rays;

irradiating means mounted within said housing and arranged to irradiate said flurorescent layer to cause uniform fluorescing thereof;

light transmissionmeans arranged within said housing to direct an infrared pattern, derived by the passage of infrared light, generated by said infrared generating means, through said recording member and being partially blocked by said concealed indicia, to said fluorescent layer whereby said fluorescent layer is caused by the quenching effect of said infrared pattern to build up a visible image corre sponding to said concealed indicia; l d an observation area provided in said housing for observing a visible image of said concealed indicia formed on said fluorescent layer; and an optical system arranged within said housing-be tween said fluorescent member and said observation area for conveying said image on said fluorescent layer to said observation area, said observation area, optical system and base member being further arranged so that the image formed on said fluorescent layer and the indicia on said indicia bearing document may be both viewed through said observation area whereby said visible image of said concealed indicia and said indicia on said indicia bearing document may be compared.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein said optical system comprises at least one half-mirror aslantly placed in the visual field of said observation area whereby the visual image of said concealed indicia is observable on the base of said apparatus.

9. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the light path distance between said base and said observation area is approximately equal to that formed by the optical system between said fluorescent member and said observation area.

10. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein said base member is adjustably movable so that the visual image of said concealed indicia and the indicia on said indicia bearing document may be observed in close proximity.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6470093Mar 28, 2001Oct 22, 2002Angstrom Technologies, Inc.First-order authentication system
US6603871Mar 28, 2001Aug 5, 2003Angstrom Technologies, Inc.First-order authentication system
WO2001027866A1 *Oct 13, 2000Apr 19, 2001Erickson WinPoint of sale counterfeit detection apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/458.1
International ClassificationG07C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07C9/00055
European ClassificationG07C9/00B6C2