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Publication numberUS3801823 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 2, 1974
Filing dateJul 8, 1970
Priority dateJul 8, 1970
Publication numberUS 3801823 A, US 3801823A, US-A-3801823, US3801823 A, US3801823A
InventorsKorn J
Original AssigneeKorn J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Credit card identification device
US 3801823 A
A device is disclosed which is capable of determining whether a person using a credit card is the true owner of the card. The person places his hand on a surface of the device. Light radiation is transmitted through the hand and received by a radiation sensitive device such as a photocell. The photocell is mounted opposite the light source and on the obverse side of the hand. The transmission intensity pattern, amplitude, and other characteristics of this radiation passing through the hand are then compared with previously determined values for this person's hand. These previously determined values may be coded within a credit card or other similar medium.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unlted' States Patent 1191 3,801,823

Korn Apr. 2, 1974 CREDIT CARD IDENTIFICATION DEVICE Primary Examiner-Walter Stolwein [76] Inventor: Jonathan A. Korn, 12 E. 97th St., Age,

New York, N.Y. 10009 I22] Filed: July 8, 1970 [57] ABSTRACT 1 l PP 3,239 A device is disclosed which is capable of determining whether a person using a credit card is the true owner 52 us. c1. 250/221, 250/219 DC, 356/71 (the f l P f 'l 3 Surface 51 Im. Cl G08c 9/06 the Pf hmugh 58 Field 61 Search 356/71, 41, 42; 250/221, ham 1" i i ig devic? 250/222, 237, 209, 219 DO, 219 D, 219 DC; i p otoce -d e lzh g 1S n guntte h0p}pos(1ite1the 340/149 A;235/61.11E,6l.11C "P. verse transm1ss1on intenslty pattern, amplitude, and other [561 2222255132:zintitrgs izirzsiiziey3:25:12: UNITED STATES PATENTS values for this persons hand. These previously deter- 3,58l,282 5/197] Altman 340/149 A mined values may be coded within a credit card o 3,383,657 5/1968 Claassen et a1.. 340/149 A other similar medium 3,200,701 8/1965 White 356/71 3,496,371 2 1970 Endo 250 219 DQ If h 9%. ,116 and the g9glj9q b the 3,480,785 11 1969 Aufd rh id 5 7 X photocells are the same, the person being tested is the 3,576,538 4/1971 Miller .v 340/149 A correct individual and if they are not the same, he is 3,152,587 10/1964 Ullrich et al 356/41 X not the correct individual. 2,423,855 7/1947 Smaller 356/41 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures ATENTEUAPR 2 I974 SHKEI 1 BF 2 INVEN'IUR. JONATHAN A. KOR N *ATENTED APR 2 I974 SHEET 2 0F 2 FIG. 5

INVENTOR. JONATH AN A. KORN CREDIT CARD IDENTIFICATION DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION With the recent advent of the use of credit cards it is of the utmost importance to have means for determining whether a credit card is being used by its true owner. Very often if a credit card is lost, it can be used by anyone, since at present there is no effective way to identify the person with the credit card.

Both signatures and photographs have been used but neither of these provides sufficient protection. Signatures are easily forged and people are easily disguised to resemble photographs. Thus, neither of these methods offer a foolproof solution.

Other systems that have been proposed include a system which uses voice patterns. A message is recited by a person and the device compares the voice pattern of this recitation with a previously determined voice pattern. If the two voice patterns are the same, the person being tested is the correct individual. This is an unwieldy and expensive system and results in substantial inconvenience to the person being checked.

Another system that has been tried involves scanning of a persons fingerprints to determine whether they correspond to previously determined fingerprints for the same person. The difficulty with this system is that if the finger is not positioned in exactly the same manner each time, the fingerprints will not correspond and a person might be rejected even though he is the correct individual.

Therefore, up to this point, there is no system in the prior art that can quickly and easily compare a person to indicia on a credit card without substantial inconvenience or chance of error in the checking process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A mechanism is disclosed whereby radiation responsive means are actuated in response to the intensity and pattern of radiation passing through a human hand. The mechanism then compares this pattern and intensity with a previously established standard of pattern and intensity for this persons hand, to determine whether this is the correct individual.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 discloses an overall embodiment of the mechanism.

FIG. 2 shows the same mechanism with a hand being PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION It was discovered that if a hand is placed between the beam of an ordinary incandescent light bulb and a photocell a certain amount of radiation will pass through the hand and be received by the photocell. The amount of radiation that passes through the hand at any particular point on'the hand varies for each individual. The variation is probably based on density. For example, if a point in the center of the palm is chosen and the response of the photocell is divided into ten equal increments (zero being no light passing through and 10 being complete transmission) one person will have a reading of 5 while another will read 6 and so on. People then can be distinguished solely on the basis of this light radiation transmissability.

It is not certain exactly what radiation passes through the hand when an incandescent light is shined on it. It is non-destructive radiation, probably radiation in both the visible and infrared range. The photocells originally chosen reacted because of radiation in the infrared range; though other devices could be used which would detect radiation in other ranges.

Also, the question of what radiation actually passes throughout the hand is uncertain. It could be that the radiation that is detected by the photocell is that actually emitted by the radiation source or it could be that the radiation emitted by the radiation source causes the displacement of electrons in the hand; and these electrons are the ones that cause the photocell to respond. Most probably it is a combination of the original radiation combined with that generated in the hand.

In any case, this invention provides a quick and easy way of reading radiation that passes through a hand. It thereby provides an accurate way of distinguishing between individual people.

The discussion of the invention has so far centered on its applicability to a hand, but it will be appreciated that it is also applicable to many other parts of the human body or for that matter, animal bodies.

With this invention, individuals can be distinguished based on radiation passing through one place on the hand. However, since for practical reasons a photocell scale can only be divided into a relatively small number of increments, many people will have almost the same reading. It would then be possible to distinguish between the individuals in a small group but very difficult at that point to distinguish between the individuals in large groups of people.

To correct this, a group of photocells are used so that a hand has to have certain photocell readings in different places. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, five positions on a hand were chosen. The readings in each position would differ for each individual so that even though two people had virtually the same readings in one position, they would have entirely different readings in another position, and when four or five positions are chosen, people can be easily distinguished from each other.

When a group of photocells are used, another advantage develops. The positions of the photocells relative to each other are of course, fixed so therefore, the places where radiation readings are taken will also be fixed relative to each other. This will lead to patterns of radiation points and thus, the photocells will be responsive not only to individual readings, but to the readings being in particular patterns.

The above has been a general discussion of some principals of the invention. An apparatus incorporating these will now be described in more detail:

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the invention. The construction includes'the overall structure 1 which is constructed of metal, plastic or other strong durable material. Included in this structure is a lower section or base 3, having a generally rectangular configuration.

This section houses substantially all the electronics for the system.

The base section has a flat horizontal upper surface 5, in which a central rectangular opening 7 is formed. Covering this opening is a flat, clear platen 9, which is preferably made of a transparent material such as glass or plastic. Printed on this platen are lines or other indicia delineating the position in which a hand or other body member is to be placed. Alternatively, material may be placed on the platen as shown in FIG. 1 to form a depressed area into which the hand is placed. In the configuration shown in FIG. 1, which is for a left hand, sections of plastic or glass are added at 11 to result in a depressed position in which the hand is to be positioned. These lines or depressions are used to insure that the hand is always placed in substantially the same location.

Positioned underneath the platen are a group of light responsive photocells 13. These will be discussed in more detail subsequently.

The remainder of the lower section consists of four side walls (two of which are shown) 12 and 14. The front one, 14, may be decorated with ornamental trim or other material as shown in FIG. 1. Of course this is optional and mainly for decorative purposes and not part of this invention. A bottom surface (not shown) is also provided to complete the lower section 3 of the structure.

Connected to this lower section is an upper section 17 of cantilever configuration, being of an inverted L- shape. The section is connected to the back of the top surface of the lower section 3 and extends over the clear platen 9. In this section is housed a light source 12, which would probably be an incandescent bulb. However, as previously mentioned if it appears that the radiation that passes through the hand is mainly in a particular range, such as the infrared range, then it may be only necessary to provide a source which emits radiation in that range.

There may be a single light source or a plurality of light sources each then being aligned with a single photocell, as will be described hereinafter. Alternatively if desired, the radiation source could be made movable so that one or a few sources of light would align with all the photocells.

of the owner. However, more importantly it will have positioned on it or within it, coded means (which will be subsequently described) which correspond to the response of the photocells to the light passing through each individual hand.

Now, referring back to the photocells, these photocells or other similar radiation receiving means are positioned in locations where they will best receive the radiation being transmitted through the hand. They are shown in the drawings as being in number and being placed in a general X pattern. However, there are many possible patterns or locations in which they can be placed. They are placed at points on the hand which are the most characteristic of an individual and will most readily result in people readily being distinguishable from each other.

A typical example of the operation of the photocells is as follows: Suppose there are five photocells in an X" pattern, as shown in the drawings A, B, C, D and E, and suppose these cells are calibrated in 5 increments, 0 being no radiation and 5 being maximum radiation; now, when a particular persons hand is placed on the platen and that persons hand causes the photocells to read as follows, A and B read 3 and 4, C reads 5, and D and E read 3 and 2 these values will not only indicate the particular intensity of radiation of each but also the pattern of intensities (the distances apart that the values of radiation are located). Each individual will yield a different value of radiation at these same points and therefore people can be readily distinguished from each other using this system. Also using this latter feature banks of photocells can be provided and computer logic can be used so that the logic will search for the individuals distinctive pattern. Thus, in checking a person not only the intensities but the pattern of these intensities can be used to identify an individual. The above example was described with the absolute values of the readings of the photocells being used. However, the ratios of the intensities of the photocells to one another could be used. This would be advantageous since then if the absolute values changed slightly, the ratios would change even less and thus, there would be less likelihood of the correct person being rejected.

The above was of course, a simplified example. As aforementioned there may be many times this number of photocells and the light pattern may be far more complex than a simple X. However, the basic operation will be the same.

So far, the photocells are shown and described as being stationary while there is discussion of a stationary or moving radiation source. However, the cells could also be made movable by being placed on a movable member so that they could scan the whole hand. Also if desired, both the photocells and the radiation source could be made movable. Further, there could be a single moving photocell and multiple radiation sources. Still further, there could be a single radiation source, a single photocell and a mechanism for moving the hand in relation to the fixed photocells and radiation source.

Moreover, it is understood that this mechanism is being shown as being used, for transmitting light through a hand. However, it could be used for transmitting light through any other part of the body or for that matter, through any other substance through which this radiation will pass.

Now referring to the circuitry of the invention, once the light is received by the photocells it is converted by the circuitry shown in FIG. 3 into a series of electrical impulses. These impulses correspond to the particular pattern of radiation passing through the hand as aforementioned.

It will be appreciated that the circuitry described is but one of many ways of comparing photocell response with coded indicia.

The photocells 51*55 as shown in the drawings are each incorporated in an equalizing network (by the addition of resistors 56-60 and 61-65) so that the response of each photocell network will be the same for the same irradiation by the light source. These resistors are chosen so that that the total response of the two resistors and the photocells, orin other words, the photocell network, is the same for each respective photocell network regardless of variations in the individual photocells. In effect, the change in resistance of the network is being read and not the change in resistance of an individual photocell. The resistors will, therefore, be selected for the individual photocell involved. This construction is commonly referred to as trimming. Now when a given amount of radiation hits any one photocell the response of the network having that photocell will be the same as if the same amount of radiation had fallen on any other photocell in any other network.

These photocells are, as mentioned, placed at present locations, to receive radiation that is passing through the hand.

The photocell networks are all connected to the inverting output 69 of an operational amplifier 70. The other ends 72 of the photocell networks are connected to the output of another operational amplifier 74 which is connected to a voltage source 76. This latter amplifier 74 will be described in more detail hereinafter.

Now referring once again to operational amplifier 70, this amplifier has a source of voltage connected to it which is designated by and E. In this case, the voltages were chosen as being equal, however, this is not a prerequisite. Connected from the output 75 of the amplifier 70 to the same inverting terminal 69 of the amplifier 70 is a resistor 78 which is connected in parallel with a capacitor 80. Resistor 80 acts in a feedback manner to provide a current commonly known as a scaling summer. The circuit then operates as follows: The feedback resistor operating with the amplifier and the photocell network causes the voltage at point 82 (which is the same as the voltage at the inverting terminal of the amplifier) to go virtually to zero. This is necessary so that the voltage becomes a known function of the feedback resistor 78, the photocell network and the applied input voltage to the photocell networks at point 84. Then the output voltage is modified by the known resistance and the inverse of the photocell network resistances. This is done to achieve a determinable output voltage. Capacitor 80 will act to slow the effect of amplifier 70 to damp changes in the output voltage.

As aforementioned the input to this network comprises an operational amplifier 74 which has an inverter input connected to its output to force the output voltage to be the same level as the input voltage. This is commonly referred to as a voltage follower (amplifier). The amplifier is in the circuit to permit the input voltage to be varied by potentiometer 85 without having to take into consideration the resistance of the potentiometer. The potentiometer therefore, will act to vary the input voltage but because of the voltage follower the effective resistance of the potentiometer will be zero.

Switch 86 is a mechanical switch which is operated to supply input voltage to the circuit. This switch can be operated by a credit card or other trigging means. If a credit card is used the apparatus is constructed so that the credit card has to be inserted into the device for the switch to be activated.

The other half of the circuit operates the same way as the photocell networks except that there are switches which are operated by the credit card instead of photocells that are operated by radiation.

The operation of the switch network of the drawings is as follows: The input voltage will pass through whichever switch in a group is closed. For example, if switch 87 is closed, the input voltage will pass through resistors R12, R13, R14, and R15. These resistors are of such values that their sum will be the same resistance as the corresponding photocell network produces when the photocell is irradiated by an amount of radiation corresponding to the particular switch. In other words, if the photocell when combined with its parallel and series resistors produced a certain voltage the corresponding switch should be the switch which will insert a group of resistors into the circuit to produce the same voltage output. Each switching network corresponds to a single photocell network. Each switch corresponds to one reading of the photocell. So, in other words, the values of resistance depending on the values of radiation of each photocell network are quantized (broken up) into a group of finate values.

The number of switches will, therefore, correspond to the number of finite increments that each photocell network resistance is broken up into. In the drawing this is shown as 5 in number. Thus, if the third switch corresponds to a particular photocell reading, the resistance of the whole photocell network when it is turned on, should be the same as the value of total resistance introduced into the circuit by that switch. Suitable switching is provided to turn on each photocell network for comparison with its respective resistance switching network.

It will be appreciated that the quantization can be achieved by other techniques including using binary switching. With binary switching combinations of switches are used instead of individual switches to correspond to photocell readings.

Operational amplifier 90 operates in exactly the same manner as operational amplifier 70.

The output voltage from both amplifiers and are than compared. The voltage in each case passes through equal resistors 92 and 94, 96 and 98 and then into a metering display 100 which will compare the voltages and indicate whether the voltages are the same and there is no differential voltage, in which case the credit card belongs to this particular individual; on the other hand if the voltages are different then the credit card does not belong to this individual. When the voltages are the same means is provided to indicate that the credit card is approved. This will be described in more detail subsequently.

On the other hand, if the voltages are different, no approval will take place and a light buzzer or other indicating means will be actuated to indicate that the person using the credit card is not the true owner thereof.

Now, discussing the credit card: The indicia on or in the credit card may be conductive ink, magnetic strips, punched holes, raised projections or any other method of placing coded information on or within a credit card.

It will be appreciated that instead of a credit card, any other indicia bearing member can be used.

Also, if desired, when the credit card is positioned in the slot as aforementioned, the stores invoice or check would be positioned in an adjacent slot 104 next to the credit card (as shown in FIG. 4). Then when the person is determined to be the true owner of the credit card, by the operation of this invention, a plate 29, or other means would be actuated either electrically such as by solenoids or mechanically as will be described hereinafter, to cause the credit card to be' pushed against the bill to print the usual embossed information (such as .name, address, etc.) which now appears on a credit card onto the bill or check. This, as mentioned, will only take place if the credit card is approved. If the credit card is not approved, no printing will take place and a signal will indicate the person usingthe card is not the true owner thereof.

To accomplish the actuation of the plate 29 mechanically, the glass plate would be connected by a linkage 25 to a cam follower 27, the cam follower will ride on cam face 30 on plate 29 and push the plate against the bill to cause the credit card to print the information on the bill. Carbon paper or other ink supply means would be provided to cause the actual printing involved. The clear platen in this situation is positioned on a spring 32 or other support means so that it can be depressed in a vertical direction to cause the printing operation. Of course, if the credit card is not approved, the person will be unable to depress the clear platen and as before, a signal will indicate he is not the true owner of the credit card. Alternatively and as previously mentioned, a solenoid can be attached to the platen and a switch made responsive to' the comparison circuitry so that when the credit card is approved, the solenoid will be activated to cause the movement of the platen and thereby cause the same printing operation as aforementioned.

In operation, a person will present the credit card to a store clerk. The clerk will take the credit card and a bill and put them in the top slots. At the same time the person will be told to put his hand on the platen over the phtocells. The lightor other source of radiation will thenautomatically go on (the entire apparatus will be normally off, however, when the card is placed in its slot the apparatus will be actuated by a suitable switch), and the light radiation will pass through the hand and will be received by the photocells. As aforementioned, it will be received in a particular pattern and intensity. By means of the circuitry previously explained, this will cause signals to be transmitted from the photocells to be compared with the coded indicia in the credit card. If the two are the same, then the person being tested is the true owner of the credit card. If he is the owner, the credit card will be printed against the bill. If he is not the true owner, signal means will be actuated to indicate this.

It is now apparent that the invention attains the purposes intended and effectively solves the problem of providing a mechanism which can quickly and easily determine the true owner of a credit card.

It will be appreciated that the apparatus has been described with reference to a credit card. However, it can be employed just as well with other cards such as an identification card. The persons hand woould be compared with the card to see whether he is the person stated on the card.

While I have described a specific embodiment of my invention, I wish it to be understood that I desire to protect all changes and modifications thereto which fall the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for determining the characteristics of a human body member and comparing it with an electrical signal obtained from an indicia bearing medium standard means adapted to receive the member whose characteristics are to be determined,

a source of radiation,

means mounted for irradiating the member with said radiation,

means for receiving radiation passing through the member as a result of said irradiation a plurality of photocell means arranged in a predetermined pattern for converting the received radiation to an output electrical signal, and

means for comparing the output signal to said standard signal.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein one side of the member is irradiated and the radiation that is received is from the opposite side of the member.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the radiation comprises radiation in the visible and infrared ranges.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the member comprises a human hand.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein means are provided which are actuated when the output signal corresponds to the standard as a result of said comparing means.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein means are provided to print said indicia of said indicia bearing medium when said output signal corresponds to the standard signal.

7. A method of determining the characteristics of a human body member comprising a steps of illuminating a surface of a member with a nondestructive source of radiation receiving the radiation passing through the opposite surface of the member as a result of the irradiation on a plurality of photocells arranged in a predetermined pattern to convert the received radiation to an output signal and comparing the output signal with a standard signal obtained from an indicia bearing medium.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the nondestructive source of radiation is a source of radiation which includes radiation in the infrared and visible ranges.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein the member is a human hand.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4032889 *May 21, 1976Jun 28, 1977International Business Machines CorporationPalm print identification
US5363453 *Mar 22, 1993Nov 8, 1994Tms Inc.Non-minutiae automatic fingerprint identification system and methods
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US6212290Nov 7, 1994Apr 3, 2001Tms, Inc.Non-minutiae automatic fingerprint identification system and methods
US6806483 *Jul 24, 2002Oct 19, 2004Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Photosensor system and image reading method
US20030020028 *Jul 24, 2002Jan 30, 2003Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Photosensor system and image reading method
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U.S. Classification250/221, 250/556, 356/71
International ClassificationA61B5/117, G07C9/00, A61B5/00, G06K9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06K2009/00932, G06K9/00, G07C9/00087, A61B5/117
European ClassificationA61B5/117, G07C9/00B6D4, G06K9/00, A61B5/00P