(54) METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTRONICALLY STORING AND RETRIEVING VALUE INFORMATION ON A PORTABLE CARD
(75) Inventor: Alberto Fernandez, Miami, FL (US)
(73) Assignee: XTec, Incorporated, Miami, FL (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
(21) Appl. No.: 08/963,181
(22) Filed: Nov. 3, 1997
(51) Int. C I. G06F 17/60
(52) U.S. C I 705 14
(58) Field of Search 705/14, 16, 17,
705/21, 41, 44, 25, 57, 65, 51; 235/380, 381, 379; 380/24, 4; 713/187, 193; 711/163
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,614,861 * 9/1986 Pavlov et al 235/380
4,727,243 * 2/1988 Savar 705/17
4,783,823 * 11/1988 Tasaki et al. .
5,204,663 * 4/1993 Lee 340/825.34
5,340,970 * 8/1994 Wolfe, Jr. et al. .
5,434,395 * 7/1995 Storck et al 235/380
5,521,966 * 5/1996 Friedes et al 371/91.02
5,590,038 * 12/1996 Pitroda 705/41
5,637,845 * 6/1997 Kolls 235/381
5,644,636 * 7/1997 Fernandez 380/4
A value storage system in which information representing value is directly written to an easily portable storage medium as a reference fingerprint. The value storage system includes a plurality of read/write units for storing and retrieving the value information. Each of the read/write units may include a data authenticator for authenticating information previously stored on the storage medium, the authentication information consisting of a numerical representation of a level of trapped charges representing the reference fingerprint. The read/write units may be connected to a central server which retrieves information from each of the read write units, stores information, and provides various accounting and statistical analyses, as well as reconciling transactions between two or more read/write units. The value stored may represent units of value employed in a customer loyalty program which are stored on the portable media during a sales transaction and then later redeemed for purchase of or discounts on merchandise, a gaming player's points or winnings, or any of a host of types of value related information which may be carried on a portable card.
22 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets