APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING SYMBOL- The symbol is then scanned, decoded to symbol data, and
ENCODED CREDIT CARD INFORMATION translated to image data which is used to generate a display
of the authorized card holder's signature. The displayed
This is a divisional of application Ser. No. 08/187.290 signature is-then compared with the signature executed by a
filed on Jan. 27. 1994. now pending. 5 person presenting the card for a credit purchase to verify that
the person presenting the card is the authorized card holder. REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Alternatively, the symbol may be encoded with biometric This application is related to the application of Ynjiun R. such as pen pressure, stroke velocity and direction, etc.. Wang, et al., application Ser. No. 07/461.881. filed Jan. 5. extracted during signature execution by the authorized card 1990. and entitled "Non-Volatile Electro-Optical Read-Only 10 holder- The11- at me of a CTedit purchase, the symbolMemory in High Density Dimensional Symbology". now encoded biometric data is compared with corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 5.304.786; to the application of Li. et al.. Ser. biometric data extracted during signature execution by the No. 08/123.955. filed Sep. 20.1993. and entitled "Apparatus card presenter to verify that the authorized card holder and for Processing Human-Readable and Machine-Readable ^ card presenter are the same person. Documents"; and Ynjiun P. Wang et al. application Ser. No. 15 Additional features and advantages of the present inven07/891.742. filed Jun. 1. 1992 and entitled "Record with tion will be set forth in the description which follows and in Encoded Data" . now U.S. Pat. No. 5337,361. The disclo- part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned sures of these related applications are incorporated herein by by practice of the invention. The objectives and other reference. advantages of the invention will be realized and obtained by
20 the apparatuses particularly pointed out in the detailed
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION description and appended claims, as well as in the accom
1. Field of the Invention panying drawings.
The present invention relates to (he use of machine- lt h t0 te understood that both the foregoing general
readable symbols with high information density and capac- 25 Ascription and the following detailed description are
ity for recording document information, and more particu- intended t0 Provide further explanation of the invention as
larly to the reproduction of such document information in a claimed.
unique form. The accompanying drawings are included to provide
2 Description of the Prior Art further understanding of the invention and are incorporated
_ , . , , , , „ , . in in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate several
Encoded symbols, such as the well-known UPC bar code ... , lU . r , , ...
. ... , embodiments of the invention and together with the speci
symbol, have gained wide use in many industries as a tool fi„„.. „„„, ,„ „„„,„• „ • • , „? •,,„„,,•„„
J . 6 , . ,J . fication serve to explain the principles of the invention,
to increase speed and accuracy of data capture in a vast
number of diverse applications, such as point-of-sale item BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
pricing, inventory control, article tracking, and so on.
The <raditional bar code symbols are quite limited. 35 u KG-1 is an illustration of an exemplary two-dimensional however, in the amount of encoded data or information they bar havlD« ^ m ^ Present lnventloncan contain. Thus, in many applications, the bar code FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating apparatus consymbol borne by an item is simply an address to a database slructed in accordance with another embodiment of the where information regarding the item is stored, such as a present invention.
plain language descriptor of the item, price, etc. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED
The above-cited, related U.S. Pat. No. 5304,786 discloses EMBODIMENTS
a two dimensional bar code symbol which has high infor- Introduction
mation density and capacity capabilities. This symbol. ^ varjous embodiments of the present invention are known as the PDF417 bar code symbol, can serve as a 45 predicated on the use of a high information density and portable data file containing all the information necessary to capacity bar code symbol, such as. for example, the twoidentify and describe the item to which it is applied. In fact. dimensional bar code symbol disclosed in the cited U.S. Pat. the PDF417 symbol has sufficient information density and No 5304.786. An example of this symbol, known as the capacity to represent as many as 500 characters per square PDF417 symbol, is illustrated at 8 in FIG. 1. According to inch of ASCH data. Thus, a relatively small number of 50 me present invention, symbols 8 are applied to documents PDF417 symbols, and in some cases a single PDF417 and encoded with various kinds of data representing docusymbol can be encoded with alphanumeric text filling a ment information. The document information, when letter-size document, as disclosed in the above-cited, related retrieved from the symbols, is translated to a desired format application Ser. No. 08/123.955. for presentation in a humanly intelligible form different from
cr Tx.ni* A Dv Ad Tuc Tvnrcvmnvr 55 the form contained by the document. It should be noted that
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION >u f . „„., ..
throughout this application, wherever a PDF417 symbol is
The present invention is directed to apparatuses and used, a single symbol may be replaced by multiple symbols
methods for processing machine-readable symbols applied when capacity requirements for a particular application
to a variety of human-readable documents and encoded with exceed that of a single symbol,
information pertaining to the documents. The document 60 Symbol-Encoded Signature Information
symbol is optically scanned and decoded to symbol data, and In the embodiment of the invention seen in FIG. 2. a
the symbol data is then translated into a humanly discernible symbol, such as a PDF417 bar two-dimensional code
form different from the information format appearing on the symbol, is encoded with signature information. This signa
document. ture information is encoded in the symbol in a suitable
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a 65 format such as a bit-mapped representation of a signature,
symbol is applied to a credit card and encoded with image The signature-encoded symbol 70 is printed on or otherwise
data representing the signature of the authorized card holder. affixed to a credit card 72 or other instrument or document.