ABSTRACT:         MEANS AND APPARATUS FOR COLLEGIAL IDENTIFICATION OF PERSONS SUCH AS OFFICIALS ASKING FOR IDENTIFICATION

A wearable or carryable means and apparatus for the collegial identification of officials is disclosed. Identificational reciprocity is built into the apparatus of the invention so that identification is not inadvertently shown to criminals who might have stolen a security guard's uniform or the like, or, in the event that such criminals may have also stolen a security guard's identification, there is also provided means of biometric informational acquisition so that such criminals have a better chance of getting caught. The invention provides an incidentalist identificational procedure, so that legitimate officials are not offended by a person using the invention who would otherwise be perceived as disrespectful by demanding identification from an official.

Patent Application

of

W. Steve G. Mann

for

MEANS AND APPARATUS FOR COLLEGIAL IDENTIFICATION OF PERSONS SUCH AS OFFICIALS ASKING FOR IDENTIFICATION

of which the following is a specification:

--

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains generally to a wearable or carryable apparatus that provides the user with a means of ensuring that strangers, especially criminals with a stolen security guard's uniform, or criminals in positions of authority, do not obtain information such as ID numbers, credit card numbers, or the like, from the user of the invention without also identifying themselves, or undergoing some degree of risk of getting caught if using fake or stolen identification.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Children are often advised by their parents: ``Don't talk to strangers!''. However, many times individuals may be stopped on the street and asked for identification by a person who is, for all practical purposes, a stranger. For example, there is always the possibility that the trusted uniformed SS man on the street who demands ``Your papers please!'' may in fact be a criminal, perhaps wearing a stolen uniform and carrying fake or stolen badges and identification.

In today's society which is teeming with dangerous criminals, buildings often have sophisticated access control to make sure that everyone entering the establishment is properly processed, but those wearing uniforms, such as the officials operating these establishments, have somehow escaped a means of being similarly identified.

Moreover, building owners have developed means and apparatus for containment, confinement, and other forms of processing they wish to apply to individuals passing through their establishments.

U.S. Pat. No. 4341165 describes a revolving door which allows the building owner to entrap and detain persons it might wish to detain. U.S. Pat. No. 4586441 describes a similar invention that also analyzes the individual so entrapped. U.S. Pat. No. 4461221 describes a system for detaining robbers on premises. U.S. Pat. No. 4341165 also describes a similar system. U.S. Pat. No. 5311166 describes a system for directing water and chemical weapons on undesirable persons entering a premises. U.S. Pat. No. 5528220 describes a device that automatically sprays chemical weapons on individuals entering an area where the owners of the establishment would prefer that individuals not enter.

Other forms of access control, such as card readers, etc., are well known aspects of the prior art. The field of biometrics is also well established, through a number of scholarly conferences aimed at producing a utopian future in which certain select individuals can know the whereabouts of most other individuals at all times.

In addition to access control, there are also perimeter security devices such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5182764 to scan individuals for weapons, and other forms of devices that allow officials or security guards to see through clothing to inspect individuals. Some systems allow officials to secretly search individuals without their knowledge or consent, and without any kind of due process.

U.S. Pat. No. 4796311 describes an intake facility whereby individuals may be required to undress completely, while being viewed by facility owners or the like, who can also monitor and control a decontamination process. U.S. Pat. No. 4858256 and U.S. Pat. No. 5551102 describe similar ``decon'' systems, whereby an individual may be prevented from passing from one section to another unless the individual complies with orders or requirements of those in control.

Historically, showers with airtight+watertight locking doors that cannot be opened by the occupants have been used to subject the occupants to various chemical substances. Such practices and procedures are well known in the prior art.

Moreover, the general concept of ensuring that individuals have their papers in order, is also a well known aspect of the prior art.

Physical protection of the body through armour is a centuries-old aspect of the prior-art, dating back to the days when five to seven layers of rhinoceros skin were used to protect the body during battle. Such physical protection of the body has not kept pace with new developments in protection of property. Protection of property has evolved from medieval fortresses toward bank towers with glass doors protected by card readers and retinal scanners. The protection of the body has not kept pace with the move from physical stone fortresses to informational protection of buildings.

Little has been done to address the protection of individual Humanistic Property in a world so obsessed with the protection of Intellectual Property at the expense of Humanistic Property. In keeping buildings secure from ``theft'', a new kind of theft has emerged as a side-effect of the security systems themselves. This theft of Humanistic Property is addressed in a short article on the Theory of Darkness, published April 1, 1995, on the World Wide Web.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of examples which in no way are meant to limit the scope of the invention, but, rather, these examples will serve to illustrate the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a wallet in which an individual may carry his or her identification, such that his or her papers are in order, within the wallet, yet designed so that he or she cannot open it himself/herself without the kind help of an official such as an SS man with proper identification.

FIG. 2 illustrates an alternative of the safety wallet which requires a valid fingerprint scan of a finger other than the owner's in order for it to open up and reveal the owner's papers in order.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the safety wallet with a drug tester, such that drug users do not have access to the owner's papers.

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the safety wallet which has a DNA sampler and only opens when a DNA sample is inserted, at which time of opening it also automatically takes a picture or begins recording video documentary for posterity of the beautiful state of affairs that happens when an official sees that one has his or her papers in order.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the invention built into a wristwatch which similarly captures video and is also equipped with a fingerprint scanner.

FIG. 6 shows another wearable embodiment of the invention, where special eyeglasses assist the wearer in avoiding the temptation to talk to strangers who have not yet slid a government issued ID card through the slot on the wearer's head.

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of the invention comprising a palm reader which is unlocked by the sound of a fire alarm.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the invention shall now be described with reference to the preferred embodiments shown in the drawings, it should be understood that the description is not to limit the invention only to the particular embodiments shown but rather to cover all alterations, modifications and equivalent arrangements possible within the scope of the appended claims.

In all aspects of the present invention, references to ``camera'' mean any device or collection of devices capable of simultaneously determining a quantity of light arriving from a plurality of directions and or at a plurality of locations, or determining some other attribute of light arriving from a plurality of directions and or at a plurality of locations. Similarly references to ``identifier'' shall include devices such as face recognizer camera vision systems, fingerprint scanners, and the like, as well as devices that capture a sample of data for later identification, such as devices that collect a DNA sample.

References to ``processor'', or ``computer'' shall include sequential instruction, parallel instruction, and special purpose architectures such as digital signal processing hardware, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), programmable logic devices, as well as analog signal processing devices.

When it is said that object ``A'' is ``borne'' by object ``B'', this shall include the possibilities that A is attached to B, that A is bonded onto the surface of B, that A is imbedded inside B, that A is part of B, that A is built into B, or that A is B. An example of ``A is B'' might be a camera-bearing pair of eyeglasses, in which the eyeglasses themselves are a camera, in the sense that there is a CCD sensor array somewhere in the eyeglasses, a lens somewhere in the eyeglasses, and a cavity between the two that is part of the eyeglasses, and has no clearly separable portion that could be regarded as a separate entity.


FIG. 1 is a diagram depicting a safety wallet used to keep passports, identification, or other papers in order, as might be required by organizations that like to screen for or keep out undesirables. An antenna 100 keeps the wallet on the Internet or the like, and a hinge 110 allows it to open up but only after an identification of the person wishing to see the user's papers has occurred over the radio link provided by antenna 100. A tether (chain, cable, or the like) 120 keeps the wallet attached to the user's body. Preferably tether 120 is such that it can be threaded around the user's waist and then fed into the open wallet, such that access to the end is needed to detach the tether from the user, and access to the end requires opening the wallet. Alternatively, a special strap around the waist or ankle may be held in place by a cable similar to those used to lockdown computers, which then is inserted into the wallet prior to closing it.

Alternatively, the tether may be wireless, such that a person stealing the wallet will be subdued or marked with chemical means, such as that manufactured under the trade name Dye Witness (TM). A thief taking the wallet beyond reach of a corresponding wearable radio transmitter will simply cause the device to switch into a protective mode of spraying with chemicals. Similarly, attempts to force open or bypass the lock on the wallet will result in similar discharge of chemical disincentives.

To open the wallet, an official must slide a government issued ID card through slot 130 in card reader 140, as indicated by signage 150 upon wallet housing 160. If the ID card is valid, and is found by way of antenna 100 to not have been reported as stolen, then the locking mechanism of wallet housing 160 is released so that the official can see that the wallet owner's papers are in order.


FIG. 2 depicts a version of the wallet embodiment of the invention that uses a fingerprint scanner instead of a card reader. The instructions simply direct the official wishing to see the owner's papers to press on a certain portion of the wallet to open it. This portion of the wallet is really a miniature fingerprint scanner similar to those used in the BioMouse (TM) computer fingerprint scanner.

The wallet checks to make sure the scanned fingerprint is a valid fingerprint and is not that of the owner, prior to releasing the mechanism that allows the wallet to open.


FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of the wallet that cannot be opened by drug users such as drug-using criminals wearing SS uniforms. In order to open the wallet, it is necessary that someone other than a member of the urIDent (TM) wallet owner's collective urinate into the urine tester 300. Urine tester 300 verifies the drug-free aspect of the individual asking to see the owner's papers. In this case wallet housing 160 may be opened after cleaning off excess urine. Wallet housing 160 is equipped with a seal, to keep the papers inside from getting soaked in urine.


FIG. 4 depicts a safety wallet with DNA sampler. Officials carrying stolen identification would no doubt be terrified of this wallet, because of DNA sampler 400. However, law-abiding non-corrupt officials have nothing to fear, and simply insert a DNA sample, causing wallet housing 160 to be unlocked so they can open it. Much to their pleasant surprise, they will get photographed with camera 410 when the wallet opens. Flashlamp 420 makes certain the precious moment is captured in the best colour rendition possible. Camera 410 transmits images over antenna 100 to a plurality of remote locations in various countries around the world, so that a dishonest official will have a hard time destroying all of these images, and therefore runs a higher risk of getting caught.

Honest officials will no doubt enjoy being photographed. It is most certainly only the dishonest or corrupt officials who fear accountability. Thus it may suffice to have only the flashlamp 420 without the camera, so as to scare away criminals. In fact in many of these embodiments, a large number of fake units that look like the real ones, with only a few real units, would suffice to frighten corrupt officials, forcing them to remain on their best behaviour at all times since they never know whether or not they are being remotely monitored or the like.

FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of the invention built into a wristwatch 500. Camera 510 may be aimed by the wearer who is looking at screen 520, such that camera 510 can be used to take a high quality picture or video of an official standing behind a counter or the like. Wristwatch 500 may be aimed by setting the wrist upon a counter in a natural fashion, so that a picture of an official may be taken without the knowledge of the official.

In present embodiments of the invention, a cable 560 is connected to a wearable computer 570. Wearable computer 570 comprises battery pack 572, computer cpu 574, and communications system 576 which transmits pictures by way of antenna 578. Preferably images are transmitted by FTP (file transfer protocol) to special incoming-only accounts so that the user of the wristwatch cannot delete them (and therefore cannot be forced against his or her will to delete the pictures).

In future embodiments of the invention, all components may be built directly inside wristwatch 500 rather than using a separate wearable computer.

Wristwatch 500 contains a second camera 550 which will take a picture of an official who asks to see the wearer's wristwatch. The wristwatch is also equipped with a fingerprint scanner 200 which the wearer can ask an official to press in order to view his or her online electronic identification. In this way the user can scan his or her papers, and have them very much in order on a WWW page which may be viewed by honest officials when they press scanner 200 in screen 520.


FIG. 6 shows a headworn embodiment of the invention. A wearable magnetic stripe reader 610 is quite similar to the card reader 140. It allows officials to identify themselves to the wearer of the apparatus, as well as to others on the internet. Data communications antenna 620 facilitates a reliable low speed bidirectional data connection, while transmitting antenna 600 facilitates a faster (although less reliable) connection, which is completed by receive antenna 630. When the official identifies himself by way of card reader 610, the visual filter operating either in a body worn computer, or on a remote supercomputer is adjusted so that the wearer can see the official. Otherwise the official is filtered out of view. The wearer's only perception of the world is upon a virtual reality headset 650 which is completely immersive, such that the wearer cannot see anything unless the computer feeds this visual signal to the wearer. Thus camera 640, which feeds into the computer, the output of which feeds into virtual reality headset 650, provides a visual filter. This visual filter provides the wearer with eye protection. In this way strangers can be filtered out of the wearer's field of view.

Similarly sound blocking earmuffs 660, with transducers inside, provide ear protection. The wearer hears through the computer, which in turn accepts input from microphones mounted on the headgear.

Preferably the apparatus also includes loudspeakers that announce various options to officials who might encounter the wearer of the apparatus. Some options such as those described in PleaseWait include:

These options correspond to selections that the official can make by pressing keys on face-mounted keypad 670.

Option 3, in particular, arises because the visual filter comprised of camera 640, virtual reality headset 650, and computational processing inserted therebetween, filters out advertising. This puts an end to real-world spam (the theft of visual attention).

The term ``theft'' is used because a service (visual attention and the use of the individual's own personal thought and visual awareness space) has in the past been obtained without payment. With the apparatus of the invention, however, such theft is prevented. This is not to suggest that advertisements will no longer be seen, but, rather, just that they will be seen when the wearer wishes, or when payment is received.

In the event that the official is deaf, instructions are also printed on a sign 680 attached to the wearer. Preferably the sign is attached to the bottom of keypad 670 so that it is approximately close to eye level for easy reading by the official.

An important aspect of the invention is to recognize that officials' time is very important, unlike the time of the wearer, which is relatively worthless. Accordingly, in recognition of the very high value of an official's time, and of the very low value of the wearer's time, a message from the loudspeaker is triggered by a machine vision algorithm running on camera 640. The message says ``Your organization's time is very important to me, so PLEASE WAIT for my next available moment!''.


FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of the invention comprising a palm reader that captures and holds an official's palm 700 in place. Registration pins 710 guide the official's palm into the apparatus. Restraining devices 720 lock the official's hand into the device so that the official cannot withdraw or move the hand until the scanning process is complete. This is analogous to the ``airlock'' style entrance into many banks in which the customer is held captive until some process or decision is completed (or at least until a first door is closed).

Normally fire regulations would prohibit confinement of an individual in a building. However, establishments typically provide provisions for such confinement, by having systems that unlock after a certain time delay when a fire alarm is sounded. Sometimes the systems sound the fire alarm and then unlock it 30 seconds later. One typically sees signs with words like ``EMERGENCY EXIT UNLOCKED BY FIRE ALARM''.

Accordingly, the invention is similarly equipped to free the official in response to a fire alarm. Processor 730 controls the restraining devices 720. Processor 730 is also responsive to fire alarm sensor 740 which either detects the fire alarm audibly, or by a secure wireless communications network connected to processor 730.

The official can also request to be freed of this grip by pressing a special button on the apparatus, similar to the pushbutton on the side of an exit door that one needs to push to make a request to be released from a building. In some cases an intercom can be used for this purpose.

Ordinarily an intercom would not be necessary, but for the fact that the wearer of the palm reading apparatus might also be wearing a headset that blocks out sounds of strangers, and if the official has not yet had his or her palm scan completed he or she is still a stranger and therefore must talk to the wearer of the apparatus through the wearer's personal intercom.

Communication through the intercom also ensures that all conversations can be recorded for quality control and training purposes.

BENEFITS OF THE INVENTION

The apparatus of this invention allows the wearer to enjoy the benefits that normally only go to building owners. Benefits include safety, security, and the ability to not interact with undesirables.

Moreover, just as buildings often have video surveillance systems and biometrics, the user of the apparatus also has a similar personal safety device, that keeps a record of interactions between the user and his/her environment.

In many ways, the apparatus may be thought of as a building built for one occupant. The apparatus may be of particular benefit to the homeless, who have no place to call their own, and who are often stopped and asked for identification by people who do not show them identification.

From the foregoing description, it will thus be evident that the present invention provides a design for a personal safety and security system. As various changes can be made in the above embodiments and operating methods without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings should be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Variations or modifications to the design and construction of this invention, within the scope of the invention, may occur to those skilled in the art upon reviewing the disclosure herein. Such variations or modifications, if within the spirit of this invention, are intended to be encompassed within the scope of any claims to patent protection issuing upon this invention.

WHAT I CLAIM AS MY INVENTION IS:

1.
A personal safety system comprising  said lock responsive to an output of said identifier.

2.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 1  where said personal space is a container for personal effects.

3.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 2  where said container is tethered to said owner.

4.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 3 where said tether is a wireless chemical tether.

5.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 2 where said container is a container for carrying at least one identification card.

6.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 1  where said system further includes a computer or processor.

7.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 1 where said system further includes a card reader to read the identity of an individual asking the owner of said system for identification.

8.
A personal safety system comprising

9.
A personal safety system comprising  

10.
A personal safety system comprising

11.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 1  where said personal safety system is wearable.

12.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 11  where said personal space is an immersive visual space.

13.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 12 where said personal safety system further includes chemical protection means for the prevention of the bypass of said lock by an attacker.

14.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 12 further including wireless communications capability with one or more remote sites.

15.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 12 where said lock is a visual filter preventing a wearer of said personal safety system from seeing certain things until said lock is unlocked.

16.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 1  where said owner is a first person, and where said personal space is such that a second person can insert a body part into said personal space, but not remove said body part until said personal space is unlocked.

17.
A personal safety system as described in Claim 16 where said body part is a hand, and where said identifier is a palm reader.

18.
A personal safety device comprising  said processor responsive to an output of said identifier, and said restrainer responsive to an output of said processor.

19.
A personal safety device as described in Claim 18,  where said body part is a hand, and said identifier is a palm reader.

20.
A personal safety device as described in Claim 19 further including means for conditional release of said hand, said conditional release based on information determined from said palm reader in conjunction with a database associated with said processor.

21.
A personal safety device as described in Claim 19 further including means for conditional release of said hand, said conditional release based on information determined from said palm reader in conjunction with a database associated with said processor, such that if the identity of said person is found to be on a list of suspect officials, that said person's had remains restrained in said palm reader even after said palm reader has finished performing its scanning operation.

22.
A personal safety system comprising  where said visual display is responsive to an output of said processor or computer, and said processor or computer is responsive to an output of said camera.

23.
A personal safety system comprising where said computer is responsive to an output of said wearable fingerprint scanner.

24.
A personal safety system comprising said wireless receiver responsive to said wearable transmitter, said processor responsive to said wireless receiver, and said deterrent responsive to said processor, said deterrent activated when said container is removed from the vicinity of said transmitter.



Steve Mann
April 1, 1999