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Browse Prior Art Database

Smart Card Crystal Window

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021571D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jan-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A smart card with the ability to display its current blanace, so that the balance value can be immediately ascertained by the card user. The display does not require continual power consumption.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Smart Card Crystal Window

Smart cards are seen as key tools in the migration towards a cashless society. However, in order to facilitate their adaptation, they must not only offer advantages over using cash in transactions, but they must also not present any disadvantages over cash.

    One of the main advantages that cash has over smart cards, is that with one can instantly asses how much money one has. To asses how much money you have on a smart card, one must currently use a machine to read the card and display the balance. This can be inconvenient, because often these machines are the actual tills of the shop/retailer, meaning one must queue up with one's desired products before it is even known if one has available funds to purchase them - perhaps causing considerable embarrassment. For those situations where a separate machine is offered, away from the till queue, then these machines are often a point of contention and one must queue in order to check the balance, and then queue again at the till queue in order to purchase the products. Some people solve this problem by putting very large balances on their cards, but this is inconvenient and makes it all the more likely that they will be caught out when their balance gets low, as they might forget to check it.

    A known solution to this problem is to use portable smart card readers. The solution to this problem, would be a mechanism where one could simply look at the card, and asses the balance on it. This mechanism would have to have zero power consumption, and should not make the card any bigger or affect it's normal operations in any way.

    This could be implemented using a very small window on the card - perhaps 5mm by 5mm or smaller. This window would be made of a crystalline substance not unlike tha...