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Noncontact Scanner for Sequential Readout Color Coded Tags

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000081822D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dickerson, JA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Fig. 1 illustrates, in schematic form, an improved scanner which utilizes a novel, sequential-readout, color-coded, heat-sensitive identification tag 1. Each tag 1 has a plurality of different color phosphor dots 2 which fluoresce or phosphoresce with characteristically different colors when exposed to ultraviolet light. The light is from an ultraviolet light source 3, which typically operates at 3660 Angstroms. The color emission only occurs in the presence of a source of heat 4. The purpose of the source of heat 4 is to melt various critical temperature coatings, which are normally opaque and placed over the various color dots.

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Noncontact Scanner for Sequential Readout Color Coded Tags

Fig. 1 illustrates, in schematic form, an improved scanner which utilizes a novel, sequential-readout, color-coded, heat-sensitive identification tag 1. Each tag 1 has a plurality of different color phosphor dots 2 which fluoresce or phosphoresce with characteristically different colors when exposed to ultraviolet light. The light is from an ultraviolet light source 3, which typically operates at 3660 Angstroms. The color emission only occurs in the presence of a source of heat 4. The purpose of the source of heat 4 is to melt various critical temperature coatings, which are normally opaque and placed over the various color dots. As heat builds up over each color dot, its critical-temperature coating fuses, becomes transparent, and exposes the underlying phosphor dot 2 to the source of ultraviolet light 3 so that a characteristic wavelength lambda, as shown, is emitted by the tag to a tunable optical filter. Each individual tag 1 has a plurality of color dots and a plurality of different-temperature, critical melt-point coatings in combination so that, as heat from source 4 builds up, individual color dots will be exposed sequentially in time. The color dots are arbitrarily associated with given numerals according to any arbitrary designation, and a serial numeric readout in time will be provided.

Fig. 2 illustrates in tabular form, an arbitrary numeric designation in association with ten different colors and ten arbitrarily-chosen melt-point temperature ratings for the various coatings to be applied to specific phosphor dots. A ten-digit capability with ten position sequential readout capability is produced. X's in the various boxes in the matrix of Fig. 2 are for an arbitrary coding of 5139.50, as indicated on tag 1 of Fig. 1. Two additional colors would be added to the list for a decimal point and for a "repeat" function if an immediately following number is the same as the one just scanned. In this way possible confusion, as to which number is to be read, can be avoided simply by scanning a "repeat number" color. These two colors also may be arbitrarily selected, and may be chosen at specific wavelengths for unambiguous readings. No particular color or wavelength has been assigned for the decimal or for the "repeat number" signal color.

When an individual tag bearing a plurality of color dots 2, with each dot having a specifically chosen melt-point coating, is subjected simultaneously to the source of heat 4 and ultraviolet light 3, the coatings will melt sequentially as the temperature builds up and will expose, due to their change from opaque to transparent, the phosphor dots 2 underneath the coatings. The changes will occur sequentially in time and the various emitted wavelengths may be received, as in Fig. 1, by a tunable optical filter 5. Resolution of a typical tunable optical filter, or its ability to separate different optical wavelengths, is excellent and, at...