Browse Prior Art Database

Using Contact-Less Smart Card for Inventory Control and Theft Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117426D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Witzel, M: AUTHOR

Abstract

Today's inventory control systems typically use machine-readable tags of very limited storage capacity. Examples are bar codes, punched hole tags, or magnetic stripe tags. They can normally not be reused or even be updated and have to be discarded when the article has been sold or the information becomes outdated. The limited amount information which can be stored on such tags requires an additional database in the background. Reading the information can be quite unreliable and may require frequent retries.

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Using Contact-Less Smart Card for Inventory Control and Theft Control

      Today's inventory control systems typically use
machine-readable tags of very limited storage capacity.  Examples are
bar codes, punched hole tags, or magnetic stripe tags.  They can
normally not be reused or even be updated and have to be discarded
when the article has been sold or the information becomes outdated.
The limited amount information which can be stored on such tags
requires an additional database in the background.  Reading the
information can be quite unreliable and may require frequent retries.

      Theft control systems typically use contactless Radio-Frequency
(RF) schemes with separate tags and separate sensors installed at the
exits of a store.

      A contactless chip card, or a combination card which can be
used with or without contacts, would have several benefits if it was
attached to a merchandise:
  o  Storage capacity in the order of several kBytes permits to store
      inventory control data on the merchandise tags.  Data could
also
      include, but not be limited to, article information to print on
      the sales slip, and of course the price.
  o  Information can be updated whenever needed and the tags can be
      reused after the sale of an article.  Due to the protection
      mechanisms in a smart card, fraudulent changes are next to
      impossible.
  o  The information on the tags can be read with suitable reading
      stations at the checkouts.  Reliability and speed can be
expected
      to be much superior to barcode scanners.  The sales clerk does
      not have to find and position the tag on the merchandise in a
      special way.  The data transmission can use error-detection and
      suitable err...