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A method and System to Enable Real-Time Signature Over the Network

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033128D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

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The nature of businesses and the fast pace of life itself today requires individuals to travel extensively on a frequent basis. Several devices and mechanisms have been invented and are in use today, that allow people to collaborate from remote geographic locations. Inventions such as scanners, faxes, email, digital signature algorithms and the like enable individuals and businesses to function seamlessly across geographic locations. However, in order for businesses to take advantage of these facilities, they have to have varying degrees of 'digitization', i.e. they should be amenable to using one or more of these digital mechanisms as an acceptable means of authentication, authorization and non-repudiation. Even though there is such a plethora of digital collaboration mechanisms, none of these satisfactorily cater to businesses that still depend on authorization given in the traditional manner, such as signing on a physical paper document. Business such as real estate, mortgages and numerous government departments depend on this old age method of seeking and granting approval in this new age, and hence none of the above mechanisms satisfactorily cater to the needs of such enterprises. Presented is an apparatus for businesses that only accept physical signatures as valid forms of approval, to collaborate with customers and organizations that are geographically separated, without having to digitize their fundamental paper based systems of doing business.

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A method and System to Enable Real -Time Signature Over the Network

Even in today's highly digitized world, there are several businesses that still rely on traditional methods of doing business. For example, real estate shops still require original signatures on paper to complete a home buying deal. There are several such businesses in the world today, which, in spite of all the advances in technology, require traditionally recognized formal tokens of acceptance. There are several reasons that these businesses cannot easily switch to more modern means such as faxed signatures or emails, the most predominant reasons being legal.

In order to address the pains these businesses undergo in procuring signatures from customers and partners that are geographically separated, we present an apparatus that consists of a video streaming device, a robotics arm, and associated actuating software, and a display panel at the signee (the party obtaining the signature) end, and a digital signature pad a video streaming device and a display panel the signer (the party signing the document) end. In order to facilitate provision of a high degree of trust between both parties, a video streaming device such as a webcam would be used at either end. Thus, the signer would be able to see the document she is signing, and be able to navigate through the document as he completes the same to her satisfaction. The signee on the other hand, would be able to see the signer, thus verifying that it is indeed the authorized individual that is signing the document.

The image of the actual form or document would be captured by the webcam or an alternative video capture device at the signee end, and would be transmitted in a secure manner over the network to the signer. This would be displayed on the display panel at the signer end. The signer would be able to manipulate the form (move to various sections of the form) using a stylus. When he enters a response to a question, or selects an option on the form the associated software at the signer end would capture the response, and send it to the signee end. The software at the signee end would then actuate the robotic arm to mark appropriate responses on the actual physical form.

Even though the signee can visually see the signer, it is still possible for a malicious third party to alter the responses. Consider Alice to be the signer and Bob to be the signee, who are in the process of completing a legal document using the current inventi...