|Publication number||EP0878781 A2|
|Publication date||18 Nov 1998|
|Filing date||13 May 1998|
|Priority date||13 May 1997|
|Also published as||EP0878781A3|
|Publication number||1998830286, 98830286, 98830286.5, EP 0878781 A2, EP 0878781A2, EP-A2-0878781, EP0878781 A2, EP0878781A2, EP19980830286, EP98830286|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (2), Classifications (9), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: Espacenet, EP Register|
The present invention relates to a device for detecting forged banknotes.
The device in question is intended to be used in all those places (such as, for example, banks, shops, ticket selling outlets, etc.) where a considerable number of banknotes, in particular of large denomination, are received and/or exchanged and must be checked for their validity in a rapid and reliable manner.
At present, in accordance with the known art, the devices used to detect forged banknotes are of little practical use and/or limited reliability.
Three of the main known types of devices for detecting forged banknotes will be considered below.
A first type of device involves the use of an ultraviolet ray emitting lamp (Wood's lamp), underneath the light of which the banknotes to be examined are placed.
Visually speaking, the banknotes react differently depending on whether they are genuine or counterfeit.
Basically, genuine banknotes, which are made using a particular type of paper (paper money), are opaque in the presence of ultraviolet light, whereas forged banknotes, which are made with imitation paper, react to the ultraviolet light by becoming luminescent. In this way it is particularly easy to identify forged banknotes.
The main problem of this method lies in the fact that hitherto forged banknotes are produced on a type of paper which has chemical and physical properties identical to those of legal paper. Therefore, most of the forged banknotes nowadays, when exposed to ultraviolet light, react in exactly the same way as genuine banknotes.
In order to overcome this problem, it has been proposed to include, on the paper money, paint marks which are able to become luminescent when exposed to ultraviolet light. This measure now no longer represents a reliable system for distinguishing the forged banknotes which are in circulation since these marks have already been easily reproduced by forgers on counterfeit banknotes as well.
A second known type of device involves the use of a money-counting machine which is sensitive to the presence of magnetic ink in some zones of the banknotes.
Operationally speaking, the banknotes are generally introduced in wads into a special slit in the money-counting machine which is then activated. If, during the counting operation, the money-counting machine does not detect the presence of the magnetic ink on a banknote, it stops at that banknote, thus allowing it to be identified. This system, although valid in theory in view of the difficulty for forgers to reproduce forged banknotes with magnetic ink, in pratice has several drawbacks.
First of all, it is extremely unreliable since it often happens that genuine banknotes, with time, partly lose their magnetization (for example owing to wear or if they are inadvertently washed). As a result, it may easily occur that somewhat older banknotes are no longer able to pass through the money-counting machine.
Sometimes, however, the opposite may also occur, namely that money which is not legal tender and does not possess magnetic ink passes through the money-counting machine n normal fashion (probably because it has undergone some sort of magnetization).
A second problem of no lesser importance consists in the cost of this type of device. A money-counting machine is usually too expensive for most users who otherwise would be interested in making use of it (shops, ticket selling outlets, petrol stations, etc.).
A further problem consists in the limited practical nature of the money-counting machine. It is in fact advantageous from an operational point of view only when a large number of banknotes (a wad) must be checked, while it is of limited practical use when checks must be carried out frequently on a small number of banknotes.
For example, a ticket selling outlet must be able to check immediately whether the banknote accepted is counterfeit or not and therefore, passing a single banknote through the money-counting machine, would be a slow and inconvenient procedure. On the other hand, passing a wad of banknotes through the money-counting machine, having accepting them all, would obviously be of no use.
Finally it must be remembered that it may sometimes be inopportune to examine in too evident a manner the banknotes accepted from customers. It would be better to be able to carry out this operation quickly and without the customer noticing.
A third known type of device for detecting forged banknotes makes use of a pen supplied with an ink capable of reacting differently on forged banknotes compared to genuine banknotes. This pen, infact, leaves an obvious dark mark on forged banknotes, which remains invisible, however, on genuine banknotes.
This system, which is apparently practical and simple, has major practical limitations since the ink used most of time reacts in an inadequate manner on the forged banknotes so that it becomes extremely difficult to interpret whether the banknote in question is forged or counterfeit.
The main object of the present invention is therefore that of overcoming the drawbacks of the systems of the known type by providing a device for detecting forged banknotes which is able to check the validity of the banknote in an immediate and very reliable manner. A further object of the present invention is that of providing a constructionally simple and operationally very reliable device which has a relatively low cost and which allows checking of the banknotes to be performed without third parties realising that the checking operation is being carried out.
These and other objects are all achieved by the device in question which comprises essentially a sensor sensitive to infrared rays, an infrared light filter which is operationally arranged between the banknotes to be examined and the sensor, and a display suitable for transmitting the signals received from the sensor.
In accordance with a further characteristic feature of the invention the device also comprises an emitter which is able to project onto the banknotes infrared rays such that the sensor is able to receive, via the filter, the reflected image formed by infrared rays alone.
The technical features of the invention, in accordance with the aforementioned objects, may be clearly understood from the contents of the claims indicated below and the advantages thereof will emerge more fully in the detailed description which follows, with reference to the accompanying drawings which show some embodiments thereof purely by way of a non-limiting example, in which:
In accordance with the figures of the accompanying drawings, 1 denotes in its entirety the detection device according to the present invention.
It comprises essentially a telecamera 2 capable of reading the electromagnetic waves within the infrared spectrum, an infrared light filter 3 (able to let through only waves in the infrared range) operationally arranged between a banknote 4 to be examined and the telecamera 2, and a viewer 5 which is able to display visually the signals coming from the telecamera 2.
Advantageously, if in the location used for checking the banknotes, there is not an adequate quantity of infrared radiation, it is envisaged using an emitter 6 capable of projecting onto the banknote 4 infrared rays such that the telecamera 2 is able to receive via the filter 3 the image of the banknote 4 generated by the reflected infrared rays.
Fig. 3 shows a functional diagram of the main components mentioned above.
The device in question is based on a particular characteristic used to produce most of the legal banknotes which are nowadays in circulation.
In fact, banknotes are printed, using in some areas thereof, inks which reflect electromagnetic radiation depending on its wavelength.
Thus, these inks are visible in a genuine banknote 4a when illuminated by visible light (see Figure 1a), while they are invisible (white) when subjected to infrared light (see Figure 1b).
In a counterfeit banknote 4b this difference does not exist since the inks have the same chemical composition over the entire surface of the banknote 4b (see Figs. 2a and 2b). Therefore, the print on the banknote 4b is uniformly visible independently of the light source used.
In accordance with the drawing of Fig. 3, the emitter 6 projects an infrared light which is reflected by the banknote 4 and detected by the telecamera 2 which is sensitive only to that type of light owing to the presence of the filter 3. The image of the banknote 4 displayed on the viewer 5 allows the counterfeit banknotes 4b to be identified immediately and without error. More precisely, the genuine banknotes 4a appear on the viewer 5 with white areas 10 where the aforementioned special type of ink is used.
Figures 4 to 11 show some functional solutions of the device in question, designed to allow examination of the banknotes in different operating conditions.
The solutions characterized by the same inventive ideal each have different functional characteristics.
A first constructional solution, shown schematically in Figures 4a and 4b, is particularly suitable for use at counters, cash-tills or wherever money must be exchanged with the public, using tables provided with a worktop 11.
This solution involves the use of a substantially box-shaped housing provided with an upper receiving surface 8, onto which the banknote 4 to be examined is placed and which is located in a position frontally opposite the telecamera 2. The latter is inserted, together with the emitter 6, inside the housing 7 above a support base 9.
Advantageously the housing 7 can be inset in the worktop 11 so that the receiving surface 8 of the housing 7 is flush with the worktop 11 (see Fig. 4a). In this embodiment the viewer 5 is arranged in a position designed such that it can be easily read by an operator seated at the worktop 11. Alternatively (see Fig. 4b) the viewer 5 may be mounted on an inclined surface of the housing 7 (no longer inset in the worktop 11) directed towards the operator.
Functionally speaking, the operator is able to check the banknotes received by simply placing them on the receiving surface 8 of the device 1 and checking for their authenticity on the viewer 5. As already mentioned, the identification of forged banknotes 4b is immediate since these do not have the aforementioned whites area 10. The filter may be arranged equally well so as to cover the housing 7 or be placed directly on the lens of the telecamera 2.
In a second constructional embodiment (see Fig. 5), which is protected by the present patent, the viewer 5 is mounted on a visible side 12 of the housing 7 and the telecamera 2 is oriented in a direction substantially opposite the viewer 5. The housing 7 can be easily handled owing to the presence of a gripping area 13 designed to allow firm gripping thereof without interfering with the field of reception of the telecamera 2 or obscuring the viewer 5. The latter in particular may advantageously have very small dimensions (e.g. may consist of a liquid crystal display), whereby the information to be read can be easily understood.
The latter design is particularly suited for mobile use of the device 1 in question.
According to a third constructional solution (see Fig. 6), the telecamera 2 may be mounted on a visible and infrared ray emitting lamp 14 directed towards a worktop 11 on which the banknotes to be examined are arranged.
The viewer 5 arranged in a position for easy reading allows any table to be equipped for the detection of forged banknotes 4b. In particular, owing to this latter solution, an expert operator is able to check entire wads of banknotes by simply looking at the viewer 5 and at the same time passing or flicking through the banknotes underneath the lamp 14.
Advantageously, by incorporating some constructional features present in the two examples of embodiment according to Figures 4b and 6, it is possible to obtain the devices illustrated in Figures 7 and 8.
In accordance with these embodiments, the telecamera 2 is arranged at the end of a flexible support arm 20 mounted on an upper surface 21 of the housing 7. In this way the telecamera 2 can be oriented freely by the operator into the most convenient operating position. In particular it is contained inside a box-shaped body 22 together with a plurality of infrared light emitters 6. In the example illustrated in Fig. 9, emitters 6 have been incorporated so as to achieve optimum distribution of the infrared light. Closing of the box-shaped body 22 is achieved by means of the filter 3 shaped so as to act also as closing cover for the box-shaped body 22.
The housing 7 is provided (in a manner similar to the example of Fig. 4b) with a viewer 5 arranged on an inclined surface which can be oriented towards the operator and has a very small dimensional volume.
This constructional solution is of practical use for counters, cash-tills and wherever money must be exchanged with the public.
For example, at a counter where money is received, the housing 7 may be advantageously arranged on the worktop, next to the operator (with the viewer 5 directed towards the operator him/herself) and the telecamera may be arranged, owing to the flexible arm 20, above the area where the operator receives or handles the money.
In order to facilitate transportation of the device, further reducing the dimensional volume, it is possible to mount a support arm 23 on a rear side 24 of the device, opposite to the side where the viewer 5 is mounted (see Fig. 8). The support arm 23 is movable between an operating position 25, where it supports the housing 7, directing the viewer 5 towards the operator, and a transportation condition, where it is arranged alongside in contact with the rear side 24.
As can be seen in Fig. 10, if the telecamera 2, the emitters 6a and the filter 3 are inserted in an inset area inside the rear side 24 of the device, it is possible to obtain a banknote detection device which has extremely small dimensions. If a filter 3 is used as the part for closing the area where the telecamera 2 is inserted, a continuous and flat surface may be provided on the rear side 24. Checking as to the validity of the banknotes is performed by passing them underneath the rear side 24 of the device between the support arm 23 and the point where the box-shaped housing 7 rests on the worktop.
Finally, according to a last example of embodiment illustrated in Fig. 11, the telecamera 2 and the infrared light emitters are inserted inside a viewer 5 (in particular a monitor of the commercial type) in a seating formed in one of its side surfaces. In this case also closing of the seating is performed by means of closing cover consisting of the filter 3. Checking of the banknote can be easily performed by passing the banknote along the side of the viewer 5 opposite the telecamera 2.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|EP0606654A2 *||30 Dec 1993||20 Jul 1994||Canon Kabushiki Kaisha||Image reading device|
|GB2273353A *||Title not available|
|US5304813 *||6 Oct 1992||19 Apr 1994||Landis & Gyr Betriebs Ag||Apparatus for the optical recognition of documents|
|US5483604 *||4 Oct 1994||9 Jan 1996||Thermoteknix Systems Ltd.||Monitoring changes in image characteristics|
|WO1995019019A2 *||4 Jan 1995||13 Jul 1995||Mars, Incorporated||Detection of counterfeits objects, for instance counterfeits banknotes|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|CN100573601C||22 Aug 2005||23 Dec 2009||香港理工大学||Fake member detecting instrument|
|US8152073||30 Apr 2009||10 Apr 2012||Polyonics, Inc.||Method and apparatus for the detection of counterfeiting|
|International Classification||G07D7/12, G07D7/00, G07D7/20|
|Cooperative Classification||G07D7/128, G07D7/12, G07D7/20|
|European Classification||G07D7/12, G07D7/20, G07D7/12V|
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