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Title:
IDENTIFIER ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/100114
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In one aspect there is disclosed an identifier assembly (10) including an electronic device (12) having electronic communication componentry. The identifier assembly includes a shield (14) and a connector formation (16). The shield (14) includes shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals. The connector formation (16) is operatively adapted to attach the shield (14) to the electronic device (12) so as to enable location of the shield (14) in (i) a secure position in which the shield (14) shields the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader and (ii) a read position in which the shield (14) exposes the communication componentry to interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader.

Inventors:
VIGLIONE, Dean
Application Number:
AU2018/051250
Publication Date:
May 31, 2019
Filing Date:
November 22, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
QUANTUM INNOVATION AUSTRALIA PTY LD (3/239 Church Street, Parramatta, New South Wales 2150, 2150, AU)
International Classes:
G06K19/00; A45C11/18; H04W12/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEYER WEST IP PTY LTD (Level 5, 4 Columbia CourtBaulkham Hills, New South Wales 2153, 2153, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An identifier assembly including: an electronic device having electronic communication componentry, a shield operatively associated with the electronic device, the shield including shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals; and a connector formation operatively adapted to attach the shield to the electronic device so as to enable location of the shield in (i) a secure position in which the shield shields the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader and (ii) a read position in which the shield exposes the communication componentry to interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader.

2. An identifier assembly according to claim 1 , wherein the shielding material includes long fibre nickel coated carbon fibre (LFNCCF).

3. An identifier assembly according to claim 2, wherein the shield includes plastic and the LFNCCF is embedded within in the plastic.

4. An identifier assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the connector formation includes biasing means to bias the shield to the secure position.

5. An identifier assembly according to claim 4, wherein the biasing means is a helical spring.

6. An identifier assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the electronic device is an oblong tag and the shield preferably includes a sleeve having a slot adapted slidably to receive the tag.

7. An identifier assembly according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the connector formation includes a pivot pin adapted pivotally to attach the shield to the electronic device, the shield operatively adapted to pivot between the secure position and the read position.

8. An identifier assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the connector formation includes a stop member which co-operates with a complemental hole in the shield to hold the shield in the secure position.

9. An identifier assembly for an electronic device having electronic communication componentry, the identifier assembly including: a shield operatively associated with the electronic device, the shield including shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals; and a connector formation operatively adapted to attach the shield to the electronic device so as to enable location of the shield in (i) a secure position in which the shield shields the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader and (ii) a read position in which the shield exposes the communication componentry to interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader.

Description:
IDENTIFIER ASSEMBLY

FIELD

[0001] The invention concerns an identifier assembly, in particular but not exclusively, an identifier assembly for use in a radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) system and which is adapted to deter RFID sniffing.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Radio-frequency identification (RFID) utilises electromagnetic fields to identify small transponders (combined radio receiver and transmitter ) referred to as tags. RFID tags contain electronically stored information to identify a person or item. Most RFID tags include at least two parts, namely (i) an integrated circuit for storing and processing information as well as for modulating and de-modulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal and (ii) an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. In use a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called a reader (or an interrogator) will send a radio signal to the RFID tag and will read its response.

[0003] There are typically two types of tags associated with RFID. The first is a so-called passive tag which collects energy from the interrogating radio waves emanating from a proximate RFID reader. The other type is an active tag which has a local power source, such as a battery, and which may operate at relative large distances from an associated RFID reader. Typical uses of RFID systems include contactless identity cards to regulate access of personnel to restricted areas, general package tracking, vehicle tracking for road toll, identification of animals and various other applications.

[0004] Like any other security system, RFID is not without its faults and the widespread use thereof poses security threats that should be addressed to allow safe deployment. This is particularly the case with basic RFID tags which do not use encryption and can be counterfeited with relative ease.

[0005] A particular security concern in deploying an RFID system is RFID sniffing. An RFID reader sends requests to an RFID tag to send back its identity information. Most RFID tags, however, are unable to discriminate between a request from a valid RFID reader and a counterfeit reader. An attacker can accordingly employ his own RFID reader illegally to read tags of targets and gain access to identity and other information stored on a proximate RFID tag. [0006] Another technology which enables electronic devices to communicate is near-field communication (NFC). Articles utilising NFC are prone to similar security concerns as those described above in relation to RFID systems.

OBJECT

[0007] It is an object of the present invention substantially to overcome or at least ameliorate one or more of the above security concerns associated with RFID or NFC tags or to provide a useful alternative.

SUMMARY

[0008] According to a first aspect of the present invention there is disclosed herein an identifier assembly including: an electronic device having electronic communication componentry; a shield operatively associated with the electronic device, the shield including shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals; and a connector formation operatively adapted to attach the shield to the electronic device so as to enable location of the shield in (i) a secure position in which the shield shields the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader and (ii) a read position in which the shield exposes the communication componentry to interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader.

[0009] Preferably the shielding material includes long fibre nickel coated carbon fibre (LFNCCF).

[0010] Preferably the shield includes plastic and the LFNCCF is embedded within the plastic.

[0011] In an embodiment, the connector formation includes biasing means to bias the shield to the secure position.

[0012] Preferably the biasing means is a helical spring.

[0013] In an embodiment the electronic device is an oblong tag and the shield preferably includes a sleeve having a slot adapted slidably to receive the tag. [0014] In an embodiment, the connector formation includes a pivot pin adapted pivotally to attach the shield to the electronic device, the shield operatively adapted to pivot between the secure position and the read position.

[0015] Preferably the connector formation includes a stop member which co-operates with a complemental hole in the shield to hold the shield in the secure position.

[0016] According to a second aspect of the present invention there is disclosed herein an identifier assembly for an electronic device having electronic communication componentry, the identifier assembly including: a shield operatively associated with the electronic device, the shield including shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals; and a connector formation operatively adapted to attach the shield to the electronic device so as to enable location of the shield in (i) a secure position in which the shield shields the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader and (ii) a read position in which the shield exposes the communication componentry to interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] Preferred embodiments of the invention will be described hereinafter, by way of examples only, with reference to the accompany drawings, in which:

[0018] Figure 1 is a schematic perspective view of a first embodiment identifier assembly wherein a shield of the identifier assembly is located in a read position;

[0019] Figure 2 is a schematic end view of the identifier assembly of Figure 1 wherein the shield is located in a secure position;

[0020] Figure 3 is a schematic side of the identifier assembly of Figure 1 depicting the interior of the identifier assembly with the shield located in the secure position;

[0021] Figure 4 is a schematic side view of the identifier assembly of Figure 1 depicting the interior of the identifier assembly with the shield located in the read position;

[0022] Figure 5 is a schematic side view of an electronic device having electronic communication componentry for use in a second embodiment identifier assembly; [0023] Figure 6 is a schematic side view of the electronic device of Figure 5 having a first handle element secured thereto;

[0024] Figure 7 is a schematic side view of the electronic device of Figure 6 having a second handle element attached to the first handle element;

[0025] Figure 8 is a schematic side view illustrating attachment of the first and second handle elements of Figures 6 and 7;

[0026] Figure 9 is a schematic perspective view of a shield for use with the second embodiment identifier assembly;

[0027] Figure 10 is a schematic side view depicting assembly of the second embodiment identifier assembly;

[0028] Figure 11 is a schematic perspective view of the second embodiment identifier assembly with the shield located in a secure position;

[0029] Figure 12 is a schematic front view of a third embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position;

[0030] Figure 13 is a schematic rear view of the identifier assembly of Figure 12;

[0031] Figure 14 is a schematic side view of the identifier assembly of Figure 12;

[0032] Figure 15 is a schematic perspective view of the third embodiment identifier assembly with the shield located in a read position;

[0033] Figure 16 is a schematic front view of a fourth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position;

[0034] Figure 17 is a schematic side view of the identifier assembly of Figure 16 with the shield located in a read position;

[0035] Figure 18 is a schematic perspective view of the fourth embodiment identifier assembly with the shield located in the read position;

[0036] Figure 19 is a schematic front view of a fifth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position; [0037] Figure 20 is a schematic front view of the identifier assembly of Figure 19 with the shield located partially in a read position;

[0038] Figure 21 is a schematic perspective view of the identifier assembly of Figure 19 with the shield located in the read position;

[0039] Figure 22(A) and 22(B) are schematic front views of a sixth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield respectively located in a secure position and a read position;

[0040] Figure 23(A) and 23(B) are schematic front views of a seventh embodiment identifier assembly with a shield respectively located in a secure position and a read position;

[0041] Figure 24(A) and 24(B) are schematic front views of an eighth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield respectively located in a secure position and a read position;

[0042] Figure 25 is a schematic front view of a ninth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position;

[0043] Figure 26 is a schematic front view of the identifier assembly of Figure 25 with the shield located in a read position;

[0044] Figure 27 is a schematic front view of a tenth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position;

[0045] Figure 28 is a schematic side view of the identifier assembly of Figure 27 with the shield located in a read position;

[0046] Figure 29 is a schematic perspective view of the shield of the tenth embodiment identifier assembly;

[0047] Figure 30 is a schematic front view of an eleventh embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position;

[0048] Figure 31 is a schematic front view of the identifier assembly of Figure 30 with the shield located in a read position;

[0049] Figure 32 is a schematic perspective view of the identifier assembly of Figure 30;

[0050] Figure 33 is a schematic front view of a twelfth embodiment identifier assembly with a shield located in a secure position; [0051] Figure 34 is a schematic front view of the identifier assembly of Figure 33 with the shield located in a read position; and

[0052] Figure 35 is a schematic front view of the identifier assembly of Figure 33 holding an electronic device.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0053] Figures 1 - 4 show a first embodiment identifier assembly, generally indicated with the reference numeral 10. The identifier assembly 10 includes an electronic device / identifier 12 having non-illustrated electronic communication componentry. In this embodiment the electronic device 12 is a radio- frequency identification (RFID) tag having non-illustrated conventional communication componentry for responding to interrogation signals generated by a non- illustrated RFID reader. The identifier assembly 10 further includes a shield 14 which is operatively associated with the RFID tag 12. The shield 14 includes shielding material adapted to shield the communication componentry against interrogation signals emanating from the RFID reader. In this embodiment the shielding material includes long fibre nickel coated carbon fibre (LFNCCF) embedded within a plastic body. It will of course be appreciated that a range of other materials having suitable shielding characteristics could be employed to provide the shielding material.

[0054] The identifier assembly 10 also includes a connector formation 16, shown in Figures 3 and 4, operatively adapted to secure the shield 14 to the RFID tag 12. The connector formation 16 is operatively adapted to locate the shield 14 in a secure position, shown in Figure 3. In the secure position the shield 14 is adapted to shield the communication componentry of the RFID tag 12 against interrogation signals emanating from a signal reader. The connector formation 16 is further adapted to locate the shield 14 in a read position, shown in Figure 4. In the read position the shield 14 exposes the communication componentry of the RFID tag 12 to interrogation signals emanating from an RFID reader.

[0055] The connector formation 16 includes biasing means 18 to bias the shield 14 to the secure position. In this embodiment the biasing means 18 includes a helical spring. As shown in Figure 3, the helical spring 18 is placed in an unbiased condition and located within an elongate chamber 20. To enable reading of the RFID tag 12 by an RFID reader, a user extracts the RFID tag 12 from the shield 14. Upon extracting the RFID tag 12 the helical spring 18 will become compressed and biased as shown in Figure 4. After RFID interrogation, the user can release the RFID tag 12 to cause the helical spring 18 to return to its unbiased condition and thus drawing the RFID tag 12 back into the shield 14.

[0056] The RFID tag 12 is a conventional RFID tag and is of flat and oblong shape. A lanyard opening 22 is provided in the RFID tag 12 to facilitate attachment to a non-illustrated lanyard which can be worn by a user.

[0057] The embodiment shield 14 includes a flat sleeve having a slot 24 adapted slidably to receive the RFID tag 12.

[0058] Figures 5 - 11 show an electronic device 32, in the form of an RFID tag, and a shield 34 of a second embodiment identifier assembly 30. The RFID tag 32 includes three handle holes 36 at one end and a stop opening 38 at the opposite end. The RFID tag 32 further includes first and second handle members 40, 42. Referring also to Figure 8, the first handle member 40 includes three sets of outwardly extending resilient prongs 44 which can be compressed to pass through the handle holes 36 and be secured in corresponding prong holes 46 in the second handle member 42. A stop member 48 with prongs 50 is provided which is operatively compressed in order to pass through the stop opening 38 and be secured with a stop member 52 on the opposite side of the RFID tag 30. In use the stop member 48 will move along a slot 54 as the RFID tag 32 is slid from the shield 34 for RFID interrogation by an RFID reader. Continued movement of the RFID tag 32 will be arrested by a non-illustrated stopping surface located inside the shield 34 that will be abutted by the stop member 48.

[0059] As shown in Figure 10, the second embodiment identifier assembly 30 is assembled by first securing the stop member 52 to the RFID tag 32. The RFID tag 32 is now inserted in slot 56 of the shield 34. The RFID tag 32 is hereafter slid through the shield 34 so that the handle holes 36 are exposed. The first and second handle members 40, 42 are subsequently attached to each other and the RFID tag 32. The RFID tag 32 is as a result secured to the shield 34. The connected handle members 40, 42 form a handle 58 which can be gripped by a user to slide the RFID tag 32 into a read position wherein it protrudes from the shield 34 and a secure position in which the RFID tag 32 is sheathed within the slot 56 of the shield 34. The stop member 52 and the handle 58 cooperate to provide a connector formation, generally indicated with the reference numeral 60, to secure the RFID tag 32 to the shield 34.

[0060] Figures 12 - 15 show a third embodiment identifier assembly 70 including an RFID tag 72 and a shield 74 for shielding non-illustrated RFID componentry of the RFID tag 72 from unauthorised interrogation by an RFID reader. The identifier assembly 70 further includes a connector formation 76 for securing the RFID tag 72 to the shield 74. The connector formation 76 includes a pivot pin 78 pivotally adapted to attach the shield 74 to the RFID tag 72. The shield 74 is operatively adapted to pivot between a secure position illustrated in Figures 12 - 14, wherein the shield 74 deters interrogation by an RFID reader, and a read position illustrated in Figure 15 wherein the RFID tag 72 is exposed for interrogation. In order to hold the shield 72 in the secure position the connector formation 76 further includes a securing member 79. The securing member 79 is provided in the form of a tab which is adapted to grip an edge of the RFID tag 72 as shown.

[0061] A fourth embodiment identifier assembly, indicated with the reference numeral 80, is shown in Figures 16 - 18. The identifier assembly 80 includes a RFID tag 82 and a shield 84. The shield 84 defines a slot 86 sized for receiving and holding the RFID tag 82. The identifier assembly 80 includes a connector formation 90 adapted to secure the RFID tag 82 to the shield 84. The RFID tag 82 includes two stop members 92 located on opposites sides of the RFID tag 82. The stop members 92 are adapted to be located within opposing stop member holes 94 in the shield 84 so as to secure the shield 84 in a secure position, shown in Figure 16, in which the shield shields the RFID tag 82 against interrogation signals. To locate the shield 84 in the read position, depicted in Figures 17 and 18, a user manually squeezes two sides of the shield body 84 using thumbs and index fingers to release the stop members 92 from the stop member holes 94. The user can now pull the RFID tag 82 from the shield 84 to locate the shield 84 in the read position, thereby allowing the RFID tag 82 to be interrogated by an RFID reader.

[0062] Figures 19 - 21 illustrate a fifth embodiment identifier assembly 100 which includes a keyring RFID tag 102 pivotally attached to a shield 104 via a connector formation 105, here including a pivot pin 106. The shield 104 is adapted to pivot about the pivot pin 106 so as to locate the shield 104 respectively in a read position for RFID interrogation, shown in Figure 19, and a secure position, shown in Figure 21, in which the RFID tag 102 is shielded from RFID interrogation. To ensure the RFID tag 102 is maintained in the secure position of Figure 19, the connector formation 105 includes a stop member 108. Locating the stop member 108 in a stop hole 109 in the shield 104 will secure the shield 104 in its secure position.

[0063] Figure 22 shows a sixth embodiment identifier assembly 110. The identifier assembly 110 includes an electronic device 112, here a credit card, and a shield 114 connected to the electronic device 112 via a connector formation 116. In this embodiment the electronic device 112 includes non-illustrated near-field communication (NFC) componentry. The connector formation 116 includes a pivot pin 118 allowing the shield 114 to pivot between a secure position (Figure 22A) to shield the NFC componentry against interrogation signals and a read position (Figure 22B) in which the NFC componentry is exposed to interrogation signals emanating from a reader. The connector formation 116 also includes a stop member 109 which releasably clips into a complemental non-illustrated stop hole in the shield 114 to secure the shield 114 in the secure position of Figure 22A.

[0064] Figure 23 shows a seventh embodiment identifier assembly 120. The identifier assembly 120 includes an electronic device 122 and a shield 124 connected to the electronic device via a connector formation 126. The electronic device 122 includes non-illustrated near- field communication (NFC) componentry. The connector formation 126 includes two pairs of track followers 128 located within two parallel and co-extensive tracks 130 allowing the shield 124 to be slid between a secure position (Figure 23A) to shield the NFC componentry against interrogation signals and a read position (Figure 23B) in which the NFC componentry is exposed to interrogation signals emanating from a reader.

[0065] Figure 24 shows an eighth embodiment identifier assembly 140. The identifier assembly 140 includes an electronic device 142 and a shield 144 connectable to the electronic device 142 via a connector formation generally indicated with the reference numeral 146. The electronic device 142 includes non-illustrated near-field communication (NFC) componentry and is shaped to be slidably received within a slot 148 of the shield 144 to be located in a secure position (Figure 24 A) to shield the NFC componentry against interrogation signals. The embodiment connector formation 146 includes a stop member 150, shown in Figure 24B, which protrudes outwardly from the electronic device 142. The connector formation 146 releasably clips into a complemental non-illustrated stop hole in the shield 144 to secure the shield 144 in the secure position of Figure 24A. The shield 144 includes a read position (Figure 24B) wherein the NFC componentry is exposed to interrogation signals emanating from a reader.

[0066] Figures 25 and 26 show a ninth embodiment identifier assembly 160. The identifier assembly 160 includes an electronic device 162, here a key fob, and a shield 164 connectable to the electronic device 162 via a connector formation 166. The electronic device 162 includes non- illustrated radio-frequency identification (RFID) componentry and is shaped to be slidably received within a slot 168 of the shield 164 to be located in a secure position (Figure 25) to shield the RFID componentry against interrogation signals. The embodiment connector formation 166 includes a stop member 170, shown in Figure 26, which protrudes outwardly from the electronic device 162. The connector formation 166 releasably engage non-illustrated stop formation inside the shield 164 to secure the shield 164 in the secure position of Figure 25. The shield 164 includes a read position (Figure 26) in which the RFID componentry of the key fob 162 is exposed to interrogation signals emanating from a non-illustrated reader.

[0067] A tenth embodiment identifier assembly, indicated with the reference numeral 180, is shown in Figures 27 - 29. The identifier assembly 180 includes an RFID tag 182 (produced from ABS and PC plastic) including non-illustrated RFID componentry and a shield 184. The shield 184 defines a slot 186 sized for receiving and holding the RFID tag 182. The identifier assembly 180 includes a connector formation 190 adapted to secure the RFID tag 182 to the shield 184. The connector formation 190 is firstly provided in that the RFID tag 182 includes two opposing longitudinal sides 192 which are operatively adapted to be received within opposing curved side slots 193 of the RFID tag 182. The connector formation 180 further includes two sloping resilient stop members 194 on the shield 184 and a transverse stop 185 located on the RFID tag 182. As shown the stop members 194 are configured to provide one-way locking of the RFID tag 184 within the shield 184 when they are engaged by the transverse stop 185 on the RFID tag 182. By sliding the stop 185 across the ramping stop members 194 the transverse stop 185 will move beyond the stop members 194 so as to be captured in a one-way locking arrangement which will deter sliding movement of the RFID tag 182 from the shield 184.

[0068] Figure 27 shows the shield 184 shielding the RFID tag 182 against interrogation signals. To locate the shield 184 in the read position, depicted in Figure 28, a user manually flexes the shield 184 to overcome the obstruction posed by the stop members 194 acting upon the stop 185. The user can now pull the RFID tag 182 from the shield 184 to locate the shield 184 in the read position, thereby allowing the RFID tag 182 to be interrogated by an RFID reader. Although not illustrated, the embodiment RFID tag 182 includes two transverse stops 185, each located on opposite sides of the RFID tag 182 and two pairs of stop members 194 on the shield 184 respectively adapted to engage the transverse stops 185.

[0069] An eleventh embodiment identifier assembly, indicated with the reference numeral 200, is shown in Figures 30 - 32. The identifier assembly 200 includes (i) an RFID tag tray 202 adapted to hold an RFID tag, here an ID-card 204 and (ii) a shield 206. The shield 206 defines a slot 208 sized to receive and hold the RFID tag tray 202. Figure 30 shows the shield 206 shielding the ID- card 204 against interrogation signals. To locate the shield 206 in the read position, depicted in Figure 31 , a user manually slides the RFID tag tray 202 out of the shield 206 into a read position, thereby allowing the ID-card to 204 be interrogated by an RFID reader. The embodiment tag tray 202 has openings 208, 210 allowing visual inspection of the ID-card 204 from both its front and rear sides.

[0070] A twelfth embodiment identifier assembly, indicated with the reference numeral 220, is shown in Figures 33 - 35. The identifier assembly 220 includes (i) an RFID tag tray 222 adapted to hold an RFID tag 224, here a credit card, and (ii) a shield 226. The shield 226 includes two shield members 228, 230 adapted to be slid relative to the tag tray 222 to be located in an open read position, shown in Figures 34 and 35, for interrogation by an RFID reader. Figure 35 shows the shield 226 shielding the credit card 224 against interrogation signals. In this embodiment opposing sides of the shield members 228, 230 define complimentary connecting formations 232, 234 to engage each other when the shield 226 is located in its closed shielding position.

[0071] Although the invention has been described with reference to specific examples, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention may be embodied in many other forms.