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Title:
TAMPER INDICATING DEVICE FOR A ZIPPER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/178837
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tamper indicating device (20) for a zipper assembly (11) comprises: a body (30) comprising at least one sensor, at least one tether (40) having at least one end fixed to a portion of the body, wherein the at least one tether is electrically coupled to the at least one sensor such that in response to tampering with the at least one tether, the sensor actuates a user alert system.

Inventors:
PHILLIPS, Charles (2 Moor Lane, PoltimoreExeter, Devon EX4 0AQ, EX4 0AQ, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/051054
Publication Date:
October 19, 2017
Filing Date:
April 13, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PHILLIPS, Charles (2 Moor Lane, PoltimoreExeter, Devon EX4 0AQ, EX4 0AQ, GB)
International Classes:
A44B19/30; G08B13/14
Foreign References:
US20060170550A12006-08-03
US20110199210A12011-08-18
US7557727B22009-07-07
GB2449633A2008-12-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILLIPS & LEIGH (5 Pemberton Row, London EC4A 3BA, EC4A 3BA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1. A tamper indicating device for a zipper assembly comprising: a) a body comprising at least one sensor, b) at least one tether having at least one end fixed to a portion of the body, wherein the at least one tether is electrically coupled to the at least one sensor such that in response to tampering with the at least one tether, the sensor actuates a user alert system.

2. The tamper indicating device according to claim 1, wherein the sensor actuates the user alert system when the at least one tether is cut or broken or the at least one end of the at least one tether is separated from the body of the tamper indicating device.

3. The tamper indicating device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the user alert system is configured to produce an audible alarm and/or a visual alarm and/or a remote alarm.

4. The tamper indicating device according to claim 3, wherein the tamper indicating device comprises one or more light sources.

5. The tamper indicating device according to claim 4, wherein at least one of the one or more light sources is an LED.

6. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the tamper indicating device further comprises a speaker.

7. The tamper indicating device according to claim 6, wherein the speaker is configured to generate a sound greater than 80dB.

8. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the tamper indicating device comprises at least one transmitter/receiver for receiving and transmitting signals with an interface remote of the tamper indicating device and vice versa.

9. The tamper indicating device according to claim 8, wherein the at least one transmitter/receiver is configured for receiving and transmitting signals to an electronic device.

10. The tamper indicating device according to either claim 8 or 9, wherein the tamper indicating device is remotely controllable.

11. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim further comprising a carbon monoxide sensor such that when the carbon monoxide sensor detects a concentration of carbon monoxide above a predetermined concentration, the sensor actuates the user alert system.

12. The tamper indicating device according to claim 11, wherein the predetermined concentration of carbon monoxide at which the sensor actuates the user alert system signal is 25 parts per million.

13. The tamper indicating device according to any of the preceding claim, wherein the tamper indicating device comprises one or more buttons for controlling the tamper indicating device.

14. The tamper indicating device according to any of the preceding claim, wherein each of the at least one tether is a coaxial cable.

15. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one tether comprises a second end detachably engageable with the portion of the body.

16. The tamper indicating device according to claim 15, wherein the second end comprises at least one electrical contact for cooperating with at least one electrical contact of the portion of the body.

17. The tamper indicating device according to any of the claims 1 to 14, wherein the at least one tether comprises a second end fixed to the portion of the body.

18. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the portion of the body is detachably coupled to the body.

19. The tamper indicating device according to claim 18, wherein the portion of the body is electrically coupled to the body of the tamper indicating device.

20. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the tamper indicating device comprises a power source.

21. The tamper indicating device according to claim 20, wherein the power source is a battery and/or capacitor.

22. The tamper indicating device according to claim 20 or 21, wherein the power source is removable from the tamper indicating device.

23. The tamper indicating device according to any of the claims 20 to 22, wherein the power source is rechargeable.

24. The tamper indicating device according to claim 23, wherein the body further comprises a charging port for charging the power source.

25. The tamper indicating device according to claim 24, wherein the charging port is configured to receive a USB connector.

26. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the body is formed from at least two parts.

27. The tamper indicating device according to claim 26, wherein the at least two parts are sealed or hermetically sealed together.

28. The tamper indicating device according to claim 27, wherein the at least two parts are sealed together using at least one of the following: snap fit fastenings, inter-cooperating protrusions, adhesive, and ultra-sonic welding.

29. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the body is ergonomically shaped.

30. A tamper indicating device comprising a first and second tamper indicating module, each of the first and second tamper indicating modules comprises the tamper indicating device as defined in any of the preceding claims.

31. The tamper indicating device according to claim 30, wherein the first and second tamper indicating modules are detachably coupled together.

32. The tamper indicating device according to claim 31, wherein the first and second tamper indicating modules are detachably coupled together by at least one of: magnetic attraction, jack and socket, hook and eye cooperating mechanisms.

33. The tamper indicating device according to claim 30 to 32, comprises a sensor for detecting when the first and the second tamper indicating modules are separated.

34. The tamper indicating device according to claim 33, wherein the sensor comprises a proximity sensor for detecting the separation between the first and the second tamper indication modules such that when the separation between the first and the second tamper indication modules exceeds a predetermined distance, the proximity sensor actuates the user alert system.

35. The tamper indicating device according to claim 34, wherein the proximity sensor is a Hall-effect sensor.

36. The tamper indicating device according to claim 33, wherein the sensor is configured as a circuit breaker, whereby each of the first and the second tamper indicating modules comprises cooperating electrical contacts such that when the first and second tamper indicating modules are separated, electrical continuity between the first and the second tamper indicating modules is broken thereby actuating the user alert system.

37. The tamper indicating device according to any preceding claim, wherein the tamper evident device is weatherproof.

Description:
Tamper Indicating Device for a Zipper

Technical Field:

The present invention relates to a tamper device for a zipper, more specifically to a tamper indicating device for alerting a user when a zipper is being opened without authorisation. Introduction:

Zippers otherwise known as zip fly or zip fastener is a device commonly used to bind the edges of fabric or other flexible material together and comprises two rows of teeth that interdigitate or mesh together when a slider moves along the rows of teeth. Inside the slider is a Y-shaped channel that meshes together or separates the opposing rows of teeth, depending on the direction of movement of the slider. Because of their simple design, zips are used in a wide variety of products including: clothing, suitcases, handbags and tents. These products can often have valuable items within them that make them vulnerable to theft. In order to dissuade thieves from gaining access to compartments bound by zips, a number of solutions have been proposed. The simplistic theft device is to prevent or to restrict movement of the slider and thereby, prevent the slider from separating the opposing rows of teeth, e.g. by the use of a keyed padlock. For example, SCELBA et al. (US Pat. No. 4856306) teaches trapping the zipper sliders in a locking mechanism integrated to one side of the product requiring a combination to be entered to release the zipper sliders. However, a problem with this approach is that not only does it depend on the safe keeping of a key or security number in order to release the slider and therefore, is cumbersome to use but more importantly it does not provide any indication that the zip is being tampered with. This is particularly the case where the zipper assembly is used to close the opening of a tent or a backpack. In order to mitigate this problem, a number of solutions featuring alarms triggered by the opening of the zip were considered. . URBANCZYK (US Pat. No 4755802A) proposed a system whereby an electrical contact is between the two pieces of material held together using the teeth of the zipper. When the teeth are interlocked, the electrical contact is completed and the alarm is primed; if by any reason, the teeth become detached, the electrical contact is broken and the alarm sounds until a termination order is given by a user entering a code. The system of URBANCZYK requires integration of the electrical contacts into the zipper teeth and thus, the alarm system must be built into the product at the time of manufacture. A benefit associated with this design however is that the alarm system is compatible with zippers that use any number of zipper sliders.

In order to mitigate the problems associated with inventions that have to be integrated with either the zipper or at least with the product comprising the zipper, a solution was suggested in TUCKER [https://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/fodi/oliver-tucker-ten t-guard/ accessed 11/02/16 11 :53]. TUCKER discloses a device with two tabs, each attachable to zipper sliders of different zippers with cords, the tabs are taught to be magnetic and attach to a primary module such that when the zipper sliders are moved apart, the tabs detach from the primary module and an alarm sounds. The primary module is beneficially taught to have means for clipping onto the product comprising the zipper such that the zipper sliders can be closed and secured in any position so long as there is a nearby location compatible with the primary module clips. TUCKER further discloses that the primary module features a reprogrammable button sequence that a user with knowledge of the sequence may use to disable the alarm and gain entry to the product. Moreover, TUCKER' s device is taught to be impact and weather resistant for use in the outdoors. The alarm of TUCKER is taught to be audible with a sound pressure over 80dB.

There is therefore a need for a zipper alarm that provides substantial deterrent to a would-be- thief that is suitable for all types of zipper assemblies, whether there be a single zipper slider or more than one zipper slider. It must also be compatible with different products without the need for any integration into the product that comprises the zipper.

Summary of the Invention:

The present invention addresses the above problems by providing a tamper indicating device for a zipper assembly comprising: a) a body comprising at least one sensor, b) at least one tether having at least one end fixed to a portion of the body, wherein the at least one tether is electrically coupled to the at least one sensor such that in response to tampering with the at least one tether, the sensor actuates a user alert system. For the purpose of the present invention, tampering with the at least one tether comprises cutting the tether, forcibly removing at least one end of the tether from the body of the tamper indicating device, or any other means of breaking the tether. In TUCKER, the tether used to connect the main body to the different parts of the zipper assembly do not provide any tamper indication. To gain entry without triggering the alarm of Tucker, an intruder would simply cut one of the tethers shown in Fig. 1. The present invention removes this unalarmed entry method through electrically coupling at least one of the tethers to a sensor that can actuate an alarm in response to tampering. The user alert system is configured to produce an audible and/or a visual alarm and/or a remote alarm. In an example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device is controlled remotely, this remote control utilises at least one transmitter/receiver housed in the tamper indicating device. In an further example of the present invention, control of the tamper indicating device is by a remote electronic device.

In confined environments such as those found at campsites, levels of Carbon Monoxide can reach dangerous levels. Carbon Monoxide is an odourless colourless gas and as such it can render those within the confined environments incapacitated very quickly. An example of the present invention further comprises a carbon monoxide sensor such that when the carbon monoxide sensor detects a concentration of carbon monoxide above a predetermined concentration, the sensor actuates the user alert system. The predetermined concentration may be set during production of the device or by the user. In addition, the positioning or the location of the carbon monoxide detector in areas that are susceptible to high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning is vital in order that the detector can be exposed to any carbon monoxide that may be present. Improper positioning of the carbon monoxide detector may result in the detector not adequately sensing levels of carbon monoxide above a predetermined threshold or alternatively, if a detector is incorrectly positioned, the detector may detect a lower concentration of carbon monoxide than what a user is exposed to, which can result in injury or death. In a confined space, e.g. a tent, the carbon monoxide detector is to be positioned in a location proximate to where gas inhaled by a user resides. Ideally, the carbon monoxide detector should be placed above head level so as to be exposed to the gases that would be inhaled by a user since carbon monoxide is less dense than air and therefore, tends to float up towards the ceiling. In the case of a tent, fixing a carbon monoxide detector to the walls of the tent may prove difficult or too cumbersome or requires too much effort that lends itself to being overlooked or ignored by the user. For example, the lack of fixing points on the walls of the tent, may require that the carbon detector would need to be stitched into the material of the tent or placed in a purposively built pocket. Coupling the tamper indicating device of the present invention to a zipper of the tent provides a secure fixing point for the tamper indicating device incorporating the carbon monoxide detector of the present invention to the tent removing the effort to separately affix a carbon monoxide detector to a wall of the tent which sometimes can be overlooked. The door of a tent typically does not extend all the way to the ground, instead tents are designed with an upturned skirt to aid water-proofing, therefore whichever position that the zipper assembly is moved to, when the door is closed, will result in the temper indicating device of the present invention being positioned at a level equal to or higher than the 'sleeping' inhabitants. Thus the device is positioned optimally for carbon monoxide detection, removing the possibility of an occupant rolling over and covering the sensor thereby providing a degree of security from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In an example of the present invention, to protect the internal workings of the tamper indicating device, e.g. the electronics, the tamper indicating device is weatherproof. In an example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device is ergonomically shaped for ease of handling, e.g. when placed on a key ring for safe keeping.

In an example of the present invention, a tamper indicating device comprising a first and second tamper indicating module, wherein each of the first and second tamper indicating modules comprises a tamper indicating device of the present invention. In a further example, the first and second tamper indicating modules are detachably coupled together by at least one of: magnetic attraction, jack and socket, hook and eye cooperating mechanisms. The advantage of using two tamper indicating modules is that during installation each module can be permanently fitted to a zipper slider. The tamper indicating system is activated simply by bringing the zipper sliders together when closing the zipper assembly and thereby, allowing for the two separate tamper indicating modules to be coupled together. In a further example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device comprises a sensor for detecting when the first and second tamper indicating modules are separated. In one example of the present invention, the sensor may be a proximity sensor for detecting the separation between the first and the second tamper indication modules such that when the separation between the first and the second tamper indication modules exceeds a predetermined distance, the proximity sensor actuates the user alert system. The proximity sensor may for example be a Hall-Effect sensor. In another example of the present invention, the sensor is configured as a circuit breaker whereby each of the first and the second tamper indicating modules comprises cooperating electrical contacts such that when the first and second tamper indicating modules are separated, electrical continuity between the first and the second tamper indicating modules is broken thereby actuating the user alert system.

The tamper device is not limited for use with a zipper assembly, instead the device may be attached to a gas boiler to enable monitoring tampering with the gas boiler or in the example wherein the tamper device comprises a carbon monoxide sensor, the device enables an individual to monitor the functioning of the boiler. The alarm of the device alerts users to boilers which malfunction, producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. The device is sized to be convenient for taking on journeys. Providing peace of mind when staying in unfamiliar environments, or where safety standards maybe lower than those expected.

Brief Description of the Drawings:

Further preferred features and aspects of the present invention will be apparent from the claims and the following illustrative description made with reference to the accompany drawings in which:-

Figure 1 is a plan view of the prior art tamper indicating device as disclosed by TUCKER: https://microsites.boumemouth.ac.uk/fodi/oliver-tucker-tent- guard/.

Figure 2a is a rear view of an example of the tamper indicating device of the present invention coupled to prevent two zipper sliders of a zipper assembly from separating.

Figure 2b is a front view of the tamper indicating device shown in Figure 2a in a coupled state.

Figure 2c is a rear view of the tamper indicating device shown in Figures 2a and 2b in a decoupled state whereby one end of the tether is de-coupled from one of the zipper sliders of the zipper assembly so as to permit the zipper sliders to separate.

Figure 2d is a front view of the tamper indicating device shown in Figures 2c.

Figure 3 is a schematic view of another example of the tamper indicating device of the present invention. Figure 4a is a front view of the tamper indicating device shown in Fig. 3.

Figure 4b is a rear view of the tamper indicating device shown in Figure 3.

Figure 5a is another example of the tamper indicating device showing two tamper indicating modules, each tamper indicating module being coupled to a zipper slider of the zipper assembly.

Figure 5b shows the tamper indicating device shown in Figure 5a, whereby one end of the tether of one of the tamper indicating modules is de-coupled from its engaging portion.

Figure 6a is another example of the tamper indicating device of the present invention showing two tamper indicating modules coupled to its respective zipper slider, whereby one of the tamper indicating modules is configured to adapt the de-coupling mechanism as shown in Fig. 3.

Figure 6b is a rear view of the tamper indicating device as shown in Figure 6a. Figure 7 is a exploded view of the tamper indicating device shown in Figure 2a.

Detailed Description:

For the purpose of the description in a specific example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device 20 is described as configured for use with a zipper assembly 10 having at least one zipper slider 11. Furthermore, for descriptive purposes, the zipper assembly 10 is fixed onto a tent.

The tamper indicating device 20 according to one example of the present invention comprises a body 30 for housing the electronics for sensing and alerting the user when the zipper is being tampered with. The body can be fabricated as a single body or two more parts that are secured and/or sealed together to prevent gaining access to the interior of the body housing, in particular, the internal electronics of the tamper indicating device. Suitable materials for fabricating the body include but are not limited to plastic or recyclable plastic or metal or a combination thereof. In the case where the tamper indicating device 20 is used outdoors, the housing forming the body is made weatherproof to prevent the ingress of water or moisture. Optionally, the body 30 can be economically shaped for ease of handling. Typical shapes include but are not limited to generally coin shaped, or cubic, or tear drop-shaped.

Coupled to the body 30 is at least one tether 40. In the particular example shown in Figs. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d, the at least one tether 40 is configured to have a first end 41 and a second end 42, the first end 41 is fixed to a portion 33 of the body 30, in particular coupled to the internal electronics of the tamper indicating device 20. The second end 42 is a free end and comprises an engaging portion (e.g. jack) detachably engageable with a receiving portion 43 on the portion of the body to form a secure loop as shown in Figures 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d. The tamper indicating device 20 is secured from removal to the zipper slider of a zipper assembly 10 by inserting the second or free end of the at least one tether 40 through an eyehole of the at least one zipper slider 11 prior to engaging the free end to the tamper indicating device 20, in particular to the receiving portion 43 of the body of the tamper indicating device 20. Thisforms a secure loop through the zipper sliders and thereby, preventing the zipper sliders from separating. Alternatively, not shown in Figs 2a and 2b, the second or free end of the at least one tether can be inserted into an eye hole of a toggle pivotally connected to the slider. In the particular example shown in Fig. 2a, 2c and 2d, the second or free end of the at least one tether is inserted into two sliders so as to prevent the both sliders from being moved apart and thereby, separating the rows of opposing teeth. The receiving portion 43 of the body 30 is configured such that the second end 42 of the at least one tether 40 is coupled securely to the body of the tamper indicating device 20. However, the strength of the coupling is limited by the requirement that the coupling must be sufficiently easy to overcome in the event that immediate removal of the at least one tether 40 from the at least one zipper slider 11 is required. For example, in use with a tent, the zipper assembly 10 at an exit of the tent must not be sealed or closed such that escape in the event of emergency is not possible at a moment's notice; if the at least one tether 40 were locked into the body 30, a user could remain trapped within the tent whilst fumbling with the tamper indicating device 20. To create a suitable coupling between the second end 42 of the at least one tether 40 and the receiving portion 43 of the body 30 a number of mechanisms can be embodied, these include but are not limited to a jack and socket mechanisms or magnetic attraction or a combination thereof. Alternatively in an example of the present invention, the at least one tether 40 is adapted so as to have at least one breakpoint or weak point such that in emergency, the at least one tether 40 will break at the at least one breakpoint, thus allowing opening of the zipper assembly 10. Furthermore, in an alternative to the present invention, the at least one tether comprises two parts, detachably coupled together. The coupling is configured such that in emergency, the coupling can be detached and the two parts separated. An example of such a coupling is a magnetic coupling. In an alternative example of the present invention, the first end of the tether is detachable from the body 30 by the same or different means to that of the second end.

Alternatively, according to a second example of the present invention, both the first 41 and second ends 42 of the at least one tether 40 are securely fixed to a portion 33 of the body of the tamper indicating device 20 as shown in Figs. 3 to 4 to form a loop 48. Unlike the first example as shown in Figs 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d whereby one end of the loop is detachable, the portion 33 of the body 30 securing both ends of the at least one tether is detachably engageable with the rest of or the main body of the tamper indicating device, more particularly with a receiving portion 47 of the body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20. As shown in Fig. 3 and 4, the body of the tamper indicating device 20 is formed into two or more parts depending on the number detachable portions coupled to the main body of the tamper indicating device 20. The detachable portion is shaped so that when coupled to the main body of the tamper indicating device 20, the detachable portion preserves the overall shape of the body of the tamper indicating device 20. In the particular example shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the overall shape of the body of the tamper indicating device 20 is tear drop shaped. The portion 33 or detachable portion is detachably coupled to the remainder of or the main body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20 by magnetic coupling or a snap fit joint or tongue and groove joint or any other mechanical detachable coupling mechanism that allows electrical continuity through the at least one tether and the electronics housed within the main body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20. In the present invention the at least one tether acts a circuit breaker such that when tampered with by being cut or detached from the body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20 or alternatively, the detachable portion of the body of the tamper indicating device 20 comprising the loop is detached from its main body, a sensor in the internal electronics alerts a user, e.g. by alarm or by vibration or by sending a signal to a portable electronic device such as a mobile phone. In one example, the at least one tether 40, 48 is an electrical conductor suitable for conducting an electrical signal through the at least one tether 40, 48. The at least one tether 40, 48 in this example can for instance be a coaxial cable. Electrical coupling between either the second or free end 42 of the at least one tether 40 described with respect to the first example as shown in Figs. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d, or the detachable portion 46 of the loop 48 described with respect to the second example shown in Figs. 3 and 4, to the body of the tamper indicating device 20 can be provided by at least one electrical contact 44 configured to cooperate with at least one corresponding electrical contact 45 of the receiving portion 43, 47 of the body 30 as shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4.

The at least one tether 40, 48 forms part of an electrical circuit housed within the body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20 such that when either the at least one tether 40, 48 is cut, or the tether 40, 48 is removed from the receiving portion 43, 47 of the body 30, or either of the ends 41, 42 of the at least one tether 40 is removed from the body 30, the circuit is broken, triggering a sensor to actuate a user alert system. It should be understood that the user alert system can have a number of guises. In an example of the present invention, the user alert system comprises at least one speaker 50 such that the user alert system is configured to sound an audible alarm, preferable with a sound pressure of at least 80 dB. The at least one speaker 50 is sealed into the body of the tamper device 20. In another example of the present invention, the user alert system comprises at least one light source 51 so as to provide a visible alarm. This is particularly advantageous for users who have hearing difficulties or is deaf. In a further example of the present invention, the user alert system includes a transmitter configured to send a signal to an interface remote from the body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20 when the sensor is triggered; in an example of the present invention, the transmitter can additionally be used as a receiver for receiving instructions from the remote interface so as to control the action of the tamper indicating device 20. An example of the transmitter is a Bluetooth ® transmitter, an RFID transmitter or a mobile phone signal; an example of the interface includes but is not limited to an application for a smart device for example a tablet or phone. It is possible that the examples of user alert systems may be combined in use; for example, the user alert system can be any combination of the visible, the audible and the transmitted alarm. In an example of the present invention, the remote interface is a mobile device, for instance a mobile phone or a tablet computer.

The tamper indicating device 20 comprises at least one power source housed within the body 30 of the tamper indicating device 20 to supply power to the sensor and the user alert system. In an example of the present invention, the power source comprises a battery or a capacitor or even power supplied by a solar panel. The battery can optionally be single charge or re- chargeable. In one example of the present invention, means are provided for replacing the battery without destroying the structural integrity of the body of the tamper indicating device 20. For example, the body of the tamper indicating device 20 can be formed with a sealable door for replacing the battery. In another example and in particular where the tamper indicating device 20 is a disposable item, a re-chargeable battery is permanently sealed within the body of the tamper indicating device 20. The body 30 can comprise a charging port 56 as shown in Fig. 3b, such that the power source is charged by inserting a suitable power cord (not shown) in the charging port 56. In a particular example of the present invention, the charging port 56 is a USB port. To prevent the ingress of moisture or water into the electrical ports, the ports are sealed from the outside environment by a door or flap. In an alternative example of the present invention, charging of the battery can occur through wireless charging or by the use of one or more solar panels mounted or forming part of the structural integrity of the body of the tamper indicating device 20. In an example of the present invention the battery can be a printed battery, the printed battery can be a rechargeable battery. An extension of the tamper indicating device 20 shown in Figs. 2a, 2b, 2c 2d, 3 and 4 above, the tamper indicating device 20 may be formed as two separate modules, a first module 30 and a second module 60 whereby each of the first and second modules comprises a tamper indicating device, that are configured to detachably couple to each other as shown in Figures 5 and 6. Each module 30, 60 of the tamper indicating device 20 can be adapted with the same coupling configurations to the zipper slider as the tamper indicating device 20 described with reference to Figs. 2, 3 and 4 above whereby each module 30, 60 of the tamper indicating device 20 comprises at least one tether for securing the module to its respective slider and either or both one end of the tether is detachable from the body of the tamper indicating device or the tamper indicating device comprises a detachable portion. The first and second module 30, 60 of the tamper indicating device 20 are detachably coupled to each other by any suitable coupling means 61 including but are not limited to magnetic attraction, jack and socket or hook and eye cooperating systems. The strength of the coupling between the first and second module 30, 60 is configured so that the coupling means can easily be overcome and opened in the end of emergency. For instance, for use with a tent, the zipper assembly 10 at an exit of the tent must not be sealed or closed such that escape in the event of emergency is not possible at a moment's notice; if the first module 30 were locked onto the second module 60, a user could remain trapped within the tent whilst fumbling with the tamper indicating device 20. According to an option of the present invention, one of the modules 30, 60 is generally coin shaped, cubic, or tear drop-shaped that couples to or fits in a corresponding shaped recess to the other module.

In a further example of the present invention, the first module 30 and the second module 60 are coupled together such that signals can be transmitted from the first module 30 to the second module 60 and vice versa, i.e. the coupling between the first module and the second module acts as a circuit breaker. This connection can be an electrical connection and/or a wireless connection. An example of such an electrical connection is embodied where the first 30 and second module 60 comprise electrical contact points 62a, 62b configured to cooperate when the first module 30 is brought into contact with the second module 60 as shown in Fig. 4. An example of a wireless connection makes use of transmitters and/or receivers fitted within the first module 30 and the second module 60. It should be understood by a skilled person that a transmitter can be configured to both transmit and receive signals removing the need to have separate receivers and transmitters. One or both modules of the tamper indicating device 20 can each comprise at least one power source (not shown) and can be adapted with the same power source as the tamper indicating device 20 described above with respect to Figs. 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3 and 4. For example the at least one power source can be a battery, the battery can optionally be a single charge or rechargeable and/or the at least one part or both modules of the tamper indicating device 20 can comprise a charging port such that the battery is charged by inserting a power cord (not shown) in the charging port. In an alternative example of the present invention, charging of the battery can occur through wireless charging (not shown). Wireless charging can occur from a base station or even from either from one of the modules, e.g. the first module 30 or the second module, if one of the modules comprises the necessary charging components. For example, two co-operating induction coils, one in each of the first module 30 and the second module 60.

Where there is a physical electrical connection between both parts of the tamper indicating device (the first module 30 and the second module 60), each part of the tamper indicating device 20 can either comprise their own respective power source or one of the modules of the tamper indicating device 20 may share the power supplied by an at least one power source housed in the other module as shown in Figures 6a and 6b wherein the power is communicated between the both modules 30, 60 via the electrical contact points 62a, 62b.

Similarly described above with reference to the tamper indicating device 20 shown in Figs. 2a and 2b, 2c and 2d, at least one tether 70 of each of the first module and the second module forming the tamper indicating device 20 is configured to have a first end 71 and a second end 72 coupled to a portion 63 of its respective module 60. The first end 71 of the at least one tether 70 is fixedly coupled to the portion 63 of the module to which it is attached to and the second or free end 72 of the at least one tether 70 is detachably engageable to its respective receiving portion 73 of the module 60 as shown in Figs. 5a and 5b. A number of mechanisms can be embodied to create a suitable coupling between the second end 72 of the at least one tether 70 and the receiving portion 73 of the module 60. Similarly described with reference to the tamper indicating device 20 shown in Figs. 2a and 2b, 2c and 2d, these include but are not limited to jack and socket mechanisms or magnetic attraction. Alternatively and similarly described with regards to the tamper indicating device 20 shown in Figs. 3 and 4, both ends 71, 72 of the at least one tether are securely coupled to a portion 63 of the module 60 to form a secure loop and the portion of the module to which the ends are attached is detachably coupled to the rest of or the main body of the module 60 as shown in Figs. 6a and 6b. In all of the examples, the tethers 70 that are coupled to one or more zipper sliders are configured as an electrical circuit breaker such that when at least one of the tethers 70 is broken or cut or detached from its respective part 60, an in-built sensor alerts the user that the zipper assembly is being tampered with.

The tamper indicating device 20 can further comprise one or more additional sensors to complement the sensor for detecting that the least one tether is being tampered with. For example, the tamper indicating device 20 can include a second sensor 55 for detecting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide; the first sensor being the sensor that is configured to detect that the at least one tether is being tampered with. The carbon monoxide sensor type can include but is not limited to opto-chemical, biomimetic, electrochemical or semiconductor. Preferably the second sensor 55 is connected to the user alert system such that if the second sensor 55 detects levels of carbon monoxide above a predetermined threshold concentration, the user alert system is activated and alerts the user of relatively high levels of carbon monoxide. The threshold concentration of Carbon Monoxide above which the sensor is configured to activate the user alert system is optionally 25ppm; however the sensitivity of the sensor is not limited to this value. Similar to the activation of the user alert system by the first sensor, activation of the user alert system by the second sensor 55 can result in an audible and/or visible and/or remote alarm signal being produced. In an example of the present invention, the user alert system signal activated by the first sensor produces an alarm distinguishable from the user alert system activated by the second signal 55. For example, activation by the second sensor 55 can result in an audible alarm of higher or lower frequency than the audible alarm triggered by the first sensor. In a particular example of the present invention, the second sensor is a Carbon Monoxide sensor printed directly on the circuit board house within the tamper device. The circuit board can also have the control system for the first sensor printed on its the reverse side or the same side. The circuit board can also have the antenna for the transmitter for communicating with the remote interface printed on it. Using printed technology, the total volume of the device is minimised.

In an example of the present invention, the tamper device further comprises a camera. The camera is used to record images or a video while the device is armed. The feed from the camera can be stored in a memory of the tamper device and/or transmitted to the remote interface for monitoring.

Fig. 7 presents an exploded view of the tamper evident device 20 according to an example of the present invention wherein both the first 41 and second end 42 of the tether 40 are detachable from the body 30 of the device. As such, each end of the tether has an electrical contact 44 for coupling to electrical contact within the body 30.

In the example, where the tamper device 20 of the present invention is formed as two separate modules described with reference to Figs. 6a and 6b, the tamper indicating device 20 can additionally comprise a sensor for detecting when the first and second modules are being separated; for the purpose of the description, this will be labelled as a third sensor. For example, a proximity sensor such that the sensor is capable of detecting when the first module 30 and the second module 60 are placed in proximity to each other and also when they are moved apart. In use for example in a tent where the opening of the tent is closed by a zipper assembly comprising two opposing zipper sliders, the at least one tether 40, 48 of the first module 30 is attached to the at least one zipper slider 11 and the at least one tether 70, 74 of the second module 60 is attached to the other zipper slider 11. When the zipper sliders 11 are moved towards each other to close the opening of the tent, the first module 30 and the second module 60 of the tamper indicating device 20 can be coupled together and therefore, the proximity sensor remains deactivated. When the zipper sliders 11 are moved apart in an attempt to open the tent, the first module 30 and the second module 60 become decoupled and thus, the zipper sliders are free to move apart. The third sensor activates the user alert system when the distance between the zipper sliders, more particularly the first and second module of the tamper indicating device 20 exceeds a predetermined distance. Examples of the third sensor include but are not limited to: a) Hall-effect sensors (not shown)

In this example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device 20 comprises a magnet and a Hall-effect switch. The magnet is housed in either of the first module 30 or the second module 60, the Hall-effect switch is housed in whichever module does not house the magnet. The magnet can be orientated within the first module 30 or the second module 60 such that the north pole of the magnetic field is directed towards the Hall-effect switch. For the purpose of description of the present invention, the magnet is housed in the second module 60 and the Hall-effect switch is housed in the first module 30. Hall-effect switches such as those of the particular example of the present invention are well-known in the field of positional sensors; combining a semiconductor and a DC power supply such that when the magnet is brought into proximity of the semiconductor a Hall Voltage is produced across the semiconductor. Triggering of the proximity sensor is linked to the strength of the Hall Voltage and thus to the proximity of the first module 30 to the second module 60. Therefore, when the second module 60 is moved away from the first module 30, the change in the Hall Voltage results in the activation of the user alert system; thus the user alert system signals the owner of a bag or tent that the zipper assembly 10 has been opened. In an example of the present invention, bringing the first and second tamper indicating modules together arms the tamper indicating device. b) Electrical contacts

In this example, where the third sensor comprises electrical contact points 62a, 62b, the first electrical contact 62a can be housed on the first module 30 and the second electrical contact 62b can be housed on the second module 60 or vice versa such that when the first module 30 and the second module 60 are brought into contact, the electrical contacts cooperate to complete an electrical circuit, i.e. the electrical contacts are configured as an electrical circuit breaker. Thus, when the electrical contacts become disconnected, the circuit is broken causing the third sensor to trigger the user alert system. c) Depressed switch (not shown)

In another example of the present invention, the third sensor comprises a switch housed on either the first module 30 or the second module 60. For the purpose of the description, the switch is housed on the first module 30. The switch is positioned on the first module 30 such that when the second module 630 is coupled with the first module 30, the switch is depressed. Decoupling the first module 30 and the second module 60 without providing the disarming combination therefore results in the triggering of the third sensor and the activation of the user alert system. In another example of the present invention, depressing the switch may arm one or more of the other sensors (first and/or second sensors) of the tamper indicating device 20.

Controlling the Tamper Indicating Device

In an example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device 20 comprises one or more buttons 90, as shown in Figures. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 such that by pressing the one or more buttons 90 in different sequences a user may control the operation of the tamper indicating device 20. The one or more buttons 90 are configured so as to not compromise the waterproof enclosures of the tamper indicating device 20. In an example of the present invention, one sequence turns on and off the tamper indicating device 20. Other sequences can arm or disarm different sensors or functions of the tamper indicating device 20 for instance, one of the sensors may be armed whilst the other sensors are not armed or vice versa, alternatively any combination of sensors can be armed or disarmed at the same time. Yet another sequence can allow a user to reset and reprogram either the arm or disarm sequence. The user alert system can be configured such that once the tamper indicating device 20 is armed, any attempt to turn off the tamper indicating device 20 without a user providing the disarming combination results in the user alert system being activated and the user alert system alerting the user that the zipper assembly is being tampered with.

In examples of the present invention, the tamper indicating device 20 comprises one or more light sources 51. Preferably LEDs are chosen for their efficient energy consumption during operation; however any source capable of producing light could be considered. The one or more light sources 51 can be configured to signal different states that the tamper indicating device 20 may occupy; this may be done by having different periodic flashings of the one or more light sources 51 assigned to different states or by assigning different coloured light to different states. Different states that the tamper indicating device 20 may occupy can be signalled by the one or more light sources include but are not limited to: arming/disarming sequence being reset; tamper indicating device 20 armed; tamper indicating device 20 disarmed; one of the at least one power supplies having low power; one or more of the sensors being triggered.

In an example of the present invention, wherein the tamper indicating device 20 configured for coupling to a tent, the tamper indicating device may comprise an occupied and an unoccupied mode. In the unoccupied mode for example, the tamper indicating device may be configured so as to detect tampering preferentially over detecting Carbon Monoxide levels when the power source is low on power. Else in the unoccupied mode, the tamper indicating device may be configured to only detect tampering no matter the state of the power supply. In the occupied mode, the tamper indicating device is configured to detect both tampering and carbon monoxide levels.

Alternatively, according to an example of the present invention, the tamper indicating device 20 can be controlled by a remote interface. The remote interface may have the same range of control functions as the different of sequences of buttons 90 described above. It should be understood that the examples of features given in the description above may be used in any combination that is within the scope of the invention.