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Proximity card detection system

Info

Publication number
CA2262034C
CA2262034C CA 2262034 CA2262034A CA2262034C CA 2262034 C CA2262034 C CA 2262034C CA 2262034 CA2262034 CA 2262034 CA 2262034 A CA2262034 A CA 2262034A CA 2262034 C CA2262034 C CA 2262034C
Authority
CA
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
card
circuit
energy
up
wake
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
CA 2262034
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
CA2262034A1 (en )
Inventor
Robert Wilmer Rodenbeck
Roger Keith Russell
Michael Lee Long
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
BEST LOCK CORP
Original Assignee
Best Lock Corporation
Robert Wilmer Rodenbeck
Roger Keith Russell
Michael Lee Long
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/10Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation
    • G06K7/10009Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation sensing by radiation using wavelengths larger than 0.1 mm, e.g. radio-waves or microwaves
    • G06K7/10118Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation sensing by radiation using wavelengths larger than 0.1 mm, e.g. radio-waves or microwaves the sensing being preceded by at least one preliminary step
    • G06K7/10128Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation sensing by radiation using wavelengths larger than 0.1 mm, e.g. radio-waves or microwaves the sensing being preceded by at least one preliminary step the step consisting of detection of the presence of one or more record carriers in the vicinity of the interrogation device
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00309Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with bidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03KPULSE TECHNIQUE
    • H03K17/00Electronic switching or gating, i.e. not by contact-making or -braking
    • H03K17/94Electronic switching or gating, i.e. not by contact-making or -braking characterised by the way in which the control signal is generated
    • H03K17/945Proximity switches
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00309Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with bidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks
    • G07C2009/00365Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with bidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks in combination with a wake-up circuit
    • G07C2009/00373Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with bidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks in combination with a wake-up circuit whereby the wake-up circuit is situated in the lock
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C2009/00753Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys
    • G07C2009/00769Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys with data transmission performed by wireless means
    • G07C2009/00777Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys with data transmission performed by wireless means by induction
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T70/00Locks
    • Y10T70/70Operating mechanism
    • Y10T70/7051Using a powered device [e.g., motor]
    • Y10T70/7062Electrical type [e.g., solenoid]
    • Y10T70/7068Actuated after correct combination recognized [e.g., numerical, alphabetical, or magnet[s] pattern]

Abstract

A security system comprises a card containing access information, a reader for reading the card, a power source, a locking mechanism, and a first circuit for operating the locking mechanism. The power source is coupled to the first circuit to provide power to the first circuit. The power source is also coupled to a wake- up circuit to provide power to the wake-up circuit. The wake-up circuit detects the presence of an object and enables the reader to ascertain whether the object is the card. A method for operating the security system comprises first determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the wake-up circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is being detected by the wake-up circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the wake-up circuit, and then ascertaining whether the object is the card.

Description

-~ 1-This invention relates to locking mechanisms for doors, and particularly to l.oc:king mechanisms that are unlocked using proximity card: and proximity card detection systems. More parti.culairly, t:he present invention relates to apparatus and method; for detecting proximity cards under low levels of current c:cansumpt;ion, then activating higher current-draw assemblies.
Locking mechanisms f=or doors that are unlocked using proximity cards ,:end proximity card detection systems are known. Some such :Loc:king mechanisms require only a "presence" of infrared energy to be detected before other electrical components a:r~e powered up. In such locking mechanisms, if ambient light. contains sufficient infrared energy, the electrical components are powered up even if no proximity card is pres~~rat, whJ_ch results in unnecessarily depleting a power sour~~te of. the locking mechanisms .
Summary of the Inventiorz According to one aspect, the present invention provides a security sy;st:em for locking and unlocking a door, the security system cornpr_isinc~ a card containing access information, a locking mechanism associated with the door, and a circuit coupled i=o the ~_ocking mechanism, the circuit being configured to detect the presence of the card, to read the access information when the card is present, and to operate the locking me::~ranism to unlock the door if the access information read by the circuit is valid, the circuit detecting the presence of the card by sensing if electromagnetic energy vas first absent, then was present, then was absent again.
Illustrativel~rr according to this aspect of the invention, a power sou:rc:e is coupled to a reader via a switch providing a powea~ supply path and a control line.
The power supply path :is coupled to the power source and to the reader and the conti_~ol line is coupled t.o the wake-up circuit. The wake-up c=_rcuit controls the power supply path through the control linF~ to enable the power supply path to supply power to the reader upon detection by the wake-up circuit of the object.
Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake--up circuit further comprises a circuit for producing a signal fur controlling the switch.
Additionally :i_llustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake-up circuit comprises a circuit for determining that electromagnetic energy was first absent, then det~~r~mining that the electromagnetic energy was present, th~era determining that the electromagnetic energy ~naas absent again before enabling the reader to ascertain wh~~~t.her the object is th.e card. The signal enables the powr..~r- supply path to the reader after the wake-up circuit has determined first the absence, then the presence, then the absence, of the e7_ectromagnetic energy.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the:
invention, the wake-up circuit comprise a circuit for determining that the e'~E_:ctromagnetic energy was first absent, then within a :first period of time after determining that the electromagnetic energy was first absent determining that the electromagnet:ic~ enercty was present, then within. a second period of time <:~f t:er determini.:ng that the electromagnetic energy ~n!as present, which second period of time may be of the same duration or a different duration.
than the first period ~::~f time, determining that the electromagnetic energy was absent again before enabling the reader to ascertain wh~~t:her the object is the card.

-2a-Further il.lust;ratively according t.o this aspect of the invention, the wake--up circuit comprises an emitter of electromagnetic energy ~_~nd a detector of electromagnetic, energy.
Additionally :i_llustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the electromagnetic energy emitter and electromagnetic en~argy detector comprise an infrared emitter and infrared detector, respectively.
According to another aspect, the invention provides a method for operating a security system, the method comprising the steps of: providing a card containing access information for a:m authorized user to open a door, providing a reader associated with the door to read the information contained on the card and to determine if the information is valid, ::operating a locking mechanism of the door by a first circuit:: coupled to the reader in order to unlock the door when the information on the card is determined valid by thc~~ reader, detecting the presence of an object and ascertaining whether the object is the card by a second circuit in orde:~~ to activate t::he reader, wherein said detecting step comprise; the following steps of: providing a device having an emittc=_x~ for emitting an electromagnetic energy and a detector ion receiving a reflected electromagnetic energy,, first determi.:ning that the electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit, second determ:ir..i.ng that the reflected electromagnetic energy is being detected by the second circuit within a preset:. period following the first determining step, third determining that the electromagnetic energy is not being deT:ected ~>y the second circuit within a second preset period fc:allowing the second determining step, and activating the reac::ler to read the card and determine if the access information contained on the card is valid after -2b-the card meets the first., second, and third determining steps.
According to this aspect of the invention, the steps of first determining that electromagnetic energy i.s not being detected by tile second cirr_uit, then determining that electromagnetic e:nE:rgy is being detected by the second circuit, then determining that. electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the st>cond circuit comprise first determining that elect:romagnet~ic energy is not being detected by the second c~ircuit;, then within a first period of time after determin.iric~ that, electz-omagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit determining that electromagnetic energy :i.s being detected by the second circuit, then within a :second period of time after determining that the electromagnetic energy is being detected by the second c-_vircuit, which second period of time may be of the same dur<~t.:ion or a different duration than. the first period of time, ~;ae~termining that electromagnetic energy is not being det:e-__~cted by the second circuit.

Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the security system further comprises a power source coupled to the reader via a switch providing a power supply path and a control line. The power supply path is coupled to the power source and to the reader and the control line is coupled to the second circuit.
The method fiuther comprises controlling the power supply path through the control line to enable the power supply path to supply power to the reader upon detection by the second circuit of the object.
Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the second circuit comprises a third circuit for detecting the presence of the object and a reader for ascertaining whether the object is the card. The steps of first determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is being detected by the second circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit comprise first determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit, then 1 S determining that electromagnetic energy is being detected by the third circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit, respectively. The step of ascertaining whether the object is the card comprises ascertaining with the reader whether the object is the card.
Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the third circuit comprises an emitter of electromagnetic energy and a detector of electromagnetic energy. The steps of first determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is being detected by the third circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit comprise the steps of first detecting the absence of electromagnetic energy using the detector, then emitting electromagnetic energy using the emitter and simultaneously detecting the emitted electromagnetic energy using the detector, and then detecting the absence of electromagnetic energy using the detector, respectively.
Additionally according to this aspect of the invention, the steps of first determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is being detected by the third circuit, then determining that electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the third circuit comprise the steps of first determining that infrared energy is not being detected by the third circuit, then emitting infrared energy using the emitter and simultaneously -4.
determining that infrared energy is being detected by the third circuit, then determining that infrared energy is not being detected by the third circuit.
According to another aspect of the invention, an access system for controlling access to a location secured by a locking mechanism comprises a power source, a wake-up circuit coupled to the power source to detect the presence of a proximity card, and an access control circuit including a proximity card reader coupled to the wake-up circuit.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the access control circuit is coupled to the wake-up circuit by a switch.
Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the switch comprises a software-controlled switch.
Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake-up circuit includes an emitter and a detector.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the emitter and detector comprise an infrared energy emitter and infrared energy detector.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the emitter and detector comprise an emitter and detector of ambient infrared energy for determining if a proximity card is present.
Alternatively illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the emitter and detector comprise an ultrasonic energy emitter and ultrasonic energy detector for determining if a proximity card is present.
Alternatively illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the emitter and detector comprise a magnetic field emitter and a magnetic field detector.
Alternatively illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the emitter and detector comprise an emitter and detector for detecting electrical coils of a proximity card for determining if a proximity card is present.
Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in capacitance for detenmining if a proximity card is present.
Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in inductance for determining if a proximity card is present.

CA 02262034 1999-02-16 - ' "

Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in electrical charge for determining if a proximity card is present.
According to another aspect of the invention, a method for controlling access to a location secured by a locking mechanism comprises the steps of detecting a proximity card using a wake-up circuit, transmitting a wake-up signal to an access control circuit, reading card data from the proximity card, and unlocking the locking mechanism when valid card data is read.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further comprises the step of sending card data to the access control circuit.
Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the step of sending card data to the access control circuit comprises sending card data to the access control circuit via a card data signal.
Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further comprises the step of matching the card data to card data stored within the access control circuit.
Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the step of transmitting a wake-up signal to an access control circuit comprises the step of transmitting a wake-up signal to an access control circuit signaling the access control circuit that a proximity card has been detected.
According to another aspect of the invention, an access system for controlling access to a location secured by a locking mechanism comprises a power source, a wake-up switch coupled to the power source to indicate the presence of a proximity card, and an access control circuit including a proximity card reader coupled to the wake-up switch.
According to another aspect of the invention, a method for controlling access to a location secured by a locking mechanism comprises the steps of detecting the change of state of a switch, transmitting a wake-up signal to an access control circuit, reading card data from a proximity card, and unlocking the locking mechanism when valid card data is read.

CA 02262034 1999-02-16 - .

The invention may best be understood by referring to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings which illustrate the invention:
Fig. 1 illustrates a block diagram of a proximity card detection system according to the present invention;
Fig. 2 illustrates the electrical current consumption of the proximity card detection system illustrated in Fig. 1 under normal operating conditions;
Fig. 3 illustrates a flow chart of a wake-up function embodied in the system illustrated in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 illustrates a more detailed flow chart of the card detection function illustrated in Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram of a circuit realization of the proximity card detection system illustrated in Fig. 1;
Fig. 6 illustrates a fragmentary block diagram of another system constructed according to the present invention;
I S Fig. 7 illustrates a fragmentary block diagram of another system constructed according to the present invention;
Fig. $ illustrates a fragmentary block diagram of another system constructed according to the present invention; and, Fig. 9 illustrates a fragmentary block diagram of another system constructed according to the present invention.
In the detailed description that follows, certain integrated circuits and other components are identified by particular types, component values and sources. In some cases, terminal names and pin numbers for these specifically identified types, components and sources are noted. This should not be interpreted to mean that the identified types, components and/or sources are the only types, components and/or sources available that will perform the described functions. Other circuit types, component values and types, and component sources typically are available which will perform the described functions. The terminal names, pin numbers, and the like, of such other circuit types; components and sources may or may not be the same as those indicated for the specific circuits and components identified in this application.

-7_ Referring to Fig. 1, a proximity card detection system 10 is used to detect the presence of a proximity card 12, read card data 13 from the proximity card 12, and unlock a locking mechanism 14 such as a door lock if the data 13 indicates that access should be provided. The proximity card detection system 10 includes a power source 20, access control electronics 22, reader electronics 24, and a wake-up circuit 26. To keep power consumption low and extend the life of the power source 20, the proximity card detection system 10 uses the wake-up circuit 26 to keep the reader electronics 24 and the access control electronics 22 powered down until the proximity card 12 is detected.
After the proximity card 12 is detected by the wake-up circuit 26, the reader electronics 24 and access control electronics 22 get powered up to determine if the locking mechanism 14 should be unlocked. In the illustrated embodiment, the proximity card detection system according to the invention is a battery-powered, stand-alone system that includes a wake-up circuit to minimize power consumption. In addition, in the illustrated embodiment, the proximity card detection system uses an "absence-presence-absence" algorithm (as discussed below) to prevent ambient light 16 from falsely triggering the wake-up circuit 26.
As illustrated in Fig. 1, the power source 20 provides unregulated power 30 to the wake-up circuit 26 and the access control electronics 22. The power source 20 also provides regulated power 32 through the access control electronics 22 to the reader electronics 24. Illustratively, the power source 20 includes four (4) AA
alkaline batteries to provide approximately six (6) volts.to the access control electronics 22 and wake-up . circuit 26. However, any power source including, but not limited to, hard-wired AC or DC regulated or unregulated power may be used to power the proximity card detection system of the current invention.
The access control electronics 22 can be used to unlock and/or re-lock the locking mechanism 14 under various conditions. For example, access control electronics 22 can be configured to lock and/or re-lock the locking mechanism 14 at specific times of day (i.e., unlock at 8:00 a.m. and re-lock at 5:00 p.m. every day) independent of the detecting or reading of a proximity card 12. The access control electronics 22 can also operate in a "passage mode" condition where the locking mechanism 14 is unlocked after a valid proximity card 12 has been detected and read (as discussed below) and then re-locked automatically after a predetermined amount of time has passed. The access _g_ control electronics 22 can operate in either of these conditions, in some combination of these two conditions, or in a variety of other conditions.
When the access control electronics 22 operate in the "passage mode"
condition, two conditions must be met before the access control electronics 22 send an unlock/re-lock signal 34 to the locking mechanism 14 to unlock the locking mechanism 14 for the predetermined amount of time before automatically re-locking the locking mechanism 14. The first condition that must be met is that the wake-up circuit 26 must detect the proximity card 12 (as described in more detail below) and transmit a wake-up signal 47 to the access control electronics 22 telling the access control electronics 22 that a proximity card 12 has been detected. This, in effect, enables (or activates) the access control electronics 22 (as discussed below). Typically, access control electronics of the type contemplated by the invention consume a moderate amount of power when activated and therefore, to conserve power, it is important to keep the access control electronics powered down until they are needed. Once enabled, the second condition that must be met is that the reader electronics 24 must read the card data 13 from the proximity card 12 and send this card data 13 to the access control electronics 22 via a card-data signal 36. The card-data signal 36 must match a set of valid card data that is stored within the access control electronics 22 for the locking mechanism 14 to be unlocked. Thus, only if both conditions are met (i.e., the proximity card 12 is detected and the card data 13 is valid) will the access control electronics 22 unlock the locking mechanism 14 by sending the unlock/re-lock signal 34 to the locking mechanism 14.
The reader electronics 24 are used to read the card data 13 that are stored on the proximity card 12 and transfer the card data 13 to the access control panel 22 via the card-data signal 36. Illustratively, the reader electronics 24 include a read head 37 that is designed to read the card data 13 that is written via a write head onto the proximity card 12. The reader electronics 24 are deigned to read the card data 13 only after the wake-up circuit 26 closes a software-controlled switch 48, illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 1, that permits regulated power 32 to flow to the reader electronics 24. After the reader electronics 24 are powered up and the card data 13 is read by read head 37, the reader electronics 24 transmit the card data 13 to the access control electronics 22 via the card-data signal 36. Typically, reader electronics like those illustrated in Fig. 1 consume a moderate amount of power when reading a proximity card and therefore, to conserve power, it is important to keep the reader electronics powered down until a proximity card is detected. Although the reader electronics just described illustrate an inductive coil read head for reading the proximity card data, any type of reader device could be used within the scope of this invention.
The wake-up circuit 26 is used to detect the presence of a proximity card 12, to enable the access control electronics 22, and to supply power to the reader electronics 24 when appropriate. To detect the presence of a proximity card 12, the wake-up circuit 26 includes a detection device 38. The detection device 38 illustratively includes an emitter 40 and a detector 42. In the illustrated embodiment, the emitter 40 and detector 42 emit and detect infrared energy. However, any suitable type of detection device, including but not limited to emitters and/or detectors of passive infrared energy, ultrasonic energy, passive magnetic fields (detecting the coils of the card using a magnetic sensor), or sensors combined with electronics to sense changes in capacitance, inductance, or electrical charge, can be used for determining if a proximity card is present.
The wake-up circuit 26 could detect the presence of a proximity card 12 by having the emitter 40 emit infrared energy 45 outwardly away from the proximity card detection system 10 while monitoring the detector 42 for detection of infrared energy. In such a scenario, as illustrated in Fig. 1, if a proximity card 12 (or other reflective object) is present, energy 45 will be reflected back towards the proximity card detection system 10 and the detector 42 will detect the reflected infrared energy 45. That causes the wake-up circuit 26 to send the wake-up signal 47 to the access control electronics 22 indicating that a proximity card 12 or other reflective object is present. If a proximity card 12 or other reflective object is not present, or if the proximity card 12 is too far away, the infrared energy 45 will not be, reflected and will not be detected by detector 42. Thus, the wake-up signal 47 would not be sent to the access control electronics 22.
Although such a detection system (requiring only a "presence" of infrared energy) could be used with the wake-up circuit of the present invention, such a system does not address the situation where the ambient light 16 contains infrared energy. If, in the system just described, the ambient light 16 contained sufficient infrared energy, the detector 42 would detect the infrared energy in the ambient light 16 as well as the energy 45 being reflected by the proximity card 12 or other reflective object. In this case, even if a proximity card 12 or other reflective object were not present, the wake-up circuit 26 would conclude that a proximity card 12 were present because infrared energy would be detected from the ambient light 16. The wake-up circuit 26 would then send the wake-up signal 47 which would unnecessarily deplete the power source 20 because, in fact, no card 12 is present. Thus, the illustrated embodiment contemplates an "absence-presence-absence" algorithm (as described below) which reduces the likelihood that ambient light 16 that emits infrared energy will be misinterpreted as a proximity card being present.
Referring now to Figs. 2-5, under normal operating conditions, the proximity card detection system 10 of Fig. 1 consumes varying amounts of electrical current based on the particular function that the proximity card detection system 10 is performing. These particular functions are illustrated diagrammatically in Figs. 3 and 4 which illustrates software for controlling the wake-up circuit 26. Both the access control electronics 22 and the reader electronics 24 are controlled to an extent by the wake-up circuit 26.
To describe Figs. 3-4, two examples will be used to step through the I S wake-up function illustrated in these drawings. In the first example, the wake-up function will be described based on the assumption that the ambient light 16 does not contain sufficient infrared energy to activate wake-up circuit 26. In the second example, it is assumed that the light source 16 does contain sufficient infrared energy to activate wake-up circuit 26. It is important to note that these examples, as well as Figs. 2-4, illustrate the invention and are not intended to limit the invention except as specifically described in the claims.
Referring now to the first example and Figs. 2 and 3, the proximity card detection system 10 begins in a low-power state as illustrated at block 120 in Fig. 3. In the low-power state, the wake-up circuit 26, the reader electronics 24, and the access control electronics 22 are effectively powered down. Referring to Fig. 2, this relates to the electrical current consumption of the proximity card detection system 10 being at a low-power level 120 which is the initial electrical current draw of the proximity card detection system 10: Referring back to Fig. 3, the proximity card detection system 10 remains in the low-power state for 250 milliseconds as illustrated by block 122. The proximity card detection system 10 then exits the low-power state as illustrated by block 124 and enters a card detection function as illustrated by block 126. As illustrated in Fig. 2, when the card detection function 126 is activated, additional power is used because the emitter 40 and detector 42 are activated to determine whether a proximity card 12 is present. This results in the electrical current consumption moving from the low-power level 120, illustrated in Fig. 2, to a card-detection-function level 126.
The card detection fiulction illustrated by block 126 in Fig. 3 is detailed in Fig. 4. The card detection function 126 involves an algorithm that requires an "absence, then presence, and then absence" of infrared energy before indicating that a card 12 or other object is present. This "absence-presence-absence" algorithm helps reduce the likelihood of false defections of a proximity card being present because the "absence-presence-absence" algorithm requires more than a single "presence" of infrared energy before indicating that a proximity card 12 or other reflective object is present. The "absence-presence-absence" algorithm prevents wake-up circuit 26 from unnecessarily sending the wake-up signal 47 to the access control electronics 22 when ambient infrared light 16 is present (thereby unnecessarily depleting the power source 20). The absence-presence-absence algorithm will detect a proximity card 12 or other reflective object whether or not the ambient light 16 contains sufficient infrared energy.
When the ambient light 16 does not contain sufficient infrared light to activate wake-up circuit 26, the card detection fimction 126 first determines if sufficient infrared energy has been detected by detector 42 as illustrated by block 128 in Fig. 4. In other words, block 128 is looking for the first "absence" of infrared energy, as required by the "absence-presence-absence" algorithm. Because the emitter 40 has not yet been fumed on, no infrared energy from emitter 40 will be detected. In addition, the ambient light 16, in this example, does not contain sufficient infrared energy to activate wake-up circuit 26. Thus, under these conditions, no infrared energy will be detected at block 128 in Fig. 4 and the first "absence" requirement of the "absence-presence-absence"
algorithm is satisfied.
If insufficient infrared energy is detected at block 128, the infrared emitter 40 is turned on as illustrated by block 130 in Fig. 4 to permit detection of the "presence"
of infrared energy. With the emitter 40 activated, the infrared energy 45 is radiated as illustrated in Fig. 1. If a proximity card 12 or other reflective object is presented in front of the proximity card detection system 10, the infrared energy 45 will be reflected back towards the detector 42 as illustrated in Fig. 1. However, if no proximity card 12 is present, the infrared energy 45 will not be reflected. Thus, the card detection function 126 is probing for a 'presence" of infrared energy that is the direct result of the infrared CA 02262034 1999-02-16 _ energy 45 from the emitter 40 being reflected by the proximity card 12 back towards the detector 42.
The emitter 40 remains-activated for approximately 50 microseconds (~s) as illustrated by block 132. If, after the emitter 40 is turned on, 50 ps have not elapsed, the software checks to see if infrared energy 45 has been detected by the detector 42 as illustrated by block 134. If no proximity card 12 or other object is present, the infrared energy 45 will not be reflected back towards the detector 42 and the detector 42 will not detect infrared energy. In this case, after the 50 ~s of block 132 elapse, the emitter 40 is deactivated as illustrated by block 136 and the card detection function 126 returns a signal, as illustrated by block 138, that no proximity card 12 or other reflective object was detected. If, however, a proximity card 12 or other object is presented in front of the proximity card detection system 10 before the 50 microseconds elapse, the infrared energy 45 will be reflected back towards the detector 42 and detected at block 134. In this case, the "presence" requirement of the "absence-presence-absence"
algorithm will be satisfied and the card detection function 126 continues with a "yes"
exiting from block 134.
After the wake-up circuit 26 has detected an absence and then a presence of infrared energy as just described, the wake-up circuit 26 then probes for the final "absence" requirement to complete the "absence-presence-absence" algorithm. To do this, the wake-up circuit 26 first deactivates (or turns off ) the emitter 40 as illustrated by block 140 in Fig. 4. After the infrared emitter 40 is deactivated, there is a microsecond delay as illustrated by block 142 in Fig. 4. The 100 ~s delay must elapse before the detector 42 is turned on to see if infrared energy is detected as illustrated by block 144. With the infrared emitter 40 deactivated, no infrared energy 45 emitted from emitter 40 can be reflected back towards the detector 42 and the 100 ps delay helps to ensure that this is the case. Thus, the final "absence" requirement will be met. As a result; under these conditions where the emitter 40 is off and the ambient light 16 does not contain sufficient infrared energy, no infrared energy will be detected, and the card detection function 126 will return a signal to the main routine illustrated in Fig. 3 that a card 12 or other object has been detected as illustrated by block 146.
From this point, the wake-up circuit 26 uses the "card detected" value from block 146 (because the absence-presence-absence criterion has been met) to answer the inquiry of block 148 in Fig. 3. Because the absence-presence-absence requirement of Fig. 4 was satisfied and the card detection function 126 returned a signal indicating that a card 12 or other object was detected, block 148 in Fig. 3 returns a "YES" and the wake-up function illustrated in Fig. 3 continues. Of course, if the absence-presence-absence requirement had not been satisfied, the card detection function 126 would have returned a signal indicating that a proximity card 12 was not detected and block 148 of Fig. 3 would return a "NO." If this occurred, the wake-up circuit 26 would re-enter the low power state as illustrated by block 120 and the process (or loop) just described would continue until a proximity card 12 or other object was detected.
Assuming that a proximity card 12 was detected and block 148 returned a "YES," the wake-up circuit 26 then activates the access control electronics 22 as illustrated by block 150. This results in another increase in electrical current consumption as illustrated by the jump from the card-detection-function level 126, illustrated in Fig. 2, to a card-detected level 150 because the access control electronics 22 are now waiting to receive and process the card-data signal 36 from the reader electronics 36 and this requires additional power. Referring back to Fig. 3, once the access control electronics 22 are enabled as illustrated by block 150, there is a 10 millisecond delay as illustrated by block 152. The 10 millisecond delay permits the unregulated power 30 going to the access control electronics 22 to stabilize before the card 12 is read.
After the 10 millisecond delay, regulated power 32 is applied to the reader electronics 24 as illustrated by block 154. This is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 1 as software-controlled switch 48 being closed to provide regulated power 32 to the reader electronics 24. This closing of the software-controlled switch 48 increases the electrical current consumption of the proximity card detection system 10 from the card-detected level 150 to a reader-electronics-activated level 154, as illustrated in Fig.

2. The power continues to be applied to the reader electronics 24 as illustrated by block 154 in Fig. 3 until card data 13 has been read from a proximity card 12, or has not been read from some other object, by the reader electronics 24 and, if card data has been read, it is transmitted 36 to the access control electronics 22 as illustrated by block 156. If card data 13 has been read and transmitted to the access control electronics 22, power is removed from the reader electronics 24 as illustrated by block 158 and the electrical current consumption shown in Fig. 2 returns to the card-detected level 150.
Because the access control electronics 22 were enabled at block 150 in Fig. 3, the access control electronics 22 begin processing the card-data signal 36 as soon as the card-data signal 36 is received by the access control electronics 22 (which, as discussed above, occurred at block 156). However, because it takes some time for the access control electronics 22 to process the card-data signal 36, the reader electronics 24 are shut down by block 158 before the access control electronics 22 are capable of sending the unlock/re-lock signal 34 to the locking mechanism 14 as illustrated in Fig. 1.
As a result, the electrical current consumption remains at the card-detected level 150 after the reader electronics 24 are shut down (due to block 158) and until the card-data signal 36 is processed by the access control electronics 22 to send the unlock/re-lock signal 34. This prevents the reader electronics 24 from being powered up at the same time the unlock/re-lock signal 34 is given, which otherwise could result in a significant spike in current consumption.
Once the access control electronics 22 process the card-data signal 36, the unlock/re-lock signal 34 is sent to the locking mechanism 14 if the access control electronics 22 determined from the card data 13 that entry is authorized. If the unlocklre-lock signal 34 is sent, the electrical current consumption jumps from the card-detected level 150 to a unlocking/re-locking level 160 as shown in Fig. 2. After the locking mechanism 14 is unlocked, the current consumption returns to the card-detected level 150 illustrated in Fig. 2. The current consumption remains at this level for a predetermined amount of time before the unlock/re-lock signal 34 is again sent to the locking mechanism 14 to re-lock it. When the locking mechanism 14 is instructed to re lock, the current consumption again jumps from the card-detected level 150 to the unlocking/re-locking level 160. After the locking mechanism 14 is re-locked, the access control electronics 22 shut down and the current consumption returns to the card-detection-function level 126 illustrated in Fig. 2.
The current consumption remains at the card-detection-function level 126 (before returning to the low-power level 120) because, as illustrated in Fig.

3, after power is removed from the reader electronics 24 at block 158, the wake-up circuit 26 re-enters the card detection function (Fig. 4) as illustrated by block 162. In addition, the current consumption remains at this level until the card 12 is no longer detected by the card detection function 162. In other words, following the card detection function 162, the wake-up circuit 26 checks to see if the proximity card 12 has been removed from its infrared reflecting orientation as illustrated by block 164. If the proximity card 12 has not been removed from its infrared reflecting orientation, this loop between blocks 162 and 164 continues until the proximity card 12 is removed. In other words, the loop continues until the card detection function 162 returns a value that no proximity card 12 is detected -- see block 138 in Fig. 4.
The purpose of this loop between blocks 162 and 164 is to prevent unnecessary power consumption that could result from someone tampering with, or using improperly, the proximity card detection system 10. For example, if the loop were not present and, if someone were to continue to hold a proximity card 12 in front of the proximity card detection system 10, the proximity card detection system 10 would continually cycle through the current consumption graph illustrated in Fig. 2 (based on the discussion of Figs. 3 and 4 above) even though the person presenting the proximity card 12 had akeady gained access past locking mechanism 14. Similarly, unnecessary power consumption could result if someone put tape over the emitter 40 and detector 42 so that energy 45 would always be reflected and detected. In this case, although the locking mechanism 14 would not be unlocked or re-locked because the card-data signal 36 would not authorize the unlock/re-lock signal 34 to be sent by the access control electronics 22, the reader-electronics-activated level 154 of current consumption illustrated in Fig. 2 would continually be reached because blocks 120-158 in Fig. 3 would continue to be processed. Thus, by requiring the card 12 to be removed from its infrared reflecting.orientation illustrated by blocks 162 and 164, the wake-up circuit 26 prevents the proximity card detection system 10 from continually cycling through the current consumption graph illustrated in Fig. 2 when it is unnecessary to do so. Instead, after the locking mechanism 14 is unlocked and then re-locked, the card 12 must be removed from its infrared reflecting orientation before the wake-up circuit 26 will continue through the main loop illustrated in Fig. 3.
Once the proximity card 12 has been removed from its infrared reflecting orientation as required by block 164 in Fig. 3, the wake-up circuit 26 checks to see if the access control electronics 22 have been shut down as illustrated by block 166.
The wake-up circuit 26 waits until the access control electronics have been shut down, as indicated by a "NO" exiting from block 166. As mentioned above, in the "passage mode" condition, the access control electronics 22 automatically shut down after the locking mechanism 14 is re-locked. Therefore, in this condition, after the proximity card 12 has been removed from infrared reflecting orientation, as required by block 164, the access control electronics 22 are shut down, a "YES" exits from block 166, and the wake-up circuit 26 returns to the low-power state as illustrated by block 120 in Fig. 3.
The loop then continues as previously described.
In the second example, in which the ambient light 16 does contain sufficient infrared energy to be detected by wake-up circuit 26, the proximity card detection system 10 begins in a low power state, as illustrated at block 120 in Fig. 3, where the wake-up circuit 26, the reader electronics 24, and the access control electronics 22 are effectively powered down. The wake-up circuit 26 then progresses through the 250 millisecond time delay of block 122, exits the low power state as illustrated by block 124, and enters the card detection filnction at block 126 in exactly the same manner as described in the first example.
Referring to the card detection function 126 in Fig. 4, the wake-up circuit 26 then checks to see if infra-red energy is detected by detector 42 as illustrated by block 128. As in the first example, the card detection function 126 of Fig.4 involves the absence-presence-absence algorithm. However, when there is sufficient infra-red energy in the ambient light 16, the movement of the proximity card 12 in relation to the emitter 40 and detector 42 alters the practical application of the absence-presence-absence algorithm. For example, because the ambient light 16 does contain sufficient infra-red energy, a "YES" will exit from block 128 when no card 12 is present and the card detection function 126 will return a signal, as illustrated by block 138, that no proximity card 12 or other reflective object was detected. Referring back to Fig. 3, this results in a "NO" exiting from block 148 so that the wake-up circuit 26 returns to the low power state at block 120 and repeats this loop until sufficient infra-red energy is not detected at block 128 in Fig. 4.
In order for infra-red energy not to be detected at block 128 in Fig.4 (and satisfy the first "absence" requirement) when infra-red energy is being emitted from the ambient light 16, a proximity card 12 or other infra-red blocking object must be positioned between the ambient light 16 and the detector 42 as illustrated in Fig. l to block the ambient infra-red energy 16 from being detected by the detector 42.
When this occurs, a "NO" will exit from block 128 in Fig.4 and the first "absence"
requirement of the "absence-presence-absence" algorithm will be satisfied.
After the first "absence" requirement has been satisfied, the infra-red emitter 40 is turned on as illustrated by block 130 in Fig.4 to probe for the "presence" of reflected infra-red energy. As in the first example, assuming that the proximity card 12 remains in the position illustrated in Fig.l, when the emitter 40 is activated, the infra-red energy 45 is reflected back towards the detector 42. If the proximity card 12 remains present, at some time before the 50 microsecond delay of block 132, infra-red energy will be detected at block 134 and a "YES" will exit from block 134 indicating that the "presence" requirement has also been satisfied.
If, however, immediately after the infra-red emitter is turned on at block 130, the proximity card 12 is removed, infra-red energy will still be detected at block 134 because the infrared energy in the ambient light 16 will be detected by detector 42.
However, in this case, where the proximity card 12 is removed at some time between blocks 130 and 140 in Fig. 4, the final "absence" requirement as required by block 144 in Fig.4 will prevent the card detection function 126 from concluding that a card has been detected. This is so because if the proximity card 12 has been removed, infra-red energy will continue to be detected, even at block 144. Thus, even though the "presence" of infra-red energy required by block 134 will almost always be satisfied when the ambient light 16 contains sufficient infra-red energy, the two "absence" requirements of blocks 128 and 144 prevent the card detection function 126 from being tricked into believing that a proximity card 12 is present when in fact it is not.
Assuming, however, that the proximity card 12 is being properly presented to the proximity card detection system 10, the wake-up circuit 26 will deactivate the infra-red emitter 40 as illustrated by block 140 after infra-red energy has been detected at block 134. The wake-up circuit 26 then waits for 100 microseconds as illustrated by block 142 before probing for the final "absence" requirement as illustrated by block 144. With the proximity card 12 remaining between the ambient light 16 and the detector 42, infra-red energy will not be detected when the emitter 40 is turned off because the proximity card 12 will be blocking the infra-red energy from the ambient light 16. Thus, the final "absence" requirement will' be met and the card detection function 126 will return a value that a card has been detected as illustrated by block 146.
Referring back to Fig.3, a "YES" will exit from block 148 and the access control electronics 22 will be turned on as illustrated by block 150. The remaining blocks 150-166 will operate as discussed in the first example except that the card detection function illustrated at block 162 will operate as just described with reference to ambient light 16 that does contain infra-red energy. The above discussion of the operation of blocks 152-166 is incorporated by reference here.

Fig. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating a circuit realization of the wake-up circuit 26. Battery voltage Vin is provided from the power source 20.
System GrouND and regulated power V~ for the reader electronics 24 illustrated in Fig. 1 are provided through the access control electronics 22 to the wake-up circuit 26.
Access control electronics 22 receive from wake-up circuit 26 a Controller Wake-Up signal 47.
Access control electronics 22 also receive Proximity card Data 36 from card 12 illustrated in Fig. 1 in response to a Proximity card Strobe. Vsn, which is also the system V~ supply, is coupled across a 10 ~F, 10 V capacitor to the wake-up circuit ground and through a 1 KfZ resistor to a notMasterCLeaR terminal, pin 1, of a microcontroller (~C) 170. Power is coupled to the V~ terminal, pin 20, of pC 170. An oscillator comprising a 4 MHz crystal is coupled across the OSCillatorl and Osc2 terminals, pins 9 and 10, respectively, of uC 170. A 22 pF capacitor is coupled between each of these terminals and ground. The system V~ supply is coupled through a 100 K!Z resistor to the collector of an IR detector phototransistor 42, the emitter of which is coupled to ground. System Vdd is also coupled through a 5.1 KSZ resistor 174 and a 10 ~tF capacitor 176 to ground.
The junction of resistor 174 and capacitor 176 is coupled through a 47 n resistor to the anode of an IR LED 40. The cathode of LED 40 is coupled to the drain terminal of an FET 180. The source terminal of FET 180 is coupled to ground, and its gate is coupled through a 1 KfZ resistor to terminal RB6, pin 27, of pC 170 and through a 100 K~2 resistor to ground. The RBO--RB3 terminals of pC 170 are coupled through respective 100 KSZ resistors to the system V~~ supply, and to respective terminals 1--4 of a four switch DIP switch package 182. Terminals 5--8 of switch 182 are coupled to ground.
Switch 182 permits the time delay indicated in block 122 of Fig. 3 to be changed from 250 msec to, for example, 125 msec, 500 msec or 1000 msec. The drain of an FET
48 is coupled to V~ and its source is coupled to the reader electronics 24. The gate of FET 48 is coupled to terminal RC2, pin 13, of ~C 170 and through a 100 KS2 resistor to V~~. The controller electronics 22 receives a wake-up signal from terminal RA4, pin 6, of pC 170.
When terminal RB6 of ~C 170 is high, emitter 40 emits infrared radiation fordetector 42 to detect or not detect, depending upon whether or not a card 12 is positioned to reflect the radiation from emitter 40 back to detector 42.
The supply of operating power to the card reader elcctmnics 24 from terminal V~ is controlled from terminal RC2 of ~C 170. When terminal RC2 is low, power is supplied from terminal Va through the drain and source of FET 48 to the CA 02262034 1999-02-16 , ,__, Proximity card V~ supply terminal 32 of the reader electronics 24.
Illustratively, pC 170 is a Microchip Technology Inc., type PIC 16C62 pC, emitter 40 and detector 42 are a type QRB 1134 isolator, FET 180 is a type VN0605T FET, and FET 48 is a type TP0610T FET.
While IR detection has been discussed thus far, IR detection is not the only way that low power proximity detection can be implemented. Another simple technique is for the user seeking access to close a switch; causing power to be supplied to the detector for a short time during which the user can present his or her card to seek access. In an illustrative system, a fragment of which is illustrated in Fig.
6, a switch 200 is provided on a locking device 214. When a user wishes to gain access, he or she changes the state of the switch 200. Activation of the switch 200 is sensed by the access control electronics 222, which then causes power to be applied to the proximity card reader 224. This is similar to the method used for magnetic card readers in stand-alone applications.
Referring to Fig. 7, inductive techniques, in which coils, for example, are incorporated into a card 312 and the card detector 342. These coils are inductively coupled by bringing the card 312 into close proximity to the card detector 342's coils.
This may also be used to cause power to be supplied to the detector 342 for a short time to interrogate the user's card 312 and determine whether access is to be permitted.
Proximity cards 312 and proximity card readers 324 essentially comprise a transformer with an air core. The proximity card reader 324 comprises the primary of such a transformer, and the proximity card 312 the secondary. When the cardholder wishes to transfer data to the reader 3z4, such as when he or she is seeking entry past the card reader 324, he or she places his or her card 312 in close proximity to the card reader 324, the transformer primary. This changes the loading on the secondary of the transformer, in the card 312. This change in loading is sensed by the transformer primary in the reader 324, and the access data is then transmitted, received and sensed.
Capacitive techniques for implementing low power card detection and access determinations include charge transfer techniques, sometimes called "QT"
techniques, and tuned circuit techniques. A description of an illustrative QT
technique is contained in Philipp, H., "Charge Transfer Sensor Technology Provides a New Family of Sensors," Electronic Engincering (IJK), vol. 69, no. 845, May, 1997, pp. 28-31. A
circuit useful in implementing a QT technique for proximity detection is described in "QPROXTM QT9701 Charge-Transfer Capacitance Sensor IC,"
Quantum Research Group :I~td., 1997, pp. 1-20. Very briefly, and with reference to Fp_g. 8, in the simple~~t such systems, any object, such as a card 412, presented to wake-up circuit 426 presents a variable capacitance t:o ground. The wakE:-up circuit 426 contains a circuit having a known capacitance and a voltage source h~a~ring a known magnitude. From these parameters, the object'~~ capacitance can be ascertained.
The wake-up circuit thexi also contains circuitry for determining whether the ascertained capacitance is enough to establish the presence of the card 412.
A description of a method for implementing proximity sensing usine~ tuned circuits techniques is illustrated in Baxter, ~~.K., Chapter 17, "Proximity Detector," Capacitive .Sensors, IEEE Press, 1997, pp. 236-242. Again very briefly, and with reference to Fig. 9, in the simplest such systems, any object, such as a card 512, presented to wake-up c::Lrcuit 526 presents a variable capacitance to ground. The wake-up circuit 526 contains a circuit having a known c;apacit:ance. From this, the object's capacitance can be ascertained. The wake-up circuit then also contains circuitry for determining whether the ascertained capacitancf:~ is enough to establish the presence of the card 512.

Claims (28)

1. A security system comprising a card containing access information, a reader for reading the card, a power source, a locking mechanism of a door, a first circuit for operating the locking mechanism to unlock the door when the reader determines the information on the card is valid, the power source being coupled to the first circuit to provide power to the first circuit, and a wake-up circuit, the power source being coupled to the wake-up circuit to provide power to the wake-up circuit, the wake-up circuit detecting the presence of the card, and if so, then enabling the reader to read the card to determine if the information on the card is valid, the power source being coupled to the reader via a switch providing a power supply path and a control line, the power supply path being coupled to the power source and to the reader, the control line being coupled to the wake-up circuit, the wake-up circuit controlling the power supply path through the control line to enable the power supply path to supply power to the reader upon detection by the wake-up circuit of the card, the wake-up circuit further comprising a first circuit portion for producing a signal for controlling the switch, the wake-up circuit comprising a second circuit portion for detecting the presence of the card by sensing if electromagnetic energy was first absent, then was present, then was absent again, the signal enabling the power supply path tic the reader after the wake-up circuit has detected first the absence, then the presence, then the absence, of the electromagnetic energy.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the wake-up circuit comprises an emitter of electromagnetic energy and a detector of electromagnetic energy.
3. The system of claim 2 wherein the electromagnetic energy emitter comprise an infrared emitter and the electromagnetic energy detector comprises an infrared detector.
4. A security system comprising a card containing access information, a reader for reading the card, a power source, a locking mechanism of a door, a first circuit for operating the locking mechanism to unlock the door when the reader determines the information on the card is valid, the power source being coupled to the first circuit to provide power to the first circuit, and a wake-up circuit, the power source being coupled to the wake-up circuit to provide power to the wake-up circuit, the wake-up circuit detecting the presence of the card, and if so, then enabling the reader to read the card to determine if the information on the card is valid, the wake-up circuit comprising an emitter of electromagnetic energy, the wake-up circuit comprising a detector of electromagnetic energy that detects the presence of the card by sensing that the electromagnetic energy was first absent, then was present, then was absent again.
5. The system of claim 4 wherein the wake-up circuit comprises a circuit for determining that the electromagnetic energy was first absent, then within a first period of time after determining that the electromagnetic energy was first absent determining that the electromagnetic energy was present, then within a second period of time after determining that the electromagnetic energy was present, which second period of time may be of the same duration or a different duration than the first period of time, determining that the electromagnetic energy was absent again before enabling the reader to read the card.
6. A method for operating a security system, the method comprising the steps of providing a card containing access information for an authorized user to open a door, providing a reader associated with the door to read the information contained on the card and to determine if the information is valid, operating a locking mechanism of the door by a first circuit coupled to the reader in order to unlock the door when the information on the card is determined valid by the reader, detecting the presence of an object and ascertaining whether the object is the card by a second circuit in order to activate the reader, wherein said detecting step comprises the following steps of: providing a device having an emitter for emitting an electromagnetic energy and a detector for receiving a reflected electromagnetic energy, first determining that the electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit, second determining that the reflected electromagnetic energy is being detected by the second circuit within a preset period following the first determining step, third determining that the electromagnetic energy is not being detected by the second circuit within a second preset period following the second determining step, and activating the reader to read the card and determine if the access information contained on the card is valid after the card meets the first, second, and third determining steps.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein the second preset period is of the same duration as the first preset period.
8. The method of claim 6 further comprising controlling a power supply path provided by a switch included in the security system through a control line that is coupled to the switch to enable the power supply path to supply power from a power source to the reader through the switch upon detection by the second circuit of the object.
9. The method of claim 6 wherein the first determining step comprises the step of detecting the absence of the electromagnetic energy using the detector, the second determining step comprises emitting the electromagnetic energy using the emitter included in the security system and then detecting the reflected electromagnetic energy using the detector after the card reflects the electromagnetic energy, and the third determining step comprises detecting the absence of electromagnetic energy using the detector.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein the first, second, and third determining; steps comprise the steps of first determining that infrared energy is not being detected by the detector, then emitting infrared energy using the emitter and determining that infrared energy is being detected by the detector, then determining that infrared.
energy is not being detected by the detector.
11. A security system comprising a card containing access information, a reader for reading the card, a power source, a locking mechanism of a door, a first circuit for operating the locking mechanism to unlock the door when the reader determines the information on the card is valid, the power source being coupled to the first circuit to provide power to the first circuit, and a wake-up circuit configured to detect electromagnetic energy, the power source being coupled to the wake-up circuit to provide power to the wake-up circuit, the wake-up circuit being configured to detect the presence of the card and to enable the reader to read the card to determine if the information on the card is valid, the wake-up circuit detecting the presence of the card by sensing first the absence, then the presence, then the absence of electromagnetic energy.
12. The security system of claim 11 further comprising a switch coupling the power source to the reader and the switch being coupled to the wake-up circuit to be controlled by the wake-up circuit.
13. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit comprises an emitter of electromagnetic energy.
14. The security system of claim 13 wherein the emitter emits infrared energy.
15. The security system of claim 13 wherein the emitter emits ultrasonic energy.
16. The security system of claim 13 wherein the emitter emits a magnetic field.
17. The security system of claim 11 wherein the electromagnetic energy detected by the wake-up circuit includes infrared energy.
18. The security system of claim 11 wherein the electromagnetic energy detected by the wake-up circuit includes ultrasonic energy.
19. The security system of claim 11 wherein the electromagnetic energy detected by the wake-up circuit includes a magnetic field.
20. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in capacitance to determine if the card is present.
21. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in inductance to determine if the card is present.
22. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit includes a sensor to sense changes in electrical charge to determine if the card is present.
23. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit is configured to determine an amount of time that elapses between detecting the absence of electromagnetic energy and detecting the presence of electromagnetic energy.
24. The security system of claim 11 wherein the wake-up circuit is configured to determine an amount of time that elapses between detecting the presence of electromagnetic energy and detecting the, absence of electromagnetic energy.
25. The security system of claim 11 wherein the electromagnetic energy detected by the wake-up circuit includes electromagnetic energy emitted by the wake-up circuit and reflected back to the wake-up circuit by the card.
26. The security system of claim 11 wherein the reader is coupled to the first circuit, the reader reads the access information and transfers the access information to the first circuit after the reader is enabled by the wake-up circuit, and the first circuit unlocks the locking mechanism if the access information matches a set of valid card data stored in the first circuit.
27. A security system for locking and unlocking a door, the security system comprising a card containing access information, a locking mechanism associated with the door, and a circuit coupled to the locking mechanism, the circuit being configured to detect the presence of the card, to read the access information when the card is present, and to operate the locking mechanism to unlock the door if the access information read by the circuit is valid, the circuit detecting the presence of the card by sensing if electromagnetic energy was first absent, then was present, then was absent again.
28. The security system of claim 27 wherein the circuit includes a power portion, a wake-up portion, and a reader portion, the wake-up portion has a first amount of current draw from the power portion when the wake-up portion detects the presence and absence of electromagnetic energy, the reader portion has a second amount of current draw from the power portion when the reader portion reads the access information, and the second amount of current draw is greater than the first amount of current draw.
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