US20080134556A1 - Biometric thumbprint lock apparatus and method - Google Patents

Biometric thumbprint lock apparatus and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080134556A1
US20080134556A1 US11586014 US58601406A US2008134556A1 US 20080134556 A1 US20080134556 A1 US 20080134556A1 US 11586014 US11586014 US 11586014 US 58601406 A US58601406 A US 58601406A US 2008134556 A1 US2008134556 A1 US 2008134556A1
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Prior art keywords
lock
thumbprint
body
control means
gun
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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.)
Abandoned
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US11586014
Inventor
Amber Lee Remelin
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Amber Lee Remelin
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A17/00Safety arrangements, e.g. safeties
    • F41A17/06Electric or electromechanical safeties
    • F41A17/066Electric or electromechanical safeties having means for recognizing biometric parameters, e.g. voice control, finger print or palm print control
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A17/00Safety arrangements, e.g. safeties
    • F41A17/46Trigger safeties, i.e. means for preventing trigger movement
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A17/00Safety arrangements, e.g. safeties
    • F41A17/46Trigger safeties, i.e. means for preventing trigger movement
    • F41A17/54Protecting-caps for trigger guards; Trigger locking pieces mounted on, or within, the trigger guard

Abstract

A biometrically keyed thumbprint lock apparatus is disclosed. In one embodiment the lock apparatus serves as a safety device on a gun or rifle, the lock apparatus disabling the gun and preventing its use. Another embodiment providing a thumbprint lock having a ‘J’ shaped lock bar, replacing conventional key and combination locks.

Description

    FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The disclosures made herein relate generally to locks of various kinds including gun locks and, more particularly, to locking apparatuses and gun locks incorporating biometric thumbprint pattern recognition as the security identification means for unlocking the lock.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The use of key and combination locks of various kinds, as well as the use of gun locks for securing a firearm and preventing unauthorized access and accidental discharge of a firearm is well known. In residential homes, for example, it is desirable to secure firearms against accidental use by children and visitors to the home.
  • Key locks and combination locks are well known and widely used. Key locks suffer from a disadvantage as the key used to open the lock can become lost or difficult to find. Additionally, when a key lock is used to secure goods at a remote location, say at a storage rental facility, and if the user forgot to bring the key, then the user may drive home (for example) to retrieve the key, resulting in wasted motion and lost time.
  • Well known varieties of combination locks are opened by turning a dial or dials on the lock to a preset combination. Combination locks have known disadvantages. One disadvantage is that the combination can be easily forgotten, making the lock impossible to open. Another disadvantage is that (in many cases) the combination is set at the factory and is not easily changed by the user. This can be problematic, for example, sometimes it is advantageous to give a key or combination to a person temporarily, say when the person is an employee or if a neighbor is to watch your home when you are away. In the case of a gun lock, an example might be if you wish to loan your firearm to a friend for target shooting. Once this person has the key or combination to the lock, it is often impossible to later change the key or combination without replacing the lock or gun lock apparatus.
  • Therefore, a biometric thumbprint lock apparatus configured for overcoming the drawbacks of such conventional approaches in lock apparatuses would be useful, advantageous and novel.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The disclosures herein are directed to a biometric fingerprint actuated locking apparatus, which in certain embodiments incorporates features of a gun trigger lock.
  • Embodiments have a lock body with at least one aperture for receiving and locking a movable lock bar. The lock body includes a biometric thumbprint scanning device for scanning and extracting a thumbprint pattern from the thumb of a person. The thumbprint scanner is in communication with a logic control means within the body of the lock. The logic control means includes a memory means in which enrolled or authorized thumbprints are stored. Enrolled thumbprints are thumbprints which will unlock the thumbprint lock. The lock body includes a serial communication means such as a USB port for interfacing the thumbprint lock logic control means with an external personal computer. When connected to the external computer, new thumb prints may be enrolled in the memory of the thumbprint lock, or previously enrolled thumbprints may be reviewed, replaced or deleted. Computer thumbprint enrollment access to the thumbprint lock has security enforced through a password or PIN code. A lock control means is in communication with the logic control means in the body of the lock. When a user presses their thumb on the thumbprint scanner on the lock, and if the thumbprint matches the thumbprint of an enrolled user, then the lock control means is commanded by the logic control means to disengage or unlock the lock.
  • According to at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures herein, the thumbprint actuated locking apparatus is a gun lock for a firearm such as a handgun. In this embodiment the lock body includes a trigger brace bar adapted for placement behind a gun trigger for disabling the actuation of the gun trigger along with a ‘J’ shaped lock bar which is slidably and lockably received into the body of the thumbprint actuated locking apparatus. The lock bar engages around the back and sides of the gun handle while the trigger bar engages at least one side and back of the gun trigger, thereby securing the gun lock to the hand gun while blocking the gun trigger from actuation, thereby disabling the gun.
  • In embodiments of the inventive disclosures herein, the thumbprint actuated locking apparatus has the memory capacity to store a number of enrolled thumbprints, allowing more than one person to have access to the gun or other materials secured by the lock. Each enrolled thumbprint is stored in the computer as well as in the memory of the thumbprint lock. With authorized thumbprints stored this way, the user only needs to press their thumb against the thumbprint scanner on the lock body to unlock the lock.
  • These and other objects and embodiments of the inventive disclosures made herein will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The drawings show a form of the invention that is presently preferred; however, the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement shown in the drawings.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of one embodiment of a biometric thumbprint gun lock in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock of FIG. 1 in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock of FIG. 1 in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock as depicted in FIG. 3 but applied to a handgun to secure the handgun against use.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of a biometric thumbprint lock in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • FIG. 6 is a flowchart depicting steps of a method of enrolling a user thumbprint in the biometric thumbprint lock.
  • FIG. 7 is a flowchart depicting steps of an unlock sequence for authenticating a user thumbprint and unlocking the biometric thumbprint lock.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In preparation for explaining the details of the present inventive disclosure, it is to be understood by the reader that the invention is not limited to the presented details of the construction, materials and embodiments as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, as the invention concepts are clearly capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and realized in various ways by applying the disclosure presented herein.
  • Turning now to FIG. 1-FIG. 3:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of one embodiment of a biometric thumbprint gun lock in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock of FIG. 1 in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock of FIG. 1 in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein.
  • The biometric thumbprint gunlock comprises a body 102 and a ‘J’ shaped lock bar which is slidably and lockably received into an aperture of the body. The lock bar has an elongated lock engagement portion 104 with a gun handle engagement portion 106 secured to one end of the lock engagement portion 104. The lock engagement portion 106 has a plurality of notches 108 formed into the side of the lock engagement portion. The notches locklably engage with a lock member (not shown) secured inside the lock body 102 to lock the lock bar in position. A biometric thumbprint scanner 110 is secured to the body of the lock. The thumbprint scanner 110 includes a pressure sensitive sensor to detect when a thumb is being pressed onto the scanner. A lock control means (not shown) such as a solenoid or motor actuator is mechanically linked to the lock member to mechanically effect locking and unlocking of the lock bar lock engagement portion 104 in the body 102 of the lock. An ‘L’ shaped trigger brace bar 114 is configured to extend behind the trigger of the gun to prevent the activation of the gun trigger. A logic control means (not shown) is secured within the body of the lock and in communication with the thumbprint scanner 110 and the lock control means. The logic control means supervises the validation of user thumbprints against a memory store of enrolled (authorized) thumbprints and if authorized, commands the lock control means to unlock.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the biometric thumbprint gun lock as depicted in FIG. 3 but applied to a handgun to secure the handgun against use. The biometric thumbprint gun lock 100 is mounted and secured to hand gun 404. The gun handle engagement portion 106 of the lock bar extends around the back and two opposing sides of the gun handle 402. A portion of the lock engagement portion 104 of the lock bar extends forward from the lock body to rest against the trigger guard 406 of the hand gun. The lock engagement portion 104, the gun handle engagement portion 106 and the trigger brace bar (114 FIG. 3) engage with the gun to secure the gun lock onto the gun as well as to disable the gun trigger from activation.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of a biometric thumbprint lock in accordance with the inventive disclosures herein. The lock body 502 has apertures 508, 510 sized and adapted to slidably and lockably receive the ‘J’ shaped lock bar 504. A biometric thumbprint scanner 506 is secured to the body 502 of the lock. The thumbprint scanner 506 includes a pressure sensitive sensor to detect when a thumb is being pressed onto the scanner. A lock control means (not shown) such as a solenoid or motor actuator is mechanically linked to a lock member to mechanically effect locking and unlocking of the ‘J’ shaped lock bar lock 504 in the body 502 of the lock. A logic control means (not shown) is secured within the body of the lock and in communication with the thumbprint scanner 506 and the lock control means. The logic control means supervises the validation of user thumbprints against a memory store of enrolled (authorized) thumbprints and if authorized, commands the lock control means to unlock.
  • FIG. 6 is a flowchart 600 depicting steps of a method of enrolling a user thumbprint in the biometric thumbprint lock. At step 602 a computer is connected to and in communication with the biometric thumbprint lock. The thumbprint lock is equipped with a communication port, preferably a USB communication port, for interfacing the thumbprint lock with a personal computer to manager (add or delete) enrolled thumbprints. At block 604 the computer user is prompted for a password or PIN code, which is then entered by the user. The password is tested by the logic control means in the thumbprint lock at block 606, and if the password is valid then the control transfers to block 608. Block 608 initiates fingerprint scanning. Scanning starts when a thumb is pressed against the thumbprint scanner of the thumbprint lock. A pressure sensor in the scanner informs the logic and control means that an object is pressed against the thumbprint scanner, initiating a thumbprint scan. As the computer is connected and authenticated to the thumbprint lock, the scanned thumbprint is assumed to be new. Features are extracted from the scanned thumbprint image at block 610. These extracted features are enrolled into the thumbprint lock memory at block 612 as a valid (authenticated) unlock thumbprint. Not shown, the user at the external computer may then assign a name or other ID tag to the scanned thumbprint to assist with identifying enrolled thumbprints stored to the thumbprint lock. If another thumbprint is to be enrolled, then control transfers to block 608, otherwise the method exits.
  • FIG. 7 is a flowchart 700 depicting steps of an unlock sequence for authenticating a user thumbprint and unlocking the biometric thumbprint lock. The sequence begins at block 702 when a user presses his thumb against the thumbprint scanner of the thumbprint lock. A pressure sensor in the scanner informs the logic and control means that an object is pressed against the thumbprint scanner, initiating a thumbprint scan. After the scan, features of the thumbprint image are extracted at block 704. At block 706 the features are compared against enrolled users and if the thumbprint does not match an enrolled user then the procedure exits. If the thumbprint matches that of an enrolled user then control transfers to block 708. At block 708 the logic and control means commands the lock control means (solenoid or motor actuator) to mechanically unlock the lock. The unlock state is held at block 710 for a period of time (5 to 10 seconds) to provide time for the user to open the lock.
  • The discussed construction, illustrations and sequence of operation is for one embodiment of the invention, but is in no way limiting to other embodiments. The operating modes may be changed and enhanced without deviating from the intention of this inventive disclosure.
  • In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments and certain variants thereof have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, material, and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Claims (10)

  1. 1. A biometric thumbprint keyed gun lock comprising:
    a body having an aperture therethrough sized and adapted to slidably and lockably receive a lock engagement portion, the engagement portion sized to be extendable through the body, the body comprising:
    a trigger brace bar adapted for placement behind a gun trigger disabling the actuation of the gun trigger;
    a lock bar comprising:
    a gun handle engagement portion; and
    the elongated lock engagement portion, the lock engagement portion having notches for lockably engaging with a lock member, the engagement portion sized to be extendable through the body so as to extend outwards from both sides of the body;
    a biometric thumbprint scanner secured to the body of the lock;
    a lock control means secured within the body of the lock, the lock control means for engaging and disengaging the lock member from the elongated lock engagement portion; and
    a logic control means secured within the body and in communication with the lock control means and the thumbprint scanner, the control means comprising:
    a memory means for storing enrolled biometric thumbprints;
    a means of comparing and validating a scanned thumbprint from the thumbprint scanner against at least one enrolled thumbprint, wherein if the scanned thumbprint matches enrolled thumbprint then the lock control means is commanded to disengage; and
    a communication means of interfacing the control means with an external computer system.
  2. 2. The thumbprint keyed gun lock of claim 1, wherein the brace bar is ‘L’ shaped.
  3. 3. The thumbprint keyed gun lock of claim 2, wherein the gun handle engagement portion is ‘J’ shaped, wherein the ‘J’ shaped engagement portion is sized to engage around the rear and two opposing sides of the gun handle, wherein the brace bar is sized and adapted to engage around the rear and a first side of the trigger, wherein the lock engagement portion extending outwards from the body opposite the gun handle engagement portion extends proximate to a second side of the trigger, wherein the brace bar and lock bar lockably secure the gun lock to the gun.
  4. 4. The thumbprint keyed gun lock of claim 3, wherein the memory means is a non-volatile memory.
  5. 5. The thumbprint keyed gun lock of claim 4, wherein the communication means of interfacing the control means with an external computer system is a USB port.
  6. 6. A biometric thumbprint keyed lock comprising:
    a body having an apertures sized and adapted to slidably and lockably receive a ‘J’ shaped lock bar, the lock bar having at least one notch for lockably engaging with a lock member, the lock member secured within the body;
    a biometric thumbprint scanner secured to the body of the lock;
    a lock control means secured within the body of the lock, the lock control means for engaging and disengaging the lock member from the lock bar, wherein when engaged the lock member is locked against the body, wherein when disengaged the lock member is free to extend and pivot away from the body; and
    a logic control means secured within the body and in communication with the lock control means and the thumbprint scanner, the control means comprising:
    a memory means for storing enrolled biometric thumbprints;
    a means of comparing and validating a scanned thumbprint from the thumbprint scanner against at least one enrolled thumbprint, wherein if the scanned thumbprint matches enrolled thumbprint then the lock control means is commanded to disengage; and
    a communication means of interfacing the control means with an external computer system;
  7. 7. The thumbprint keyed lock of claim 6, wherein the memory means is a non-volatile memory.
  8. 8. The thumbprint keyed lock of claim 7, wherein the communication means of interfacing the control means with an external computer system is a USB port.
  9. 9. A method of enrolling a user thumbprint into a biometric thumbprint lock comprising the steps of:
    connecting the thumbprint lock to a computer;
    entering a valid password;
    pressing a thumb against a scanner of the thumbprint lock;
    scanning the user thumbprint to create an image;
    extracting features from the scanned image; and
    enrolling the scanned thumbprint features to memory in the thumbprint lock.
  10. 10. A method of unlocking a biometric thumbprint lock comprising the steps of:
    pressing a thumb against a scanner of the thumbprint lock;
    scanning a user thumbprint to create an image;
    extracting features from the scanned image; and
    matching the features against features of enrolled users, if a match occurs then unlocking the thumbprint lock.
US11586014 2006-10-25 2006-10-25 Biometric thumbprint lock apparatus and method Abandoned US20080134556A1 (en)

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Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120291327A1 (en) * 2011-05-18 2012-11-22 Boutot Jr Michael Biometric quick release gun lock
US20130312306A1 (en) * 2012-05-23 2013-11-28 Torrey S. Ruffin Firearm trigger lock
US20140215881A1 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-08-07 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US20140215882A1 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-08-07 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US9097479B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-08-04 Veri-Fire, LLC Trigger lock
US9377259B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2016-06-28 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9404699B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-08-02 Matthew Thomas Barido Trigger lock
US9488427B1 (en) * 2015-01-12 2016-11-08 Don Scott Lucero Fast access trigger lock
US9739555B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2017-08-22 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9879932B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2018-01-30 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9970725B2 (en) 2013-05-06 2018-05-15 Sentinl, Inc. Quick access firearm safety apparatus

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US4934083A (en) * 1989-08-11 1990-06-19 Smith C Martin Child-proof lock for firearms
USD341072S (en) * 1991-07-19 1993-11-09 Pistol lock
US5551181A (en) * 1992-04-13 1996-09-03 Mcdonald Upton Limited Gun lock
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120291327A1 (en) * 2011-05-18 2012-11-22 Boutot Jr Michael Biometric quick release gun lock
US8991087B2 (en) * 2012-05-23 2015-03-31 Torrey S. Ruffin Firearm trigger lock
US20130312306A1 (en) * 2012-05-23 2013-11-28 Torrey S. Ruffin Firearm trigger lock
US20140215881A1 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-08-07 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US8893420B2 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-11-25 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US8919024B2 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-12-30 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US9618287B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2017-04-11 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated locking device
US9879932B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2018-01-30 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9222740B1 (en) 2013-02-06 2015-12-29 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated locking device
US20140215882A1 (en) * 2013-02-06 2014-08-07 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated gun trigger lock
US9739555B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2017-08-22 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9726448B1 (en) 2013-02-06 2017-08-08 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Secure smartphone-operated locking device
US9377259B2 (en) 2013-02-06 2016-06-28 Karl F. Milde, Jr. Remote control weapon lock
US9733033B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-08-15 Veri-Fire, LLC Trigger lock
US9404699B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-08-02 Matthew Thomas Barido Trigger lock
US9097479B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-08-04 Veri-Fire, LLC Trigger lock
US9970725B2 (en) 2013-05-06 2018-05-15 Sentinl, Inc. Quick access firearm safety apparatus
US9488427B1 (en) * 2015-01-12 2016-11-08 Don Scott Lucero Fast access trigger lock

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