WO2010130875A1 - Alarm device - Google Patents

Alarm device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010130875A1
WO2010130875A1 PCT/FI2010/050376 FI2010050376W WO2010130875A1 WO 2010130875 A1 WO2010130875 A1 WO 2010130875A1 FI 2010050376 W FI2010050376 W FI 2010050376W WO 2010130875 A1 WO2010130875 A1 WO 2010130875A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
alarm
measuring
calling
force
sensor
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/FI2010/050376
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jorma KEINÄNEN
Sauli Hepo-Oja
Original Assignee
Keinänen, Marja-Liisa
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
Priority to FI20095538A priority Critical patent/FI121442B/en
Priority to FI20095538 priority
Application filed by Keinänen, Marja-Liisa filed Critical Keinänen, Marja-Liisa
Publication of WO2010130875A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010130875A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B25/00Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems
    • G08B25/01Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium
    • G08B25/016Personal emergency signalling and security systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B13/00Burglar, theft or intruder alarms
    • G08B13/02Mechanical actuation
    • G08B13/14Mechanical actuation by lifting or attempted removal of hand-portable articles
    • G08B13/1472Mechanical actuation by lifting or attempted removal of hand-portable articles with force or weight detection

Abstract

An alarm device for use as a mobile device for raising an alarm and/or a call by utilising at least radio frequency technology, the said device comprising means for measuring at least one signal transmitted by at least one measuring means or sensor (1) and for comparing it with the conditions of alarm, and means for transmitting signals containing at least alarm data and possibly personal and location data through an antenna (5) to at least one fixed or mobile receiver or base station, and the said implementation of the measuring means makes it possible to realise the mechanics of the device in such a way that the front (face) of the device may consist of a separate and detached replaceable part (3) which is attached to the device, in which case the said replaceable part acts as the means receiving the force which triggers the alarm device.

Description

Alarm device

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a wireless calling or alarm device which is activated by an impact or knock.

Prior art

On the market have long existed alarm push buttons based on switch operation and worn on the wrist, a belt, a pocket or a neckband, by means of which an alarm is activated by pressing the pressure switch of the device with a finger, which makes contact and connects the circuit in such a way that the logical state of the alarm input of the device changes for a suffi- ciently long time. In these, the aim has been to eliminate the possibility of malfunction, that is, of a false alarm, by locating the push button in a recess.

A problem with the prior art solutions has been, for example, that the alarm devices implemented by using this technology require some control of the situation, and in some applications even dexterity. The real situation of use may in practice be so difficult that a person in a state of distress may not, for example, be able to reach a push button on one of his/her wrists if his/her other hand is not free for some reason. A push button worn around the neck may also be difficult to hit with a finger if, for example, a violent person is hanging on to one's hands. In connection with an accident a person's functional capacity is usually reduced in such a way that it is not easy to operate a small push button, for example, due to pain. It is also difficult to use a push button located in a recess with gloves on.

Another problem with prior art solutions has been that the alarm device is a separate, as it were additional, device which one does not necessarily even wish to wear. In a crime alert situation, a mugger will probably notice the use of an alarm device operated by a push button. It is advantageous if the alarm device does not look like an alarm device.

Brief description of the invention

The aim of the invention is to provide a device by means of which an alarm or call can be made reliably, avoiding at the same time the disadvantages of devices using push buttons. The aim is to provide a device which is easy to use and blends in with the clothing or other object the user needs or keeps close to him-/herself in any case.

The aim of the invention is achieved by means of a portable alarm device which is activated by the amount of striking energy or impact force desired by the user, the level of which is adjustable according to application, and which device blends in unnoticed with normal clothing, providing added value by offering the opportunity to display with it personal identification (e.g. an identity card or access card) or the like, such as a photograph, considered important by the user in the context. A person may trigger an alarm call, for example, by striking with a hand a device carrying a normal personal identity card, the said device acting as an identity card holder in addition to having the said alarm device function. The alarm device may also be located, for example, in or under the cash tray of a cash register.

One preferred application of this solution is the possibility of carrying a com- pany's/organisation's electronic identification card in this active cardholder based on RFID technology which opens doors according to the remote sensing principle and transmits data on arrivals and exits, for example, to the company's working time monitoring. The cardholder incorporating an alarm device is thus able to communicate with the card placed in the holder, and further to act as a transmitter to a system operated by remote sensing, whereupon the cardholder is able to read the information on the card and use it as identification data for an alarm or for access control. For reasons of data security, a code that changes with time or the challenge-response authentication method is used for remote sensing. This means that hijacking the codes transmitted by the cardholder to access control will not make possible usable copying of the card data. The actual identification card can still be used, for example, for entering user rights to the ADP system of the house, for example, when logging in to a PC and the network.

With this solution is achieved both the user's acceptance of and interest in the device, in addition to providing an easy-to-use alarm function with good reliability.

The invention is characterised by what is disclosed in the characterising part of the independent claims and the dependent claims describe preferred embodiments of the invention.

The device according to the invention comprises at least an electronics unit acting as a portable alarm device, the said unit comprising one or more measuring sensors for measuring the force and/or pressure caused by the impact and/or the acceleration caused by the impact, and the electronics for measuring the strength and form of the signal emitted by the said at least one measuring sensor and for processing it, and for transmitting through its antenna signals containing at least personal and location data to at least one fixed or mobile receiver or base station. The force can also be measured by using one or more switches or push buttons of selected suitable rigidity or of adjustable rigidity. Mechanically, one or more switches may be in parallel or in series with the active force. Mechanical force sensing may also utilise viscous materials or the inertia of mass for filtering one or more switches. Viscous switching force filtering may be based, for example, on a blow hole and a pressure chamber which is connected to it via a small hole and opens through another hole into the outside air and uses a membrane switch, in which case mere rapid pressing will create sufficient pressure in another chamber. The signal emitted by the said at least one measuring means or sensor, at least its strength and, if necessary, duration and form, are measured and processed mathematically and logically in such a way that false alarms will not be able to take place.

If so desired, the device can be adjusted and/or taught to identify the correct signal strength and, where necessary, duration and/or form to trigger the alarm function if the basic factory settings do not serve the application in the best possible way. The duration and/or form of the impact signal taught may also comprise the rhythm of two or more successive impacts or of a particular series of impacts. The same device can thus be used for various alarm functions or the signal may be used, for example, for remote control, preferably e.g. for emergency stopping or remote control of exit lighting or locking.

The implementation of the measuring means may be one that converts the pressure generated by the impact force directly into electric energy, such as, at its simplest, a piezoelectric membrane structure (e.g. audio element) and/or the measurement of an exceptionally strong movement caused by the said force can be carried out indirectly, for example, on the basis of acceleration measurement. Combining these methods is possible in certain applications.

According to a preferred embodiment, in a small-current implementation, the device carries out the required measurement with its A/D converter only after the switch data or the threshold level is exceeded or remains exceeded for a certain period, after which the device carries out an RF frequency transmission function only after the signal has been processed and thus achieves a very low idle current consumption.

The second advantage of the invention is based on the first in that the said method of implementing the measurement makes it possible to realise the mechanics of the device in such a way that the face of the device may consist of a separate and completely detached replaceable part, such as an identity card, which is attached to the device by pushing it, for example, from the side into grooves provided for it on the front of the device, in which case the card functions as a part of the alarm device's mechanics. The alarm device according to the invention is also easy to use through clothing, or it may be hidden so as to be a part of almost any device or object, or under the object, for example, under the note tray of a cash register, in connection with a display or keyboard or, when used in traffic, in connection with or in the vicinity of a vehicle's controls. Thus, for example a customer service employee may himself install the device where he wishes so that the alarm can be triggered easily and unnoticed by pushing, striking or kicking the alarm device or an object in contact with the alarm device. The alarm device may be hidden in an access card holder, but, for example, a wristband, collar or belt is also a possible location in one's clothing accessories. The alarm is preferably hidden in the clothing in a place which is easy to hit or strike to trigger the alarm and where the device remains in place. A wristband, for example, may be completely hidden inside a sleeve, in which case the alarm can also be triggered by hitting the wrist, for example, on a table or by hitting the wristband with the other hand.

List of figures

Figure 1 shows one embodiment according to the invention.

Detailed description of the invention

In the implementation of the invention, the signal of at least one switch and/or measuring sensor is measured at least in comparison to the threshold value and/or additionally by using an AD converter. A processor comprised in the electronics unit, for example a microcontroller, is used for processing and recording signals containing measurement data. In an alarm situation, the radio unit comprised in the electronics unit transmits signals containing at least location and personal data through its an- tenna to the said at least one fixed base station or mobile unit.

In certain applications, the alarm data may also be transmitted by wire, at least as switch information, for example, in a factory environment with interference in order to stop a machine.

The alarm device comprises an electronics unit and at least one measuring means or sensor for converting the forces generated by the impact into electric form and the said electronics unit comprises a measuring unit for measuring at least the levels, and possibly the duration, frequency spectrum and/or form of the signals, if necessary by sampling the signal, its envelope or filtered envelope over a certain interval to produce measurement data and a processor for processing the said data by comparing the mathematical and/or logical values produced by it from the signals received by it from at least one measuring means with previously recorded and/or produced values and by concluding and/or calculating, by using at least one algorithm, the signal strength and/or form and/or duration with which the alarm can be triggered. At its simplest, the measuring means may be a mechanical switch or push button which reacts to the exceeding of the threshold force, or a combination of a mechanical spring and other sensor device which reacts to the deflection of the spring.

The base station of the system may be fixed and/or detachable from a fixed installation or, in a possible alarm device teaching situation, also a separate terminal which may comprise at least one radio-operated transmitter-receiver and at least one antenna for transmitting signals containing additional data required by the alarm device, in addition to receiving alarms, and for receiving the said signals containing alarm data from the alarm device at least in the said teaching situation, where the values of the alarm device are adapted to the requirements of the application.

The radio contact between the alarm device and the base station may be one-way or two-way. A two-way contact may function with short-range technique in such a way that only an alarm emitted from the alarm device is transmitted by a transmitter of longer range and, for example, for the purpose of access control is additionally used short-range technique, in which case a battery-operated receiver is not required in the alarm device, but the receiver is activated by the RF energy it receives. In such a case, the alarm may function, for example, by means of a radio signal ranging over tens or hundreds of metres, but the access control applications only function in the near field. The radio part of the device may also function with the known Bluetooth, WLAN or other licence-free frequency data transfers. The new versions of the Bluetooth standard provide for long battery duration and still a long range, where necessary, and additionally, almost any telephone or computer device can be used as a base station.

In some implementations, the alarm device may also comprise the electron- ics part of a mobile phone application and a GPS receiver, in which case, if necessary, it will also be able to communicate and locate over long distances outside the internal base station network of the building. Alternatively, the alarm device may make contact through a Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone and further to, for example, an alarm server.

The base station of the system comprises an electronics unit for processing the received signals containing measurement data by recording and transmitting data, for example, to a PC over a serial bus, such as the values and/or levels of the signals received from the alarm device, at least the amplitude of the force generated by the impact and converted into electric form and possibly its duration, whereupon by processing the values, the readings whose values exceed a certain desired value and/or level may be determined as the alarm limits in a teaching situation .

Thus, if necessary, the device may be adjusted experimentally on site to the sensitivity desired.

In addition to the actual alarm, the base station may transmit further data composed of the signal data as switch information.

Embodiments of the invention are described in the following with reference to Figure 1.

Figure 1 shows the device according to the invention which also acts as an ID card holder.

The said implementation of one or more measuring means allows the mechanics of the device to be realised in such a way that its face may consist of a separate and completely detached replaceable part, such as an identity card, which is attached to the device by pushing it, for example, from the side into grooves provided for it on the front of the device.

In one embodiment of the invention, the card pushed into the grooves on the front of the casing functions, when it deflects, as an extensive impact force transmitter for the measuring means or sensor located under it, thus making possible a successful alarm function by a rather inaccurate hit in the said area. The said measuring means or sensor may be located, for example, under a protective film, in full contact with the card or in a particular application at a certain distance from it, in which case contact is made when the card deflects.

In some applications, the measuring means or sensor may be coated and/or surrounded with elastic material, either partly or completely, the said elastic material thus forming a counterforce to the effect of the impact and increasing the alarm limit in the desired manner. The elastic material may also function as an insulation layer for a capacitive sensor, or the elastic material may support the coil of a magnetic sensor or a permanent magnet.

In some applications, the said elastic material in between may convey the impact directly to the measuring means.

In some applications, the measuring means or sensor located on a circuit board or inside a casing may be in contact with the card through a mechanical linking part.

The measuring means in contact with the card through a mechanical linking part located between the card and the surface of the casing itself, or inside the casing, may in some applications also be a switch or push button having an actuating force of known value, in which case the force required for the switch to function together with the force required to overcome the bending stiffness of the card functions in such a way that the contact closes or opens with a certain desired force, thus causing the conditions of alarm to be met. The said card acts as a functional part of the alarm and a coupler of the impact to the measuring means or sensor under it inside the casing of the device, for example, on a circuit board, implemented in such a way that there is a mechanical linking part between these surfaces for transmitting the force to the measuring means located under it. The linking part may further com- prise a means containing elastic material for providing a return movement or for limiting the force exerted on the sensor.

The card may also be rigid, in which case the counterforce required may also be provided by means of a spring-like structure and/or by selecting a switch with an actuating force of appropriate magnitude. The said spring-like structure can most preferably be produced, for example, in the same mould, directly on the casing structure. If the card is rigid, the measurement of the required impact force may also be carried out by mechanical force comparison by measuring the movement of the flexibly suspended card or by measuring the counterforce acting on the rear surface.

The alarm may also comprise another corresponding structural solution or one of the other said structural solutions, on its other, that is, opposite side, in which case by comparing two measurements, it is easier to distinguish, for example, a situation where the impact is caused by the device being dropped on a hard base and not by actually being compressed on both sides by the striking force of a hand.

In one embodiment of the invention, the device triggers an alarm when dropped or thrown.

According to one embodiment of the invention, an acceleration sensor may be used for indirectly measuring the impact force exerted on the device, in such a way that the acceleration of the movement in proportion to the force of impact indicates that the supposed striking by hand has taken place and that at least a probable emergency is in question if the object attached to a person moves with such great acceleration.

In certain applications, the alarm limit may be comprised of a combination of the above-mentioned methods of measurement.

Referring at least in part to Figure 1, in the following are disclosed characteristics of an implementation of the invention which can be utilised in preferred embodiments of the invention.

In more advanced embodiments, both the base station and the alarm device are able to function as two-way RF devices, that is, they comprise transmit- ter-receivers, or devices which can be used for both transmitting and receiving signals.

The electronics unit of the device preferably includes a radio-frequency tag, that is, a transmitter-receiver based on radio-frequency identification, which provides data on the location of the alarm device on the site.

The impact force/energy measuring sensor comprised in the electronics unit of the alarm device can in some applications preferably also be used as a movement sensor by measuring the output signal of the sensor with high sensitivity, whereupon a person's activity/movements can be measured and on the basis of the information obtained, for example, the operating times of the radio unit can be adjusted, for example, by not measuring new location data if no new movement data has been received since the previous location, for example, by the pace method principle.

Most preferably, the measurement of movement may be based on, for example, a mass incorporated in a piezomembrane element which follows the earth's gravity, the said mass generating forces of different magnitude which are exerted on the element when the device is moved. When stationary, the device does not need to carry out new measurements of the intensity of the RF field or GPS locations, which thus saves battery energy. The movement data can also be utilised in monitoring a person's state of health, for example, by transmitting movement data as an activity curve and possibly an automatically generated message if preset criteria for a person's immobility and other information are met.

In this exemplary application, the electronics units of both the base station and the alarm device thus comprise at least an antenna, an RF transmitter- receiver circuit and a microcontroller as components. The alarm device further comprises analog circuits for processing the measurement signal and an AD converter. The measuring unit of the alarm device comprises as a sensor one audio-frequency piezomembrane element (1) which is connected to a component board (2) under the element. Instead of the membrane can be used a crystalline element which is most preferably located directly on a circuit board and in contact with the surface of the casing under the ID card by a mechanical linking part.

In this embodiment of the invention, the measuring part comprised in the electronics unit is used to measure the intensity of the piezoelement's signal by first using threshold detection and then the AD converter as a series of measurements at certain intervals over the duration of the signal. Before threshold detection can be used envelope detection or frequency band limiting filtering to prevent triggering caused by a signal of momentarily high amplitude but low energy and short duration. This type of short impact may take place, for example, if the cardholder hits a hard object. Filtering preceding threshold detection may be different from filtering preceding the AD converter. The microcontroller comprised in the electronics unit is used for processing and recording the measurement values and for deciding on the ex- ceeding of the alarm limit.

Some of the components may be integrated in the same integrated circuit. The components may also be commercially freely available standard components.

In this embodiment, the ID card (3) pushed into the grooves on the face of the device functions as a wide-range impact force transmitter for the piezomembrane element (1) located under it which is protected by adhesive tape (8). As protection may also be used, for example, flexible pourable sealing compound, glued film or thin plate. The alarm casing (6) itself may be suspended on the user's clothing, for example, a breast pocket (where an ID card would normally be kept) from a suspension opening (4) at its top, for example, by a clip.

When the alarm limit is exceeded, the radio unit comprised in the electronics unit transmits through its antenna (5) signals containing at least location and personal data to the at least one base station with the energy provided by its battery (7). If there is also a radio receiver in the alarm device, it may be used for detecting location data, for example, for detecting an exit from the space or the passing of an access control gate.

Although the invention is described with reference to the figures in the above specification, the invention is not, however, limited to the specification and figures, but the invention may be modified within the limits of the accompa- nying claims in accordance with various applications of use.

Claims

Claims
1. An alarm or calling device for use at least as a mobile device for raising an alarm and/or a call by utilising at least radio frequency technology, the said device comprising at least in connection with an electronics unit at least one measuring means and/or sensor (1) for converting an impact force directed at the casing structure (6) of the alarm device or at a separate part attached to it and/or the pressure and/or acceleration generated by it into electric form, and the electronics unit (2) comprises means for measuring the signal emitted by the at least one measuring means or sensor (1) and for comparing it with the conditions of alarm, and means for transmitting signals containing at least alarm data and possibly personal and location data through an antenna (5) to at least one fixed or mobile receiver or base station, characterised in that the said implementation of the measuring means makes it possible to realise the mechanics of the device in such a way that the front (face) of the device may consist of a separate and detached replaceable part (3) which is attached to the device, in which case the said replaceable part acts as the means receiving the force which triggers the alarm device.
2. An alarm or calling device as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the said replaceable part is an identity card, an access card, a photograph or a name tag.
3. An alarm or calling device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the measuring sensor comprises a piezoelectric element (1) for detecting the force or acceleration produced by the impact force.
4. An alarm or calling device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the device comprises an element based on an EMFi membrane.
5. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the measurement of impact force, speed or energy is carried out indirectly, for example, based on acceleration measurement and using an acceleration sensor.
6. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the alarm conditions combine measurement data from various sensors, in which case the direction of the impact or the direction of the acceleration preceding the impact or of the acceleration generated in connection with the impact may additionally be taken into account.
7. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that on the front of the device, the replaceable part (3) acts as a functional part of the alarm device conveying the impact to the measuring means or sensor located under it, implemented in such a way that between these surfaces there is suitable elastic or viscous material for transmitting the data on the force exerted on the card to the measuring means located under it.
8. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the said card (3) acts as a functional part of the alarm device conveying the impact to the measuring means or sensor located under it inside the casing (6) of the device, for example, on a circuit board, implemented in such a way that there is a mechanical linking part between these surfaces for transmitting the force to the measuring means located under it which may further comprise a means containing elastic material for providing a return movement and/or for limiting the force exerted on the sensor.
9. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that for impact force measurement is used a converter means, a sensor (1) or a piezoelectric audio element which also acts as a signalling means which emits an audible signal or vibrating signal, for example, to indicate the performance of an alarm function.
10. An alarm or calling device as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the parameters used by the electronics unit in processing the measurement signals can be changed remotely by utilising RF technology at least in a special testing or configuration state.
11. An alarm or calling device comprising an access or identity card as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the measuring means (1) comprises a mechanical switch or push button, in which case the determination of the alarm limit is based on matching and controlling the force required to overcome the known operating force of the switch and/or push button in question and the counterforce produced by the rigidity of the card in such a way that the desired impact force exerted on the entity will trigger the operation of the alarm apparatus.
12. An alarm or calling device as claimed in claim 11, wherein the card is rigid, in which case the required impact force measurement is realised through mechanical force comparison by measuring the movement of the flexibly suspended card.
PCT/FI2010/050376 2009-05-13 2010-05-10 Alarm device WO2010130875A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FI20095538A FI121442B (en) 2009-05-13 2009-05-13 The alarm device
FI20095538 2009-05-13

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP20100774597 EP2430623A1 (en) 2009-05-13 2010-05-10 Alarm device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2010130875A1 true WO2010130875A1 (en) 2010-11-18

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/FI2010/050376 WO2010130875A1 (en) 2009-05-13 2010-05-10 Alarm device

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EP (1) EP2430623A1 (en)
FI (1) FI121442B (en)
WO (1) WO2010130875A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105185031A (en) * 2015-08-25 2015-12-23 西安电子工程研究所 Wearable radar alarm device resisting sneak attack

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4158197A (en) * 1977-10-21 1979-06-12 Mitsuhiro Takagaki Pendant with an alarm built in
US6147611A (en) * 1999-12-10 2000-11-14 Otero; Armando Personal and portable alarm apparatus
US20040263338A1 (en) * 2003-06-20 2004-12-30 Katz Sidney I. Personal alarm system
US20050037730A1 (en) * 2003-08-12 2005-02-17 Albert Montague Mobile wireless phone with impact sensor, detects vehicle accidents/thefts, transmits medical exigency-automatically notifies authorities

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4158197A (en) * 1977-10-21 1979-06-12 Mitsuhiro Takagaki Pendant with an alarm built in
US6147611A (en) * 1999-12-10 2000-11-14 Otero; Armando Personal and portable alarm apparatus
US20040263338A1 (en) * 2003-06-20 2004-12-30 Katz Sidney I. Personal alarm system
US20050037730A1 (en) * 2003-08-12 2005-02-17 Albert Montague Mobile wireless phone with impact sensor, detects vehicle accidents/thefts, transmits medical exigency-automatically notifies authorities

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105185031A (en) * 2015-08-25 2015-12-23 西安电子工程研究所 Wearable radar alarm device resisting sneak attack

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP2430623A1 (en) 2012-03-21
FI20095538A0 (en) 2009-05-13
FI121442B1 (en)
FI121442B (en) 2010-11-15
FI20095538D0 (en)

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