WO2013108267A1 - Passport handling system - Google Patents

Passport handling system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013108267A1
WO2013108267A1 PCT/IN2012/000808 IN2012000808W WO2013108267A1 WO 2013108267 A1 WO2013108267 A1 WO 2013108267A1 IN 2012000808 W IN2012000808 W IN 2012000808W WO 2013108267 A1 WO2013108267 A1 WO 2013108267A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
asset
user
receipt
kiosk
token
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IN2012/000808
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Hanif SOHRAB
Anirudh Pratap Singh
Original Assignee
Vfs Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
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 IN3490MU2011 priority Critical
Priority to IN3490/MUM/2011 priority
Application filed by Vfs Global Services Pvt. Ltd. filed Critical Vfs Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Publication of WO2013108267A1 publication Critical patent/WO2013108267A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/10Services
    • G06Q50/18Legal services; Handling legal documents
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting

Abstract

An asset handling system for ensuring error-proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner after processing of the asset includes an online terminal, a PIN generation module, a receipt generation module and a kiosk. The online terminal receives user specific data, asset retrieval application and issues a token and facilitates registration of a mobile communication device of the user. The PIN generation module generates a PIN corresponding to mobile communication device registration. The receipt generation module generates a first receipt at time of submission of the asset. The Kiosk receives user specific data and dispenses second receipt. The kiosk includes an envelope loading module, an envelope storage, a display screen, an asset handing module, a tagging module, a receipt dispenser, an input device, a token reader, a receipt acceptor, a dispensing module, and a verification module that verifies user based on PIN, first receipt and token.

Description

PASSPORT HANDLING SYSTEM

Field of the Disclosure:

The present disclosure generally relates to a system for handling critical documents.

Particularly, the present disclosure relates to a kiosk for handling passports. Background:

A passport is a critical travel document and is required to be handled with care to avoid misuse thereof. In case a passport holder wishes to apply for a visa, the visa applicant has to submit the passport at the visa office, for verification of validity and authenticity of the passport and for stamping of the passport by the visa sanctioning authorities. Once the verification and stamping is conducted by visa sanctioning authorities, the passport is returned back to the visa applicant. More specifically, the visa office either sends the passport directly to the visa applicant via courier or the visa applicant collects the passport from the counters at the visa office or from a service provider providing visa related services to the visa applicant. In the first case, the visa applicant may get anxious as the travel date approaches and any delay or negligence by the courier service provider or the visa office in couriering the passport may cause lot of trouble to the visa applicant. In some cases the visa applicant may even have to postpone the overseas travel. In the second case, the visa applicant may have to render service charges to the service provider for collecting the passport on visa applicant's behalf from the visa office and safely handling over the passport to the visa applicant. In case the visa applicant himself visits the visa office for collecting the passport, the visa applicant has to stand in queues outside the counters in the visa office that distributes the passports to the respective visa applicant after verifying the details of the visa applicant. In case the visa applicant has authorized a third person to collect passport on behalf of the applicant, the visa applicant has to provide an authorization letter to the third person that is verified by the authorities at the visa counter. Such situations may result in a heavy traffic at the counters at certain fixed time slots and creates pressure on the operators. Further, collecting the passport from the counter's is inconvenient for the visa applicant as the visa applicant has to reach the visa office during working hours and as such has to take break from his own office work. In order to avoid mishandling of the passports by the non-intended person, the passports are always sealed so that no one, apart from the visa-applicant can have access to the passport. Accordingly, the passport reaches the visa-applicant in a sealed condition and the visa-applicant can remain assured that the pass-port has not been mis-handled. Each of the envelope containing the passport is labeled with the name of the recipient for avoiding confusion. The returning of passports is a sensitive task as the right passport has to be given to the right person only. To avoid confusion the passports are distributed back against an earlier issued receipt. Further, the handing over of the passports has to be recorded.

Further, the conventional arrangement for handling over the passport envelop to the right person is manual and is prone to errors as a single act of carelessness by either one of authorities at the visa collection counter, the courier service provider, the visa service provider may cause lot of confusion and chaos. Accordingly, there is felt need to minimize the dependency on the manual handling of the critical documents such as passports and thereby reducing chances of human error and confusion resulting there-from. Further, there is felt need to eliminate the challenges faced by the conventional passport envelop handling system and provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes containing critical material to right individuals after thorough verification and provide the convenience of time to end users to pick-up the passport envelopes.

A number of prior art documents that disclose kiosks for automatic handling important documents for facilitating processing thereof, for example kiosks for submitting documents for verification by the authorized officials and returning the documents back after verification are known, for example:

US Published Patent Application US 20090150980 discloses a management control of assets. The management control of assets is a system to control assets to manage issue and return of the asset. The system takes biometric information from the user and matches with his privileges defined beforehand and thereafter issues the asset. However, the system requires enrollment of the biometric information and matching the biometric information captured before dispensing the asset with the biometric information already stored in the system, accordingly, the presence of the real owner becomes necessary for retrieving the assets. In this system the items to be delivered could be of different types. Further, the management control of assets is expensive and complex. Further, there is no provision for loading and storing tamperproof envelopes and packing assets in tamperproof envelopes for preventing tampering of the asset.

EP Published Patent Application discloses an assembly for issue of a document. The system disclosed in the above prior art document manage issuing of assets, particularly, documents such as passports, driving licenses etc. that come directly from the manufacturer or the issuing authority and retrieving or disposing off of old documents. The issuing of the documents is based on matching of RFID tag earlier issued and the finger print enrollment. The assembly for issue of a document utilizes data chip and servers loaded with biometric data, wherein the data chip may be read by the system. In this case also the dispensing of the asset is based on matching of biometric information with already stored biometric information, accordingly, the presence of the real owner becomes necessary for retrieving the assets. Further, the assembly for issue of a document is expensive and complex. Further, there is no provision for loading and storing tamperproof envelopes and packing assets in tamperproof envelopes for preventing tampering of the asset.

Similarly, the EP Published Patent Application EP1 1 1314 a method for delivering valuable objects or the like to client and apparatus for carrying out such a method discloses a system for issuing valuable items on the basis of order via a communication link and machine readable token. The user approaches the issuance counter, with a cash card having a PIN or provides finger print or iris tag issued earlier, the system performs matching operation and upon successful matching dispenses the valuable item. The issuing of the valuable items is based on matching of tag earlier issued and the fmger print enrollment. In this case also the dispensing of the valuable item is based on matching of biometric information with already stored biometric information; accordingly, the presence of the real owner becomes necessary for retrieving the valuable item. Further, the system disclosed hereinabove is expensive and complex. Further, there is no provision for loading and storing tamperproof envelopes and packing the valuable items in tamperproof envelopes for preventing tampering of the valuable items.

As is clear from the clear from the above mentioned prior art, the conventionally known asset handling systems are ineffective and are lacking provision for allowing any person authorized by the rightful owner of the asset to collect the asset on his behalf. Accordingly, there is a need for an asset handling system that is simple and convenient to use. Further, there is a need for an asset handling system that ensures error proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner of said asset after processing of said asset. Further, there is a need for an asset handling system that has provision for allowing any person authorized by the rightful owner of the asset to collect the asset on his behalf.

Objects:

Some of the objects of the present disclosure which at-least one embodiment is able to satisfy, are described herein below:

It is an object of the present disclosure to ameliorate one or more problems of the prior art or to at least provide a useful alternative.

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes containing critical material to right individuals without any confusion and errors..

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes that eliminates manual handling of the sealed envelopes containing critical material and the drawbacks associated with manual handling. Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes that performs thorough verification of recipient before delivering the sealed envelope to the right recipient.

Still another object of the present disclosure is to provide a system of delivering sealed envelopes against collection of original receipts issued earlier separately from a different location. Also, an object of the present disclosure is to provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes that provides convenience of time to end users for pick-up the passport envelop.

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide a system for delivering sealed envelopes containing asset, wherein the rightful owner of the asset can authorize a third party to collect the asset on his behalf, thereby eliminating the need for the rightful owner to be present at the kiosk at the time of dispensing the asset.

These and other objects of the present disclosure are dealt in great extent by the accompanying drawings and the descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated exemplary embodiments of the disclosure.

SUMMARY:

An asset handling system for ensuring error proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner of the asset after processing of the asset is disclosed in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The system includes an online terminal, a secret PIN generation module, a receipt generation module, and a kiosk. The online terminal is configured with an online application and receives a first set of user specific data and asset retrieval/submission application from a user of the asset handling system. The online terminal facilitates registration of a mobile communication device of the user. The online terminal has a token dispenser for dispensing a token corresponding to first set of user specific data submitted thereat. The secret PIN generation module generates a secret PIN corresponding to the mobile communication device registration earlier done at the online terminal with the help of the online application. . The receipt generation module generating a first receipt acknowledging submissions of assets made by said user at the time of submission of said asset. The Passport Handling Kiosk, hereinafter referred to as kiosk receives a second set of user specific data and an asset to be processed and submitted there at by the user of the asset handling system. The kiosk includes an Envelope loading module, an envelope storage, a display screen, an asset handing module, a tagging module, a token dispenser, an input device, a token reader, a receipt acceptor, a dispensing module, and a verification module. The envelope loading module facilitates loading of sealed envelopes containing assets inside the kiosk. The display screen displays instructions and prompts the user to submit the second set of user specific data and the asset. The envelope storage stores the empty envelopes. The asset handing module facilitates tamperproof packing, tagging of an asset inside an envelope and handling the filled envelopes. The tagging module tags the envelope containing the asset submitted by the user, thereby associating the asset to the user. The receipt dispenser dispenses a second receipt. The input device facilitates submission of the second set of user specific data, editing of the second set of user specific data and entering the secret PIN generated by the secret PIN generation module. The token reader reads the token dispensed by the token dispenser. The receipt acceptor accepts receipts against which the envelope is dispensed. The dispensing module dispenses the asset. The verification module verifies the user by verifying said first receipt, said token and said secret PIN before dispensing the asset, thereby ensuring that the asset is delivered to a rightful owner of the asset.

Typically, the online terminal is a personal computer configured with an online application.

Generally, the token is a barcode print or barcode and secret PIN Preferably, the token reader is a bar code reader. Typically, the input device is a keyboard. Alternatively, the input device is a touch screen. Typically, the display screen is touch screen..

Typically, the verification module is barcode and secret PIN validity matching with the backend system.

A method for handling assets for error proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner of the asset after processing of the asset is disclosed in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The method includes the steps of generating a first receipt acknowledging submissions of assets made by the user at the time of submission of the asset by a receipt generating module, loading of sealed envelopes containing individual assets inside a kiosk of an asset handling system, , packing of asset submitted by the user inside an envelope by an asset handing module configured in the kiosk, tagging the envelope containing the asset submitted by the user, thereby associating the asset to the user, registering of a mobile communication device of said user at said online terminal, receiving another set of user specific data and asset retrieval application from a user of the asset handling system at an online terminal configured with online application and a receiving a token dispensed by a token dispenser corresponding to user specific data submitted at said online terminal, registering of a mobile communication device of the user at the online terminal, approaching said kiosk along with said token and said first receipt and generating a secret PIN corresponding to the mobile communication device registration done at the online terminal and thereafter feeding the secret PIN at said kiosk using the input device configured on the kiosk, submission of a set of user specific data via an input device configured on the kiosk, submitting the token dispensed by the token dispenser and submitting said first receipt collected at the time of depositing the asset, verifying the user by verifying the token and the first receipt for ensuring that the asset is delivered to a rightful owner of the asset and dispensing the asset after verifying the user and taking his acceptance proof via a facial and/or finger print that act as a non-repudiator and finally dispensing a second receipt.

Brief Description of the Accompanying Drawings:

The disclosure will now be explained in relation to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 illustrates a schematic representation of a basic layout of the system for delivering asset in tamperproof sealed envelopes, in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGURE 2 illustrates a flow diagram depicting the various operational steps involved in the method for delivering asset in tamperproof sealed envelopes, in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGURE 3 illustrates a schematic representation of an apparatus, particularly a kiosk used in the system for delivering asset in tamperproof sealed envelopes of FIGURE 1, in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure; and

Figure 4 illustrates internal details of a kiosk in accordance with another embodiment, along with the various sub-systems used in the kiosk. Detailed Description of the Accompanying Drawings:

The disclosure will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings which do not limit the scope and ambit of the disclosure. The description provided is purely by way of example and illustration.

The embodiments herein and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained with reference to the non-limiting embodiments in the following description. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments herein. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the embodiments herein may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments herein. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments herein.

The present disclosure provides a system for delivering sealed envelopes containing critical documents such as passports to right individuals without any confusion and errors, by performing thorough verification of recipients before delivering the sealed envelopes containing the passport to the recipients. The system for delivering sealed envelopes of the present disclosure provides convenience of time to the end users, thereby enabling the end user to pickup the critical documents such as passport envelop from the visa office and eliminate the inconvenience associated with conventional systems that are dependent of manual handling.

Referring to Figure 1, the system 100 for delivering sealed envelopes (hereinafter referred to as system 100) includes an online application terminal 101, a barcode or token 102 issued as an acknowledgement for acknowledging submissions made by a user at the online application terminal 101, a mobile communication device 103 that may be registered, a kiosk 104 for receiving and delivering the asset to the rightful owner of the asset, and a processing system 105.

The online terminal 101 facilitates submission of asset retrieval/submission application from a user. The online terminal further facilitates registration of a mobile communication device 103 of the user. As the user submits the asset at the kiosk 104, the kiosk 104 generates a token 102, particularly, a barcode acknowledging receiving of the asset from the user. A secret PIN generation module that is part of the processing system 105 of the system 100 generates a secret PIN corresponding to the mobile communication device registration done at the online terminal 101. In accordance with an embodiment, the secret PIN generation module gets activated when the client visits the Visa/Passport application kiosk or Visa/Passport application accepting counter and submits Visa application. The Visa/Passport application kiosk may be different from the Passport Handling Kiosk 104 that is generally referred to as Kiosk. In accordance with an embodiment, the Visa/Passport application kiosk may be capable of receiving asset retrieval/submission application from the user along with the asset, particularly, the passport. The Visa/Passport application kiosk may issue a first receipt acknowledging submissions of passport made by the user at the time of submission of the passport. The registered mobile communication device 103 of the user receives a SMS containing the secret PIN, thereby conveying the secret PIN to the user, wherein the user can feed the secret PIN in the kiosk 104 for facilitating verification before dispensing the asset from the kiosk 104 and ensuring that the asset is delivered to the intended person only, wherein the intended person may be the rightful owner of the asset or a person authorized by the rightful owner of the asset to collect the asset on his behalf. The system 100 is provided with strong access controls for verifying the authorized person before delivering the asset there-to, thereby maintain high security and preventing the asset from being handled to a wrong person. The processing system 105 processes the application request/ asset retrieval application submitted by the user at the online terminal 101 and generates a unique barcode or token and sends SMS containing the secret PIN to the registered mobile number. The apparatus, particularly, the kiosk 104 dispenses the asset after matching of the unique barcode generated during submission of the asset and the secret PIN received by the mobile communication device 103 of the user.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a flow diagram depicting the various operational steps involved in the method for delivering asset in tamperproof sealed envelopes. In accordance of the method for delivering asset in tamperproof sealed envelopes in accordance with the present disclosure, the user approaches the online terminal 101 or the online module, where the user applies over the internet, the user may be the rightful owner of the asset or any other person authorized by the rightful owner of the asset. More specifically, the user inputs data, fills application . form, registers a mobile number, accepts mandatory and critical information and prints documents along with unique barcode or any other token generated, all these activities are performed by the user at the online terminal 101. Thereafter, the user comes to the kiosk 104, or a manually operated counter that is operating with the help of the online generated barcode. The user submits the assets to be processed in a Kiosk, wherein the Kiosk may be a Passport Handling Kiosk 104 or may be a kiosk that is different from the Passport Handling Kiosk 104 and is also referred as Pass-port application kiosk or self- check Kiosk or simply kiosk, and wherein the asset to be processed could be passport to be verified. As the user submits their documents and passport at the self-check kiosk, the kiosk accepts documents and prints a first "Receipt" which is an "Application submission acknowledgement receipt" with the unique barcode 102. At the same time a Personal Identification Number (PIN) is sent via SMS to the user registered mobile communication device of the user, in the same way the counter accepts the passport and a PIN is sent the registered number provided at the counter 103. The user is expected to keep this secret PIN for later use at the kiosk 104, particularly, while retrieving back the assets deposited. The user leaves the kiosk or manned counter after submitting the asset, particularly, the application and passport. The asset submitted by the user is then sent for processing, particularly, the documents and passport is then sent to the application processing unit where they are checked for their validity and processed. Once processed, the documents are sent back to the apparatus, kiosk 104 in tamperproof sealed envelopes with unique barcode or token placed / marked on them for identification. Once the processed documents reach the kiosk 104, an operator of the kiosk 104 receives and stacks the sealed packets containing the assets inside the kiosk 104. The seal packets containing the assets are barcoded. The operator may load the envelopes containing the assets inside the kiosk 104 either manually or by using automatic means. From the kiosk 104, the processed documents may be collected by an intended recipient. For retrieving the processed document from the kiosk 104, the user approaches the kiosk 104 with his barcode "Application submission acknowledgement receipt" or the first receipt received earlier and secret PIN that the user has received at the mobile communication device 103 and feeds the barcode 102 along with the secret PIN into the kiosk 104 via the input device configured on the kiosk 104. The user has to deposit the "Application submission acknowledgement receipt" or the first receipt into the kiosk 104 which checks for the authenticity of the barcode and dispenses the matching packet. The kiosk 104 reads the barcode 102 and the secret PIN input by the user. The kiosk 104 captures and stores the facial image and fingerprints of the person to whom the asset has been issued by the kiosk 104 as a proof for issuance of the asset to the person receiving the asset, thereby enabling tracing of the asset/documents in case of any undesirable event. The passport Handling Kiosk 104 also dispenses a receipt after dispensing the processed asset, this receipt is referred to as the second receipt.

FIGURE 3 illustrates a schematic representation of an apparatus, particularly a kiosk 104 used in the system 100 for delivering assets, particularly passport and other critical documents to a rightful owner thereof in tamperproof sealed envelope. The kiosk 104 in accordance with an embodiment broadly includes an envelope storage compartment 01, a touch screen 02, a slot 03, a camera 04, a barcode reader 05 and a finger print reader 06.

The envelop storage compartment 01 holds a plurality of sealed envelopes that are to be filled with the critical documents after processing of the critical document and handed over to corresponding recipients in a tamperproof sealed configuration, thereby preventing any mishandling of the critical document. The envelop storage compartment 01 includes a strong frame structure, thereby making the envelop storage compartment 01 vandal proof and fire proof and securing storage area of the storage compartment 01. The touch screen 02 facilitates a user of the kiosk 104 of the system 100 to interact with the system 100 for facilitating delivering of the correct envelop to the correct recipient after the user has been verified by the kiosk 104 of the system 100. The touch screen 02 facilitates the user of the system 100 to input details that may be further processed for verifying the identity of the user. Once the user has been identified, the correct envelop corresponding to that particular user is dispensed by the kiosk 104. The slot 03 is provided for dispensing a corresponding sealed envelope to the right recipient after thorough verification by the verification module of the system 100. In accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure the slot 03 may also be used for loading the sealed envelopes in the envelop storage compartment 01 of kiosk 104. The camera 04 captures the image of the applicant as an security precaution, to be used by the security personnel in case of a fraud, misuse or error .The barcode reader 05 facilitates in performing thorough verification of the user of the kiosk 104 before the corresponding sealed envelope is dispensed by the kiosk 104, thereby preventing chances of handling over the document to a wrong recipient. The camera 04 and the barcode reader 05 of the system enhances security of the sealed envelope and prevents the sealed envelope from getting into wrong hands. More specifically, the camera captures an image of the recipient and facilitate tracing of the document.

More particularly, the barcode reader 05 of the kiosk 104 scans a reference barcode or receipt barcode printed on a receipt carried by a user using the kiosk 104, if the reference barcode matches with the data in the backend system to which the kiosk 104 is connected to via a network , i.e. the reference barcode is correct the interactive kiosk 104 will ask the user to confirm if he/she is the visa applicant himself or a travel agent or an authorized representative of the visa applicant, the user of kiosk 104 uses the interactive touch screen 02 for responding to the queries posed. Based on the interactive session of the user with the kiosk 104, the system may decide whether to dispense or not to dispense the sealed envelope containing the pass port. The visa-applicants can also be provided with a Barcode to retrieve the envelopes which shall also have a group retrieval mechanism i.e. one barcode could be used to retrieve multiple envelopes at different points in time. The envelopes that are dispensed against the barcode are of same type /size and there are no special privileges to any particular user. More specifically, the- items dispensed are of same type /size and there are no special privileges to any user.

In order to further enhance security of the sealed envelope and ensuring that the sealed envelopes are handed over to the right recipients, additional security measures may be used. More particularly, the finger print reader 06 incorporated in the kiosk 104 facilitates capture of biometric information as proof that the envelope was dispensed to that individual.

Referring to Figure 4 of the accompanying drawings, a kiosk 204 in accordance with another embodiment is illustrated with the internal details of the kiosk 204 along with the various sub-systems thereof are illustrated. Referring to Figure 4, the kiosk 204 includes a storage structure 111 with a plurality of compartments 112 formed inside the storage structure 111, a top rail 113a and a bottom rail 113b, a robotic arm 114, a drop out section 115, a conveyor arrangement 116 associated with the drop out section 115, a Programmable Logic Control (PLC) based control system 117, a barcode camera 118, a machine screen 119, an input device 120, a camera 121, a finger print capture device 122, a receipt deposit slot 123 for accepting the receipt 124, a receipt and barcode verification module 125, a receipt safe 126, and acknowledgement receipt delivery 127, an operator 128 for pre-loading the envelopes in the kiosk 204, a smart card enabled access arrangement 129 for providing access to the operator 128, a preloading tray 130 for facilitating preloading of the envelopes in the kiosk 204, a plurality of envelop slots 131, and a conveyor belt system 132.

The storage structure lllincludes a plurality of sub compartments 112 wherein each sub-compartment holds a single sealed envelope. The sub compartments are arranged horizontally and vertically inside the storage compartment 111. Further, each sub-compartment 112 is assigned a unique identification number, such that identification number assigned to a particular sub-compartment corresponds to a particular visa-applicant and once a visa-applicant is identified by the system 100, the kiosk 104 delivers the sealed envelope held in the corresponding sub-compartment to the identified visa applicant, thereby preventing any chance of error in handling the sealed envelope and chance of handling the sealed envelope to a wrong recipient. More particularly, the sub compartments 112 arranged inside the storage structure 111 moves inside the storage structure 111. The storage structure 111 of the system 100 includes a top rail 113a and a bottom rail 113b, a plurality of spindles along with other mechanical and electro mechanical components for facilitating movement of the sub compartments 112 inside the storage structure 111. Once the user has been verified by the system 100, the sub compartment holding the sealed envelope corresponding to the verified user is brought in alignment or brought closer to the conveyor arrangement 116 that directs the sealed envelope to the drop out section 115 for dispensing the sealed envelope out of the storage compartment 111 of the kiosk 204. More particularly, a robotic arm 114 facilitates the movement of the sub compartments 112 holding the sealed envelopes, thereby bringing the sub compartment holding a sealed envelope corresponding to the verified user closer to the conveyor arrangement 116, the sealed envelope from the sub compartment is thereafter pushed from the sub compartment towards conveyor arrangement 116, from where the sealed envelope is directed towards the drop out section 115. The drop out section 115 may include a pneumatically /magnetic controlled gate or a gate operating by using some other mechanism that opens for dispensing the sealed envelope out of the kiosk 204. The entire system 100 including key elements of the kiosk 204 facilitating the travel of the sealed envelope inside the storage structure 111 and dispensing of the sealed envelope from the kiosk 204, particularly, the robotic arm 114, the magnet/pneumatically controlled gate of the drop out section 115 are all controlled via a programmable electronic circuitry or PLC system 117.

The kiosk 204 further includes the barcode camera 118 along with a proximity sensor, to read barcodes printed on the envelopes. This barcode capturing system sets a relation between the sealed envelope with the sub compartment number automatically. There is one to one relationship between the bar-code printed on the envelope and the number assigned to the sub compartment. Also the barcode camera 118 incorporated in the kiosk 204 ensures that only valid and active barcodes are accepted in the system 100 via a backend application.

The touch screen 119 incorporated in the kiosk 204 prompts the user to accept a legal declaration. The interactive screen 119 may further assist the user to input required data that may be required for processing the passport documents. In order to assist the user in feeding all the data, the kiosk 204 is equipped with input device 120. Further, the interactive screen 119 will enable the use to declare if he is the owner of the passport or a travel agent or person collecting on behalf of the applicant. After making all declarations, the user is prompted to undergo a photo capture and a finger print capture. The camera 121 incorporated in the kiosk facilitates photo capture and the finger print capture device 122, particularly; the finger print reader 122 facilitates finger print capture of the user. Thereafter, the user scans his barcode received at the time of submission made by the user. The barcode is scanned via the barcode verification module 125, particularly, the barcode reader 125. The user also submits the receipt 124 having the reference number (Application Submission Receipt) into the receipt deposit slot 123 configured on the kiosk 204, wherein the receipt deposit slot 123 is an automated device whose mouth opens after fingerprint capture by the finger print capture device 122 and photo image capture by the camera 121. The verification module checks for the barcode on the receipt and will have different sensors for checking for its originality of the receipt, based on the checks performed the receipt deposit slot 123 may accept the receipt 124 in, else reject the receipt 124. In the case of rejection, the system has the ability to stop the issuance of the sealed envelope. The receipt submitted by the user may be deposited in the receipt safe 126. The receipt safe 126 shall have a secured door with security access to enable only an authorized person to collect the submitted receipts. In accordance with another embodiment, the user may feed the reference number via the input device for facilitating the verification. The user feeds the Personal Identification Number (PIN) received via SMS on the registered mobile number of the user via the input device 120. The barcode scanned via the barcode verification module 125 and the Personal Identification Number (PIN) submitted by the user assists in verification of the user and assists in deciding which sealed envelope is to be dispensed. The user of the system 100 uses the interactive touch screen 119 for responding to the queries posed by the system. Based on all the inputs provided by the user, the system 100 identifies whether the user using the kiosk is the visa-applicant himself or a third person authorized by the visa-applicant and accordingly decides whether the user can further proceed or not. Based on the interactive session of the user with the kiosk 204 of the system 100, the system may decide whether to dispense or not to dispense the sealed envelope. After, the user has been verified by the system 100 the system dispenses the sealed envelope via the drop out section 115 for being collected by the user. In the nut shell, the issue of the asset is on the basis of valid barcode, valid secret PIN and original application submission receipt. After, the sealed envelope has been dispensed by the kiosk 204, an acknowledgement receipt is dispensed to the user from the acknowledgement receipt delivery 127, wherein the acknowledgement receipt may be kept by the user for his record.

For loading the sealed envelopes into kiosk 204 of the system 100, an authorized person is provided access to an interior of the storage structure 111. The system performs various checks for verify whether a person is authorized to access the interior of the storage structure 111 for loading the sealed envelopes inside the storage compartments 112, wherein the checks include photo verification and figure print verification. The authorized person/ operator 128 thereafter sequentially loads the plurality of sealed envelopes in the sub compartments configured in the storage structure 111 of the kiosk 204. In accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure, the person authorized to load sealed envelopes into the storage compartments 112 of the storage structure 111 of the kiosk 204 is provided with a smart card, the smart card enabled access arrangement 129 provides access to the interior of the storage structure 111 for preloading the envelopes into the storage compartments 112. The operator 128 shall insert the smart card in a slot provided in the kiosk 204 to gain access. The smart card shall host a stronger authentication mechanism for authorized persons. The kiosk 204 is configured with a smart card reader for verifying the smart card before providing access to the operator 128 for preloading the sealed envelopes. After getting access to the interior of the storage structure, the operator 128 shall load the sealed passport envelopes manually into the compartments or via a special tray, referred to as the preloading tray 130 which shall be stackable and automatically load the envelopes in the storage compartments 112. In accordance with still another embodiment of the present disclosure, the kiosk 204 may include two gates one for loading the sealed envelopes into the storage structure 111 and the other for dispensing the sealed envelopes from the kiosk 204. In accordance with still another embodiment of the preloading section for preloading the envelopes into the storage structure 111 a feeding mechanism, particularly, the plurality of envelop slots 131 and the conveyor belt system 132 receive envelopes from the preloading tray 130 for loading the sealed envelope sequentially in the storage compartments 112 of the storage structure 111.

Technical Advancements and Economic Significance

The passport handling system in accordance with the present disclosure and described herein above has several technical advantages including but not limited to the realization of: • a system for delivering sealed envelopes containing critical material to right individuals without any confusion and errors;

• a system for delivering sealed envelopes that eliminates manual handling of the sealed envelopes containing critical material and the drawbacks associated with manual handling;

• a system for delivering sealed envelopes that performs thorough verification of recipient before delivering the sealed envelope to the right recipient; and

• a system for delivering sealed envelopes that provides convenience of time to end users for pick-up the passport envelopes.

• a system for delivering sealed envelopes to an authorized person on behalf of the recipient.

The numerical values given of various physical parameters, dimensions and quantities are only approximate values and it is envisaged that the values higher or lower than the numerical value assigned to the physical parameters, dimensions and quantities fall within the scope of the disclosure and the claims unless there is a statement in the specification to the contrary.

Throughout this specification the word "comprise", or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.

The use of the expression "at least" or "at least one" suggests the use of one or more elements or ingredients or quantities, as the use may be in the embodiment of the disclosure to achieve one or more of the desired objects or results. Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like that has been included in this specification is solely for the purpose of providing a context for the disclosure. It is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form a part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the disclosure as it existed anywhere before the priority date of this application.

The numerical values mentioned for the various physical parameters, dimensions or quantities are only approximations and it is envisaged that the values higher/lower than the numerical values assigned to the parameters, dimensions or quantities fall within the scope of the disclosure, unless there is a statement in the specification specific to the contrary.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the embodiments herein that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Therefore, while the embodiments herein have been described in terms of preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments herein can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the embodiments as described herein.

Claims

Claims:
1. An asset handling system for ensuring error proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner of said asset after processing of said asset, said system comprising:
• an online terminal configured with an online application adapted to receive a first set of user specific data and asset submission/retrieval application from a user of said asset handling system, said online terminal adapted to facilitate registration of a mobile communication device of said user, said online terminal has a token dispenser adapted to dispense a token corresponding to first set of user specific data submitted thereat;
• a receipt generation module adapted to generate a first receipt acknowledging submissions of said assets made by said user at the time of submission of said assets;
• a secret PIN generation module adapted to generate a secret PIN corresponding to said mobile communication device registration done at said online terminal;
• a kiosk adapted to receive a second set of user specific data and an asset to be processed and submitted thereat by said user of said asset handling system, said kiosk comprising:
oan envelope loading module adapted to facilitate loading sealed envelopes containing individual assets inside said kiosk;
oa display screen adapted to display instructions and prompt said user to submit said second set of user specific data and said assets;
oan envelope storage adapted to store said empty envelopes; oasset handing module adapted to facilitate tamperproof packing, tagging of an asset inside an envelope and handling said filled envelopes;
oa tagging module adapted to tag said envelope containing said asset submitted by said user, thereby associating said asset to said user;
oa receipt dispenser adapted to dispense a second receipt; oan input device adapted to facilitate submission of said second set of user specific data, editing of said second set of user specific data and entering said PIN generated by said PIN generation module;
oa token reader adapted to read said token dispensed by said token dispenser;
o a receipt acceptor for accepting first receipt against which the envelope is dispensed;
oa dispensing module adapted to dispense said asset; and oa verification module adapted to verify said user by verifying said first receipt, said token and said secret PIN before dispensing said asset, thereby ensuring that said asset is delivered to a rightful owner of said asset.
2. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said online terminal is a personal computer configured with an online application.
3. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said token is a barcode print and secret PIN.
4. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said token reader is a bar code reader.
5. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said input device is a keyboard
6. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said input device is a touch screen.
7. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said display screen is touch screen.
8. The asset handling system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said verification module is barcode and PIN validity matching with the backend system.
9. A method for handling assets for error proof receiving, processing and delivery of an asset to a rightful owner of said asset after processing of said asset, said method comprising the steps of:
• generating a first receipt acknowledging submissions of assets made by said user at the time of submission of said asset by a receipt generating module;
• loading sealed envelopes containing individual assets inside a kiosk;
• packing of asset submitted by said user inside an envelope by an asset handing module configured in said kiosk;
• tagging said envelope containing said asset submitted by said user, thereby associating said asset to said user;
• registering of a mobile communication device of said user at said online terminal;
• receiving another set of user specific data and asset retrieval application from a user of said asset handling, system at an online terminal and a receiving a token dispensed by a token dispenser corresponding to user specific data submitted at said online terminal;
• approaching said kiosk along with said first receipt and said token and generating a PIN corresponding to said mobile communication device registration done at said online terminal and thereafter feeding said PIN at said kiosk using said input device configured on said kiosk;
• submission of a set of user specific data via an input device configured on said kiosk;
• submitting said token dispensed by said token dispenser to a token reader configured on said kiosk;
• submitting said first receipt collected at the time of depositing asset;
• verifying said user by verifying said token, said first receipt and said secret PIN for ensuring that said asset is delivered to a rightful owner of said asset; and
• dispensing said asset after verifying said user; and
• dispensing a second receipt;
PCT/IN2012/000808 2011-12-12 2012-12-10 Passport handling system WO2013108267A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
IN3490MU2011 2011-12-12
IN3490/MUM/2011 2011-12-12

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20050167484A1 (en) * 2004-02-04 2005-08-04 Lester Sussman Method and system issue an electronic visa of a foreign visitor at a country's foreign consular premises
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EP2000324A1 (en) * 2007-06-05 2008-12-10 C.M.C. S.p.A. Envelope filling machine
US20090144161A1 (en) * 2007-11-30 2009-06-04 Mobile Candy Dish, Inc. Method and system for conducting an online payment transaction using a mobile communication device
US20100138344A1 (en) * 2008-12-02 2010-06-03 Ebay Inc. Mobile barcode generation and payment
US20100217704A1 (en) * 2009-02-25 2010-08-26 The Western Union Company Consular Kiosks and Methods

Patent Citations (7)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080277464A1 (en) * 2003-03-10 2008-11-13 Diebold Self-Service Systems Division Of Diebold, Incorporated Cash dispensing automated banking machine deposit accepting system and method
US20050167484A1 (en) * 2004-02-04 2005-08-04 Lester Sussman Method and system issue an electronic visa of a foreign visitor at a country's foreign consular premises
US20080191009A1 (en) * 2004-09-16 2008-08-14 Fortress Gb Ltd. System and Methods for Accelerated Recognition and Processing of Personal Privilege Operative for Controlling Large Closed Group Environments
EP2000324A1 (en) * 2007-06-05 2008-12-10 C.M.C. S.p.A. Envelope filling machine
US20090144161A1 (en) * 2007-11-30 2009-06-04 Mobile Candy Dish, Inc. Method and system for conducting an online payment transaction using a mobile communication device
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