A smarter smart card

Multi-function storage, access, identification, and communication card

Software & Information Technology

Initial iteration of the smart card

The Army recently invented a device that could one day replace many of the access cards used by military, industry, and government. But the device, which might take the form of a card or something else, such as a dog tag, could do much more than provide access and authentication for accessing buildings, installations, computers, and securely stored data. It could possibly save lives. The card may be used to act as a security token to access various levels of sensitive and non-sensitive information on another like-card. That means that the information contained in one card can be shared with another individual card holder who has been granted access to the former’s contents (or a portion thereof). For instance, a physician could access medical data, while a fellow employee might not (for privacy concerns); depending on who the card issuer deems has a need to know. Access is controlled by the credentials presented by the person attempting to write to, or retrieve data from, the card.

A more obvious aspect of the card is that it can be used for control of access to networks or physical locations. For example, a manager could set up information access levels and determine who is allowed access to information within his or her domain based on the information on the card. At the same time, that manager can also allow specific individuals to go from location A to location B, providing enhanced physical security.

The card can function as a short-range communications device with the capability to communicate with a computer, a personal electronic device, or a network in a wireless capacity via Bluetooth. Additional features include a fingerprint scanner, speech recognition, display screen, and solar power charging option.

US patent 9,654,470 is a continuation, in part, of this US patent 9,177,133. The ‘470 patent adds claims around power management, in addition to other system components.

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