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Object coupling

by jverdonc last modified 07.01.2013 04:43 PM


The key idea of coupling objects is to define object sets which integrity can be checked. This way, the integrity of a set of objects can be analysed. In the figure below, a set of four objects is built:

Then the integrity of object sets inside a control perimeter can be checked:


Hierarchical object coupling

The "Ubi-Tree" technology enables multi-level coupling :
Coupled object are seen as meta-objects that can be coupled together and / or with simple objects:



RFID implementation

The data describing this integrity control structure is called "coupling data". They are stored locally inside the RFID memories that are stuck on each of the fragments to couple. An RFID tag is a device embedding memory and a radio interface. An RFID reader can be used to access tag data using their radio interface.


Sending sensitive documents or parcels over a delivery service can be a hazardous operation. Goods can be picked up by a fake courier, genuine items can be swapped with copies, the parcel may be received or opened by someone else than the supposed recipient and some items can be missing at the delivery time. As some very high value items are sent over such services, security is critical.

Ubi-Post proposes a pervasive content-oriented security solution for high value shipping relying on the Ubi-Tree physical object coupling software and RFID equipment. It proposes:

-          multi-level integrity control (coupling objects)

-          recipient authentication

As it only relies on local interactions, it does not requires the support of a global information system (no database), ensuring high scalability and rapid deployment.


Typical scenario :


-          The sender sticks RFID tags on each of the objects to secure (fragments).

-          The sender uses a "coupling tablet" to set up the integrity control data (coupling data) and recipient ID into the RFID tags.

-          After optional authentication of the Ubi-Post briefcase and / or of the courrier, the sender puts the goods he wants to send in the Ubi-Post briefcase.

-          If the integrity of the set of objects it contains is valid, the briefcase automatically locks itself.

-          Once closed, the only way to unlock the briefcase is to insert a recipient card whose ID is the one expected by the coupling it contains.


For more information, please read:

Ubi-Post briefcase: A content-oriented security solution for high value shipping [PerCom 2012]

Augmented reality to assist coupling operations

Magic Coupling is a new piece of software developed at INRIA aiming at viewing and editing hierarchical couplings using RFID technology and the augmented reality paradigm. It relies on the Ubi-Tree library which enables coupling interactions with RFID enabled objects. It simplifies the user interaction, improves efficiency and helps defining the physical limits of the smart space in a predictable way.

Video demonstrations are available here in French and English.





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