EIPEI Disk

This device displays 18 sets of 5 different (non repeating) number combinations using the numbers 1 though 18.  The numbers appear in windows labeled "E I P E I".
 
eipei_disk.jpg
 ( Photo via E-bay) 

Is this a genuine authentication device or is it a toy?  Can anyone identify the manufacturer, country of origin, the meaning of EIPEI and why the use of numbers 1 through 18 versus any other sequence?

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May 23/05