Browse Prior Art Database

USING PAGERS TO RECOVER LOST PROPERTY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000008112D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-May-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 186K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Jennifer ThuNguyet Nguyen: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Because they are small and portable, pagers can easily become lost, in some unseen or forgotten location, possibly close at hand. They can also be stolen, or kept when found, rather than returned. In some cases this may be due to inability to locate the rightful owner. In other cases, the relative ease of reprogramming the pager may tempt the "finder" to avoid any attempt to return the pager. A method of facilitating return of lost pagers is described here. Additionally, use of pagers to facilitate the recovery of other "lost" items is discussed.

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USING PAGERS TO RECOVER LOST PROPERTY

by Jennifer ThuNguyet Nguyen and Christopher Loomis

ABSTRACT

  Because they are small and portable, pagers can easily become lost, in some unseen or forgotten location, possibly close at hand. They can also be stolen, or kept when found, rather than returned. In some cases this may be due to inability to locate the rightful owner. In other cases, the relative ease of reprogramming the pager may tempt the "finder" to avoid any attempt to return the pager. A method of facilitating return of lost pagers is described here. Additionally, use of pagers to facilitate the recovery of other "lost" items is discussed.

RECOVERY OF LOST PAGERS

  The only current method of attempting pager recovery is to page oneself. This is adequate only if the pager is set for audible alerting, however, and only for as long as the battery holds power. It may also be undesirable for the owner of the pager to reveal her/his telephone number in an effort to facil- itate return of the pager. Similarly, a lost pager may contain (or later receive) phone numbers which should be kept confidential. This invention outlines a method of making a lost pager more easily locat- able, and more easily returnable to the owner. It also contains a provision making a lost pager (which has been identified as lost by its rightful owner) impossible to re-program.

  When a pager became lost, the owner of the pager would dial her/his own pager as if to normal- ly page herself/himself, but would enter a "lost code" as the number to be dialed. When the pager received the "lost code," it would put itself in "lost pager mode." While in "lost pager mode," a loud audible tone would be periodically issued, to facili- tate locating a pager not readily visible, while mini- umizing rate of battery depletion. This tone, as well as the other features of "lost pager mode," would not be disabled by battery depletion or replacement,

but would resume whenever adequate power was present to operate the pager. The loud audible tone would assist in locating a pager lost somewhere in the owner's immediate vicinity or within his or her normal living, working, or traveling environment. It would also serve as a sort of burglar alarm, making a would-be thief conspicuous. The front display light would also flash, facilitating recovery by the hearing-impaired, or in the dark. This feature of "lost pager mode" could optionally be limited to when the pager's internal clock indicates night- time. It could also optionally alternate with the audible alarm. Furthermore, in "lost pager mode" normal use and reprogramming of the pager would be disabled. While in "lost pager mode" no received pages would be displayed, and no stored pages could be recovered, this protecting the privacy of the pager owner. The pre-programmed "lost pager display" would appear on the pager's display.

  The numeric, user-defined "lost code" could optionally be set in the individual pager by the owner;...