Dismiss
InnovationQ will be updated on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10am ET - noon. You may experience brief service interruptions during that time.
Browse Prior Art Database

Discreet Emergency Notification with Location Tracking

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012848D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-03
Document File: 5 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Colin Chisholm: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In a situation of personal threat it may not be feasible to summon help in traditional ways. For example, if a criminal carjacks an innocent victim and drives them to one or more ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) and forces them to withdraw cash, the victim cannot simply use their cell phone to call 911! The problem to be solved is how to provide a discreet method of generating an emergency notification for the victim who is in distress, which ideally would also provide victim location tracking information to a relevant 3rd party

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 17% of the total text.

Page 1 of 5

Discreet Emergency Notification with Location Tracking

By Colin Chisholm & James Kenning

M

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED

In a situation of personal threat it may not be feasi- ble to summon help in traditional ways. For exam- ple, if a criminal carjacks an innocent victim and drives them to one or more ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) and forces them to withdraw cash, the victim cannot simply use their cell phone to call 911! The problem to be solved is how to provide a discreet method of generating an emergency notifi- cation for the victim who is in distress, which ide- ally would also provide victim location tracking information to a relevant 3rd party.

CLOSEST KNOWN ART

* In the public safety field, a hidden switch can be mounted (e.g. in a vehicle) and used to acti- vate an emergency alert without anyone notic- ing. However such an approach is not very useful nor practical for a cellular phone-based application for a variety of reasons.

* Current cellular phone systems are developing the capability to provide accurate location information (e.g. to meet E911 requirements in the US) using TDOA (Time Difference Of Arrival) or assisted GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies, etc. However this capa- bility alone is of no use if the cell phone owner is unable to request help (e.g. due to being con- strained by a criminal).

* The idea of using a special PIN (Personal Iden- tification Number) or security access code that will still function like the normal code but will also silently (i.e. discreetly) flag a problem situ- ation to relevant authorities is known., e.g.

* for home alarm systems the use of an alternate panic PIN or code;

* for ATM machines, the use of an alternate panic PIN, as per patent US5,731,575. But these are not overly helpful when the user is mobile due to coerced movement by a hostile force, or when the user is remote from where the "action" is occuring (e.g. held remote from an ATM, after having been forced to divulge his ATM code and provide his ATM card).

SOLUTION

At the core of this invention is a method to tie the use of an alternate {secret code/password/PIN} (here after simply identified as a panic PIN) for a device (such as a cell phone, two way radio, ATM, keyless car entry system, etc.) with location deter- mination or location tracking capabilities, such as may be supported by the cellular phone system employed by the user, to achieve a benefit for the user - the ability to provide aid under situations of duress through discreet activation of an emergency indication and subsequent tracking of the user's location. The invention is also applicable to alter- nate forms of location tracking other than cell phone-based approaches (e.g. could apply to pure GPS-enabled location systems, etc.), but is written for the most part to assume a cell phone-based approach to location determination.

The novel aspects of the invention are the combina- tion of the discreet activation of an emergency indi- cation combined w...