Browse Prior Art Database

MPG - Method and Apparatus for Device Information Tracking via AC Powerlines

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015537D
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

MPG Method and Apparatus for Device Information Tracking via AC Powerlines Today we live in a society that relies on convenience. With electronic appliances and devices dominating the household, much too often we fail to remember one of the most important tasks after each purchase of these items – to collect and record the product information (i.e. vendor information, serial number, etc.). Often, when an electronic device/appliance is stolen, broken, or damaged then such information is often needed so that it maybe reported to the appropriate authorities, insurance agencies, or others. But failing to record such information may leave us stranded. This invention is a systematic method and use of appropriate apparatuses for recording and tracking product information for types of various appliances throughout the home or business via the AC power lines.

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MPG - Method and Apparatus for Device Information Tracking via AC Powerlines

Today we live in a society that relies on convenience. With electronic appliances and devices dominating the household, much too often we fail to remember one of the most important tasks after each purchase of these items - to collect and record the product information (i.e. vendor information, serial number, etc.). Often, when an electronic device/appliance is stolen, broken, or damaged then such information is often needed so that it maybe reported to the appropriate authorities, insurance agencies, or others. But failing to record such information may leave us stranded. This invention is a systematic method and use of appropriate apparatuses for recording and tracking product information for types of various appliances throughout the home or business via the AC power lines.

The primary method of implementation for such a system is first seen at the local level and is broken down into three quintessential parts. A secondary method that maybe implemented several years down the road pending the proper development of the appropriate technology will be discussed later. Our main concern for the primary method is an environment under local conditions, meaning that the system would operate within a sole building or home.

1. Transmitter - Each newly purchased device/appliance will become equipped with an industrial standardized "transmitter" consisting of a fairly inexpensive micro-controller and an EEPROM containing encrypted serial, vendor, and other product data. Once the device is plugged and receiving AC power, by using the standard X10 protocol, the micro-controller would essentially send out serial & product data thru the AC lines as if it were a serial connection.
2. Collector - On the receiving end, a device connected to the AC power network and attached to a computer can collect this product and serial information to be sent to the software for data storage, manipulation, tracking, etc. The device may connect to the computer through various standardized systems such as USB or the PC serial port.
3. Software - Upon receiving this product data information from the collector, a piece of software can be written to deal with such information in a variety of ways. In some cases it may simply record the product information as well as plug-ins and removal events on soft or hard storage. In other cases, such software maybe designed to automatically transmit your registration and product information to the manufacturing company to complete warranty registration. Even further, such software may also automatically transmit the same information to the authorities...