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Remotely querying the status of a car wash

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028069D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In general, car washes tend to be frequently out of service. It can be very inconvenient to drive all the way to one only to find out that it is not working. A solution to this problems is to allow a user to remotely query the status of a car wash before driving to it. The query mechanism could be SMS, Internet (or for instance) a voice activated service available over the phone. The car wash status information can include both the operational status and the size of queue waiting to use the car wash. This information can be deduced from the sale of car wash tickets or tokens. The same principle can also be applied to querying the status of other queuing based services like busy carparks.

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Remotely querying the status of a car wash

How many times have you driven to a car wash just to find that it is either out of order or that there is a huge queue of cars waiting to use it? It would be very useful if you could remotely query via a Simple Message Service (SMS) message the status of the car wash before driving all the way to it. I am not aware of an current ways of being able to remotely do so. One way would be to phone a petrol station garage and ask someone. One drawback of this approach is that it is not an automated solution.

  The invention would let you query the status of a car wash through a SMS message. This could save you the hassle of driving all the to the car wash just to find out that it is out of order. Along with knowing that the car wash is operational, you could also find out how many cars are queuing to use it.

  The SMS request message could be received on a dedicated mobile number provided for a particular car wash. A more suitable approach could be to provide a central phone number which you could send a SMS message to with the id of the car wash that you want to query.

  The SMS receiving system would then check the current state of the car wash and send back a response SMS message to the originator containing the car wash status information. SMS could be one of a channels used to remotely query the car wash. Companies could provide a voice interface which you could phone up to determine the state of the car wash. A web interface to...