Browse Prior Art Database

(RSS) Configuration of RFID tag to use as Electronic Shelf Label

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028206D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The article describes a method for simplifying installation and configuration of electronic shelf edge lables (ESL) that are managed using RFID tags. It saves time and effort by working without the use of store planograms. The sequence of operations is described for installation and updating of the ESL.

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(RSS) Configuration of RFID tag to use as Electronic Shelf Label

Retailers are continuously looking for ways to streamline the operations of their stores and to reduce operational expenses. Since the advent of the UPC, (Universal Product Code) symbol, which allows for electronic scanning and price retrieval, retailers no longer mark individual items with price. In stores where the items are not marked with price, it is essential to provide signage in the store to publish product prices. In the

food segment, shelf edges are typically mounted with small signs that indicate the price

of the product located on that shelf. A typical grocer will stock 50,000 priced items (or UPCs) and price changes are frequent (daily) for some percentage of the inventory. There is both cost and complexity involved in managing the price updates within the store. Similar but larger signs are used in general merchandise stores, but the problems are the same.

    It is a key advantage for the retailer to minimize the cost of keeping these shelf edge labels up-to-date with current prices. Essential to consumer satisfaction is to have the price correctly reflecting the price that will be charged at checkout by the point of sale system. Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) provide the technology that allows for automation of in-store price publishing. Each tag must be written with the correct price of the product where it is located on the shelf, and the ESL is capable of displaying that price to the shopper. ESLs require extensive infrastructure in the store for the wireless or wired network to each ESL, and configuration which allows association of the address of the tag with the product at that location. Software programs are provided which can recognize that a price needs to be changed and can push the correct price out to the appropriate tag over the network. The software must have a correct data correlation between the ESL network address and the product UPC.

    Another method of updating ESLs is marking each one with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier) tag, and to correlate the tag ID with the product location and the associated price. These systems require unique data to be configured for each of the ESLs. In this case, they require specific knowledge of the location of each tag by ID based on the planogram of products located in the store. This process makes the tags complex to install, configure and maintain.

    This invention provides the method for installing ESLs into the physical store without having preassigned product per tag location. This method does not require an up-to-date planogram of the store to be effective. It simplifies the physical installation. The invention provides the process for configuring the tags after installation based the physical location of the products on the shelves and the existing layout of the store. It manages differences in product placement in stores without managing multiple store mappings in a database. It allows the store...