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(RSS) Method for Sealing Shopping Bags for Self-Checkout

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028738D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Many self-checkout stations used in retail establishments weigh the shopping bag as items are scanned and placed in the bag. The additional weight is compared to the expected weight for the item scanned. This is a means of keeping the customer honest and preventing theft. Some systems have the bags on a conveyor system and some use a simple weight platform. In either case, once all of the items are scanned, the bags are removed from the security device and placed back into a shopping cart to be transported out of the store. A remaining concern is that the customer may try to add items that were never scanned to the open bags in the cart thereby circumventing the security system. The solution to the above problem is to seal the bag prior to removing the bag from the weighing mechanism. In this way the store can be sure no additional items are added to the bags later.

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(RSS) Method for Sealing Shopping Bags for Self-Checkout

    Disclosed are methods of preventing fraud in a retail self-checkout environment by providing means for sealing a shopping bag after the items therein have been scanned and before the bag is removed from the system to be transported from the store. Existing unattended self-checkout systems use sophisticated security means to assure that all items are properly accounted and then paid for by the customer. However, none address the ability of the unscrupulous person to bypass the self-checkout system completely by adding items to the bag after it has been removed from the security scale.

Method A: Conveyor belt bagging station

1) The shopping bag is placed on a conveyor belt next to the scanner.
2) Items are scanned and placed in the bag.
3) The bag is determined to be full by:
a) The customer indicates to the system by pressing a button, an active region of a touch display, or by voice recognition, they have completed filling the bag.
b) The system determines that the bag is complete by some combination of weight and/or optical feedback that indicates that the bag is full.
4) The conveyor transports the bag to a sealing station.
5) The bag is sealed by either:
a) placing a plastic shrink wrap over the top of the bag.
b) closing the top of the bag and securing with a tape seal.
c) thermally fusing the top of the bag.
6) The conveyor transports the bag to an output station where it can be removed by the customer.
7) Repeat the process for additional bags until transaction is complete. Method B: Carousel bagging station
1) Bags are placed on one or more bagging racks on a carousel with a plurality of rack...