Browse Prior Art Database

Locator System for Smart Shopping Carts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112276D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Balasubramanian, PS: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A new class of devices, smart shopping carts, have many interesting potential applications. Some of these applications depend upon knowing the location of the cart within the boundaries of the store, and recalibrating a locating system locally (at the cart level). This disclosure describes several potential methods of doing so.

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Locator System for Smart Shopping Carts

      A new class of devices, smart shopping carts, have many
interesting potential applications.  Some of these applications
depend upon knowing the location of the cart within the boundaries of
the store, and recalibrating a locating system locally (at the cart
level).  This disclosure describes several potential methods of doing
so.

      PROBLEM:  Smart shopping carts have many interesting
applications that depend upon knowledge of where the cart is located
in the store.  Prior art describes a mouse-like system of tracking
the location of the cart by tracking the motion and directions of the
movements, similar to the operation of a mouse (mechanical-optical).
However, the system depends upon accurate recalibration of location
at periodic intervals to maintain accurate positional information.
This will describe several ways to accomplish this.

      INVENTION:  There are several ways of providing calibration of
position within an environment, such as a store.  A cart will pass a
number of locations that can be used as calibration points and the
traffic and logistics of the environment can be set up to insure that
the cart will pass at least one of these calibration checkpoints,
recalibrating the positional sensing logic within the cart.  Passive
methods are preferable as they don't require expensive wiring or any
explicit operation on the part of the client, other than moving the
cart.  One possibility is to embed an optical pattern in a strip
across an isle so tha...