Browse Prior Art Database

Tracking Bar-Coded Items

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115296D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Sergeant, RP: AUTHOR

Abstract

Bar-code readers are now available whose output is DTMF tones. When used with Voice Response type technology such readers can track bar-coded items in transit. Wherever an item is, it can be swiped and the code transmitted directly to a remote Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit to identify the item and track its progress.

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Tracking Bar-Coded Items

      Bar-code readers are now available whose output is DTMF tones.
When used with Voice Response type technology such readers can track
bar-coded items in transit.  Wherever an item is, it can be swiped
and the code transmitted directly to a remote Interactive Voice
Response (IVR) unit to identify the item and track its progress.

The system provides the following important facilities:
  1.  The item in transit could be anywhere in the world.  A call
could
       be made to a central tracking system IVR and the database
would
       be automatically updated with the position of the item.
  2.  Items to be swiped are often in areas where wired attached
       devices are not suitable, e.g., on a ship, train, plane or
       airport apron.  Using this technique a cellular phone could be
       used as the device to transit the bar-code back to the IVR
       tracking system.
  3.  Many telephone systems now provide the identity of the calling
       party.  The IVR could use this to automatically locate the
item
       in transit; only one piece of data would need to be input,
i.e.,
       the bar-code (via DTMF tones) of the item in transit; this
would
       result in a call lasting no more than a few seconds which
would
       be very cheap.
  4.  The same IVR used to input the location of items can also
service
       calls from customers and thus give instant...