Browse Prior Art Database

Shopping Cart Perimeter Security

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126516D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The idea is to put LEDs and photo sensors around the top of the shopping cart. These could be used to detect when an item has been inserted into the shopping cart. By combining these sensors with a shopping cart companion, suspicious activity can be detected.

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Shopping Cart Perimeter Security

     LEDs and photo sensors would be used to create an invisible barrier along the top of the shopping cart. This barrier would be broken any time an item is inserted into the shopping cart. These LEDs and photo sensors would then be connected to the shopping cart companion. The customers would then be instructed to scan the items before putting them inside the cart. So the shopping cart companion knows exactly when to expect an item to be placed in the cart (a break in the barrier). If an item is placed in the cart without a corresponding item scan, then the cart companion can ask the customer to scan the item. If an item needs to be removed from the cart, then the customer could remove the item and void it. The software in the cart companion would detect the break in the barrier and the item void event. This would not be considered a suspicious activity unless there were too many of them. To establish some guidelines, information about each customer's scanning history could be stored and analyzed to establish patterns. The numbers from different customers could also be combined by using the number of items in the cart or the total cost of all the items in the cart. These patterns could then be applied to the larger population. By combining this system with others like scales or audits (which are in use today), this would be an effective deterrent against theft.

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