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System and Method for Monitoring the Proximity of Radio Frequency Identified Items

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129230D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Use programmable RFID receivers built into various devices to scan for a complete set of items that is comprised of individual unique RFID transmitting labels. Built-in labels or moveable, taggable labels (such as sticky RFID within bar code labels) can be sold in a set for grouping the set of items. Devices can be programmed to recognize separate sets, depending on the application and requirement. Consumer applications include checking for a complete set of an everyday group of items, such as the things a child might take to, and bring back from school.

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System and Method for Monitoring the Proximity of Radio Frequency Identified Items

People misplace items every hour of every day. Children often misplace jackets and glasses, for example. Adults often misplace children. This idea helps track commonly misplaced items using radio frequency identification (RFID) to register and unregister the existence of tagged items within a small radius area.

RFID is an identification technology. Digital data encoded in an RFID tag is transmitted to a reader using radio waves. The most common emerging use of RFID is similar to bar code technology. Radio waves capture pricing and manufacturer data embedded within a bar code label. Scanning bar codes is unnecessary. RFID does not require the tag or label to be seen to read its stored data.

RFID technology can be used to identify objects that are within a given radius of the receiver, or items that are not within a given radius of the receiver.

The idea is to impregnate commonly misplaced items with an RFID transmitter, either sewing, clipping, or sticking the transmitter devices onto the item or person likely to go missing.

The receiver can be within a telephone, a car, beside the front door, or worn on a wrist band. At the customer's choice, the wristband, for example, might light up a diode light in the wristband if the RFID in the pair of eyeglasses, in the car keys, in the jacket is not within a 50-foot radius. A receiver could be within a cell phone. The cell phone might also have a transmitter and be part of a set of controlled objects.

School teachers could check wristbands or cell phones or whatever specific device has the reader before heading back into the school from recess. If anyone's wristband is lit, for example, send the culprit back out to make a circuit of the playground. When the light goes off, the child knows he is near his jacket and can more easily retrieve it.

Parents could check wristbands when the child gets into the car, or a teacher could check wristbands when the children are waiting in the car pool line. "Johnny, you forgot something. Run back to your classroom and get it." "Uh-oh - My glasses!," shouts Johnny and off he goes.

The RFID chip & antenna can be mounted on a substrate. Companies offer rolls of affordable RFID labels for as little as $0.35 apiece at the time of this disclosure, in 2005. The price will improve over time, but is currently within affordable range for consumer targetted labels. The label material can be printed upon or pre-coded for use.

The substrate can be applied to a shrink wrap tube for slipping around eyeglass stems, to tape for adhering to anything, to a zipper pull for a snazzy reminder that a jacket is "under watch", etc.

The receiver could be manufactured into a wristband like a sweat band like the kind commonly used when playing tennis.

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Receivers could be sold with a pack of tuned RFID tags for adhering to commonly misplaced items that are used one at a time.

A parent cou...