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RFID Enabled Systems for Quickly Locating Objects in Stores

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132504D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Louise Springer: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

RFID-tagged items and smart shelves have been proposed as a means for allowing shoppers to quickly find objects on a list, with computer generated displays showing users where to go in a store, for example. However, even when a shopper is near the desired item, it may be difficult to find it. An improved method is proposed in which LED lights or other visual indicators near the item flash or otherwise become active when the user is within sight of the object to allow a shopper to quickly select the desired item.

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RFID Enabled Systems for Quickly Locating Objects in Stores

Louise Springer, Christie Leitner, and Eric Wagner Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, Wisconsin

RFID-tagged items and smart shelves have been proposed as a means for allowing shoppers to quickly find objects on a list, with computer generated displays showing users where to go in a store, for example. However, even when a shopper is near the desired item, it may be difficult to find it. An improved method is proposed in which LED lights or other visual indicators near the item flash or otherwise become active when the user is within sight of the object to allow a shopper to quickly select the desired item.

LED lights have been combined with RFID technology in Singapore's National Library to help patrons identify the locations of books. After the user identifies a book to be found, LED lights associated with the book are activated to show where the book is. Such technology can, in our proposal, be adapted to a retail environment to help consumers identify the locations of selected objects in the shelf. For example, a consumer can use an electronic interface to identify a desired object such as a jar of honey. Directions or a map may then be displayed electronically showing the route to the identified object. When the user approaches the shelves housing the targeted object, LED lights or other visual indicators may be activated to draw the shopper's attention to the specific location of the object. The lights or other visual indicators may be on the shelf below or adjacent to the article, or may be attached to the article. Alternatively, the lights may be attached to a shopping cart or other device to help indicate proximity to the desired object. LED lights or other visual indicators can augment any known system using RFID technology for helping users locate items in a retail environment, such as the system described in US20040103034A1, "RFID System and Method for Purchase Item Accountability" by Reade and Lindsay, published May 27, 2004.

The system can also be integrated with computerized systems for tracking a shopper's purchase history and anticipating shopping needs. For example, after identifying a shopper through a loyalty card, an RFID fob or other means, the system may access purchase history information showing that artichoke hearts are purchased regularly and may need to be purchased again. An electronic interface using a kiosk, terminal, home computer, electronic monitor on a shopping cart, etc., can then recommend that product to the shopper and activate the system for locating...