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Using Location and Criteria to Locate a Desirable Retail or Service Establishment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000215440D
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-27
Document File: 6 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to use mobile devices along with Web-based mapping and location services and wait list services to determine the soonest availability at a service location and manage a user’s place on the waiting list based on their proximity to the establishment. The invention uses an algorithm to determine which providers should be selected based on established criteria, location of the provider, and location of the user.

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Using Location and Criteria to Locate a Desirable Retail or Service Establishment

Many restaurants and retail service facilities have waiting lines based on when a person is placed on a waiting list (i.e., first come, first serve). Many of these waiting times are in excess of what the customer is willing or able to wait, but they are not aware of the waiting time until they arrive at the location. If the consumer had known the waiting time in advance, then they might not have chosen to go there.

Current methods for notifying customers of when their opportunity for service will occur or has arrived include manually contacting the location to inquire about the waiting time or being issued a paging device to notify a customer that their turn is up (but those have a limited range). Some smart phone applications exist that allow users to discover the wait times at businesses and then request placement on a waiting list. These current solutions only provide location information and only minimal information about queues (only accessed by calling or arriving at a location).

There is no efficient way to manage the waiting queue based on the user's location and time.

Assuming that the service location has a queue system in place, manual or otherwise, this disclosure compliments that system. The idea is to use mobile devices along with Web-based mapping and location services and wait list services to determine the soonest availability at a service location and manage a user's place on the waiting list based on their proximity to the establishment. The approach uses mobile devices to determine the most optimal methods for locating desired services and then add the customer to a waiting list. The idea is to connect consumers and producers for desired goods or services by providing an optimized queuing service.

The disclosed invention uses an algorithm (intelligence) to determine which providers should be selected based on established criteria, location of the provider, and location of the user.

The components of the core idea and steps for implementing it include:

1. A user performs a search on their mobile device for a desired good or service (e.g., oil change, Italian restaurant, etc.). The user may establish criteria such as: "I need this done within 30 minutes", or "within 5 miles of my location".

2. Invention retrieves information from establishments/providers about what service they provide, current queue time, and location

3. Invention shows location of providers that meet the user's requirements (algorithm created to generate list) allowing user to select a location and get added to their queue using existing technologies

4. Queue location is constantly retrieved using existing technology, but the invention monitors other service providers to determine whether a more optimal (time) or desirable (ranking) location exists (invented algorithm to do so). If so, then the system notifies the user and provides them the option to be removed f...