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System and Method to Alert on Items Left in a Rental Car

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000228069D
Publication Date: 2013-Jun-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a technology that works with a rental car as a service that assists a traveler by tracking personal items, and then notifying the traveler if an item is left behind with the rental car.

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System and Method to Alert on Items Left in a Rental Car

When a person travels with many electronic devices, it is likely that one might be left behind as the traveler moves from place to place. For example, if a user is in a rental car and uses the mobile charger to charge a mobile phone, it is easy to forget to retrieve the charger, device, or both, from the vehicle before returning it. In addition to keeping track of personal electronics, travelers often have electronic toll-paying devices that need to move with them from vehicle-to-vehicle. These are also easily forgotten.

The invention is a technology that works with a rental car as a service that assists a traveler by tracking personal items, and then notifying the traveler if an item is left behind with the rental car. The technological system is reliable and accurate.

The system begins by generating and storing a list of outlets in the vehicle into which electronics are plugged for charging, as well as a list of any Bluetooth* devices broadcasting in the car. The system scans for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) responders and generates a list.

When the traveler returns the car to the rental company, the system compares lists to ensure that all outlets are unoccupied, no radio devices are still active, and nothing is in the car. If any criteria are met that indicate the traveler has left items in the vehicle upon returning it, then the rental company can notify the traveler. Notification may be non-trivial; if a traveler leaves a mobile phone in the car on the way to catch a flight, it will limit the ability to contact said traveler.

Figure: Objective001: Track electronic devices that are plugged into the vehicle's outlet(s)

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Objective001: Track electronic devices that are plugged into the vehicle's outlet(s) (See Figure):
O001: User plugs a device in the car (e.g., Universal Serial Bus (USB) device, or

something in the lighter). This is a physical sensor, that simple checks for use of a plug, not how much the power draw is, or if...