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Marco-Polo Badge Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241721D
Publication Date: 2015-May-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a device that assists one person in finding another person, tool, or location via haptic, visual, audible, or other feedback. The device relies on a Marco-Polo ‘ping’ system to determine proximity to a specified target. Proximity feedback changes with changing proximity (e.g., haptic, visual, etc.).

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Marco-Polo Badge Device

Locating a specific person or tool in an unfamiliar environment where the object of interest is not easily identifiable is difficult with textual guidance or maps. This is particularly difficult in locations where appearances are homogenous (e.g. everyone is wearing clean room/hazardous material suits, every machine is white and square, etc.), the atmosphere is chaotic, hazardous, cluttered, or loud (e.g. , burning building, military field operations, etc.), and vision and/or hearing is limited or not present (e.g., in the dark, in a mechanical space, blindness, deafness, etc.).

A Global Positioning System (GPS) does not work indoors and has a 3m radius of uncertainty. Absolute geometry is not publically available. Internal wireless networks require prior setup and significant infrastructure to operate. In addition, it requires a centralized processing computer to coordinate locations and tags/people. GPS devices are cost prohibitive and may require additional hardware (e.g., a display). Enlarged name-tags/numbers (e.g., firefighter's uniform/equipment) require familiarity with each individual identifier/call sign and good visibility, which is not possible in all situations.

A highly precise method is needed to quickly locate a specific object/person of various sizes, in any environment, without the assistance of an existing infrastructure.

The novel contribution is a device that assists one person in finding another person, tool, or location via haptic, visual, audible, or other feedback. The device relies on a Marco-Polo 'ping' system to determine proximity to a specified target. Proximity feedback changes with changing proximity (e.g., haptic, visual, etc.).

The device can 'tag' a person (can be worn), object, or location. It is (remotely) loaded with a specific target destination/person, and is easily (remotely) activated/deactivated. The identifying signal sent from the device can be specified and changed. The same device can simultaneously act as target tag and seeking tag. The system operates withouta centralized location tracking system or computer, area routers, or network infrastructure (i.e.,is not indoor GPS) .

The Marco-Polo device can use a directional or omni-directional antenna, and can determine distance by measures such as signal strength/power and ping-response delay. Similarly, by monitoring the ping-response time, one can segregate the initial response (i.e. shortest path) from other echo/reflected responses (it is...