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Method for environment-driven mobile devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005817D
Publication Date: 2001-Nov-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 243K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method for environment-driven mobile devices. Benefits include improved functionality for existing small mobile devices (such as personal digital assistants).

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Method for environment-driven mobile devices

Disclosed is a method for environment-driven mobile devices. Benefits include improved functionality for existing small mobile devices (such as personal digital assistants).

              With the development of the Bluetooth wireless technology, small mobile devices can be carried around. Users can quickly setup temporary networks with other Bluetooth devices. The disclosed method builds on personal area networks (PANs) to offer location relevant information to mobile devices.


              Dad walks into a retail outlet. His shopping personal digital assistant (PDA) is updated with a shopping guide that is specific to that store and includes a searchable catalog of products, daily specials, and floor layout. Dad speaks into the PDA to indicate his interest in slacks. A list of products in the store’s current stock in his size is displayed along with a map that shows the route from where he is standing to the merchandise’s location in the Menswear department. Dad picks up some slacks that have a reduced price. Then, he proceeds to the TV/Electronics department to look at DVD players. When he places his PDA in front of various models to pick up the RF identity tag, detailed information about the unit is displayed, including operating instructions, warranty info, and objective reviews.

              A shopping PDA rests in a cradle on the refrigerator door. The bar code/RF tag of an item is scanned when it is thrown away and added to the family grocery list. As soon as Mom walks into the grocery store, her shopping PDA interacts with the grocery network, and a map is displayed showing the most efficient route through the store to pick up the items. Mom quickly swipes the PDA in front of each product as it is placed in the shopping cart and a running balance is displayed. At the checkout counter, the total due is transferred to the grocery network and automatically paid via electronic debit. Mom is able to look at her checking account balance at any time.

              When a mobile device comes within range of a wireless access point, both the mobile device and the access point detect each other. The access point (using UPnP for example) informs the mobile device of the services available on its network, these services could include a Web site, standardized retailer’s information, a bar code/product database, a store chain geographic locations service, and access to the Internet.

              If configured to do so, the mobile device can immediately display the retailer’s Web page when within range of an access point. The mobile device can also retain product information, geographic location, sync-up mail, and schedule events via the Internet.

              Using bar code numbers, the mobile device can compare the shopping list saved by the user with the retailer’s product list and display each...