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Use of a Hand-held Device (HhD) for Shopping

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014579D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

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It is often difficult to locate products in a store and even more difficult to make a purchase decision based upon the information on a product's label/packaging. If products were easier to locate and more information was available on the spot, this would benefit both the purchaser and the manufacturer of the product. This can be accomplished using a Hand-held Device (HhD) such as a Palm Pilot. The disclosed invention allows a HhD's programming to take advantage of features that could be provided by the store: a. A system of Infrared (IR) transceivers mounted in the ceiling of the store; b. A small laser scanner which plugs into the serial port of the HhD. The IR system would provide location information for products the user can't find, by entering the product name/Brand into the HhD and querying the IR system for its location. The user can also scan the barcode of a product using the laser scanner and get information on that product via the IR transceiver system. This would be used mainly for 'big-ticket' items, such as electronics, where it is often impossible to get detailed information from the packaging or the salesperson. The method of this invention is as follows: