Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic Location Detection and Bluetooth Location Detection Device Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015569D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a system that enables the IBM Access Connections (IBM AC) utility to automatically detect a computer’s physical location and switch to a predefined profile. The system depends upon the presence of a wireless device (Bluetooth or 802.11a,b) that acts as a homing beacon. When the client system is awoken it will automatically search for nearby wireless devices and if it finds a specific wireless device it will automatically enable the specific AC profile that is associated with that specific wireless device. The AC profile will then load its predefined networking and application settings that will allow the user to move seamless from one environment to another without having to manually change their networking or application settings. The disclosed idea is an addition to the IBM Access Connections (IBM AC) utility that ships with current IBM ThinkPad systems. The IBM AC utility allows the user to configure different Microsoft Windows networking, wireless, and proxy settings and assigns them to a specific location profile along with a default printer and automatic application launcher. When the user is in a given location they can switch to a predefined IBM AC profile, which will then automatically load the Windows networking, wireless, and proxy settings along with assigning a default printer, and automatically launch predetermined applications that will allow the user to connect to their Intranet and Internet. However the current implementation requires the user to manually switch between the predefined profiles when they enter the different locations. The proposed idea is to assign a specific wireless enabled device, such as a Bluetooth (BT) device or 802.11a,b AccessPoint (AP), that is always on and only present in a specific location. When the user enters a location and starts their system (or wakes their system from standby) the wireless device of choice on the system (either their BT or 802.11a,b network interface card) will conduct an automatic search for compatible devices within a given range/distance (automatic search upon restart already exists with current IBM BT and 802.11b technologies) if a wireless device is found during the search, the IBM AC utility will automatically check to see if that device is associated with a predefined location profile and then automatically enable that location profile. The proposed solution of automatically searching for specific wireless devices and then automatically switching to a predefined IBM AC profile based upon the search results will result in a more seamless networking experience for the end user. The end user will not have to actively wait for their computer to restart, locate the IBM AC utility or system tray icon, and then select and apply the profile they wish to enable to connect to their home/office/conference room/hotel/etc. network. The current solution simply allows the user to reach a specific location, restart their system, and connect to the network with no further user interaction required. With the ability to automatically launch specific applications when changing to the different location profiles, users can, for example, come home from work, go to their office, restart their system, and walk away to the dinner table, gym, TV room, etc. while their system automatically loads the correct networking and proxy settings, connects to the Internet and/or Intranet,