Modular location detecting floor tiles
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
This idea is to embed a standard floor or pavement tile (for example lino, carpet, or concrete with an induction loop around it's perimeter and a wireless transmission device such as a bluetooth chip. The chip has a unique id which it can transmit with any message hence the floor tiles messages are uniquely identified. Using a floor laid with these tiles, a consumer pushing a trolley with an embedded chip, could be exactly located in a store as follows: The induction loop in the tile interacting with the chip in the trolley, identifies the trolley and can use the bluetooth chip to transmit to a nearby bluetooth hub the exact location of this particular trolley. This information can be used to feedback timely information to a trolley mounted or handheld display concerning items or special offers around the user. One method to power the tiles would be to have two metalfoil contacts on their underside which would be laid on a grid of metal foil powering "rails". These would only need to be DC low power connections. Each row of tiles would need two foil rails laid down on the floor, which could be easily laid when laying the tiles, simply by unrolling the foil from a roll and then connecting up the ends at the edge of the room. Others could be onboard batteries, heat, or light. This idea could be extended to embedding chips in shoes or the base of objects so that individuals and objects can be precisely located. For example if an accurate representation of people in a crowd were required, or objects in a room, this could be generated virtually using this system.