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Cable guide assist system using NFC chips, audio, and visual aids Disclosure Number: IPCOM000230162D
Publication Date: 2013-Aug-23
Document File: 5 page(s) / 168K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a system to simplify the process of connecting cables between media devices (e.g., gaming systems, streaming devices, television, audio/video receiver, etc.). An embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) chip within the ends of the cables and the ports of the device allow the cable and device to communicate proximity by illuminating a Light Emitting Diode (LED) light when the user has the right cable matched with the right port. By using varying colors or audible patterns, this system helps guide the user as the user moves the cable closer to or farther away from the correct port.

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Cable guide assist system using NFC chips , audio, and visual aids

It is often difficult for users to see where connections between pieces of electronic equipment need to be made (e.g., audio and video cables into TVs or other devices). This problem occurs usually because the TV ports are in the back of the TV up against a wall and/or it is dark behind the TV (i.e., users cannot see color-coded components). An individual must either move the TV away from the wall or out of a cabinet, or try to plug in the cables by guessing or feeling the back of the device for the shape of the ports. The other solutions listed below require additional devices, which can be expensive and still do not help with the initial setup of devices.

This system helps users when plugging cables into difficult to reach or non-visible areas or in complex cabling configurations. The system has two major components: a "cable matching" system and a "cable mapping" system.

The cable matching system uses an NFC chip at the end of each cable as well as NFC chips at the ports of each device that can accept that cable. The device (e.g., a flat screen TV or game console) has all NFC chips linked so that the location of all cables can be detected regardless of which NFC chips are paired. In a preferred implementation, the cable has an extra wire connecting the NFC chips on either end of the cable in order to make the remote-end connection details available to the local end connector's NFC chip.

This system helps both general consumers and individuals that need additional assistance (e.g., the visually impaired) to connect cables in the correct ports. In addition, the system places connecting devices in the most optimal configuration(s), based on proximity and/or optimal device performance.

The novel aspects of the system include a cable matching system wherein an
NFC (or similar technology) is embedded in each end of the cable and in the media device ports to communicate Unique Identifiers (UNIDs). A light is used to signify when a cable is matched with the correct port, or is moving toward the correct port. Sound is used to signify the proximity of the end of the cable and port. A cable connects the two NFC chips on either end of the cable in order to communicate remote end connection details to the local end.

Figure 1: Placement of NFC chip


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Figure 2: Ethernet port

The system receives the port information (e.g., High Definition Media Interface (HDMI), Left Audio, etc.) it needs after the cable is plugged into one device. This can be done by using NFC technology or the device can send the information to the cable after it recognizes that the port is occupied. This allows the other end to identify the ID it needs to find in the other device, into which the opposite cable is being plugged (e.g., TV).

To guide the user to the correct port:

1. Receive port information from first device

2. Send information to opposite cable end

3. NFC chip communicates with ch...