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Instrumenting the Real World to Improve Searching and Locating

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247431D
Publication Date: 2016-Sep-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a system and method that leverages the strengths of existing localization technologies in combination with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags or photographic data, to facilitate an improved item-location method to assist users in stores, storage facilities, at home, etc. The system and method also provide opportunities for dynamic information and feedback sharing.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 33% of the total text.

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Instrumenting the Real World to Improve Searching and Locating

The sample scenario described below refers to the shopping experience, but the features of the disclosed solution are applicable to multiple locations such as home, office, hospitals, warehouses, etc.

The current shopping experience has several drawbacks. Customers pass by stores

with potentially interesting offerings, but do not dynamically receive information. Inside the store, items are not necessarily in the correct locations; many stores indicate that the planograms are not up-to-date. Even when items are in the assigned locations, shoppers cannot easily locate the general area in the store where this class of items resides. Even if in the correct region of the store, shoppers cannot always easily locate the precise location of the desired item.

No current mechanism enables other shoppers in a store to provide recommendations or real-time feedback about the shopping experience, in order to benefit other shoppers.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth*, and ZigBee* technologies are available for localization, each with advantages and drawbacks. A system is needed to leverage the strengths of these technologies to facilitate an improved item-location method to assist users in stores, storage facilities, at home, etc.

The novel contribution is a system and method that uses a robot or roving device to locate specific items based on the item's shape, barcode, and/or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. To operate, the system leverages a combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee to improve search-and-locate functions. The system hands-off the item localization for greater than 5m to Wi-Fi, and localization of particular items less than <1m distance to ZigBee or Bluetooth.

The proposed system is designed to assist users' physical experiences using virtual information. It addresses identifying, cataloguing, and searching for items that can be found in multiple locations (e.g., stores, warehouses, hospitals, offices, at home, etc.). In many cases, the same item traverses a number of locations; the item is initially in a

warehouse, and then a store, and then in an individual's home. In each setting, users need a mechanism to identify and locate items.

This solution proposes that items have a marking, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags or barcodes to facilitate identification.

The tags or codes associated with the item enable the creation of a planogram for a particular facility (e.g., warehouse, store, home) that maps out the location of items in that facility. The creation of a planogram then enables a user to find the object based on its location in the planogram. The tag/code also allows information about the object (e.g., expiration dates) to be mapped on the item.


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The planogram needs a mechanism to be updated, as items are moved both within and outside of a particular locale. For example, when an item is purchased from a store, the store planogram n...