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Tracking a Radio Disabled Device Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249314D
Publication Date: 2017-Feb-16
Document File: 4 page(s) / 302K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Described is a method to use ultrasound to locate a user’s lost mobile device in the absence of radio signal.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 68% of the total text.


Tracking a Radio Disabled Device

Current methods to keep track of personal items such as cell phones include dedicated mobile applications (apps), device location tracking systems, wireless communication methods to either locate the device or to send the items location data to a database (using a Global Positioning System (GPS) for a location fix), etc.

A problem occurs when an electronic item is lost and the radio capabilities are not functional (i.e., disabled, non-existent, etc.), preventing any wireless communication. This is common with mobile devices when the user is travelling in foreign countries or when disembarking an aircraft and the phone is in airplane mode; the device’s radios are disabled.

The novel solution is to use ultrasound to locate the user’s device. To detect that the device is lost, the locating device either loses short-range radio contact (Bluetooth*) or notices a drop in received ultrasound amplitude. In another scenario the lost device detects that it has been lost (e.g., detects lack of movement over a given period, detects a change in temperature, loss of short-range radio contact, drop or loss of host device ultrasound signal, etc.) and activates its ultrasonic transponder. Upon realizing that the device is lost, the user activates the locating device to pick up the lost device’s ultrasonic signal. The locating device uses changes in magnitude and triangulation using dual receivers to guide the user to the lost device.

Figure 1: Propagation t...