Patents by Inventor Cheryl K. Harkins

Cheryl K. Harkins has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 7461009
    Abstract: An electronic shelf label system which sends messages to electronic shelf labels based upon priority. The system includes an electronic shelf label, and a computer for assigning a priority to an unsent message to the electronic shelf label, for comparing the priority to other priorities of other messages which are unsent, and for sending the message if the priority is higher than the other priorities. The computer may also determine message priorities of types of messages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 7340412
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system providing a delta update of an ESL's registers. In one aspect, an ESL manager receives and indication that an update to one or more of the registers of the ESL may be necessary. The ESL manager sends a data request to a data reader to provide a data reader image to the ESL manager. The data reader image contains a complete listing of the intended or planned contents of all the ESL's registers, some of which may require an update. The ESL manager reads a copy of an ESL data image from an ESL table which includes the current contents of all the ESL's registers. The ESL manager compares the data reader image with the ESL data image to determine an update data image which includes a subset of only those fields which have different content in the data reader image and the ESL data image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 7236473
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with automatic assignment of an ESL to an appropriate CBS and timeslot is described. In one aspect, the ESL system automatically assigns a missing ESL to an appropriate CBS and timeslot following a successful find command. After a find command has been transmitted and responded to by the missing ESL, a host computer system has a record of the CBS nearest the ESL and the timeslot that the ESL responded on. The host computer then determines a new timeslot for use by the ESL. The new timeslot is one of the timeslots normally used by the nearest CBS for communication. The host computer may select a timeslot which is currently assigned to fewer ESLs, to allow for even distribution of messages across the timeslots. An assign command is then transmitted to the ESL on the current timeslot, instructing the ESL to change to new timeslot when listening for messages. The host computer system then updates an ESL data file to include the correct CBS and timeslot information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2007
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 7073081
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with a reduced power consumption ESL is described. In one aspect, an ESL system and method conserves battery power by removing power from certain ESL components which are utilized to receive messages during time periods in which the ESL is not scheduled to receive messages. The host computer system transmits a power save command to the ESL instructing the ESL to cease downlink monitoring and remove power from at least a portion of the receiver circuitry. The power save command includes a start time and a predetermined time period, both which are stored in ESL registers. Alternatively, the power save command may include a start time and an end time. When the start time occurs, the ESL circuitry removes the power from the receiver and ceases downlink monitoring for messages, thus reducing the power consumed by the ESL.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 7007219
    Abstract: In one aspect, the ESL system automatically detects ESL communication errors which result in incorrect data in the ESL's registers, and then automatically takes corrective action to update the ESL's memory with the correct data. In one aspect, the host computer transmits a register update message to an ESL. If a negative acknowledgment message or no response is received, then the host computer resends the register update message, or takes other appropriate corrective action. If the host computer receives a positive acknowledgement message, the host computer then automatically transmits one or more messages to the ESL to verify the contents of the ESL's registers to ensure that a positive acknowledgement was actually transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6976206
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system providing an intelligent data bedcheck of an ESL. In one aspect, the ESL includes a plurality of registers for storing information controlling the content and formatting of the information displayed. A host computer system includes an ESL data file comprising a data image of the ESL's registers. To perform an intelligent data bedcheck of an ESL, the host computer determines the portions of the ESL's registers which are currently used to control the display of information by the ESL. The host computer then calculates one or more sumchecks of the data which is stored in the determined registers, and transmits one or more bedcheck messages including the sumchecks to the ESL. The ESL receives each bedcheck message and compares each received sumcheck with a sumcheck calculated using the information stored in the ESL's registers which are associated with each sumcheck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6885287
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with communication error correction is described. In one aspect, the ESL system automatically locates an ESL after the ESL fails to respond to a message. After a number of retries to the ESL have gone unanswered, the host computer system causes all CBSs to transmit an automatic find for the ESL which is not responding. This automatic find is transmitted by all the CBSs on all timeslots. Alternatively, the find can be transmitted by one CBS or a group of CBSs in a predetermined pattern calculated to quickly find the ESL failing to respond. If the ESL responds to the automatic find command, the host computer system logs which CBS heard the response and which timeslot the ESL responded on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6877133
    Abstract: An electronic shelf label (ESL) system with register corrections is described. An ESL includes a plurality of registers for storing information controlling the content and formatting of information. A host computer system includes an ESL data file comprising a data image of the ESL's registers. The host computer calculates one or more sumchecks of the data image, and transmits one or more bedcheck messages including the sumchecks to the ESL. The ESL receives each bedcheck message and compares each received sumcheck with a sumcheck calculated using the information stored in the ESL's registers. If the received sumcheck matches the calculated sumcheck, the ESL transmits a positive acknowledgement message to the host computer. Otherwise, the ESL transmits a negative acknowledgment message to the host computer. The host computer then transmits a series of messages to the ESL updating the plurality of registers with the data image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030233280
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system providing techniques for ensuring the accurate display of information by the ESL during the time period in which only a portion of the plurality of messages have been transmitted, and thus only a portion of the registers updated. In one aspect, a host system transmits a lock command to a particular ESL before transmitting any register update messages to the ESL. The lock command “locks” the ESL to a particular display register or display sequence until all of the register update messages have been transmitted to the ESL. The particular display register or display sequence is selected to force the ESL to display a message or sequence of messages which will not be disrupted or cause incorrect information to be displayed during the succeeding register updates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2002
    Publication date: December 18, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6626359
    Abstract: An electronic shelf label (ESL) system with having a reduced power consumption ESL is described. In one aspect, the ESL system extends battery life and increases the time between battery replacements by turning off the display segments of an ESL's display at predetermined times, such as, for example, when the store is not open or when the tags are not being viewed by customers. If a blank display is undesirable, due to possible confusion with a malfunctioning ESL or battery outage, then a single segment or a limited number of segments may be turned on. In one aspect, one of an ESL's registers which contains the display contents maybe loaded with a “blank” indication, or spaces, which results in the ESL not displaying any text and all of the display segments being turned off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030132833
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with communication error correction is described. In one aspect, the ESL system automatically locates an ESL after the ESL fails to respond to a message. After a number of retries to the ESL have gone unanswered, the host computer system causes all CBSs to transmit an automatic find for the ESL which is not responding. This automatic find is transmitted by all the CBSs on all timeslots. Alternatively, the find can be transmitted by one CBS or a group of CBSs in a predetermined pattern calculated to quickly find the ESL failing to respond. If the ESL responds to the automatic find command, the host computer system logs which CBS heard the response and which timeslot the ESL responded on.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030135805
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with register corrections is described. In one aspect, an ESL displays information relating to an item associated with the ESL. The ESL includes a plurality of registers for storing information controlling the content and formatting of the information displayed. A host computer system includes an ESL data file comprising a data image of the ESL's registers. The host computer calculates one or more sumchecks of the data image, and transmits one or more bedcheck messages including the sumchecks to the ESL. The ESL receives each bedcheck message and compares each received sumcheck with a sumcheck calculated using the information stored in the ESL's registers. If the received sumcheck matches the sumcheck calculated using the information stored in the plurality of registers, the ESL transmits a positive acknowledgement message to the host computer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030135806
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with communication error correction is described. In one aspect, the ESL system automatically detects ESL communication errors which may result in incorrect data in the ESL's registers, and then automatically takes corrective action to update the ESU's memory with the correct data. In one aspect, the host computer transmits a register update message to an ESL. If a negative acknowledgement message or no response is received, then the host computer may resend the register update message, or take other such action. If the host computer receives a positive acknowledgment message, or what appears to be a positive acknowledgement message, the host computer then automatically transmits one or more messages to the ESL to verify the contents of the ESL's registers to ensure that a positive acknowledgement was actually transmitted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030135772
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with a reduced power consumption ESL is described. In one aspect, an ESL system and method conserves battery power by removing power from certain ESL components which are utilized to receive messages during time periods in which the ESL is not scheduled to receive messages. The host computer system transmits a power save command to the ESL instructing the ESL to cease downlink monitoring and remove power from at least a portion of the receiver circuitry. The power save command includes a start time and a predetermined time period, both which are stored in ESL registers. Alternatively, the power save command may include a start time and an end time. When the start time occurs, the ESL circuitry removes the power from the receiver and ceases downlink monitoring for messages, thus reducing the power consumed by the ESL.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030135419
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system providing a delta update of an ESL's registers. In one aspect, an ESL manager receives and indication that an update to one or more of the registers of the ESL may be necessary. The ESL manager sends a data request to a data reader to provide a data reader image to the ESL manager. The data reader image contains a complete listing of the intended or planned contents of all the ESL's registers, some of which may require an update. The ESL manager reads a copy of an ESL data image from an ESL table which includes the current contents of all the ESL's registers. The ESL manager compares the data reader image with the ESL data image to determine an update data image which includes a subset of only those fields which have different content in the data reader image and the ESL data image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030132290
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with having a reduced power consumption ESL is described. In one aspect, the ESL system extends battery life and increases the time between battery replacements by turning off the display segments of an ESL's display at predetermined times, such as, for example, when the store is not open or when the tags are not being viewed by customers. If a blank display is undesirable, due to possible confusion with a malfunctioning ESL or battery outage, then a single segment or a limited number of segments may be turned on. In one aspect, one of an ESL's registers which contains the display contents may be loaded with a “blank” indication, or spaces, which results in the ESL not displaying any text and all of the display segments being turned off.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030133468
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system with automatic assignment of an ESL to an appropriate CBS and timeslot is described. In one aspect, the ESL system automatically assigns a missing ESL to an appropriate CBS and timeslot following a successful find command. After a find command has been transmitted and responded to by the missing ESL, a host computer system has a record of the CBS nearest the ESL and the timeslot that the ESL responded on. The host computer then determines a new timeslot for use by the ESL. The new timeslot is one of the timeslots normally used by the nearest CBS for communication. The host computer may select a timeslot which is currently assigned to fewer ESLs, to allow for even distribution of messages across the timeslots. An assign command is then transmitted to the ESL on the current timeslot, instructing the ESL to change to new timeslot when listening for messages. The host computer system then updates an ESL data file to include the correct CBS and timeslot information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Publication number: 20030135416
    Abstract: An electronic price label (ESL) system providing an intelligent data bedcheck of an ESL. In one aspect, the ESL includes a plurality of registers for storing information controlling the content and formatting of the information displayed. A host computer system includes an ESL data file comprising a data image of the ESL's registers. To perform an intelligent data bedcheck of an ESL, the host computer determines the portions of the ESL's registers which are currently used to control the display of information by the ESL. The host computer then calculates one or more sumchecks of the data which is stored in the determined registers, and transmits one or more bedcheck messages including the sumchecks to the ESL. The ESL receives each bedcheck message and compares each received sumcheck with a sumcheck calculated using the information stored in the ESL's registers which are associated with each sumcheck.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Applicant: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6535119
    Abstract: A system and method of managing failure of an electronic shelf label to respond to a message which conserves system bandwidth. The system includes an electronic shelf label which fails to respond to a first message, and a computer for resending the first message to the electronic shelf label at a first rate during a first time period, for identifying the electronic shelf label as unresponsive if the computer fails to receive an acknowledgment from the electronic shelf label during the first time period, and for sending a second message for determining whether the electronic shelf label exists at a second rate during a second time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin W. Haulk, Cheryl K. Harkins
  • Patent number: 6430704
    Abstract: A system and method of reporting a status of another system through an electronic price label (EPL). The system includes the EPL and a computer coupled to the EPL which monitors the status of the second system and causes the EPL to display a status message indicating the status of the second system. The second system may include a POS system, credit authorization system, or any other in-store system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: John C. Goodwin, III, Andrew J. Adamec, Cheryl K. Harkins