Combined Services Patents (Class 186/36)
  • Patent number: 10445807
    Abstract: This disclosure is directed to, in part, providing customers with an enhanced shopping experience during a visit to a physical store location. The enhanced shopping experience may include providing the customer with customized delivery of product information. The product information may include demonstrations of product use, samples of products, recommendations of related products or areas of interest to a customer, etc. To provide the customized information, the customer may register to be identified while at the physical store location. The physical store location may include sensors that identify a location of the registered customer. A presentation module may then push relevant content to a device located near the customer, possibly in response to a request from the customer and/or a location of the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Varnum Commons, David John Edwards, Jr., Tony Jay Lee, Llewellyn James Mason, Scott James McKee, Elton Victor Pinto, Brandon William Porter, Tyson Christopher Trautmann
  • Patent number: 10417681
    Abstract: Systems and methods for individualized distribution of digital content to purchasers via portable kiosks are described. The systems contain a storage device for storing the digital content and distribution devices for distributing the digital content to a user. The distribution devices can be configured to be portable so that users who are not mobile can access the distribution device. As well, the users can use a receiving device containing unique identification data to receive and access the digital content. Such a system is extremely useful for users who are not mobile and whose use of the distribution devices needs to be controlled, such as detainees in a corrections facility. Other embodiments are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: REALLY EPIC DOG, LTD
    Inventors: Jon F. Butler, Mark W. Nakada, Michael Hamling
  • Patent number: 10264327
    Abstract: Methods and systems of offering and distributing digital content to an attendee at an event are described. The system contains a server containing the digital content that can be offered to an attendee as well as recording equipment for creating digital content based on the event. The digital content can be then distributed directly to a portable electronic device accessible to an attendee or distributed indirectly using a kiosk located near the event. The server can communicate both with the portable electronic devices and with the kiosk. Once the attendee has been offered the digital content, the attendee can request that the digital content be distributed from the server to that portable electronic device or distributed to a kiosk where the digital content can be retrieved by the attendee. Other embodiments are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Mediaport Entertainment, Inc.
    Inventors: Wayne G. J. Scholes, Jon F. Butler
  • Patent number: 9070124
    Abstract: A self-service check cashing system and method which performs preliminary tests on a check to reduce queue length at attendant check cashing stations. An example method includes obtaining an amount of a check from a customer by the self-service terminal, obtaining information from an image of a check by the self-service terminal, performing a plurality of tests by the self-service terminal, including tests using the information from the image to determine whether the check was properly completed; and displaying instructions to the customer by the self-service terminal to go to an attendant terminal to complete a second phase of the check cashing transaction when the self-service terminal determines that the test results were positive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: John C. Goodwin, Harris Roth
  • Patent number: 8944823
    Abstract: A method of facilitating the identification of portable consumer articles at a point of purchase display, the method including the steps of: providing a plurality of portable consumer articles each with tactilely sensible information thereon that identifies at least one of: a) a general nature of the article and/or its contents; and b) a provider of the article; and displaying the plurality of articles at the point of purchase display in a manner that allows potential consumers to lift and handle each of the plurality of articles so as to thereby readily determine through tactile sensing of the information at least one of: a) the general nature of the handled article and/or its contents; and b) the provider of the handled article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Inventor: George Kasboske
  • Patent number: 8776446
    Abstract: A pharmacist workstation that has a desk that is accessible to customers at a customer position in front of the desk; pharmacist seating directly behind the desk, from which a pharmacist can directly interact with a customer in front of the desk; a pass-through window to a secure preparation area; and a private consulting area that has an entrance that is located to a side of the pharmacist seating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Walgreen Co.
    Inventors: Nimesh S. Jhaveri, Archana Dhruve, Heather K. Hill, Dejan Kozic, Laura J. Tebbe, Susan G. Heald, Warit Tulyathorn, Mark A. Jones, Sara B. Frisk, Jennifer M. Levin, Jennifer A. Comiskey, David T. Blanchard
  • Patent number: 8776445
    Abstract: A pharmacy workspace that has a prescription station that has a prescription desk; a pharmacist station that has a pharmacist desk that is distinct from the prescription desk; a clinic station that has an examination room; and a reception desk that is centrally positioned between the three stations and separated from them by only an open circulation area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Walgreen Co.
    Inventors: Nimesh S. Jhaveri, Archana Dhruve, Heather K. Hill, Dejan Kozic, Laura Jean Tebbe, Susan G. Heald, Warit Tulyathorn, Mark A. Jones, Sara B. Frisk, Jennifer M. Levin, Jennifer A. Comiskey, David T. Blanchard
  • Patent number: 8707630
    Abstract: A retail pharmacy workspace that has a clinic station where common acute health issues such as the flu and ear infections can be addressed by a medical assistant; boundary walls that at least partially surround the clinic station and include a doorway and a screening wall that has front and back ends and no doorway between those ends; at least one examination room within the boundary walls; a waiting room within the boundary walls, between the examination room and the doorway; a prescription station where prescriptions are filled; a pharmacy waiting area outside the boundary walls of the clinic station; and parallel rows of seating in the pharmacy waiting area that define front and back limits of a seating area that are arranged on lines that intersect the screening wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: Walgreen Co.
    Inventors: Nimesh S. Jhaveri, Archana Dhruve, Heather K. Hill, Dejan Kozic, Laura Jean Tebbe, Susan G. Heald, Warit Tulyathorn, Mark A. Jones, Sara B. Frisk, Jennifer M. Levin, Jennifer A. Comiskey, David T. Blanchard
  • Patent number: 8687020
    Abstract: A restaurant comprising a virtual reality environment simulating travel by a mode of transportation, such as a train or a boat, to allow individuals seating in the restaurant to have the impression of travelling while enjoying their meals. The restaurant comprises a dining room having side walls, each side wall having a series of windows. Screens are placed on opposed facing sides of the dining room at a distance behind the side walls. A set of projectors is provided for projecting a seamless flow of continuous passing by images of a landscape on the screens. A display control unit synchronizes the projection of the passing by images on the screens in order to create an illusion of travel through the landscape when viewed through the windows in the side walls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Inventor: Carole Moquin
  • Patent number: 8583495
    Abstract: A system includes a device and software with a touchscreen, cash drawer, bar code scanner, and other point-of-sale peripherals. The device processes payments according to a method and can process a payment from multiple payment sources to multiple credit-card merchant accounts. Likewise, the system processes returns according to a method from multiple-merchant accounts. A scheduler is included with an appointment builder and manager that are especially useful in a beauty salon environment and other schedule-intensive service businesses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Invenstar, LLC
    Inventors: Terry L. Glatt, Sam M. Zietz, Philip A. Betts, Damon T. Young, Carolyn Bruscino
  • Patent number: 8290814
    Abstract: A self-checkout system, particularly for retail areas of constrained floor space, has a small to zero footprint while being fully functional. In one form, the self-checkout comprises a unit mountable to a wall, pillar, or other support. In another form, the self-checkout has or is part of a columnar support. The self-checkout system has security in the form of video and weight verification. A visual and/or audio indicator provides indicia of modes of use of the self-checkout. The self-checkout further includes an interactive customer interface terminal, a scanner, and a scale. The self-checkout provides an open visual area that allows easy viewing by store personnel of transactions being performed on the self-checkout system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Joanne Walter, James Morrison, Horng Jaan Lin
  • Patent number: 7992355
    Abstract: A vehicular drive-thru food ordering and delivering system and method are provided. The system includes a lot, a drive-thru lane and a building for receiving and filling drive-thru orders. The building has a primary food delivery window for passing ready orders to drive-thru customers, and a downstream in-line parking area for drive-thru vehicles having a delayed order. Proximate to and downstream from the primary food delivery window is a doorway for attendant access from the primary food delivery window to the downstream in-line parking area. An attendant runway is proximate and downstream of the doorway and proximate to the in-line vehicle waiting area. A customer with a delayed order can be directed to wait in the downstream in-line waiting area. When the delayed order is ready for delivery, an attendant can deliver the ready order via the proximate doorway and proximate attendant runway to a vehicle waiting in the in-line vehicle waiting area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Ed Bridgman, Alison Guy, Denis Weil, Dan Wohlfeil
  • Patent number: 7962366
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an automatic product price payment counter including an input device, an output device, and a control device. The input device inputs information about one or more products to be purchased by detecting a barcode attached thereon. The output device displays the information about the products and performs steps of paying for the price of the products. The control device performs comparison and determination on the information input from the input device with information stored in product information DataBase (DB). The input device includes a weight measurement unit including a first balance and a second balance configured to measure the weight of the products, and a cash slot and a card slot. The output device includes a cash change slot configured to refund change after the price of the products has been paid in cash.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Inventor: Moon-Key Han
  • Publication number: 20110108363
    Abstract: A shopping and entertainment center for elderly persons includes: a motorized scooter adapted to be ridden by the user; a shopping structure to dispense provisions, including a shelf adapted to store and dispense the provisions at a distance above the ground that allows the user to access the provisions while riding the scooter, and a lane adjacent the shelf that is wide enough to allow the user to access the provisions while riding the scooter without blocking the lane; an entertainment structure to provide entertainment, including a module for seating the user while riding the scooter so that the user may receive the entertainment. The scooter, the shopping structure, and the entertainment structure cooperate to provide shopping and entertainment to the user. Also included are covered parking and entrances, and valet parking with attendants.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2009
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Inventor: Regina Sherman
  • Patent number: 7895797
    Abstract: A vehicular drive-thru food ordering and delivering system and method are provided. The system includes a lot, a drive-thru lane and a building for receiving and filling drive-thru orders. The building has a primary food delivery window for passing ready orders to drive-thru customers, and a downstream in-line parking area for drive-thru vehicles having a delayed order. Proximate to and downstream from the primary food delivery window is a doorway for attendant access from the primary food delivery window to the downstream in-line parking area. An attendant runway is proximate and downstream of the doorway and proximate to the in-line vehicle waiting area. A customer with a delayed order can be directed to wait in the downstream in-line waiting area. When the delayed order is ready for delivery, an attendant can deliver the ready order via the proximate doorway and proximate attendant runway to a vehicle waiting in the in-line vehicle waiting area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Ed Bridgman, Alison Guy, Denis Weil, Dan Wohlfeil
  • Patent number: 7882933
    Abstract: A method and a central-belt machine are provided for filling an order container. The central-belt machine includes two central belt provided with articles along a virtual window of an order, and the articles being discharged to the order container at a filling point at the front longitudinal end (V) of the central belt. The two central belts (1, 2) of the central-belt machine, are arranged vertically one above the other, to fill the order container (3), for an order, by at least one interposed vertical conveyor (4) at a single filling point (P) of the lower central belt (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: Knabb Logistik Automation GmbH
    Inventor: Karl Freudelsperger
  • Patent number: 7791495
    Abstract: A data processing system for analyzing customer and employee interactions in a service establishment is disclosed. The data processing system comprises a plurality of remote customer, employee units and a central unit. The units each include a transceiver to send and receive signals. The signals are all received by the central unit and relayed to the appropriate unit. The central unit time stamps and records all signals in a database. The system further comprises an evaluation program which analyzes the signal data to provide employee performance ratings and staffing recommendations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: ESP Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Devin Green, Drew Palmer, Edmond J. Dougherty, Jr., Todd A. Binkowski, Daniel Green
  • Patent number: 7782177
    Abstract: A data processing system for analyzing customer and employee interactions in a service establishment is disclosed. The data processing system comprises a plurality of remote customer, employee units and a central unit. The units each include a transceiver to send and receive signals. The signals are all received by the central unit and relayed to the appropriate unit. The central unit time stamps and records all signals in a database. The system further comprises an evaluation program which analyzes the signal data to provide employee performance ratings and staffing recommendations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: ESP Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Devin Green, Drew Palmer, Edmond J. Dougherty, Jr., Todd A. Binkowski, Daniel Green
  • Patent number: 7513636
    Abstract: A plurality of lighting fixtures with interchangeable sensors and transmitters are displayed for sale to the consuming public such that a customer of such a display may easily choose a specific lighting fixture and combine it with a specific sensor and/or transmitter enabling the customer to buy a lighting fixture meeting a customer's aesthetic and functional requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: IQ Group Sdn Bhd
    Inventor: Daniel John Beasley
  • Publication number: 20080121466
    Abstract: A socializing site between companion seeking individuals in the form of an open public meeting place wherein every present member is allocated a serial number, clearly viewed by all members. The members have access to a communication system enabling each member to contact another member by his/her serial number and exchange voice or text messages. A separate section of the meeting place is designed for hosting pairs of members who wish more close acquaintance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2007
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Inventor: Amir Tal Terry
  • Publication number: 20080110190
    Abstract: A shelf structure is disclosed including multiple module units that are vertically arranged, where a module unit is adapted to receive articles at each article's location of manufacture to be displayed for purchase in a retail store from the module unit. The module unit includes a main body with at least one hollow section defining an article storage location, where the hollow section is enclosed within a number of panels. A top panel vertically engages and supports an adjacent base panel of another module unit. The shelf structure includes transfer means to engage a material handling device to move the module unit. When multiple module units are stacked in a vertical arrangement, articles displayed within each module unit are freely accessible by a member of the purchasing public in the retail store, when at least one of the panels of the module unit has been removed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 18, 2005
    Publication date: May 15, 2008
    Inventor: Roger John Ramsey
  • Patent number: 6970831
    Abstract: A method for evaluating customer service performance is implemented by a computer software application. Customers are presented with transaction specific questions to evaluate particular employees. A customer's response to a survey question is stored on a computer. Different performance indicators are calculated for the employee based on the responses to the customer surveys. The employee is evaluated based on these performance indicators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Assignee: PerforMax, Inc.
    Inventors: Nancy L. Anderson, Lois J. Pannkuk
  • Patent number: 6964321
    Abstract: A method and system for presenting merchandise on a paved surface which employs permanently installed anchors each having a vertical sleeve. Poles of common height are inserted within the sleeves of the anchors in a manner defining a three dimensional merchandising region. The tops of the poles are interconnected by tensioned cable assemblies from which informational signage is suspended and retained by lower disposed retainer tensioned cables. Merchandising bays are established between mutually adjacent poles and entrance and exit regions are established in conjunction with a shopper aisle. A canopy is supported by poles and anchors over a cash/wrap station at the exit region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2005
    Assignee: Outdoor Merchandising Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: George Washington Baughman, III, William Anthony Dascenzo, Kristin Elizabeth Griffin, Larry L. Wood
  • Patent number: 6940393
    Abstract: A system and method of queuing orders locates data-entry modules relative to a pickup location such that a customer who places an order after a customer who placed an earlier order can be signaled to approach a pickup location before the first customer if the order of the second customer is ready before the order of the first customer. The system can signal a customer to wait in a predefined location until the order is ready, or the system can signal the customer to approach the pickup location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Nimesa Corporation
    Inventors: Roger H. Dev, Mark Samber
  • Patent number: 6775915
    Abstract: An article for determining the adequacy of space for a television set comprises a foldable generally rigid body, such as cardboard, having dimensions approximately equal to those of the television set. The article includes indicia indicating the diagonal screen size or other dimensions of the television set and/or identifying television model(s) having the represented dimensions. The article can be dispensed to individuals who wish to make determinations of the availability or suitability of space in a particular location prior to taking possession of the television set. Several articles of different dimensions can be provided, e.g., in a retail electronics store, wherein the dimensions of the several articles correspond to the dimensions of several television models that are available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Circuit City Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Stephens
  • Publication number: 20040106369
    Abstract: A canister has various locations for accepting coins or paper cash and the canister securely stores the coins and paper cash for later retrieval by a sponsor. The canister includes an entertainment device which itself includes at least two or more of a lever, step, gear, ramp, rotating wheel, loop, cup, dish, catapult, audio device, visual device, light, horn, and reflective surface. The coins traverse the entertainment device while under the influence of gravity and the coins are visible to the user during travel through the entertainment device. The canister may also include a launching ramp and a funnel which are configured to accept coins.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2003
    Publication date: June 3, 2004
    Applicant: OSMOND FOUNDATION, FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD, DBA CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK
    Inventor: Mick Shannon
  • Patent number: 6722473
    Abstract: A system for providing cash to users in a merchandise delivery environment such as a fast food drive-through environment. The system includes a customer request station (212, 262, 288, 300, 322, 378) at which the customer is enabled to input a request for merchandise as well as an input corresponding to a request to receive cash. The customer is further enabled to input to the customer request station information corresponding to a source of monetary value which the customer may charge against for ordered merchandise or for the amount of cash requested. The customer may then move to a cash delivery station (216, 338) to receive a portion or all of the requested cash. The customer is enabled to receive the ordered merchandise at a merchandise delivery station (222, 292, 304, 316, 324, 342).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventors: Natarajan Ramachandran, Cynthia S. Daugherty, Jeffery M. Enright
  • Publication number: 20040035643
    Abstract: A system and method of queuing orders locates data-entry modules relative to a pickup location such that a customer who places an order after a customer who placed an earlier order can be signaled to approach a pickup location before the first customer if the order of the second customer is ready before the order of the first customer. The system can signal a customer to wait in a predefined location until the order is ready, or the system can signal the customer to approach the pickup location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2003
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Inventors: Roger H. Dev, Mark Samber
  • Patent number: 6578671
    Abstract: A method and system for automatic drop off and pick up of merchandise on which service is desired. The system includes a processing device for input of data related to merchandise to be dropped off, a drop off section for receiving the merchandise being dropped off and retaining the merchandise for performing the desired service and a pick up section for storing the merchandise after the desired service has been performed and returning the merchandise to the customer upon receipt of payment by the means for receiving the claim ticket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Inventor: Raymond Shen
  • Publication number: 20020138367
    Abstract: A specialized merchandizing system for a particular type of consumer is provided comprising a partitioned section within a retail establishment constructed with interior designs reflecting characteristics of the particular type of consumer and providing a variety of products fulfilling the particular type of consumer's needs. The specialized merchandising includes a multipurpose customer interaction center equipped with computer terminals, an area where customers can socialize, an activity area for children, and public speaking accommodations for guest speakers presenting topics of interest to the particular type of consumer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2001
    Publication date: September 26, 2002
    Inventor: Andrew P. Meurer
  • Patent number: 6386323
    Abstract: A system for providing cash to users in a merchandise delivery environment such as a fast food drive-through environment. The system includes a customer request station (212, 262, 288, 300, 322, 378) at which the customer is enabled to input a request for merchandise as well as an input corresponding to a request to receive cash. The customer is further enabled to input to the customer request station information corresponding to a source of monetary value which the customer may charge against for ordered merchandise or for the amount of cash requested. The customer may receive the cash directly at a customer request station. Alternatively, a computer may operate to correlate an identifying input associated with the customer or the transaction, and the request to receive the amount of cash. The customer may then move to a cash delivery station (216, 338). In response to the customer providing the identifying input at the cash delivery station, the customer receives a portion or all of the requested cash.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventors: Natarajan Ramachandran, Cynthia S. Daugherty, Jeffery M. Enright
  • Patent number: 6279684
    Abstract: A newspaper dispensing apparatus includes a housing having a cavity for storing newspapers. A door is pivotally attached to the housing via a pair of hinges. A locking subassembly releasably engages the door in a closed position. The disclosed apparatus is fabricated entirely from plastic to eliminate concern of corrosion and the risk of sparks. In an alternative embodiment, the apparatus is fabricated from high strength steel, but selected portions of the apparatus including the locking subassembly, hinges and portions of the door, are covered with non-corrosive, spark proof materials to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Thus, the apparatus can be positioned immediately adjacent gasoline pumps at a service station without the risk of creating sparks, fire or an explosion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: The Sun-Sentinel Company
    Inventor: Jerry Lewis
  • Patent number: 6167381
    Abstract: A self-service checkout terminal includes a base having a bagwell defined therein. The terminal also includes a first counter supported on the base. The first counter has a first surface which is positioned at a first height. The terminal further includes a scanner secured at a first end of the first counter. The terminal yet further includes an automated teller machine secured at a second end of the first counter. Moreover, the terminal includes an arcuate shaped second counter secured to the first counter, the second counter having a second surface which is positioned at a second height. The first counter has a bagwell opening defined therein at a location interposed between the scanner and the automated teller machine. The bagwell opening is aligned with the bagwell. The first height is less than the second height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen W. Swaine, Ali M. Vassigh, Grant C. Paton
  • Patent number: 5992570
    Abstract: A self-service checkout apparatus for processing items selected by a customer for purchase includes a customer operated device, such as a scanner/scale, for identifying each item selected for purchase. The apparatus also includes a self-service terminal which includes a card or cash payment accepting device, a cash dispensing device for providing a customer with cash by way of change or cashback, and an electronic controller connected to the customer operated device and arranged to determine the price of each item identified by the customer operated device. The terminal displays the total amount payable on a screen. A customer exit is normally closed by a security gate which is arranged to be opened in response to the customer making payment for the total amount. The terminal can be used to provide ATM services independently of a checkout transaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Joanne S. Walter, Alfred J. Hutcheon, Horng-Jaan Lin, Edward F. Madigan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5499707
    Abstract: A multi-product, self-service merchandising kiosk having a walk-in enclosure, interactive selection panel, illuminated merchandise display, internal drink dispenser and modular, dry goods dispenser having multi-compartmented inventory shelving and bottomless storage drawers. Purchases are selected via audio visual instructions entered at an interactive touch panel containing graphical icons, and a monitor having a menu and overlaid with an array of infrared transmitters and receivers. A programmable controller controls the drink and dry goods dispensers, manages payment transactions via a bill receiver, coin changer, credit card verifier, and receipt printer and provides periodic inventory status reports. A merchandise selector includes a motor driven, track supported collection bin and electromagnetic drawer puller. The selector aligns the bin to selected inventory drawers, extends and retracts the drawers and conveys the selected merchandise to a customer dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1996
    Assignee: Compu-Shop, Inc.
    Inventor: Rudy Steury
  • Patent number: 5482139
    Abstract: An automated drive-up vending facility (10) and method utilizes a plurality of automatic transaction machines (12) located around the periphery of a storage building (14), whereby customers can drive their vehicles along side the building, insert an account/debit card into a card reader (16), and make product selections via a touch screen display terminal (18). The products are stocked within building (14), and an automated picking/sorting subsystem (20) retrieves the selected products for deposit into a dispensing chute (22). Selection and product information is provided at the display terminals (18) via an interactive menu driven program. Selection of products subject to sales restrictions automatically actives video conferencing equipment (26) so that a sales attendant can confirm customer authorization to purchase the selected product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1996
    Assignee: M.A. Rivalto Inc.
    Inventor: Michael A. Rivalto
  • Patent number: 5114050
    Abstract: A garage forecourt installation is disclosed in which the fuel dispensing pump is linked to a vacuum cleaning device so that as the fuel pump is switched on suction is made available at a suction cleaning nozzle. The provision of suction ceases on the pump being switched off, or a predetermined time thereafter. The fuel pump can be linked (by a cable) to an electric motor of the vacuum cleaning device so that they are activated simultaneously. A time delay device can be incorporated so that the motor of the vacuum cleaner runs on after the fuel dispensing pump stops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignee: Vaccar Systems (Proprietary) Limited
    Inventor: Peter Morris
  • Patent number: 5113974
    Abstract: A single stop shopping facility that comprises a plurality of customer stations, each including a vehicle parking space, which are arranged around the exterior of a circular building containing goods for sale. The customer stations and building rotate relative to one another. The building includes a loading station for delivering selected goods ordered at the customer stations. Fuel dispensing stations located around the exterior of the building permit a customer, located in a vehicle parking space, to receive a selected quantity of fuel as the relative rotation proceeds. The walls of the building support merchandise display sections which are viewable by persons located at the customer stations, the displays being cyclically exposed to the parked vehicles as a result of the relative rotation, permitting the selection and payment for merchandise as the relative rotation continues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Inventor: Mark Vayda
  • Patent number: 4884662
    Abstract: A driver interaction center, and a method of operating such a center, which includes a driver service dispensation structure, having a plurality of collection stations for dispensing services, and a plurality of driveways, each of which is arrayed adjacent to at least one of the collection stations and which is directionally oriented for tandem collection of the services at the driver's side of vehicles such that drivers need not have to leave their seats to collect the services. Each of the driveways further defines a drive-thru periphery that is situated along the driver's side of vehicles as the vehicles proceed along the given driveway. The driver interaction center can be a food court center, a bank center, a photography center, as well as any of a number of other centers which provide goods or services on a drive-thru basis or have a combination of counter sevice and drive-thru service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 5, 1989
    Assignee: Carousel Commons
    Inventors: David Cho, Richard M. Steckler
  • Patent number: 4805738
    Abstract: A single stop shopping facility that comprises a plurality of customer stations, each including a vehicle parking space, which are arranged around the exterior of a circular building containing goods for sale. The customer stations and building rotate relative to one another. The building includes a loading station for delivering selected goods ordered at the customer stations. Fuel dispensing stations located around the exterior of the building permit a customer, located in a vehicle parking space, to receive a selected quantity of fuel as the relative rotation proceeds. The walls of the building support merchandise display sections which are viewable by persons located at the customer stations, the displays being cyclically exposed to the parked vehicles as a result of the relative rotation, permitting the selection and payment for merchandise as the relative rotation continues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1989
    Inventor: Mark Vayda