Shopping Cart Or Item Thereon Patents (Class 340/568.5)
  • Patent number: 10372998
    Abstract: A checkout lane management system is described that uses object recognition to detect whether one or more items is under a shopping cart during a customer checkout process. The checkout lane management system may comprise one or more of cameras for collecting a stream of images focused on a checkout lane. The checkout lane management system may also comprise one or more of a display device and a speaker device as part of a checkout lane device for displaying a BOB indicator or sounding the BOB indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Inventors: Jacob D. Richards, Joel Thiessen
  • Patent number: 10232869
    Abstract: Examples of systems and methods for locating movable objects such as carts (e.g., shopping carts) are disclosed. Such systems and methods can use dead reckoning techniques to estimate the current position of the movable object. Various techniques for improving accuracy of position estimates are disclosed, including compensation for various error sources involving the use of magnetometer and accelerometer, and using vibration analysis to derive wheel rotation rates. Various techniques utilize characteristics of the operating environment in conjunction with or in lieu of dead reckoning techniques, including characteristic of environment such as ground texture, availability of signals from radio frequency (RF) transmitters including precision fix sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott J. Carter, Stephen E. Hannah, Jesse M. James, Narayanan V. Ramanathan, Robert M. Harling, Jack Johnson
  • Patent number: 9953355
    Abstract: Identifying products in a physical store shopping environment. The method includes, using a first detection method, identifying that a given product likely belongs to a given set of products. The method further includes, using one or more other detection methods, determining that the product is likely a specific product from the given set of products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Jie Liu, Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Mohammed Shoaib, Michel Goraczko, Nissanka Arachchige Bodhi Priyantha, Marcel Gavriliu, Suman Kumar Nath, Changhu Wang, Yuxiao Hu, Di Wang, Gerald Reuben DeJean, Lei Zhang
  • Patent number: 9661942
    Abstract: The combination of a shopping cart and a checkout location. The shopping cart has a wheeled frame defining: a) a primary article storage receptacle; and b) a lower storage shelf. The checkout location has: a) an aisle through which the shopping cart can be directed and with laterally spaced sides; b) a processing assembly at one side of the aisle; c) a station at which a person can be situated to operate the processing assembly; and d) a mirror on the other side of the aisle situated so that a person situated at the station can observe a reflection of articles placed on the storage shelf. The mirror has a reflective surface configured and located to reflect an image of the shopping cart only below the top of the shopping cart from a vantage point of a person situated at the station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Se-Kure Controls, Inc.
    Inventor: Roger J. Leyden
  • Patent number: 9637151
    Abstract: Various systems for detecting unauthorized exit events are disclosed. The systems can support a variety of different methods for assessing whether a customer is exiting the store without paying. The particular method or methods used may vary widely based on the types and the locations of the system components included in a given installation. For example, the system may be configured to detect that a cart has passed or is passing through a checkout lane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen E. Hannah, Scott J. Carter, Jesse M. James
  • Patent number: 9091551
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for tracking and controlling shopping carts or other types of human-propelled vehicles. In one embodiment, the system includes a wheel or wheel assembly with a braking mechanism that is activated in response to signals received by multiple receivers. The receivers may, for example, include a VLF (Very Low Frequency) receiver for detecting a VLF signal transmitted by a buried cable, and an RF transceiver for communicating over a wireless network. The receivers may, but need not, be included in the wheel. The multiple receivers may be used in combination to control a shopping cart; for example, a command received by a shopping cart's RF transceiver may cause the cart to ignore (not activate the brake in response to) a detected VLF signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen E. Hannah, Scott J. Carter, Jesse M. James
  • Publication number: 20140375456
    Abstract: A push handle for a shopping trolley contains a holder for a mobile telecommunications terminal, in particular a smartphone. The holder includes a mounting for the telecommunications terminal and a pivot joint by which the mounting can be pivoted between a home position when it rests against the push handle and a holding position when it extends away from the push handle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventors: Elvira Sonnendorfer, Andreas Filosi
  • Patent number: 8816854
    Abstract: A system for detecting electronic article surveillance (“EAS”) marker shielding includes an EAS subsystem a metal detector, a cart detection subsystem and a processor. The EAS subsystem is operable to detect an EAS marker in an interrogation zone. The metal detector is operable to detect a metal object in the interrogation zone. The cart detection subsystem includes a sensor array. The cart detection subsystem is operable to differentiate between a wheeled device and a human passing through the interrogation zone based on the sensor array. The processor is electrically coupled to the EAS subsystem, the metal detector and the cart detection subsystem. The processor is programmed to receive information outputted from the cart detection system and information outputted from the metal detector to determine whether to generate an alarm signal based on the presence of EAS marker shielding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Tyco Fire & Security GmbH
    Inventors: Adam S. Bergman, John A. Allen, Robert Kevin Lynch
  • Patent number: 8786459
    Abstract: A digital signage displays monitoring device includes a controller, a detector, and a connector. The controller has two ends to connect with the detector and the connector respectively. The sensors inside the detector are attached to the digital signage display, and the connector connects with the digital signage player. Detecting signals are sent to the display by the controller via the player. The sensors detect the detecting signals on the display, and send a feedback signal back to the controller for the detecting signal and the feedback signal being compared by a predetermined program to generate a result signal which indicates condition of the display being normal or out of order and a warning message corresponding to the result signal is sent to the remote control center via the network device in the player for subsequent processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Inventor: Hsiao Wey Nieh
  • Patent number: 8749385
    Abstract: A device for recognizing when an object or a person crosses a threshold that is marked by a magnetic field comprises a first magnetic field sensor that is designed to detect a first magnetic field component of the magnetic alternating field and to deliver an associated magnetic field sensor signal. The device comprises a second magnetic field sensor that is designed to detect a second magnetic field component of the alternating magnetic field. The device also comprises an evaluator that is designed to deliver information in response to a change in a phase relationship between the magnetic field sensor signal delivered by the first magnetic field sensor and a reference signal based on the detection of the second magnetic field component by the second magnetic field sensor, said information indicating that the object or person has crossed the marked threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
    Inventors: Josef Bernhard, Thomas Leipold, Thomas von der Gruen
  • Patent number: 8751148
    Abstract: A navigation system uses a dead reckoning method to estimate an object's present position relative to one or more prior positions. In some embodiments, the dead reckoning method determines a change in position from the object's heading and speed during an elapsed time interval. In embodiments suitable for use with wheeled objects, the dead reckoning method determines the change in position by measuring the heading and the amount of wheel rotation. Some or all of the components of the navigation system may be disposed within a wheel, such as a wheel of a shopping cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott J. Carter, Stephen E. Hannah, Jesse M. James
  • Patent number: 8736451
    Abstract: In order to detect attempted theft, the time that a shopping cart remains in a self-scanning zone in a self-checkout line is monitored. If a certain duration is not met between the time at which the region of the self-scanning register is entered and the exit is passed, an alarm is triggered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Inventors: Franz Wieth, Horst Sonnendorfer
  • Patent number: 8710980
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for changing a usability status of an asset in a location tracking system. Establishment of a direct device-to-device wireless communication connection between a user tag and an asset tag of the location tracking system triggers a process to change a usability status of the asset associated with the asset tag. In the process, identifiers of the asset tag and the user tag obtained when pairing the asset tag and the user tag are used in order to link the user tag with the asset tag in the process for changing the usability status of the asset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: 9Solutions Oy
    Inventor: Sami Herrala
  • Patent number: 8700230
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for tracking and controlling shopping carts and other types of human propelled vehicles. The system includes a wheel assembly that attaches to a cart. The wheel assembly includes a brake unit for inhibiting cart motion, and includes wireless communication circuitry. The wheel assembly is capable of activating the brake unit in response to one or more conditions, such as the receipt of an RF signal or command. In some embodiments, the system also includes a display unit that displays information to a user of the cart, including information regarding the cart's proximity to a lock zone in which the brake unit will become activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen E. Hannah, Scott J. Carter, Jesse M. James
  • Patent number: 8629765
    Abstract: To generally prevent people from being able to take out and move shopping carts from shopping cart parking areas at times when the store is not open, the blocking devices on the shopping carts are activated when the shopping carts are parked in shopping cart parking areas when the store is not open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Inventors: Horst Sonnendorfer, Franz Wieth
  • Patent number: 8581726
    Abstract: A security tag that is attached to an article in two stages. In a first stage, a first portion of an attachment clip is coupled to an article, such as but not limited to clothing, to be protected by a manufacturer or assembler. This attachment clip is durable to withstand harsh manufacturing environments. Once the article with the attachment clip is ready for presentation, for example, at a retail establishment, during a second stage, a second portion of the attachment clip is then permanently secured in a locking mechanism of a housing containing a security element therein. The security element may comprise EAS (including AM, RF, EM and microwave), RFID (including LF, HF and UHF), benefit denial (e.g., ink-filled or dye-filled capsules) elements or any combination thereof. Because the security tag is not removed from the article at the point-of-sale, the security element is deactivatable. A preferred embodiment of the security tag uses all non-ferrous components including its locking mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Checkpoint Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony F. Piccoli, Lawrence Appalucci, James Brodzik, Gary Mazoki, Thomas J. McKeown, Seth Strauser
  • Patent number: 8570171
    Abstract: A vehicle tracking system includes a wheel unit containing circuitry capable of sensing various types of conditions, such as specific electromagnetic and/or magnetic signals indicative of particular wheel locations. The wheel units communicate with fixed nodes of a monitoring system. In some embodiments, the wheel units are placed on shopping carts and are used to determine whether particular shopping carts are authorized to exit a store. For example, if a shopping cart that has not passed through a checkout lane is approaching a store exit, the system may activate a shopping cart braking unit, and/or initiate another action to inhibit push-out theft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen E. Hannah, Scott J. Carter, Jesse Michael James
  • Patent number: 8558698
    Abstract: A vehicle tracking system includes a wheel containing sensor circuitry capable of sensing various types of conditions, such as specific electromagnetic and/or magnetic signals indicative of particular wheel locations. The sensor circuitry is coupled to an RF transceiver, which may but need not be included within the wheel. The wheel may also include a brake mechanism. In one embodiment, the wheels are placed on shopping carts and are used to collect and monitor shopping cart status and location data via a wireless network. The collected data may be used for various purposes, such as locking the wheel of an exiting cart if the customer has not paid, estimating numbers of queued carts, stopping wheel skid events that occur during mechanized cart retrieval, store planning, and providing location-based messaging to customers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen E. Hannah, Scott J. Carter, Jesse M. James
  • Patent number: 8547229
    Abstract: A multi-attach disposable security tag that is attached to an article in two stages. In a first stage, an attachment clip is coupled to an article, such as but not limited to clothing, to be protected by a manufacturer or assembler. This attachment clip is durable to withstand harsh manufacturing environments. Once the article with the attachment clip is ready for presentation, for example, at a retail establishment, during a second stage, the attachment clip is then permanently secured in a locking mechanism of a housing containing a deactivatable security element therein. The security element may comprise EAS (including AM, RF, EM and microwave), RFID (including LF, HF and UHF) elements or any combination thereof. A preferred embodiment of the security tag uses all non-ferrous components including its locking mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Checkpoint Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James Brodzik, Anthony F. Piccoli, Lawrence Appalucci, Gary Mazoki, Thomas J. McKeown, Seth Strauser, Wei Wu
  • Patent number: 8547228
    Abstract: A multi-attach reusable security tag (MARST) that is attached to an article in two stages. In a first stage, an attachment clip is coupled to an article, such as but not limited to clothing, to be protected by a manufacturer or assembler. This attachment clip is durable to withstand harsh manufacturing environments. Once the article with the attachment clip is ready for presentation, for example, at a retail establishment, during a second stage, the attachment clip is then secured in a releasable locking mechanism of a housing containing a security element therein. The security element may comprise EAS (including AM, RF, EM and microwave), RFID (including LF, HF and UHF) elements or any combination thereof. Alternatively, a fluke element can be used to secure the attachment clip to the releasable locking mechanism and wherein this fluke element permits the attachment clip to swivel outside of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Checkpoint Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James Brodzik, Anthony F. Piccoli, Lawrence Appalucci, Gary Mazoki, Thomas J. McKeown, Seth Strauser, Wei Wu
  • Patent number: 8531295
    Abstract: A security system (SYS) is proposed for a sales facility having at least one first equipment (CP) for issuing a proof of payment for articles and/or services purchased and having at least one second equipment (CTR) for inspecting the proof of purchase, where the first equipment (CP) generates an electronic proof of payment in the form of an identifier (CD) and has a transmitting device (CP-S) that send the identifier wirelessly to a mobile device (M), and the second equipment (CTR) has at least one receiving device (CTR-R) that receives the identifier (CD) wirelessly from the mobile device (M). The first equipment can be a register system (CP), specifically a self-service register system and/or pay station. The second equipment (CTR) can be a control system that can be installed in the exit area of the sales facility, specifically a control gate system (CTR).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH
    Inventor: Jürgen Manske
  • Patent number: 8477032
    Abstract: A system for detecting electronic article surveillance (“EAS”) marker shielding includes an EAS subsystem, a metal detector, an object detector, a timer, a cart detection subsystem and a processor. The EAS subsystem is operable to detect an EAS marker in an interrogation zone. The metal detector is operable to detect a metal object in the interrogation zone. The object detector is operable to detect objects located proximate to an entry point of the EAS subsystem. The timer is programmed to start a countdown sequence upon receiving a signal generated by the object detector. The cart detection subsystem includes a sensor array. The cart detection subsystem is operable to differentiate between a wheeled device and a human passing through the interrogation zone based on an output of the sensor array. The processor is electrically coupled to the EAS subsystem, the metal detector, the object detector, the timer and the cart detection subsystem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Tyco Fire & Security GmbH
    Inventors: Adam S. Bergman, Robert Kevin Lynch, David R. Noone
  • Patent number: 8451118
    Abstract: Theft increases the average product cost to consumers. A mentoring system is presented that can help to reduce or prevent the inventory from lost or theft. Theft is a serious concern in the consumer market place. Industry loses billions per year on theft of merchandise. According to a Reuters report, last year, thefts by employees of U.S. retail merchandise accounted for $15.9 billion, or 44 percent of theft losses at stores, more than shoplifting and vendor fraud combined. Thus,total thief by the customers and store employees during the year 2008 amounted to $36 billion. Several embodiments of ways to control or reduce the thefts in the market place are presented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: TrackThings LLC
    Inventors: Quinton Andrew Gabara, Thaddeus John Gabara
  • Patent number: 8441351
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method for tracking an interrogator relay unit disposed on a shopping cart within a store. The method comprises emitting an RF interrogation signal using the IRU; receiving, at the IRU, location data from an RFID tag in response to the RF interrogation signal; transmitting the location data, an identification information of the IRU, and timestamp data to a remote server using the IRU; and generating a behavior report using the transmitted location data, the identification information, and the timestamp data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Insight Holding Group, Inc.
    Inventor: James Christopher
  • Patent number: 8400324
    Abstract: An apparatus for alerting shoppers at a checkout register having a bagging station with a rotating member having at least one bag support that is capable of pivoting between a first position, wherein the support is disposed prior to loading a merchandise into an at least one bag supported on the at least one bag support, and a second position wherein the at least one bag support is tilted outwardly relative to the bagging station. The apparatus includes at least one switch in contact with the bag support and an indicator in electrical communication with the switch for indicating that the at least one bag support is disposed in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Inventor: Arthur W Jaeger
  • Publication number: 20120320199
    Abstract: Embodiments herein include novel ways of alerting store personnel when various activities, events, conditions, etc., occur at the checkout in retail establishments. For example, in accordance with one embodiment, the alerting can take place in substantially real-time, when the event occurs, allowing personnel to take appropriate measures, corrective or otherwise, to deal with the detected event. Examples of such events may include situations such as when a person of interest is detected as shopping at the store, when a cashier has missed scanning an item at the checkout, or to alert store personnel if a non-empty shopping cart has exited the store without payment (a.k.a., a cart push-out). Although the discussion below uses a grocery store as an example retail environment, embodiments herein can be used in any type of retail environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2012
    Publication date: December 20, 2012
    Inventors: Malay Kundu, Joshua Migdal
  • Patent number: 8328003
    Abstract: A conveyor for moving a shopping cart between a first location and a second location. The conveyor including a movable conveyor that is adapted to engage and move the shopping cart along a path, and a gate assembly including a door that is movable between an open position allowing passage of the shopping cart along the path, and a closed position inhibiting passage of the shopping art along the path. The door is adapted to move from the closed position to the open position as the shopping cart approaches, and is adapted to move back to the closed position before the shopping cart has passed the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Pflow Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark R. Webster, Patrick J. Kelnhofer, Gene M. Barth
  • Patent number: 8314690
    Abstract: To generally prevent people from being able to take out and move shopping carts from shopping cart parking areas at times when the store is not open, the blocking devices on the shopping carts are activated when the shopping carts are parked in shopping cart parking areas when the store is not open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Inventors: Horst Sonnendorfer, Franz Wieth
  • Patent number: 8239277
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to monitor shoppers in a retail environment are disclosed herein. In a disclosed example method involves collecting location information indicative of a measured path of travel of a person through a monitored environment. The example method also involves collecting person detection event information associated with a plurality of zones in the monitored environment. The person detection event information is indicative of detections of the person in each of the zones. In addition, the example method involves determining an adjusted path of travel of the person through the monitored environment based on the location information indicative of the measured path of travel and the person detection event information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: The Nielsen Company (US), LLC
    Inventors: Morris Lee, Arun Ramaswamy
  • Patent number: 8232867
    Abstract: A banknote acceptor for authenticating a banknote 2, has a sensing station S with detector 18 that produces image signals corresponding to a face the banknote. A processor 24 pre-processes the image signals and compares them with stored reference data corresponding to an acceptable banknote from memory 25 to determining the authenticity of the banknote and its denomination. A display device 29 displays an image 31 corresponding to the banknote under test based on the image signals from the detector 18, to allow the user to perform a visual check that the banknote detected at the sensing station corresponds to the banknote under test presented by the user. Also, the detected denomination of the banknote is displayed on device 32. The user can accept or reject the banknote using buttons 33 and 34, and retrieve images of previously accepted banknotes with button 35.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: Money Controls Limited
    Inventors: John Ashby, Andrew William Barson, Malcolm Bell, Les Hutton, Kevin Mulvey
  • Patent number: 8207851
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method for tracking an interrogator relay unit disposed on a shopping cart within a store. The method comprises emitting an RF interrogation signal using the IRU; receiving, at the IRU, location data from an RFID tag in response to the RF interrogation signal; transmitting the location data, an identification information of the IRU, and timestamp data to a remote server using the IRU; and generating a behavior report using the transmitted location data, the identification information, and the timestamp data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Inventor: James Christopher
  • Patent number: 8175517
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method comprising the steps of: a first network device (DEVI) outputting content (CONT), the first network device (DEVI) retrieving an address (ADDR2) of a second network device (DEV2) from a third device (DEV3), and the first network device (DEVI) transmitting said content (CONT), which was output at the time of retrieving said address (ADDR2), to said second network device (DEV2). Furthermore, the invention relates to a network device (DEVI), comprising: means for outputting content (CONT), means for retrieving an address (ADDR2) of a second network device (DEV2) from a third device (DEV3), and means for transmitting said content (CONT), which was output at the time of retrieving said address (ADDR2), to said second network device (DEV2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Inventor: Zahra Tabaaloute
  • Patent number: 8130114
    Abstract: An entry detecting system includes a terminal device; a point-to-point communication device; an entry detecting device; and a guard device. The point-to-point communication device includes a transmitting-receiving antenna having directivity in a specific direction. The point-to-point communication device communicates by radio with the terminal device via the transmitting receiving antenna so as to detect a response time from the terminal device and report detected response time to the entry detecting device. The entry detecting device detects a distance from the point-to-point communication device to the terminal device based on the response time reported by the point-to-point communication device, generates entry detecting information based on the detected distance, and transmits the entry detecting information to the point-to-point communication device and the guard device. The point-to-point communication device transmits the received entry detecting information to the terminal device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Fujitsu Component Limited
    Inventors: Masahiro Yanagi, Shigemi Kurashima, Takashi Yuba, Takashi Arita
  • Patent number: 8115633
    Abstract: A method for tracking objects includes providing each of at least two different objects with a transmitter having individualized identifier data; logically connecting the objects to each other by connecting the identifier data of the transmitters to each other; recording the identifier data of the transmitters of the objects in a memory; connecting contact information of the object in question to the identifier data; detecting the transmitter of the object with a receiver of an identification point when the object comes close to the identification point; determining based on the identifier data contained in the memory whether at least two objects logically connected to each other have traveled past the identification point inside a pre-defined time window; and performing one or more pre-defined feedback actions when at least two of the objects logically connected to each other have not traveled past the identification point inside the pre-defined time window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Kone Corporation
    Inventors: Aapo Puskala, Pekka Korhonen, Niko Rusanen, Rauno Hatakka, Ari-Pekka Hietala
  • Patent number: 8077040
    Abstract: The inventions involve material handling apparatus developed to operate in radio frequency rich environments. Articles are provided having at least one large compartment capable of enclosing at least one electronic device or a package populated with a plurality of devices. RFID tags are also provided having three antenna arrays situated on three planes to improve electromagnetic and electrostatic coupling with an external distributed network of devices. Pallets are provided with cellular communications devices to provide track and trace functionality. Sensors and actuators are used in connection with the material handling apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Nextreme, LLC
    Inventor: Scott A. W. Muirhead
  • Publication number: 20110279272
    Abstract: In order to detect attempted theft, the time that a shopping cart remains in a self-scanning zone in a self-checkout line is monitored. If a certain duration is not met between the time at which the region of the self-scanning register is entered and the exit is passed, an alarm is triggered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2010
    Publication date: November 17, 2011
    Inventors: Franz Wieth, Horst Sonnendorfer
  • Patent number: 8046160
    Abstract: A navigation system uses a dead reckoning method to estimate an object's present position relative to one or more prior positions. In some embodiments, the dead reckoning method determines a change in position from the object's heading and speed during an elapsed time interval. In embodiments suitable for use with wheeled objects, the dead reckoning method determines the change in position by measuring the heading and the amount of wheel rotation. Some or all of the components of the navigation system may be disposed within a wheel, such as a wheel of a shopping cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott J. Carter, Stephen E. Hannah, Jesse M. James
  • Patent number: 7997486
    Abstract: An RFID Point-of-Sale system for completing a sale transaction to a customer of a plurality of items associated with a plurality of unique RFID tags at a store includes an arrangement of a plurality of RFID tag scanners for detecting the plurality of unique RFID tags associated with the plurality of items, and a checkout platform including a transaction panel, wherein a list of the plurality of items is displayed on the transaction panel based on a matching of the detected plurality of unique RFID tags with information stored in an inventory database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, inc.
    Inventors: Richard Bennett Ulrich, Nicholaus Adam Jones, Justin C. Lewis, Jason Todd, Tim Webb, Ryan Cox
  • Patent number: 7944354
    Abstract: A system for securing purchased items, includes: an enclosure for holding items selected by a user; a personal shopping system (PSS) further comprised of an input/output device, a scanner, software, and security features for securing the items selected by the user and placed in the enclosure; wherein the PSS is in electrical signal communication with a server; wherein the PSS is mechanically attached to the enclosure; wherein the user identifies themselves to the PSS; wherein the security features activate one of a series of visual indicators and alarms in response to various states and relationships between the enclosure, the items, and the user; and wherein the intensity, level, and duration of the series of visual indicators and alarms varies in response to the various states and relationships between the enclosure, the items, and the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Paul D. Kangas, Jeff D. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20110109455
    Abstract: A system for detecting electronic article surveillance (“EAS”) marker shielding includes an EAS subsystem a metal detector, a cart detection subsystem and a processor. The EAS subsystem is operable to detect an EAS marker in an interrogation zone. The metal detector is operable to detect a metal object in the interrogation zone. The cart detection subsystem includes a sensor array. The cart detection subsystem is operable to differentiate between a wheeled device and a human passing through the interrogation zone based on the sensor array. The processor is electrically coupled to the EAS subsystem, the metal detector and the cart detection subsystem. The processor is programmed to receive information outputted from the cart detection system and information outputted from the metal detector to determine whether to generate an alarm signal based on the presence of EAS marker shielding.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicant: SENSORMATIC ELECTRONICS CORPORATION
    Inventors: Adam S. BERGMAN, John A. ALLEN, Robert Kevin LYNCH
  • Publication number: 20110109456
    Abstract: A system for detecting electronic article surveillance (“EAS”) marker shielding includes an EAS subsystem, a metal detector, an object detector, a timer, a cart detection subsystem and a processor. The EAS subsystem is operable to detect an EAS marker in an interrogation zone. The metal detector is operable to detect a metal object in the interrogation zone. The object detector is operable to detect objects located proximate to an entry point of the EAS subsystem. The timer is programmed to start a countdown sequence upon receiving a signal generated by the object detector. The cart detection subsystem includes a sensor array. The cart detection subsystem is operable to differentiate between a wheeled device and a human passing through the interrogation zone based on an output of the sensor array. The processor is electrically coupled to the EAS subsystem, the metal detector, the object detector, the timer and the cart detection subsystem.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2010
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicant: SENSORMATIC ELECTRONICS, LLC
    Inventors: Adam S. BERGMAN, Robert Kevin LYNCH, David R. NOONE
  • Patent number: 7920062
    Abstract: The present invention teaches and discloses method and apparatus for alerting a grocery store check out cashier of merchandise placed on the bottom tray of a typical grocery shopping cart. A passive RFID transponder is incorporated into the structure of the cart which when interrogated by an associated reader, located at the cashier's check out station, responds with a signal verifying the presence, or absence, of an unseen item upon the carts bottom tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Evolution Robotics Retail, Inc.
    Inventors: Rolf A. Konstad, Jeffery W. Lawrence
  • Patent number: 7911347
    Abstract: A housing for mounting an identification tag to a shopping carrier is disclosed. An example housing includes a base for mounting the housing to the shopping carrier and a guard cover for protecting the identification tag. The guard cover includes a plurality of sidewalls extending from the base plate and a top wall extending between the sidewalls, the sidewalls and the top wall bounding an interior having an opening. The identification tag is mounted at least partially inside the interior of the guard cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: The Nielsen Company (US), LLC
    Inventors: Morris Lee, Rafael Alonso, John G. McGill, John C. Peiffer, Ken Shirilla
  • Patent number: 7868759
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention address deficiencies of the art in respect to bottom of the basket (BOB) item detection and provide a method, system and computer program product for high-contrast BOB item detection. In one embodiment of the invention, a shopping cart BOB item detection data processing system can include high contrast material applied in proximity to a shopping cart BOB; an optical sensor positioned to generate an image of the high contrast material; BOB detection logic and an alert disposed in proximity to a cash register at the check stand. The BOB detection logic can include program code enabled to analyze the image to detect either an obscuring or an obstruction of the high contrast material. As such, the alert can be operable to issue an alert responsive to the BOB detection logic detecting one an obscuring or an obstruction of the high contrast material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas G. Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 7864046
    Abstract: A computer implemented method, data processing system, and computer program product that enable a component to prepare for the arrival of a moving component by providing, to the component, an automated notification of the moving component's approach. When a moving component approaches an arrival point, a signal is received from a transponder chip on the moving component, wherein the signal includes a unique identifier for the transponder chip. The moving component is then identified based on the unique identifier in the signal. A second signal is sent to the component to signal that initiation of a set of actions to be performed with respect to the moving component may occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Julianne Yarsa, James Andre Rocke
  • Patent number: 7839284
    Abstract: A detection device is provided for alerting a cashier to the presence of an object located on the lower tray of a shopping cart. The detection device uses a combination of a weight sensor and a presence sensor to trigger a signal, all of which are mounted on the cart. The signal is positioned so as to be visible by the user of the cart and store personnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Oossite Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Smith Rosebush
  • Patent number: 7796037
    Abstract: Containers such as shopping carts and shopping baskets take advantage of fraud detection systems in place with RFID cash registers in stores. The weight of the container is obtained when entering the store and the weight of the shopped articles is correlated with the list of the articles detected by the RFID reader of the cash register. Recognizing a particular container in the store is done using RFID technology with an RFID tag integrated in the structure of the container. The RFID tag can also contain information such as the weight, size, color, type, form, etc. of container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Frederic Bauchot, Jean-Yves Clement, Gerard Marmigère, Christophe Samtmann
  • Patent number: 7782194
    Abstract: A media enhanced shopping cart system comprises a shopping cart comprising a frame, a basket, a handle, a base tray, a plurality of wheels, a read component for performing a proximity scan of the shopping cart, a locationing component for determining a location of the shopping cart within a store based on the scan, and a display component for displaying at least one advertisement for a product based on the location of the shopping cart within the store, wherein the locationing component is further operable to determine a location of the product within the store relative to the shopping cart based on the scan, and wherein the display component is further operable to display an indication of the location of the advertised product relative to the location of the shopping cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Media Cart Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Saul Stawar, Cody Singleton
  • Patent number: 7756467
    Abstract: A wireless communication device includes a Near Field Communication (NFC) interface, a transceiver, and a controller. The NFC interface receives data related to multimedia content from an external NFC tag responsive to establishing an NFC link with the NFC tag. Based on the received data, the controller establishes a communication link with a multimedia server via a wireless communication network, and controls the multimedia server to download information associated with the multimedia content to a user-specified destination device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB
    Inventors: David Bent, Leland Scott Bloebaum, William O. Camp, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7715943
    Abstract: A method and system for managing a product during assembly or repair of the product includes use of a microserver configured to function as a local computing workstation and collect, store and process data for the product throughout the assembly or repair process. The microserver may be carried by a support structure that supports the product through the assembly or repair process. The product data and other information relevant to the assembly or repair process are stored on the microserver and may be accessed by other computing devices, both local and remote to the product. The information is updated on the microserver as it happens. Thus, users are able to track a status of the product in real-time. The microserver enables two-way communication such that the other computing devices may also send information to the microserver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: David C. Loda