GB2229028A - Coupon processing and checkout system - Google Patents

Coupon processing and checkout system Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2229028A
GB2229028A GB9004019A GB9004019A GB2229028A GB 2229028 A GB2229028 A GB 2229028A GB 9004019 A GB9004019 A GB 9004019A GB 9004019 A GB9004019 A GB 9004019A GB 2229028 A GB2229028 A GB 2229028A
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GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
coupon
article
line
upc
processing
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9004019A
Other versions
GB9004019D0 (en )
Inventor
David F O'connor
Steven J Tilidetzke
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
CHECKROBOT Inc
Original Assignee
CHECKROBOT Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/06Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable using wave or particle radiation
    • G07D7/12Visible light, infra-red or ultraviolet radiation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/004Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable using digital security elements, e.g. information coded on a magnetic thread or strip
    • G07D7/0043Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable using digital security elements, e.g. information coded on a magnetic thread or strip using barcodes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07GREGISTERING THE RECEIPT OF CASH, VALUABLES, OR TOKENS
    • G07G1/00Cash registers
    • G07G1/12Cash registers electronically operated
    • G07G1/14Systems including one or more distant stations co-operating with a central processing unit
    • G07G1/145PLU-management

Description

1 "A COUPON PROCESSING AND CHECKOUT SYSTEM" The present invention relates

generally to the processing of discount coupons for retailed articles and pertains more particularly to systems and methods for automated checkout in supermarkets and like facilities with attendant processing of discount coupons.

Our United States Patent SDecification Nos. 4,676,343 and 4,792,018, disclose systems for the automated checkout of articles selected by a customer for purchase in supermarkets and like facilities. The former specification involves an arrangement addressing articles which bear a socalled "universal product code" (UPC), typically in the form of a bar code uniquely indicative of the identity of the article bearing the code. The UPC of each article selected for purchase is scanned or read and a signal indicative of the article identity is generated and applied to a central processing unit which has stored in an associated memory the UPCs of all articles available for purchase which are so encoded, correlated-with the price and other characteristics of the articles, such as weight.

Articles are placed on a conveyor following UPC scanning and thereby fed into a so-called "security tunnel" which is guarded against customer fraud by various light curtains, which are in the form of light sources and associated photocells. In the course of article conveyance, its weight is physically measured and a signal is generated indicative of the measurement.

2 Comparison is made of the stored, weightindicative signal and the physical measured signal. If the comparison is negative, indicative of a potential customer fraud, article processing is interrupted and various courses of action are obtainable, one being the reverse movement of the conveyor. Otherwise, in the course of continuing positive comparison results, the customer's order is carried forward, with price tota'ization effected from stored price- f U L. J_ k. _L indicative signals.

In the latter specification, a number of further security measures are effected to detect customer fraud or checkout failure. In one such additional measure, article shape is detected, such as by the light curtain at the entry to the security tunnel. The CPU storage includes, with the 5 _L art-f-cle identity code a cross-correlation of article shape. This compilation is desirably made from the system itself, as by storage of detected article shape in a system set up mode, through use of the light curtain output signals.

A second additional measure is the repeat reading of article UPC in the security tunnel and comparison of the same with that read by the scanner. checkout failure would be present on negative comparison in this respect.

A third additional measure is the introduction of electronic article surveillance (EAS) practice in the security tunnel. Here, storage is made with UPC of whether or not the article so encoded should have an EAS tag thereon. If the article is detected as having an EAS tag thereon and storage indicates that it should not, such as 1 z 3 would be the case where a customer tries fraudulently to substitute an expensive wine purchase for a cheaper wine subjected to UPC scanning, checkout failure would again occur.

Separately from the above systems, various efforts have been made to automate the processing of discount coupons for articles available for purchase. Thus, the art 1, Jcle UPC Identity and has looked to encoding coupons with art 4.

to automated receipt and scanning of the coupons for such UPC identity. From the Applicants' viewpoint, known coupon processing systems independently configured, and those having coordination with a parent automated checkout system, do not meet present industry requirements.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved system for processing discount coupons.

A further object of the present invention is to provide enhanced coordination of automated checkout systems and automated coupon processing subsystems for use therewith.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a system for operator-unassisted processing of articles selected for purchase and having facility for reading codes on the articles indicative of the identity thereof and for providing price totalization for the articles, a subsystem for the processing of coupons bearing codes indicative of the identity of an article and a coupon monetary value, the subsystem comprising:

(a) a receiver for receiving the coupons and for 4 reading the codes thereon and generating first and second output signals per coupon read and respectively indicative of the article identity and the monetary value; (b) means for storing signals received from said operator-unassisted processing system and indicative of the identity of all articles selected for purchase; (c) coupon validation means for comparing the first signals obtai.ned from the coupon receiving means with the stored article identity signals and generating a coupon 10 validation signal for each positive comparison; and (d) coupon discount totalizing means for receiving those of the second signals of the coupon receiving means for which a coupon validation is generated and a signal indicative of price totalization from said 15 r.eratc'r-unassisted processing system and for subtracting the monetary value in each the received second signal from th L.Ile monetary value indicated in the price totalization signal.

The present invention will now be described in greater detail by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:- Fig. 1 is a block diagram of the subsystem of the invention in combination with the block diagram of the above referred to US Patent Specifications; and

Fig. 2 is a flow chart of the operations involved in the system and practice of the present invention.

Referring to Fig. 1, a system 10 includes an upper channel 12 which is configured in accordance with the above i i3 referred to US Patent Specifications, and a lower channel 14 configured in accordance with the present invention. Upper channel 12 has a product select aspect 16, wherein a customer selects articles for purchase, dotted line 18 indicating the mechanical passing of the selected articles individually to UPC reader or scanner 20. The output of the reader is applied over a line 22 to a price store and totalizer 24, whereby reference is made to the system memory to obtain the price of the selected article and to totalize the prices thus obtained.

The scanned UPC identification, per selected article, provided on a line 26, gives rise to the obtaining of the weight of the article from memory on entry of the article into a security tunnel 28. Comparison is effected with an actual weight measurement of the selected article in product a weight store and compare unit 30, the comparison result (when negative) being applied over a line 32 to a checkout failure system 34, which provides suitable output indication of the checkout failure, possibly due to customer fraud.

In following the procedures outlined in the second referred U.S. Patent Specification, the line 26 UPC identification signal is applied to a product shape store and compare unit 36, which effects a comparison of memory stored article shape characteristics with those obtained from article examination, such as would be obtained from the entry light curtain associated with the security tunnel. The UPC identification signal may also be applied from the 6 line 26 to a second UPC read and compare unit 38, wherein the article UPC is again read in the security tunnel and compared with that obtained from the reader 20. Further, the line 26 signal may be applied to an EAS store and compare unit 40 which functions as above described. The outputs, on failure of positive results in comparisons in units 36,38 and 40, apply an actuating input over a line 32 to a checkout failure system 34.

Lower channel 14 includes a product UPC store 42, which accumulates signals provided on a line 43 provided by 1-he reader 20 and indicative of the UPCs of articles selected for purchase by a customer. Channel 14 further includes a coupon input unit 44, which may be configured in customary ATM (automated teller machine) fashion, to accept papal- coupons and 41--o -Eurnish the same to a coupon reader 48 as by a mechanical passer 46, the reader examining the UPC and value indications thereon. The coupon codes, respectively indicative of the UPC indication and monetary value, are applied by the reader 48 in the first instance over a line 50 to a coupon UPC store 52 and in second instance over a line 54 to a coupon value store 56.

Lower channel 14 further includes lines 58 and 60 which respectively provide the output signals of products UPC store unite 42 and stored coupon reader UPC indications to a product/coupon validator 62, which furnishes a validation signal over a line 64 where correspondence exists as among the line 58 and line 60 signals. The coupon value signal from the store 56 is furnished on a line 66.

7 Should there not be a match as between the signals on lines 58 and 60, unit 62 applies over a line 68 to a coupon return unit 70, whereupon the coupon is returned to the customer.

Assuming there to have been a line 64 indication as to confirmation of the coupon as corresponding with articles selected for purchase, a coupon discount totalizer 74 is responsive to the line 64 indication of correspondence to discount the line 72 signal from the price store and totalizer unit 24 by the indication of discount (coupon value) from line 66. At this time also, the coupon is supplied to a coupon depository, wherein the received coupon is suitably defaced or otherwise debilitated as to not be machine readable, but verifiable by human inspection.

Operation of subsystem 14 of Fig. I will be further explained with reference to the flow chart of Fig. 2.

The subsystem is entered (ENTER) in step 100. In step 102 (OBTAIN PRICE TOTALIZATION & SELECTED ARTICLE UPCs), reference is made to the checkout system, such as system 12 of Fig. 1, and the customer's order is noted both as to the total price for all articles selected by the customer and the UPCs for each article.

In step 104 (? DISCOUNT COUPON ENTERED), inquiry is made as to whether a discount coupon has been entered by the customer and, if so, it is verified, and affirmative indication is provided on line 106. If the inquiry is answered in the negative, line 108 returns the subsystem to 1 =..L 'i 8 step 104 for processing of the next entered coupon.

Line 106 leads to step 110 (READ COUPON UPC & MONETARY VALUE), wherein signals are generated which are respectively indicative of the coupon UPC and the discount 5 monies applicable to the coupon.

Step 112)? DOES COUPON UPC COMPARE WITH ANY SELECTED ARTICLE UPC) follows and involves a comparison of the coupon UPC signal with signals indicative of each of the UPCs obtained in step 102. Where the result of the comparison is negative, line 114 leads to step 116 (RETURN COUPON TO CUSTOMER), and the customer is provided with the coupon as originally entered for use in subsequent shopping. Line 118 returns the subsystem to step 104 for further coupon processing.

If the step 112 inquiry is answered in the affirmative, line 120 leads to step 122 (SUBTRACT COUPON VALUE FROM PRICE TOTALIZATION), the discount monies applicable to the coupon indicated in the corresponding signal generated in step 112 are subtracted from the price totalization obtained in step 102. The result of this subtraction now replaces the totalization of price obtained in step 102, to be used in step 122 in processing the next coupon entered and found applicable to the customer's purchase order.

In step 124 (DEBILITATE COUPON), the discounted coupon is treated, as by diagonal black line marking thereon, so as not to be readable thereafter in a UPC reader. The debilitated coupon is desirably now placed in a 1 1 1 9 depository. Flow of the subsystem returns over line 126 to step 104 for processing of the next entered coupon.

At the conclusion of processing of all coupons entered, the successively decremented price totalization then available from step 122 is identified as the final checkout price to the consumer and associated checkout electronics. The completion of submission of coupons may be indicated by customer input to the subsystem.

Various changes to the system block diagram and modifications to the practice discussed may be made without departing from the invention. Thus, the particularly described preferred embodiment and method are intended in an illustrative and not in a limiting sense. The scope of the invention is set forth in the following claims.

1.1

Claims (3)

CLAIMS:
1. An operator-unattended system for processing articles selected for purchase and having facility for reading codes on said articles indicative of the identity thereof and for providing price totalization for said articles, including a subsystem for the processing of coupons bearing codes indicative of the identity of an article and a coupon monetary value, said subsystem including:
(a) means for receiving said coupons and for reading said codes thereon and generating first and second output signals per coupon read and respectively indicative of said article identity and said monetary value; (b) means for storing signals received from said operator-unattended system and indicative of the identity of all articles selected for purchase; (c) coupon validation means for comparing said first signals obtained from said coupon receiving means with said stored article identity signals and generating a coupon validation signal for each positive comparison; and (d) coupon discount totalizing means for receiving those of said second signals of said coupon receiving means for which a coupon validation is generated and a signal from said operator-unassisted processing system and indicative of price totalization from said processing system and for subtracting the monetary value in each said received second signal from the monetary value indicated in 1k.
11 said price totalization signal.
2. A system according to claim 1, wherein said coupon receiving means is responsive to a control signal for returning said coupon to a customer of said articles and wherein said coupon validation means generates said control signal upon each negative comparison and applied the same to said coupon receiving means.
3. An operator-unattended system for processing articles selected for purchase, constructed substantially as herein described with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
Published1990 at The Patent Office. StatcHouse_6671 High Holborn. LondonWC1R4TP Further copies maybe obtained from The PatentOfficeSales Branch. St Ma:y Cray Orping on Kent BRE 3RD Printed by Multiplex techniques ltd. St Mary Cray. Kent. C= 1,V
GB9004019A 1989-03-07 1990-02-22 A coupon processing and checkout system Withdrawn GB9004019D0 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US32011389 true 1989-03-07 1989-03-07

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9004019D0 GB9004019D0 (en) 1990-04-18
GB2229028A true true GB2229028A (en) 1990-09-12

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ID=23244946

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB9004019A Withdrawn GB9004019D0 (en) 1989-03-07 1990-02-22 A coupon processing and checkout system

Country Status (5)

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JP (1) JPH02273896A (en)
CA (1) CA2007928A1 (en)
DE (1) DE4006514A1 (en)
FR (1) FR2644266A1 (en)
GB (1) GB9004019D0 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2278479A (en) * 1993-05-28 1994-11-30 Fujitsu Ltd Point of sale terminal

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7331520B2 (en) * 2004-07-22 2008-02-19 Igt Electronic image acquisition for gaming systems

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4676343A (en) * 1984-07-09 1987-06-30 Checkrobot Inc. Self-service distribution system
GB2193363A (en) * 1986-07-24 1988-02-03 Checkrobot Inc A system and a method for checkout counter product promotion
US4792018A (en) * 1984-07-09 1988-12-20 Checkrobot Inc. System for security processing of retailed articles

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3959624A (en) * 1974-12-13 1976-05-25 Walter Kaslow Coded merchandising coupon
CA1089989A (en) * 1977-01-05 1980-11-18 William M. Robnett Coded coupon
US4674041A (en) * 1983-09-15 1987-06-16 James K. Appleton Method and apparatus for controlling the distribution of coupons
US4882675A (en) * 1984-11-26 1989-11-21 Steven Nichtberger Paperless system for distributing, redeeming and clearing merchandise coupons
ES2031090T3 (en) * 1986-07-03 1992-12-01 Omron Tateisi Electronics Co. PDV terminal device (POS).
US4750119A (en) * 1986-10-10 1988-06-07 Tradevest, Inc. Purchasing system with rebate feature
CA1286404C (en) * 1987-01-20 1991-07-16 William C. Smith Coupon dispensing system
JP2501115B2 (en) * 1987-10-23 1996-05-29 オムロン株式会社 Electronic cash register

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4676343A (en) * 1984-07-09 1987-06-30 Checkrobot Inc. Self-service distribution system
US4792018A (en) * 1984-07-09 1988-12-20 Checkrobot Inc. System for security processing of retailed articles
GB2193363A (en) * 1986-07-24 1988-02-03 Checkrobot Inc A system and a method for checkout counter product promotion

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2278479A (en) * 1993-05-28 1994-11-30 Fujitsu Ltd Point of sale terminal
US5481094A (en) * 1993-05-28 1996-01-02 Fujitsu Limited Point-of-sale terminal
GB2278479B (en) * 1993-05-28 1997-07-16 Fujitsu Ltd Point-of-sale terminal system

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB9004019D0 (en) 1990-04-18 grant
CA2007928A1 (en) 1990-09-07 application
JPH02273896A (en) 1990-11-08 application
DE4006514A1 (en) 1990-09-13 application
FR2644266A1 (en) 1990-09-14 application

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)