GB2407230A - Providing location based information to a mobile device - Google Patents

Providing location based information to a mobile device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2407230A
GB2407230A GB0322026A GB0322026A GB2407230A GB 2407230 A GB2407230 A GB 2407230A GB 0322026 A GB0322026 A GB 0322026A GB 0322026 A GB0322026 A GB 0322026A GB 2407230 A GB2407230 A GB 2407230A
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GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
mobile device
information
server
user
location
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Withdrawn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
GB0322026A
Other versions
GB0322026D0 (en )
Inventor
Koustubh Parulekar
Arve Neras
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.)
* OPENBLUE Ltd
OPENBLUE Ltd
Original Assignee
Openblue Ltd
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

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/02Services making use of location information
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30861Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers
    • G06F17/30864Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers by querying, e.g. search engines or meta-search engines, crawling techniques, push systems
    • G06F17/30867Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers by querying, e.g. search engines or meta-search engines, crawling techniques, push systems with filtering and personalisation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30861Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers
    • G06F17/30864Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers by querying, e.g. search engines or meta-search engines, crawling techniques, push systems
    • G06F17/3087Spatially dependent indexing and retrieval, e.g. location dependent results to queries
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30861Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers
    • G06F17/30899Browsing optimisation
    • G06F17/30905Optimising the visualization of content, e.g. distillation of HTML documents
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W8/00Network data management
    • H04W8/18Processing of user or subscriber data, e.g. subscribed services, user preferences or user profiles; Transfer of user or subscriber data

Abstract

A mobile device such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or mobile phone obtains its geographic location, using for example a global positioning system (GPS), and provides the location to a sever, preferably through a wireless connection. The server hosts a database containing information associated with geographical location, and provides relevant information links to the mobile device based on the location of the device. The user of the device may use the links to obtain further information associated with the user's vicinity, e.g. further information relating to advertising billboards, or nearby restaurants, museums, cinemas, weather and traffic reports etc. The database may also include user profile information including user preferences. The mobile device may provide the server with information describing its properties so that the server can provide the information in a correct format for display on the device.

Description

1 2407230

SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING ACCESS TO INFORMATION

This invention relates to a system, method and apparatus for providing access to information. In particular, though not exclusively, the present invention relates to a system that enables a user to obtain customized and updated current information from a variety of sources that may be related to visual displays in a user's vicinity.

It is extremely well-known to provide information to the public through fixed media such as advertising billboards, posters, bus and train timetables and the like. The information that can be provided in this manner is however limited in a number of ways. The information is limited, for example, by the space available on the billboard or the like. The information can only be updated by physically replacing the billboard or the like. Furthermore the information that is provided must be information of common interest to multiple users and it is not generally possible to tailor the information for the needs and interests of different users.

More recently such traditional methods of transmitting information have been enhanced by incorporating video displays that may include moving images and sound. Video displays allow the more sophisticated presentation of information and may also provide for a degree of interaction between the display and a user (for example through the use of touchscreen technologies). However, such units are comparatively expensive and do not solve the problem that the information presented cannot easily be updated in realtime, and while interactivity is possible to a degree, it is still not possible to easily customise the information for a particular user.

It will also be understood that enormous amounts of data and information are available on computer databases that can be accessed. Such databases can be accessed, for example, through either wired or wireless connections, through the Internet, or through direct dial-up connections. Such databases must, however, be accessed directly by a user who must know the location of the databases by, for example, knowing a website address or by using a search engine to find an address.

It is an object of the present invention therefore, at least in preferred forms, to provides an apparatus and method that allows a user to obtain current realtime information and data that may be customized to a user's interests and needs that overcomes the drawbacks in the prior art or that at least provides a commercially useful alternative.

GB 0313774.2 (the contents of are hereby incorporated by reference) provides a system for providing a user with access to information in which transmitter means are provided for transmitting a signal including a unique code. A server hosts a database lO including information associated with these unique code, including an indication of the subject matter associated with each code. In this system a mobile device receives the signal and sends the unique code to the server and, upon receipt of the unique code from the mobile device, the server provides to the mobile device the information of the subject matter associated with the code and upon a user request the server provides further information to the mobile device.

The present application discloses an alternative approach to the system of application 0313774.2 in which instead of transmitters, the location of the mobile device is determined directly, for example using GPS or triangulation techniques.

According to the present invention there is provided a system for providing a user with access to information, comprising: a server hosting a database including information concerning a plurality of outdoor media objects including their location and a link from which further information can be provided; and a mobile device including means for directly obtaining its location at any given time; wherein said mobile device provides its location to said server, and wherein in response said server compares the location of said device with the location of outdoor media objects in its database, and said server provides to said mobile device links whereby a user of said device may obtain further information concerning outdoor media objects in the user's vicinity.

Viewed from another broad aspect the present invention provides A system for providing a user with access to information, comprising: a server hosting a database including information that is associated with a location and including links from which further information can be provided; and a mobile device including means for providing locationbased data to said server, and wherein in response said server provides to said mobile device links whereby a user of said device may obtain further information associated with the user's vcmty.

An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Fig. 1 is a flowchart illustrating the method of a first embodiment of the invention.

In this specification a number of terms will be used which will be defined in advance: "Mobile computing device" means any device that can be carried by a user and has computer processing capabilities. Examples in particular include personal digital assistants, laptop computers and some mobile phones.

"Outdoor media object" means and object that is intended to provide information to a viewer, and may in particular include an advertisement (either a billboard or a video display) but could also be other forms of information such as timetables, schedules, news, or weather information. The term "outdoor" is intended to refer to the placing of such objects in public areas which could included enclosed areas such as shopping malls.

"Location data" means any data that directly or indirectly provides the location of a mobile device.

United Kingdom patent application 0313774.2 (the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference) describes a system by which a user carrying a mobile computing device (such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a mobile phone) is able to interact with outdoor media objects such as advertisements in order to obtain more information regarding the products or services being advertised. In particular, each billboard may be provided with a transmitter (for example a transmitter using the Bluetooth protocol) that transmits a code unique to that billboard. If the user is carrying a Bluetooth enabled mobile device such as a PDA or mobile phone, then the user is able to receive that code from the transmitter. If the user wishes to receive further information regarding the products or services being advertised, then the user will use hislher mobile device to send the unique code to a server to obtain further information regarding the products or services.

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to Fig. 1. In step 10 the software running on the client mobile device must, of course, be running.

If not the method simply comes to an end. Assuming that the software is running, the first step (step 10) is that the software determines the location of the mobile device using any known form of position determining means such as various forms of satellite positioning systems such as the known GPS method, or by triangulation techniques based upon the location of nearby wireless transmitters. Such position determining means are known in the art and do not need to be described in detail.

In this embodiment the software running on the mobile device determines the location of the mobile device using such known GPS/triangulation techniques. Once the location of the mobile device has been found, that location data may be sent to a server. If the user has a cookie stored on the mobile device, then that cookie is also transmitted, and if not a cookie is generated. As will be described below the server contains a database of advertisements or the like and their locations. Thus, the server will know that if a user is at a certain location, then he/she is close to a particular billboard and the server will transmit to the user a content link that enables the user to obtain more information regarding the product or services being advertised if he/she wishes.

The cookie will identify the user to the server, and the server will store a user profile.

This may be used to ensure that the user is sent content links only in respect of products or services of interest to that particular user.

Returning to Fig. I, when the mobile device has sent its geographical location to the server with a cookie identifying the user (or if no such cookies exists, then one will be created), the server searches its database to find any content links that relate to that location.

If such content links are found, they are sent back to the mobile device provided they match any pre-stored user preferences, and together with any cookie if that has been freshly created.

If no suitable content links are found corresponding to that location (taking into account any prestored user preferences) then a suitable message will be sent. Once a user receives any content links, then the user can decide whether or not to request further information by responding to the content links (steps 30 to 37).

It will be understood that the embodiment described in Fig. 1 provides an alternative to the method described in 0313774.2 for enabling a user to obtain more information (if desired) on an advertised product or service. The difference is that while in application 0313774.2 a user receives a unique code directly from a transmitter associated with (for example) a billboard, in the embodiment of Fig. I the user provides to the server location data obtained through GPS/triangulation techniques, and the server sends back possible content links that relate to advertising billboards in the users vicinity. Indeed, in the embodiment described above there need not necessarily be any form of outdoor media object or advertisement at all, instead links may be provided to a mobile that enable a user to obtain more information of any nature that is pertinent to the user's current location. This could include links to details of nearby restaurants, museums, cinemas or so on, weather and traffic reports.

By using cookies personal preferences of users may be stored by the server so that the user is only provided with information of potential interest to that user. This is described further in 0313774.2. In addition, when the mobile device provides the location data to the server, it may also provide information regarding the nature of the mobile device, its display and operating systems, so that the links and further information are provided to the mobile device in a format that is suitable for that device.

Claims (10)

  1. I. A system for providing a user with access to information, comprising: a server hosting a database including information concerning a plurality of outdoor media objects including their location and a link from which further information can be provided; and a mobile device including means for directly Obtaining its location at any given time; wherein said mobile device provides its location to said server, and wherein in response said server compares the location of said device with the location of outdoor media objects in its database, and said server provides to said mobile device links whereby a user of said device may obtain further information concerning outdoor media objects in the user's vicinity.
  2. 2. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said mobile devices communicate with said server through a wireless connection.
  3. 3. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said mobile device provides to said server information describing the properties of said mobile device whereby said server can provide information to said mobile device in a correct format for display on said mobile device.
  4. 4. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said database includes user profile information.
  5. 5. A system as claimed in claim 4 wherein said user profile information includes user preferences that may be selected by a user.
  6. 6. A system for providing a user with access to information, comprising: a server hosting a database including information that is associated with a location and including links from which further information can be provided; and a mobile device including means for providing locationbased data to said server, and wherein in response said server provides to said mobile device links whereby a user of said device may obtain further information associated with the user's vicinity.
  7. 7. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said information associated with a location comprises information associated with an outdoor media object provided at said location.
  8. 8. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said mobile devices communicate with said server through a wireless connection.
  9. 9. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said mobile device provides to said server information describing the properties of said mobile device whereby said server can provide information to said mobile device in a correct format for display on said mobile device.
  10. 10. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said database includes user profile information.
    I 1. A system as claimed in claim 10 wherein said user profile information includes user preferences that may be selected by a user.
GB0322026A 2003-09-19 2003-09-19 Providing location based information to a mobile device Withdrawn GB2407230A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0322026A GB2407230A (en) 2003-09-19 2003-09-19 Providing location based information to a mobile device

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0322026A GB2407230A (en) 2003-09-19 2003-09-19 Providing location based information to a mobile device

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GB0322026D0 true GB0322026D0 (en) 2003-10-22
GB2407230A true true GB2407230A (en) 2005-04-20

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