GB2563605A - A monitoring system - Google Patents

A monitoring system Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2563605A
GB2563605A GB1709796.5A GB201709796A GB2563605A GB 2563605 A GB2563605 A GB 2563605A GB 201709796 A GB201709796 A GB 201709796A GB 2563605 A GB2563605 A GB 2563605A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
security device
system according
controller
sensor data
sensor
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.)
Pending
Application number
GB1709796.5A
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GB201709796D0 (en
Inventor
Leach Matthew
Sheppard James
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.)
Limpet Solution Ltd
Original Assignee
Limpet Solution 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
Application filed by Limpet Solution Ltd filed Critical Limpet Solution Ltd
Priority to GB1709796.5A priority Critical patent/GB2563605A/en
Publication of GB201709796D0 publication Critical patent/GB201709796D0/en
Publication of GB2563605A publication Critical patent/GB2563605A/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B73/00Devices for locking portable objects against unauthorised removal; Miscellaneous locking devices
    • E05B73/0017Anti-theft devices, e.g. tags or monitors, fixed to articles, e.g. clothes, and to be removed at the check-out of shops
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B13/00Burglar, theft or intruder alarms
    • G08B13/02Mechanical actuation
    • G08B13/06Mechanical actuation by tampering with fastening
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B13/00Burglar, theft or intruder alarms
    • G08B13/22Electrical actuation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B13/00Burglar, theft or intruder alarms
    • G08B13/22Electrical actuation
    • G08B13/24Electrical actuation by interference with electromagnetic field distribution
    • G08B13/2402Electronic Article Surveillance [EAS], i.e. systems using tags for detecting removal of a tagged item from a secure area, e.g. tags for detecting shoplifting
    • G08B13/2428Tag details
    • G08B13/2434Tag housing and attachment details

Abstract

A security device 10 is securable to an object 300 and comprises a sensor 70 which sends data to a controller 50 which applies a set of rules to determine unauthorized use of the object, based on the sensor data, and to trigger an alert based on that determination. The rules are updated wirelessly using a remote device 600. The sensor may be inside a recess 90 of the device and accessible only by destructive means when the device is in use. The controller may also be inside the recess, or may be remote from the device. The sensor may measure light, temperature, pressure, acceleration, or GPS signals. If sensor data is used to determine a position, then the rules may compare the position against a predetermined area, may involve the distance travelled in a time interval, or may compare the route travelled by the object against a predetermined route.

Description

A MONITORING SYSTEM

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a monitoring system, in particular a monitoring system which is operable to determine an unauthorised use of an object based on data received from a device securable to the object.

In the present day, the need to be able to track and keep secure ones belongings is of paramount importance. Particularly in the context of theft, it is often the case that once an object has been stolen, the prospect of retrieving it is slim. There is the need therefore for a system which can help prevent such thefts from occurring in the first place, and which can improve the prospects of recovering an object in the case of it being stolen.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided a system as defined by claim 1. A set of rules may be stored on the security device or at a remote location, wherein the rules are implemented automatically based on the sensor data.

The rules may each define an event to be triggered depending on the sensor data.

For example, one rule may compare a first sensed parameter with a first threshold. When the first threshold is exceeded, a first event is triggered. A second rule may compare a second sensed parameter with a second threshold. When the second threshold is exceeded, a second event is triggered.

Multiple such rules, and more complicated rules, may be defined in the set of rules.

In some cases, the device may comprise a housing having a recess encapsulating the at least one sensor, wherein the recess is only accessible by destructive means when the security device is secured to the object. In this case, the controller may be inside the recess. With the provision of this housing, the device is able to still function even if an attempt is made to thermally/physically damage it.

The controller may be positioned at a location remote from the security device, in which case the security device further comprises a third wireless communication module for transmitting the sensor data to the controller.

With this arrangement, the remote location would analyse the received sensor data and trigger the event, if appropriate.

In some cases, the at least one sensor comprises a light sensor in the recess, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if a signal from the sensor data indicates a predetermined brightness in the recess has been exceeded. In this way, the security device can be accessed only by breaking into the recess (e.g. by drilling or a thermal cutting tool). Breaking into the recess allows light to fall on the light sensor and can thereby indicate the security device is under attack.

Preferably, the at least one sensor comprises a temperature sensor, and the sensor data is indicative of the temperature of the security device, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if any temperature from the sensor data exceeds 500°C. This can indicate when a cutting torch is being used to gain access to the security device.

In some cases, the at least one sensor comprises a pressure sensor, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if a signal from the sensor data indicates a predetermined pressure exerted on the pressure sensor has been exceeded. This can indicate if undue pressure is being exerted on the security device.

In some cases, the at least one sensor comprises an accelerometer, and/or a GPS module.

In either of these cases, the set of rules may comprise checking if a position of the security device determined from the sensor data lies outside a predetermined geographical area. When an accelerometer is provided, the rules may be defined to determine when there is motion of the security device, or when the motion exceeds one or more acceleration thresholds.

In these cases, the set of rules may comprise (alternatively or in addition) monitoring the sensor data over a time interval; using the sensor data from the time interval to calculate a total distance travelled by the object in the time interval; and establishing in the controller whether the object has travelled beyond a predetermined distance in the time interval.

In these cases, the set of rules may comprise monitoring the sensor data over a time interval; using the sensor data from the time interval to determine a geographical route travelled by the object during the time interval; and establishing in the controller whether the geographical route travelled by the object is comparable with a predetermined geographical route.

Preferably, the security device further comprises a lock for releasably securing the security device to the object. The lock may comprise a plurality of hooks located on the security device which are moveable between an open position and a closed position.

In this case, the remote device is operable to control the lock by sending a lock-control signal to the security device via the first wireless communication module and the second wireless communication module.

Preferably, the remote device comprises a software application. The software application is for controlling the operation of the security device.

In this case, and where the lock-control-signal is present, the sending of the lock-control signal may be arranged to be triggered by the software application located on the remote device.

The software application is preferably operable by a user to send an emergency signal.

The emergency signal can preferably be triggered on the software application at any time by the user.

In one example, the emergency signal may be sent to the security device, wherein it instructs the controller to transmit the sensor data to the software application. In another example, the emergency signal may be sent to the emergency services or a predetermined telephone number. It is envisaged that the emergency signal could also instruct any other operation of the security device as described herein.

Preferably, the security device comprises a camera.

In one example relating to the operation of the camera, when the emergency signal is sent to the security device, it preferably instructs the controller to: operate the camera; receive camera data from the camera, and transmit the camera data to the remote device.

In another example relating to the operation of the camera, the event is the controller: operating the camera; receiving camera data from the camera, and transmitting the camera data to the remote device.

Preferably, the security device comprises a speaker. In this case, when the emergency signal is sent to the security device, the signal may contain sound data, wherein the signal instructs the controller to transmit the sound data through the speaker.

Preferably, the security device comprises a microphone. In this case, when the emergency signal is sent to the security device, it preferably instructs the controller to: operate the microphone; receive sound data from the microphone, and transmit the sound data to the remote device. In another example relating to the operation of the microphone, the event is the controller: operating the microphone; receiving sound data from the microphone, and transmitting the sound data to the remote device.

In some cases, the security device may comprise a smoke canister, which can be preferably actuated when required to dispense smoke from the security device. In one example, when the emergency signal is sent to the security device, it preferably instructs the controller to actuate the smoke canister. In another example relating to the operation of the smoke canister, the event is the controller actuating the smoke canister.

The event may be the sending of an alert signal to the remote device. Based on this alert signal, the user of the remote device may then determine an appropriate course of action.

In other cases, the event may be the sending of an alert signal to the emergency services or a predetermined telephone number, and/or the triggering of an alarm on the security device.

Preferably, the system further comprises an object to which the security device is secured, wherein the object comprises a power supply; wherein the event is a power signal being sent from the controller which instructs the power supply from the object to switch off or to prevent the power supply from being switched on.

An example application of the above would be where the device is secured to an automotive vehicle, such as a car. In this way, the controller would be operable to turn off the power supply to the vehicle upon it determining an unauthorised use of the vehicle. If that unauthorised use of the vehicle involves movement, the power signal may instruct the vehicle to switch off the power supply when the vehicle is next stationary.

The controller is preferably arranged to update the set of rules such that each of the set of rules can be modified, supplemented with, and/or replaced with a new rule. These set of rules may be modified manually, or the controller may be operable to analyse the received sensor data to modify the set of rules. Manual modification may be effected using the remote device.

Preferably, the process of analysing the received sensor data with the controller to modify the set of rules may further comprise analysing the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical area.

Preferably, the process of analysing the received sensor data with the controller to modify the set of rules may further comprise analysing the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical route.

In one arrangement, the sensor data may be operable to be regularly transmitted from the at least one sensor to the controller at a predetermined time period, for instance every minute or every hour.

Preferably, the system further comprises a remote location for receiving signals transmitted between the remote device and the security device.

The remote location preferably comprises a database which comprises: information on the remote device, information on the security device; information on a plurality of additional remote devices; and information on a plurality of additional security devices associated with the plurality of additional remote devices.

In one arrangement involving the remote location, the system may further comprise: the plurality of additional remote devices; and the plurality of additional security devices associated with the plurality of additional remote devices; wherein the event is the sending of a signal to the remote device via the remote location; wherein the signal is operable to be received by the remote location; wherein the remote location is configured to: determine the location of the security device using the sensor data from the signal; determine whether any of the plurality of additional security devices are located within a predetermined distance from the security device using the information from the database; and send a signal to the plurality of additional remote devices associated with the plurality of additional security devices which are determined as located within the predetermined distance from the security device.

In this way, the remote location would be able to notify the remote devices, associated with the additional security devices which are located within the predetermined distance from the security device, that an unauthorised use of a security device has occurred which is within the vicinity of their own security device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1A shows a perspective view of a security device securable to an object; and Figure 1B shows a bottom-side perspective view showing a bottom portion of the security device from Figure 1A.

Figure 2 shows a perspective view of a base plate attachable to the security device shown in Figures 1A and 1B.

Figure 3A shows a top-side perspective view showing the bottom portion from Figure 1B when in a closed position.

Figure 3B shows a bottom-side perspective view showing the bottom portion from Figure 3A.

Figure 4A shows a top-side perspective view showing the bottom portion from Figure 1B when in an open position.

Figure 4B shows a bottom-side perspective view showing the bottom portion from Figure 4A.

Figure 5 shows a schematic of the operation of the security device with the object to which it is secured, and also with a remote location; the emergency services; and a mobile device.

Figure 6 shows a representation of a software application located on a mobile device which communicates with the security device.

Figure 7 shows a schematic of the remote location processing information, and located as part of a plurality of security devices and their associated mobile devices.

Figure 8 shows a schematic of the operation of the security device with a plurality of subsidiary tracking tags associated with the security device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to Figures 1A and 1B, there is shown a security device 10 securable to an object. The device 10 is formed of a first, top, portion 15 which is releasably connected to a second, bottom, portion 20. The bottom surface 25 of the second portion 20 may form an inwardly domed surface, which comprises a series of apertures 30, and in which is located a respective series of engaging hooks 35.

With reference to Figure 2, there is shown a base plate 100 comprising a domed top surface 105 and a flat bottom surface 110. The base plate 100 further comprises a plurality of screws 115 extending beyond the bottom surface 110 for attaching the base plate 100 to an object (not shown). Located on the domed top surface 105 of the base plate 100 is a plurality of recesses 120 which are each shaped and distributed across the top surface 105 to receive a respective engaging hook 35 from the security device 10.

In operation of the device 10, each of the hooks 35 are moveable between a locked/closed position as shown in Figures 3A and 3B, and an unlocked/open position as shown in Figures 4A and 4B. In the locked position, each hook 35 from the inwardly domed shaped bottom surface 25 of the device 10 is located in a corresponding recess 120 from the domed top surface 105 of the base plate 100, and in particular is engaged against a lip 125 inside the recess 120 in such a way that the hook 35 cannot be removed from the recess 120. In the unlocked position, each hook 35 is disengaged from the lip 125 from the corresponding recess 120 from the base plate 100. In this way, the device 10 can be separated from the base plate 100 (and thus the object to which the base plate 100 is attached). Movement of the hooks 35 between their open and closed positions is actuated via an actuation mechanism 40, located inside the security device 10, whose operation is controlled via a motor 45 which is also located in the security device 10. A controller 50 is provided in the device 10 to control the operation of the motor 45, as shown in Figure 5. Power to the controller 50 is provided by a power source 55 in the form of a battery located in the device 10. The controller 50 is also connected to a memory 60, a wireless communication module 65, and a plurality of sensors 70 in the form of a GPS module 70a; an accelerometer 70b; a temperature sensor 70c; a light sensor 70d; and a pressure sensor 70e. The controller 50 is also connected to a light 75; an audible alarm 80; a camera 81; a smoke canister 82; a microphone 83; and a speaker 84, all located in the device 10.

The device 10 comprises a housing 85 defining a recess 90 in which its principal components, including the motor 45; the controller 50; the memory 60; the wireless communication module 65; the plurality of sensors 70; and the camera 81 are collectively located. Preferably the housing is made of a lightweight, strong, material; and which is capable of withstanding high temperatures without thermal degradation; such as Titanium. A transparent window 96, made of a toughened material such as toughened glass, is provided through the housing 85 to allow light to pass from the exterior of the security device 10 to the camera 81. A series of vents 93 is provided on the security device 10 to allow smoke to escape from the security device 10 when the smoke canister 82 is actuated, as will be described.

The wireless communication module 65 of the device 10 is operable to selectively exchange information with at least one of a wireless communication module 405 located at a remote location 400 from the security device 10; a wireless communication module 505 associated with the emergency services 500; a wireless communication module 605 associated with a mobile device 600; and a wireless communication module 305 associated with the object 300.

In a principal mode of operation of the device 10, the engaging hooks 35 from the device 10 are operable to be locked/unlocked based on a command sent from a mobile device 600 which is paired with the security device 10. The mobile device 600 may be a personal computing device such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The initial pairing, and the subsequent command, are preferably instructed via a software application located on the mobile device 600. Any command sent from the mobile device 600 is transmitted to the remote location 400 and its wireless communication module 405, which then relays the command to the wireless communication module 65 of the device 10, where it is then processed in the controller 50.

At any time, data from the sensors 70 located in the device 10 can be relayed to the mobile device 600. In this case, the controller 50 receives the data from the sensors 70 and transmits it via the wireless communication module 65 to the wireless communication module 405 from the remote location 400, which then transmits the data to the mobile device 600. The relayed data may then be visually displayed on the software application from the mobile phone.

In one configuration, the controller 50 may be configured to continually and/or periodically transmit the sensor data to the mobile device 600 via the remote location 400. In another configuration, the data may be transmitted to the mobile device 600 via the remote location 400 upon request by the mobile device 600, or may be transmitted when an unauthorised use of the object is determined by the controller 50 as having occurred, as will be described.

By viewing the sensor data on the mobile device 600, the user can monitor the location of the security device 10, and thus the location of any object 300 to which the security device is affixed.

Based on the received sensor data, the user can operate the security device 10 as required. In one operation, the user may instruct the controller 50 via the software application to trigger the alarm 70, the light 75, the camera 81, the smoke canister 82, the microphone 83, and/or the speaker 84, present on the security device 10.

In cases where the device 10 can communicate with a wireless communication module 305 associated with the object 300, the user may also instruct the controller 50 to send a signal to the object 300. In the case of the object being a car, or some other automotive vehicle, the controller 50 might instruct the power supply from the object to switch off.

Aside from being operated based on instructions from the mobile device 600, the security device 10 is also operable to automatically monitor the data received by the sensors 70.

In one arrangement, the controller 50 is configured to determine whether the security device is being tampered with, by applying a set of rules to the data received by the temperature sensor 70c. In this case, the controller 50 receives the sensor data from the temperature sensor 70c (which is indicative of the temperature of the security device), and then processes this data using a set of rules to determine whether any temperature from the sensor data exceeds a predetermined threshold temperature. If the controller 50 determines that the predetermined threshold temperature has been exceeded, the controller instructs an event.

The instructed event may depend on how the controller 50 is pre-configured by the user.

In one arrangement, the event is an alert sent to the mobile device 600 via the wireless communication modules 65;405;605. Based on this alert, the user may instruct the controller 50 via the software application to perform any action.

In another arrangement, the event is the controller 50 triggering at least one of the alarm, the light 75, the camera 81, the smoke canister 82, the microphone 83, and/or the speaker 84, present on the security device 10, and/or sending a signal to the remote location 400 via the wireless communication module 65;405.

It will be appreciated that the light sensor 70d may be monitored by the controller 50 in a similar fashion to that of the temperature sensor 70c. The sensor data from the light sensor 70d is indicative of the brightness inside the security device 10, and the controller 50 processes this data using a set of rules to determine whether any brightness from the sensor data exceeds a predetermined threshold brightness. If the controller 50 determines that the predetermined threshold brightness has been exceeded, this indicates that the interior of the security device 10 has been compromised, and results in the controller 50 instructing an event, such as any of the events described herein.

The pressure sensor 70e can be monitored by the controller 50 in a similar fashion to that of the temperature sensor 70c and the light sensor 70d. The sensor data from the pressure sensor 70e is indicative of the pressure exerted on the security device 10, and the controller 50 processes this data using a set of rules to determine whether any pressure from the sensor data exceeds a predetermined threshold pressure. If the controller 50 determines that the predetermined threshold pressure has been exceeded, this indicates that the security device 10 is potentially being compromised, and results in the controller 50 instructing an event, such as any of the events described herein.

The GPS module 70a and the accelerometer 70b may also be monitored by the controller 50 to establish whether the security device 10, and the object 300 to which the security device 10 is attached, is being undesirably moved.

One rule implemented by the controller 50 is to trigger an event upon it determining from the sensor data, from the GPS module 70a and/or the accelerometer 70b that the security device 10 has moved.

In an alternative or additional rule, the controller 50 is configured to check if a position determined from the sensor data lies outside a predetermined geographical area or boundary. In one example, the predetermined area might be an area located within a set of GPS coordinates stored in the memory 60. One example of an application for this configuration of the controller 50 is when the security device is affixed to a lawnmower, and the predetermined geographical area is the area covered by a user’s house/garage/garden. In this way the device may be armed and used freely within the predetermined area, but triggered upon the sensed position indicating that the lawnmower is outside that area and is thus being stolen.

In another alternative or additional rule, the controller 50 is configured to monitor the sensor data from the GPS module 70a and/or the accelerometer 70b over a time interval. With this sensor data, the controller 50 calculates a total distance travelled by the object in the time interval, which is then compared with a predetermined allowable distance for that time interval. If the controller 50 determines that the predetermined allowable distance has been exceeded in the time interval, the controller 50 triggers an event. One example of an application for this configuration of the controller 50 is when the security device is affixed to a vehicle, such as a car. Stored in a garage at night, the vehicle should not move. In this case, the predetermined allowable distance may be set as one meter over a time interval of an hour. If the expected journey to work in the morning is a first distance, the predetermined allowable distance for that time interval may equal the first distance (plus a safety factor).

In yet a further alternative or additional rule, the controller 50 is configured to monitor the sensor data from the GPS module 70a and/or the accelerometer 70b over a time interval. With this sensor data, the controller 50 calculates a geographical route travelled by the security device 10 during the time interval; and then compares this route with a predetermined geographical route. One application for this configuration of the controller 50 is when the security device is affixed to an automotive vehicle, wherein the predetermined geographical route is indicative of a typical commuting route performed by the automotive vehicle during a typical commuting time (e.g. 7am-8:30am).

The above rules involve the monitoring of the sensor data from the GPS module 70a and/or the accelerometer 70b. The triggered event could be any of those discussed previously. In the case of the object being an automotive vehicle, the event could also be the controller 50 instructing the power supply from the automotive vehicle to switch off, either immediately or once the controller 50 determines from the sensor data of the GPS module 70a and/or the accelerometer 70b that the automotive vehicle has slowed to a stop or a predetermined low speed (e.g. 20mph or less). The event could also be the controller 50 forwarding a determined position of the security device 10from the sensor data intermittently/continually via the wireless communication module 65 to the remote location 400; emergency services 500; and/or the mobile device 600.

During operation of the security device 10, the controller 50 is operable to analyse the received sensor data to learn the normal and/or routine behaviour of the security device 10 at particular times. Based on this analysis, the controller 50 may update the information stored in the memory 60. In one embodiment, the controller 50 may analyse the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical area. In a further embodiment, the controller 50 may analyse the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical route.

An example application to the above would be when the security device 10 is affixed to a car. In this example, by analysing the received sensor data during commuting hours, the controller 50 can determine the typical route/distance travelled/time of operation of the car during each commute. Based on this information, if on a subsequent day any of these parameters deviate from what would be considered typical, the controller 50 would trigger an event, such as sending a signal to the mobile device 600.

As described herein, the sensor data has been described as being processed by the controller 50 positioned on the security device 10. It will be appreciated however that in some arrangements, a controller located at the remote location 400 could process the sensor data. In this arrangement, the wireless communication module 65 would directly output the sensor data from the sensors 70 to the remote location 400, such that the remote location 400 would then analyse the received sensor data and trigger an event, if appropriate. In yet a further arrangement, the controller 50 from the security device 10 may be configured to perform an initial processing of the sensor data, with the processor at the remote location 400 then performing the remaining processing of the sensor data.

In cases where the security device 10 is unable to transmit any data to the remote location 400 (for instance in remote locations where mobile signal is unavailable), the controller 50 is configured to search for any signal, such as a Bluetooth signal, from the mobile device 600 to which the security device 10 is paired. Upon such a signal being determined, the controller 50 sends the data directly to the mobile device 600 (i.e. not via the remote location 400).

In terms of the wireless transmission means used between the wireless communication modules 65; 305; 405; 505; 605, preferably such data is transmitted via GSM. In the case of the wireless communication module 65 from the security device 10 connecting directly with the wireless communication module from the object 300 and/or the mobile device 600 directly, Bluetooth or some other NFC form of communication may be used. SMS transmission may also be used for any transmission with the mobile device 600 and/or the emergency services 500.

In some cases, the security device 10 may have a factory-reset program stored in the memory 60 which, when operated, would unlock the engaging hooks 35, and reset the memory 60 to its original factory state. In one arrangement, the factory-reset program would be operable based on an instruction from the mobile device 600.

It will also be appreciated that the device 10 need not necessarily comprise the engaging hooks 35 for releasably securing the device to an object 300. Instead, the security device 10 may be integrally located within, or permanently connected to, the object 300.

In some cases, there may also be no base plate 100. In this arrangement, the plurality of recesses 120 would be located in the object 300 directly, such that the hooks 35 engage directly with the object 300.

Regarding the sensors 70, it is envisaged that their sensitives may be adjusted using the software application located on the mobile device 600. In one example, the sensors may be set to operate at a preset ‘low’, ’medium’, or ‘high’ sensitivity. Depending on the selected sensitivity, in determining when to trigger an event, the controller 50 would process the received sensor data using a set of rules associated with these sensitives. In this regard, the set of rules would involve the controller 50 comparing the received sensor data with predetermined thresholds, associated with each sensor for each sensitivity setting, which are stored in the memory 60. The sensitivity of the security device 10 may also be customisable, such that the user may set their own predetermined thresholds for the sensors, and/or set the predetermined thresholds associated with each of the ‘low’, ’medium’, or ‘high’ sensitivities.

In one set of rules, the controller 50 is configured to monitor the sensor data from the accelerometer 70b, wherein the sensor data is indicative of the acceleration applied to the security device 10. In this set of rules, the controller 50 is configured to compare the received sensor data with a predetermined threshold acceleration. The predetermined threshold acceleration is preselected using the software application located on the mobile device 600, based on the selected ‘low’, ’medium’, or ‘high’ sensitivity. In this way the device may be used to determine when the object to which it is attached is disturbed or knocked. Upon such a determination, the controller 50 triggers an event, such as any of the events described herein.

In relation to each of the light 75, the audible alarm 80, the camera 81 and the smoke canister 82 located in the device 10, when these are triggered, it will be appreciated that these may be operated in a number of different modes, for instance such that they operate intermittently and/or continuously. They may also operate for a set period of time or until a subsequent signal is sent to switch them off.

The systems herein described are also intended to be used with a plurality of the security device 10. In one application containing more than one security device 10 belonging to the same user, each security device 10 is operable to communicate with the same software application located on a mobile device 600. In this case, the software application on the mobile device 600 would be operable to allow individual control of each of the security devices 10 to which it is paired.

In one application, the software application would be operable to show each paired security device 10 visually on a map 700, as shown in Figure 6. From this map, the user would then be able to select each security device 10 from the map, and then control the operation of the selected security device as described previously, for instance by using a list of commands 702 shown on the map 700. In this embodiment using the map, it is also envisaged that when an event is triggered by a controller 50, the controller 50 would comprise a rule which instructs the software application on the mobile device 600 to open up the map, and indicate on the map where the security device 10 to which the controller 50 relates is located. As the position of the security device 10 then changes, the rule would then instruct the controller 50 to continue to send location information to the software application.

The software application on each mobile device 600 is preferably configured to allow the user to update, as required, the set of rules processed by the controller 50 on the security device 10. In one configuration, the software application is configured to use the wireless communication module 605 to send a signal to the wireless communication module 65 of the security device 10. Preferably the signal would be transmitted via the remote location 400. The signal would contain one or more new rules to modify, supplement, and/or replace any of the existing rules processed by the controller 50. Once the signal is received at the security device 10, the controller 50 would update the set of rules located in the memory 60 with the one or more new rules from the signal.

The software application on each mobile device 600 is preferably configured to allow the user to manually trigger an emergency signal. This emergency signal may be triggered by the user in response to a detected unauthorised use of the object to which the security device 10 is secured, or may be triggered at any time as required by the user of the software application.

In one embodiment, the emergency signal when triggered would be transmitted by the software application to the security device 10, preferably via the remote location 400. In this case, the emergency signal may instruct the controller 50 to perform any required operation on the security device 10. In one embodiment, the emergency signal may comprise an instruction to the controller 50 to transmit the sensor data from the at least one sensor to the software application. In some cases, the emergency signal may instruct the controller 50 to transmit the sensor data for a pre-determined period of time, or continuously until a subsequent cancellation signal is sent to the security device 10 from the software application. In another embodiment, the emergency signal may instruct the controller 50 to operate the light 75, the audible alarm 80, the camera 81, the smoke canister 82, the microphone 83, and/or the speaker 84 on the security device 10.

In relation to the camera 81 and/or the microphone 83 devices specifically, the emergency signal may also instruct the controller 50 to receive visual/sound data from these devices, and instruct the controller 50 to transmit this visual/sound data to the mobile device 600. In relation to the operation of the speaker 84, the emergency signal may include sound data such as a recorded message from the user of the software application, wherein the emergency signal instructs the controller 50 to transmit the sound data through the speaker 84.

In another embodiment, the emergency signal when triggered would be sent to the emergency services, or a predetermined telephone number.

The remote location 400 is preferably configured to monitor a plurality of the security devices 10, which need not all necessarily be paired with the same mobile device 600. In this way, the remote location is configured to receive all signals sent between the security devices 10 and their associated mobile device(s) 600. The remote location 400 preferably also contains a database which stores information on the security devices 10, information on the object 300 associated with each security device 10, information on the owner of each security device 10, as well as contact information for each owner. At any given time, the database may also contain information on the status of each security device 10, and in particular: whether it is locked/unlocked; whether an event has been triggered; whether the device is switched on/off; and/or contain information on when sensor data information from the security device 10 was last received.

In terms of the initial setup and pairing of the security device 10 with the mobile device 600, each security device 10 is supplied on purchase with a unique-code. With the unique-code, the owner of the security device 10 uses the software application on the mobile phone 600 to send a signal to the remote location 400 which includes the unique-code of the security device 10, as well as information relating to the mobile device 600 to which the security device 10 should be paired. Upon receipt of this signal, the remote location 400 uses the information therefrom to update the database, and to configure itself such that it can appropriately transmit signals between the security device 10 and the mobile device 600 to which it is paired. Upon receipt of the signal from the mobile device 600, the remote location 400 also sends a signal to the security device 10 which contains information on the mobile device 600 to which it is paired.

At any time, the user can send a signal from the software application to the remote location 400, wherein the signal instruct changes to the information stored in the database. The information which may be changed in the database may include, but is not limited to: information relating to the user’s personal details, and/or information on the object 300 associated with a given security device 10.

In terms of a possible application for the remote location 400, as shown in Figure 7, it is envisaged that in the case of an event being triggered on a security device 10A, any signal sent from the security device 10A to its associated mobile device 600A via the remote location 400 could be further actioned by the remote location 400. In this regard, the remote location 400 may use the received signal to determine the location of the triggered security device 10A, and process this location information with information from the database to determine if any additional security devices 10B;10C;10D from the database are currently within the vicinity V of the triggered security device 10A. Should there be such additional security devices 10B;10C;10D, the remote location 400 would then send a signal to the associated mobile devices 600B;600C;600D of the additional security devices 10B;10C;10D, wherein the signal contains information on the triggered security device 10A, and its associated object 300A; and contains the location information of the triggered security device 10A.

In one application, an owner of a security device 10 may pay a subscription fee to have their security device 10 monitored at the remote location 400, and incorporated as part of the database. They may also have to pay for additional services performed by the remote location 400, such as the notification system outlined in the previous paragraph. They may also have to pay a subscription fee to use the software application located on the mobile device 600.

As shown in Figure 8, each security device 10 may also be associated with at least one subsidiary tracking tag 800 which can communicate with the wireless communication module 65 of the security device 10. In this case, the security device is operable to receive data from each of its associated tracking tags. The controller 50 then analyses the received data from the tracking tags to determine whether an event should be triggered.

One possible application for this arrangement would be to have the security device 10 attached to a vehicle or building, and a tracking tag attached to any items of interest/value inside the vehicle or building. With this arrangement, the controller 50 comprises a rule which instructs the controller 50 to monitor the received data from the tracking tags to determine whether a tracking tag has moved, or to determine whether data from a tracking tag is no longer being received. In such occurrences, this may be indicative of one of the items of interest being stolen, such that the rule instructs the controller 50 to trigger an event, such as any of the events described herein.

Claims (38)

1. A system comprising: a remote device having a first wireless communication module; a security device securable to an object, and comprising at least one sensor operable to output sensor data; and a controller, having a second wireless communication module, and arranged to receive the sensor data from the at least one sensor, and operable to: apply a set of rules to determine unauthorised use of the object to which the security device is secured based on the sensor data; and arranged to trigger one or more event based on the determination of unauthorised use of the object; and update the set of rules based on wireless transmissions received from the remote device.
2. A system according to claim 1, wherein the security device comprises a housing having a recess encapsulating the at least one sensor, wherein the recess is only accessible by destructive means when the security device is secured to the object.
3. A system according to claim 2, wherein the controller is inside the recess.
4 A system according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the controller is positioned at a location remote from the security device; wherein the security device further comprises a wireless communication module for transmitting the sensor data to the controller.
5. A system according to claim 2 or 3, or claim 4 when dependent on claim 2 or 3, wherein the at least one sensor comprises a light sensor in the recess, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if a signal from the sensor data indicates a predetermined brightness in the recess has been exceeded.
6. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one sensor comprises a temperature sensor, and the sensor data is indicative of the temperature of the security device, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if any temperature from the sensor data exceeds 500°C.
7. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one sensor comprises a pressure sensor, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if a signal from the sensor data indicates a predetermined pressure exerted on the pressure sensor has been exceeded.
8. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one sensor comprises an accelerometer.
9. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one sensor comprises a GPS module.
10. A system according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the set of rules comprises checking if a position determined from the sensor data lies outside a predetermined geographical area.
11. A system according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the set of rules comprises monitoring the sensor data over a time interval; using the sensor data from the time interval to calculate a total distance travelled by the object in the time interval; and establishing in the controller whether the object has travelled beyond a predetermined distance in the time interval.
12. A system according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the set of rules comprises monitoring the sensor data over a time interval; using the sensor data from the time interval to determine a geographical route travelled by the object during the time interval; and establishing in the controller whether the geographical route travelled by the object is comparable with a predetermined geographical route.
13. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the security device further comprises a lock for releasably securing the security device to the object.
14. A system according to claim 13, wherein the remote device is operable to control the lock by sending a signal to the security device via the first wireless communication module and the second wireless communication module.
15. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the remote device comprises a software application.
16. A system according to claim 15 when dependent on claim 14, wherein the signal is arranged to be sent by the software application located on the remote device.
17. A system according to claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the software application is operable by a user to send an emergency signal.
18. A system according to claim 17, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the security device, and instructs the controller to transmit the sensor data to the software application.
19. A system according to claim 17, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the emergency services or a predetermined telephone number.
20. A system according to claim 17, wherein the security device comprises a camera, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the security device, and instructs the controller to: operate the camera; receive camera data from the camera, and transmit the camera data to the remote device.
21. A system according to any of claims 1-19, wherein the security device comprises a camera, wherein the event is the controller: operating the camera; receiving camera data from the camera, and transmitting the camera data to the remote device.
22. A system according to claim 17, wherein the security device comprises a speaker, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the security device and comprises sound data, wherein the emergency signal instructs the controller to transmit the sound data through the speaker.
23. A system according to claim 17, wherein the security device comprises a microphone, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the security device, and instructs the controller to: operate the microphone; receive sound data from the microphone, and transmit the sound data to the remote device.
24. A system according to any of claims 1-22, wherein the security device comprises a microphone, wherein the event is the controller: operating the microphone; receiving sound data from the microphone, and transmitting the sound data to the remote device.
25. A system according to claim 17, wherein the security device comprises a smoke canister, wherein the emergency signal is sent to the security device, and instructs the controller to operate the smoke canister.
26. A system according to any of claims 1 -24, wherein the security device comprises a smoke canister, wherein the event is the controller operating the smoke canister.
27. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the event is the sending of a signal to the remote device.
28. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the event is the sending of a signal to the emergency services or a predetermined telephone number.
29. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the event is the triggering of an alarm.
30. A system according to any preceding claim, further comprising an object to which the security device is secured; wherein the object comprises a power supply; and the event is a signal sent from the controller which instructs the power supply from the object to switch off.
31. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the controller is arranged to update the set of rules such that each of the set of rules can be modified, supplemented with, and/or replaced with a new rule.
32. A system according to claim 31, wherein the controller is operable to: analyse the received sensor data to modify the set of rules.
33. A system according to claim 32 when further dependent at least on claim 10, wherein the process of analysing the received sensor data to modify the set of rules comprises analysing the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical area.
34. A system according to claim 32 when further dependent at least on claim 12, wherein the process of analysing the received sensor data to modify the set of rules comprises analysing the received sensor data to generate and/or modify the predetermined geographical route.
35. A system according to any preceding claim, wherein the sensor data is operable to be regularly transmitted from the at least one sensor to the controller at a predetermined time period.
36. A system according to any preceding claim, further comprising a remote location for receiving signals transmitted between the remote device and the security device.
37. A system according to claim 36, wherein the remote location comprises a database which comprises: information on the remote device, information on the security device; information on a plurality of additional remote devices; and information on a plurality of additional security devices associated with the plurality of additional remote devices.
38. A system according to claim 37, further comprising: the plurality of additional remote devices; and the plurality of additional security devices associated with the plurality of additional remote devices; wherein the event is the sending of a signal to the remote device via the remote location; wherein the signal is operable to be received by the remote location; wherein the remote location is configured to: determine the location of the security device using the sensor data from the signal; determine whether any of the plurality of additional security devices are located within a predetermined distance from the security device using the information from the database; and send a signal to the plurality of additional remote devices associated with the plurality of additional security devices which are determined as located within the predetermined distance from the security device.
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WO2018234776A1 (en) 2018-12-27

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