US20040203989A1 - Using location information to control transmission signal levels of wireless devices - Google Patents

Using location information to control transmission signal levels of wireless devices Download PDF

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US20040203989A1
US20040203989A1 US10314292 US31429202A US2004203989A1 US 20040203989 A1 US20040203989 A1 US 20040203989A1 US 10314292 US10314292 US 10314292 US 31429202 A US31429202 A US 31429202A US 2004203989 A1 US2004203989 A1 US 2004203989A1
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signal
power output
device
power
control device
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US10314292
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Jeyhan Karaoguz
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Avago Technologies General IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Broadcom Corp
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/04TPC [Transmission power control]
    • H04W52/18TPC being performed according to specific parameters
    • H04W52/28TPC being performed according to specific parameters using user profile, e.g. mobile speed, priority or network state, e.g. standby, idle or non transmission
    • H04W52/283Power depending on the position of the mobile
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/02Power saving arrangements
    • H04W52/0209Power saving arrangements in terminal devices
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/142Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Wireless Local Area Networks [WLAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/144Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Bluetooth and Wireless Personal Area Networks [WPAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/20Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks independent of Radio Access Technologies
    • Y02D70/22Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks independent of Radio Access Technologies in peer-to-peer [P2P], ad hoc and mesh networks

Abstract

A power control device for adjusting power output levels can include a transmitter configured to transmit at least one first signal, and a receiver configured to receive at least one second signal. In addition, the power control device can have a processing unit configured to determine at least one location information based on the first signal and the second signal, and a power adjusting unit configured to adjust a power output level corresponding to the at least one location information.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/409,938, entitled Using Location Information to Control Power Output in Master Device, with the Power being Controlled Based on Determined Location, filed Sep. 12, 2002. The contents of the provisional application are hereby incorporated by reference.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0002]
  • The present invention relates to a method of and an apparatus for using signal-generated location information to control transmission levels of a device in a wireless communication network environment such as IEEE 802.11, BLUETOOTH™, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) or any other wireless environment. In particular, the present invention relates to a method of and a system of optimizing power usage based on the distance range location information of mobile wireless device. The present invention can be implemented in a wireless network device, which may include discrete devices or which may be implemented on a semiconductor substrate such as a silicon chip. [0003]
  • 2. Description of the Related Art [0004]
  • Currently, cables and wires are predominately used as the communication medium for transferring information such as voice, video, data, etc. from one source to another. For example, cables or wires are commonly used to set up networking infrastructures in business offices, and are also used for personal home computing, and for connecting to the Internet. Generally, the wired devices connected to a wired network can derive its power source from an electrical outlet. Accordingly, wired devices can generally be provided with a steady flow of power so long as the wired device is physically connected through cables or wires to the electrical outlet. Thus, regulating or controlling power output or power consumption may not be a concern for wired devices. [0005]
  • As wireless technology continues to advance and grow, and as wireless services become increasingly convenient, the usage and the popularity of wireless devices will also increase especially in public areas. In contrast to wired devices, wireless devices generally derive its power from power sources such as batteries or battery packs housed within the wireless devices. And because each power source housed within the wireless devices can store only a limited amount of power, it is important to optimize the usage of such power source by minimizing power consumption where possible. Accordingly, one way to help optimize the usage of the power source stored within the wireless device is to control power output of device based on signal-generated location information. [0006]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One example of the present invention can include a method of adjusting power output of a device in a wireless network. The method can include the steps of activating a power control device, transmitting a first signal from the power control device, and receiving a second signal at the power control device. In addition, the method can include the steps of determining a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal, and adjusting a power output level corresponding to the location information. [0007]
  • In another example, the present invention can relate to a power control device for adjusting power output level of a device in a wireless network. The power control device can have a transmitter configured to transmit a first signal, and a receiver configured to receive a second signal. Furthermore, the power control device can have a processing unit configured to determine a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal, and a power adjusting unit configured to adjust a power output level corresponding to the a location information. [0008]
  • Additionally, another example of the present invention can provide a system for adjusting power output of a wireless device in a wireless network. The system of adjusting power output can include an activating means for activating a power control device, a transmitting means for transmitting a first signal from the power control device, and a receiving means for receiving a second signal at the power control device. Also, the system can include a determining means for determining a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal, and an adjusting means for adjusting a power output level corresponding to the location information. [0009]
  • In another example, the present invention can provide a method of controlling transmission signal levels of a device in a wireless network. The method can include the steps of determining a location information of a device, and transmitting a signal for controlling transmission signal levels of the device. The transmission signal levels can cause no transmission interference. [0010]
  • In yet another example, the present invention can relate to a transmission signal level controlling device for controlling the transmission signal levels of a device in wireless network. The device can have a determination unit configured to determine a location information of a device, and a transmitting unit configured to transmit a signal to adjust transmission signal levels of the device, wherein the transmission signal levels do not cause transmission interference. [0011]
  • Additionally, another example of the present invention can provide a system for controlling transmission signal levels of a wireless device in a wireless network. The system can have a determining means for determining a location information of a device, and a transmission means for transmitting a signal for controlling transmission signal levels of the device, wherein the transmission signal levels do not cause transmission interference.[0012]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For proper understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings, wherein: [0013]
  • FIG. 1 illustrates one example of a wireless network configuration; [0014]
  • FIG. 2 illustrates another example of a wireless network configuration; [0015]
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a flow chart illustrating one example of a method of controlling power output based on signal-generated location information; [0016]
  • FIG. 4 illustrates one example of a hardware configuration for controlling power output based on signal-generated location information according to the present invention; and [0017]
  • FIG. 5 illustrates one example of a display configuration for displaying information related power output according to the present invention. [0018]
  • DETAILED OF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • FIG. 1 illustrates one example of a wireless network. The wireless network of FIG. 1 can be an ad hoc network [0019] 100 having two or more wireless nodes, stations or devices 101 a, 101 b, 101 c, . . . 101 n therein (hereinafter, any reference to device(s) shall also include node(s) and/or station(s)). The ad hoc network 100 can be formed on a temporary basis whereby two or more wireless devices can recognize each other and can establish communications with each other. The wireless devices can be any wireless communication device configured to communicate with the Internet and having multimedia capabilities. For example, devices 101 a, 101 b, 101 c, . . . 101 n can be a smart phone, PDA, a mobile laptop computer, a web-pad, a digital video camera, an automobile equipped with a wireless communication device, or any mobile electronic device. Within the ad hoc wireless network 100, each device can communicate with each other on a peer-to-peer level.
  • Another example of a wireless network is shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 provides a wireless infrastructure network [0020] 210 containing an Access Point 215 connected with a LAN 205, such as an Ethernet LAN. In addition, the wireless infrastructure network 210 can contain devices 220 a, 220 b, 220 c, 220 d, . . . 220 n. The Access Point 215 is connected to the LAN 205 by wires or cables and can be formed as part of the wired network infrastructure 205, having at least one service provider 200. One function of the Access Point 215 can be a bridge or a connection between the wireless network 210 and the wired network 205. Accordingly, all communications between the devices 220 a, 220 b, 220 c, 220 d, . . . 220 n or between the devices and the wired network 205 can go through Access Point 215.
  • The examples of wireless networks as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 can use wireless technologies such as IEEE 802.11, BLUETOOTH™, UWB, etc. [0021]
  • FIG. 3 illustrates one example of a method of controlling power output based on location information of a wireless device in accordance with the present invention. Specifically, FIG. 3 illustrates one example of a method of using location information, such as distance range location information and/or geographic position location information to control power output. The method of the present example can be implemented in hardware, or software, or a combination of both hardware and software. [0022]
  • As mentioned above, a wireless network configuration can contain two or more wireless devices therein. The wireless devices within a wireless network can derive their power from a power source such as a battery housed within the wireless devices. Accordingly, in any wireless device and/or wireless network, regulating power consumption is important since power consumption is directly related to the output power. For instance, when a wireless device does not regulate or control its power output, the device can transmit signals or messages at the same power level whether the receiving device is one meter away or ten meters away. In addition, when there are two wireless devices communicating with each other and the two devices are close enough to each other, this can cause the two devices to unnecessarily blast power to one another. Accordingly, the power consumption of the two devices can be unnecessarily consumed and wasted. Thus, FIG. 3 of the present example illustrates one example of using signal-generated location information to control and regulate power consumption or power output. [0023]
  • A user having a wireless device can enter a geographic area and can activate a power output control device locator within the wireless device to detect, identify and provide a listing of available devices within that geographic area. The power output control device can be integrated with any wireless device and can be, for example, a feature within the wireless device. The module can be switched on or off. By activating the power output control device, the operations of determining location information of available devices can be switched to active mode. [0024]
  • Once the power output control device is activated, the device can detect location information, such as distance range information or geographic position information of available wireless devices. In one example, the power output control device can start by transmitting signals such as UWB signals within a maximum or default distance range at a corresponding maximum or default power output level at step [0025] 300. The power output control device can transmit UWB signals in unidirectional mode or omni-directional mode. In addition, the power output control device can transmit signals in short pulses with short duty cycles, and in device-specific bursts. The power output control device can ensure to detect and identify a maximum amount of available devices by initially transmitting signals within a maximum or default distance range at a corresponding maximum or default power output level
  • FIG. 3 further shows the step of receiving signals at step [0026] 305. After the transmission of signals either uni-directionally or omni-directionally, the transmitted signals can come into contact with one or more devices within the distance range, and thereafter the signals can reflect back to the power output control device where the reflected signals can be received by the receiver within the wireless device.
  • Thereafter, the power output control device can monitor and register the timing of the transmission of the signals as well as the timing of the propagation of the signals. For examples, the power output control device can monitor and record the time at which each signal is transmitted. Once the transmitted signals are reflected back and received by the receiver, the power output control device can monitor and record the time at which each signal is received. Based on this information, the power output control device can measure the total time duration for a signal to travel from a transmitter of the power control device to another device, and be reflected back and received by the receiver. [0027]
  • Based on this information and other factors, such as propagation delay, the direction and angle of the signal transmission, the speed at which the signal travels compared to the speed at which light travels, etc., the power output control device can process the information in a range processor to determine the distance range of one or more available device(s) at step [0028] 310, and can display or list the information on a display.
  • In another example, when the power output control device is activated, the power output control device can start by transmitting one or more range message signal(s) to one or more wireless device(s) at step [0029] 300. The one or more range message signal(s) can be sent out from a transmitter within the wireless device. In addition, the range message signal(s) can be UWB signals transmitted in short duty cycles at a starting time T, such as T=0. Similar to the example above, the transmission of the range message signals can be unidirectional or omni-directional.
  • After sending the range message signal(s), one or more available wireless device(s) can receive the range message signal(s) at a time T1. T1 for example, can be the sum of time T, the time of the processing delay ΔP, and the time of the first propagation delay ΔT[0030] 1. Thus, one of the available wireless devices can receive the range message signal at time T1, and can be represented as follows:
  • T1=T+ΔP+ΔT 1
  • Once the available wireless device receives the range message signal(s), the available wireless device can process the received range message. The available wireless device can determine whether or not to establish communication with the originating device locator. In the alternative, the available wireless device can automatically respond and attempt to establish communication with the originating device locator. Thereafter, the available wireless device can send a range message acknowledgement signal to the originating device locator at step [0031] 305. The range message acknowledgement signal can contain various information about the available device, such as the type of the device, protocol information, job queue information, etc. The available wireless device can send the range message acknowledgement signal at time T2. T2 for example, can be the sum of time T, the time of the processing delay ΔP, the time of the first propagation delay ΔT1, and the turn-around time ΔTA. The turn-around time ΔTA can represent the period of time from the time the available wireless device receives the range message signal to the time said available wireless device transmits the range message acknowledgement signal. Accordingly, time T2 can be represented as the following equation.
  • T2=T+ΔP+ΔT 1+Δ TA
  • At time T2, a range message acknowledgement signal can be sent from an available wireless device to the originating power output control device. After the range message acknowledgement signal reaches the originating power output control device, the range message acknowledgement signal can be received by the receiver. Once the range message acknowledgment signal is received, the originating power output control device can determine a total time T[0032] Total. The total time TTotal can be the sum of time T2 and the second propagation time delay ΔT2. Accordingly, the total time TTotal can be represented by the following equation.
  • T Total =T2+ΔT 2
  • Based on the total time T[0033] Total, the information embedded within the range message acknowledgement signal, and other factors such as device related delays, the originating power output control device can thereby determine the distance range of the available wireless device at step 310, and can display or list the information on a display.
  • In yet another example, when the power output control device is activated, the device locator can determine the geographic position of available devices. The power output control device can start by determining the surrounding environment in relation to the detecting device. In other words, when the geographic position locator is activated, the geographic position locator can determine the geographic area surrounding the power output control device through a geographic position unit or other positioning systems such as Global Positioning System. [0034]
  • Suppose for example a user with a wireless device enters a coffee shop in a downtown area of Washington, D.C. Upon entering the coffee shop, the user activates the geographic position locator and selects the geographic position detection mode. The activation and selection of the geographic position locator accesses the geographic position unit wherein the geographic position unit determines that the surrounding environment of the user's wireless device is within the geographic vicinity of 17[0035] th Street and L Street in downtown Washington, D.C. Once the surrounding geographic area of the detecting wireless device is determined, the geographic position locator can display a geographic map overlay of the area surround 17th Street and L Street.
  • Next, the geographic position locator of the present example can determine it's own position in relation to the immediate surrounding environment. In other words, and continuing with the example above, the geographic position locator can detect the surrounding geographic environment within the coffee shop in relation to its own position therein. Therefore, the signal-generated geographic position locator can, for example transmit initial detecting pulse signals to detect the interior design or interior layout of the coffee shop. In an alternative example, the signal-generated geographic position locator can establish communication with a Master device within the coffee shop such as an Access Point wherein the Master device can provide the interior design or interior layout instantly. [0036]
  • After determining the immediate surrounding geographic area in relation to its own position, the signal-generated geographic position locator can determine the distance range of available wireless devices by way of the examples mentioned above. The steps of determining the distance range can include the steps transmitting signals within the surrounding environment, receiving one or more second signal(s), and measuring the total propagation time, etc. [0037]
  • Once the signal-generated geographic position locator has identify the available wireless devices and has also determined the distance range of each available wireless devices in relation to its own position, the geographic position locator can thereafter determine the coordinates of each available wireless device based on information such as the distance range information, the surrounding geographic environment information, the global geographic positioning information, and etc. The coordinates of each available wireless device can thereby help to determine the geographic position of each available device at step [0038] 310.
  • Having determined all the necessary information with respect to the geographic position of each available wireless device, the signal-generated geographic position locator can display the geographic location of each available device on a display. In other words, the user can be provided with a display showing a geographic map overlay of the coffee shop, and indicated on the map overlay are the geographic positions of the available wireless devices within the coffee shop in relation to the user's own position therein. [0039]
  • Once the power output control device has determined either the distance range location information and/or the geographic position location information, the power output control device can establish communication with one or more of the identified wireless devices at an adjusted power output level at step [0040] 315 of FIG. 3.
  • Suppose for example that a power output control device is located in a wireless network configuration [0041] 210 as shown in FIG. 2. The power output control device can function as an Access Point and can be connected to a wired LAN such as the LAN 205 of FIG. 2. Within the wireless network configuration, there can be other wireless devices. In this example, the power output control device can function as the master device where all communications between the wireless devices or and all communications between the wireless devices and the wired network can go through the power output control device functioning an Access Point.
  • Accordingly, the power output control device can determine the location information such as the distance range location information and/or the geographic position location of each of the wireless devices by first transmitting signals such as UWB signals within the wireless network at a maximum or default range corresponding to a maximum or default power level, and subsequently receiving signals from the wireless devices. Once the location information of each of the wireless devices is determined, any communication between the power output control device and any one of the wireless device will be based on an adjusted power level. In other words, each wireless device within the wireless network will have initial location information associated therewith. Based on the location information, the power output control device can adjust the power output level in relation to each wireless device when transmitting a signal thereto. Similarly, the wireless device communicating with the power output control device can also adjust its power output level based on the communication protocol set by the communication link. For instance, if a wireless device is 5 meters away from the power output control device, device can control the power output corresponding to the 5 meters and transmit signals accordingly. [0042]
  • After an initial adjustment of the power output level is made based on an initial determination of the location information of a device, the transmission of signals between the power output control device and the wireless device can be set at the adjusted power output level, whereby the power output control device and the wireless device can continue to communicate with each other at the adjusted power output level. However, in order to optimize the control of power output, the power output control device can periodically readjust or refresh the power output level at step [0043] 325.
  • If the location information of a wireless device does not change during a communication session, then the power output control device can transmit signals to the wireless device at the same initial adjusted power level at step [0044] 335. However, because a wireless device can be mobile and that the location information of the wireless device can often change after the initial determination of the location information, the power output control device of the present invention can readjust or refresh the power output level periodically to update the optimization of the power consumption.
  • In one example, the power output control device can readjust the power output level when the device receives and records an amount of errors over a predetermined threshold level within the signals received at step [0045] 330 of FIG. 3. In other words, suppose a power output control device has initially determined the location information a particular wireless device. And based on the location information determined, the power output control device has readjusted and set its power output level accordingly to optimize the power usage. The power output control device and the wireless device establish a communication session where communication signals are transmitted to and from one device to another at the initially set power output level. However, during the communication session, the wireless device moves 15 meters away from the power output control device. Thereafter, the power output control device starts to detect and record weak signal transmissions containing signal errors therein from the wireless device. Once the power output control device detects errors within the signal transmission, the power output control device initiates an error detecting algorithm to determine various information such as the type of errors, the possible causes of the errors and if the detected amount of errors equals to or exceeds a predetermined threshold level. If the result of the algorithm indicates that a readjustment is required, then the power output control device can re-determine the location information of the wireless device and based on the new location information of the wireless device, the power output control device can readjust and set the power output level accordingly.
  • In another example, the power output control device can also readjust the power output level when said device receives and records a strong transmission signal from a wireless device at step [0046] 330 of FIG. 3. This can generally occur when the power output level and the wireless device are transmitting signal to and from one another with a power output level significantly over and above the required amount. In other words, suppose a power output control device has initially determined the location information of a particular wireless device. And based on the determined location information, the power output control device has readjusted and set its power output level accordingly to optimize the power usage. The power output control device and the wireless device establish a communication session where communication signals are transmitted to and from one device to another at the initially set power output level. During this communication session, however, the wireless device moves 10 meters closer to the power output control device. Thereafter, the power output control device starts to detect and record a significant change in the signal transmissions from the wireless device. The power output control device is being “blasted” with strong transmissions signals from the wireless device. Once the power output control device detects such a condition, the power output control device can initiate a transmission signal over-strength algorithm to access the condition and gather information such as the frequency of the strong signals, the strength level of the signals, and whether the detected amount of signal level is over a predetermined threshold level. If the result of the algorithm indicates that a readjustment is appropriate, then the power output control device can re-determine the location information of the wireless device and based on the new location information of the wireless device, the power output control device can readjust and set the power output level accordingly.
  • In yet another example, the power output control device can refresh the power output level when a predetermined amount of time has lapsed at step [0047] 330. In other words, suppose a power output control device has initially determined the location information a particular wireless device. And based on the location information determined, the power output control device readjusted and set its power output level accordingly to optimize the power usage. The power output control device and the wireless device establish a communication session where communication signals are transmitted to and from one device to another at the initial set power output level. However, during the communication session, the wireless device relocates and changes it location information with respect to the power output control device. However, the relocation of the wireless device does not cause the power output control device to receive errors in the transmission signals nor does it cause the power output control device to receive strong levels of transmission signals. Thereafter, the power output control device of this example can automatically refresh its power output level after the passing of a predetermined amount of time. The power output control device can re-determine the location information of the wireless device and based the new location information of the wireless device, the power output control device can readjust and set the power output level accordingly.
  • It is noted that the power output control device of the examples above can initially transmit signals at a maximum or default power output level to determine the initial location information of and/or establish communication with the wireless devices. Thereafter, the power output control device can readjust and lower or raise the power output level to the appropriate level by fine tuning to adapt to the environment due to interferences and obstructions such as walls and objects. Also, the power output control device can be a master device and set the communication protocol with a slave wireless device, whereby the master device can control the slave device to also transmit at the adjusted optimal output level. [0048]
  • One embodiment illustrating the above examples can be implemented in an environment such as a business office environment. The business office environment of this example can be configured to have a wireless network infrastructure similar to the wireless network infrastructure as shown in FIG. 2. The wireless network infrastructure can, for example, be located in a business office space. The business office's wireless network can contain a power output control device functioning as a master device and as an Access Point. The power output control device can be connected to a wired LAN, such as the Ethernet LAN. In addition, the business office's wireless network can contain one or more wireless devices located within the wireless network. The power output control device can act as a master device since all communications between the wireless devices, or between the wireless devices and the wired network can go through the power output control device. In addition, the power output control device and the wireless device can contain a power control system therein. [0049]
  • Suppose for example, the power output control device along with the wireless devices within the business office's wireless network are activated. The power output control device thereafter determines the location information of each wireless device within the office space. Upon determining the location information of each wireless device, the power output control device can adjust the power output level with respect to the location information determined. [0050]
  • Further suppose for this example that user X is using wireless device X, user Y is using wireless device Y and user Z is using wireless device Z. Based on the initial determination of their location information, wireless device X is 5 meters away, wireless device Y is 10 meters away, and wireless device Z is 15 meters away. At some time during the day, users X, Y and Z initiate communications with the power output control device. Accordingly, the power output control device establishes a communication session with each of the wireless devices, and sets the communication protocol which can include setting the power output level. Thereafter, communication signals are transmitted to and from each wireless device X, Y, Z to the power output control device at their respective adjusted power level. It is noted that the power output control device can transmit signals in device-specific bursts. In other words, the power output control device can transmit a burst of signal at a power output level X for wireless device X, and can transmit a burst of signal at a power output level Y for wireless device Y right after. [0051]
  • Continuing with the example, suppose at some time during the communication sessions, user X takes wireless device X and moves to a new work location 8 meters away. Similarly, user Y and wireless device Y relocates to a work location 3 meters away, and user Z and wireless device Z moves 3 meters and are 12 meters away from the master device. After the relocation of the wireless devices X, Y, and Z, the master device detects frequent and significant amount of errors within the signals received from wireless device X. Also, the master device receives signals from wireless device Y having repeated strong signal level, but does not receive any changes in the signals received from wireless device Z. [0052]
  • The master device receives and records such conditions and thereby initiates the respective algorithms to determine if a readjusting of power output level is necessary. [0053]
  • Suppose for this example that the signals received and recorded from wireless devices X and Y are such that they trigger the power output control device to readjust the power output level by determining the new location information of the devices. Upon transmitting and receiving location information signals, the power control output device determines the new location information for wireless device X is 8 meters away rather than 5 meters away, and that wireless device Y is now 3 meters away rather than 10 meters away. Based on the new location information of wireless devices X and Y, the power output control device readjusts the power output level and sets them at the new level. [0054]
  • As for device Z, the power output control device can after the passing of a predetermined amount of time, refresh the power output level by determining new location information for wireless device Z. [0055]
  • FIG. 4 illustrates one example of a hardware configuration that can determine the location information of wireless devices and control the power output level with respect to the determined location information, in accordance with the present invention. In addition, the hardware configuration of FIG. 4 can be in an integrated, modular and single chip solution, and therefore can be embodied on a semiconductor substrate, such as silicon. Alternatively, the hardware configuration of FIG. 4 can be a plurality of discrete components on a circuit board. The configuration can also be implemented as a general purpose device configured to implement the invention with software. [0056]
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a power output control device [0057] 400 configured to determine the location information of wireless devices, and adjusting the power output level with respect to the determined location information. The power output control device 400 contains a receiver 405 and a transmitter 410. The transmitter 410 can transmit electromagnetic signals as well as various other signals such as UWB signals. The transmitter 410 can transmit signals in short pulses in short duty cycles. In the alternative, the receiver 405 can receive electromagnetic signals as well as various other signals including UWB signals.
  • Furthermore, the power output control device [0058] 400 can include a power unit 415 and a memory 435. The power unit 415 can store and supply the power source to operated the power output control device 400. In other words, the power unit 415 can be a battery or a power packet housed in the power output control device 400. Furthermore, the memory 435 can store information such as geographic maps, algorithms to determine errors within the received signals, and algorithms to determine if the received signals is too strong, or can store default values and look-up table, etc.
  • FIG. 4 also shows a processing unit [0059] 420, and a range/geographic processing unit 425 for determining the location information of the wireless devices. It is noted that the range/geographic processing unit 425 can be separate processing units. It is further noted that although the range/geographic processing unit 425 is shown to be within the processing unit 420, the range/geographic processing unit 425 can be a separate and distinct processing unit from the processing unit 420.
  • Therefore, the processing unit [0060] 420 can be the main processing unit and can process functions that are outside the functions of the range/geographic processing unit 425. The range/geographic position processing unit 425 can therefore perform all the functions and tasks related to the determining of the location information of the available wireless devices. For instance, the range/geographic processing unit 425 can measure or calculate the period of time period from the time a first signal is transmitted to the time a second signal is received. Similarly, the range/geographic position processing unit 425 can perform all the functions and tasks related to the determining of the geographic position of the available wireless devices. These processing functions can include determining the geographic coordinates of the available wireless devices within the surrounding geographic environment of the power output control device 400.
  • Furthermore, FIG. 4 includes a power adjusting unit [0061] 430 and a display 440. The power adjusting unit 430 can process and determine information such as the error level of a received signal, the signal strength of a received signal, what output level corresponds to a particular location information, etc. The display 440 can be a plasma display, a LCD display or various other types of display for displaying multimedia information.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an examples of the display format in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 5 illustrates an example of a display format [0062] 500 showing the power output level information along with various other information.
  • Main display area [0063] 505 of FIG. 5 can represent a main portion of the display 500 and can be used to display information related to a separate task running in tandem with the power output control device locator. For example, the main display area 505 can display a WWW web page if the user has accessed the Internet. In another example, the main display area 505 can display multimedia information from an e-mail received by the user.
  • Furthermore, display [0064] 500 of FIG. 5 can contain tools/information display area 510. This display area 510 can display icons and/or tools for accessing specific applications or functions. These icons can either be related to the power output control device or can be separate application modules unrelated to the device locator. For example, a user can access the e-mail feature by actuating a mail envelope or a similar icon, or the user can actuate the house icon to establish a connection with the Internet and access a home page.
  • The tools/information display area [0065] 510 can contain information related to power control such as a power level indicator 515, and the power output level and the signal strength indicator 520.
  • One having ordinary skill in the art will readily understand that the invention as discussed above may be practiced with steps in a different order, and/or with hardware elements in configurations which are different than those which are disclosed. Therefore, although the invention has been described based upon these preferred embodiments, it would be apparent to those of skill in the art that certain modifications, variations, and alternative constructions would be apparent, while remaining within the spirit and scope of the invention. In order to determine the metes and bounds of the invention, therefore, reference should be made to the appended claims. [0066]

Claims (24)

    We claim:
  1. 1. A method of adjusting power output of a device in a wireless network, said method comprising the steps of:
    activating a power control device;
    transmitting a first signal from the power control device;
    receiving a second signal at the power control device;
    determining a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal; and
    adjusting a power output level corresponding to the location information.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of:
    transmitting a third signal from the power control device at the adjusted power output level.
  3. 3. The method of claim 2, wherein the step of transmitting a first signal comprises the step of:
    transmitting the first in pulses at a predetermined power level.
  4. 4. The method of claim 3, further comprising the step of:
    adjusting the power output level when a predetermined period of time has lapsed.
  5. 5. The method of claim 3, further comprising the step of:
    adjusting the power output level when the second signal contains an amount of errors equals to or exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  6. 6. The method of claim 3, further comprising the step of:
    adjusting the power output level when the second signal contains a power saturated signal.
  7. 7. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of determining the location information comprises the steps of:
    determining at least one distance range information; and
    determining at least one geographic position information.
  8. 8. A power control device for adjusting power output levels of a device in wireless network, said power control device comprising:
    a transmitter configured to transmit a first signal;
    a receiver configured to receive a second signal;
    a processing unit configured to determine a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal; and
    a power adjusting unit configured to adjust a power output level corresponding to the location information.
  9. 9. The power control device of claim 8, wherein the transmitter is configured to transmit a third signal from the power control device at the adjusted power output level.
  10. 10. The power control device of claim 9, wherein the transmitter is configured to transmit the first signal in pulses at a predetermined power level.
  11. 11. The power control device of claim 10, wherein the power adjusting unit is configured to adjust the power output level when a predetermined period of time has lapsed.
  12. 12. The power control device of claim 10, wherein the power adjusting unit is configured to adjust the power output level when the second signal contains an amount of errors equals to or exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  13. 13. The power control device of claim 12, wherein the power adjusting unit is configured to adjust the power output level when the second signal contains a power saturated signal.
  14. 14. The power control device of claim 7, wherein the processing unit is configured to determine at least one distance range based on the first signal and the second signal; and wherein the processing unit is configured to determine at least one geographic position based on the first signal and the second signal.
  15. 15. A system for adjusting power output of a wireless device in a wireless network, said system comprising:
    an activating means for activating a power control device;
    a transmitting means for transmitting a first signal from the power control device;
    a receiving means for receiving a second signal at the power control device;
    a determining means for determining a location information on at least one wireless device based on the first signal and the second signal; and
    an adjusting means for adjusting a power output level corresponding to the location information.
  16. 16. The system of claim 15, wherein the transmitting means transmits a third signal at the adjusted power output level.
  17. 17. The system of claim 16, wherein the transmitting means transmits the first signal in pulses at a predetermined power level.
  18. 18. The system of claim 17, wherein the adjusting means adjusts the power output level when a predetermined period of time has lapsed.
  19. 19 The system of claim 17, wherein the adjusting means adjusts the power output level when the second signal contains an amount of errors equals to or exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  20. 20. The system of claim 17, wherein the adjusting means adjusts the power output level when the second signal contains a power saturated signal.
  21. 21. The system of claim 15, wherein the determining means determines at least one distance range information, and wherein the determining means determines at least one geographic position information.
  22. 22. A method of controlling transmission signal levels of a device in a wireless network, said method comprising the steps of:
    determining a location information of a device; and
    transmitting a signal for controlling transmission signal levels of the device, wherein the transmission signal levels do not cause transmission interference.
  23. 23. A transmission signal level controlling device for controlling the transmission signal levels of a device in wireless network, said device comprising:
    a determination unit configured to determine a location information of a device; and
    a transmitting unit configured to transmit a signal to adjust transmission signal levels of the device, wherein the transmission signal levels do not cause transmission interference.
  24. 24. A system for controlling transmission signal levels of a wireless device in a wireless network, said system comprising:
    a determining means for determining a location information of a device; and
    a transmission means for transmitting a signal for controlling transmission signal levels of the device, wherein the transmission signal levels do not cause transmission interference.
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