US20190272681A1 - Timer apparatus - Google Patents

Timer apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20190272681A1
US20190272681A1 US16/258,414 US201916258414A US2019272681A1 US 20190272681 A1 US20190272681 A1 US 20190272681A1 US 201916258414 A US201916258414 A US 201916258414A US 2019272681 A1 US2019272681 A1 US 2019272681A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
timer
housing
lower housing
physical location
timer apparatus
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
US16/258,414
Inventor
David William King
Alexander Schwarz
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IPS Group Inc
Original Assignee
IPS Group Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Family has litigation
Priority to US74192005P priority Critical
Priority to PCT/IB2006/054574 priority patent/WO2007063530A2/en
Priority to US9591408A priority
Priority to US13/786,387 priority patent/US8862494B2/en
Priority to US14/297,525 priority patent/US20140289025A1/en
First worldwide family litigation filed litigation Critical https://patents.darts-ip.com/?family=38092651&utm_source=google_patent&utm_medium=platform_link&utm_campaign=public_patent_search&patent=US20190272681(A1) "Global patent litigation dataset” by Darts-ip is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Priority to US15/826,587 priority patent/US20180082490A1/en
Application filed by IPS Group Inc filed Critical IPS Group Inc
Priority to US16/258,414 priority patent/US20190272681A1/en
Assigned to IPS GROUP INC. reassignment IPS GROUP INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KING, DAVID WILLIAM, SCHWARZ, ALEXANDER
Publication of US20190272681A1 publication Critical patent/US20190272681A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07BTICKET-ISSUING APPARATUS; FARE-REGISTERING APPARATUS; FRANKING APPARATUS
    • G07B15/00Arrangements or apparatus for collecting fares, tolls or entrance fees at one or more control points
    • G07B15/02Arrangements or apparatus for collecting fares, tolls or entrance fees at one or more control points taking into account a variable factor such as distance or time, e.g. for passenger transport, parking systems or car rental systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/12Payment architectures specially adapted for electronic shopping systems
    • G06Q20/127Shopping or accessing services according to a time-limitation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/18Payment architectures involving self- service terminals [SSTs], vending machines, kiosks or multimedia terminals
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/0014Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for vending, access and use of specific services not covered anywhere else in G07F17/00
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/24Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for parking meters
    • G07F17/248Housing construction

Abstract

Described are timer apparatus comprising: a timer configured to measure a predetermined time period associated with a physical location, the timer comprising: a front housing; and input controls comprising one or more buttons for interacting with the timer to configure the predetermined time period associated with a physical location; a lower housing; and a cover housing reversibly attachable to the lower housing to form an interior and to secure the timer within the interior; wherein when the cover housing is attached to the lower housing and the timer is secured within the interior: the front housing is exposed to an external environment of the physical location, and the input controls are located above a highest edge of the lower housing.

Description

  • This invention relates to single bay parking meters, devices therefor and a method of upgrading a parking meter.
  • In accordance with the invention there is provided a single bay parking meter device which includes
  • a timer;
  • a payment facilitating arrangement operable in cooperation with a non-cash payment medium for effecting payment of a monetary amount for a parking period;
  • a display means for displaying a balance remaining of the parking period; and
  • a power supply unit for supplying power to the timer, the payment facilitating arrangement and the display means.
  • A parking meter device in accordance with the invention may have an access opening in which the card may be inserted and a reading device for reading information and data on the card. The card may have a magnetic strip or a chip, such that the reading device may be such as to read a magnetic strip and/or a chip. The parking meter device may further have a writing device for writing data onto or into the card.
  • The payment facilitating arrangement may then have a wireless banking information transmitting means for transmitting financial transaction data to a banking system in order to debit the appropriate account, as determined from the card, and credit the account of the parking operator. The banking information transmitting means may operate on an on-line or off-line manner. It may use a cellular telephone network such as CDMA or GSM, or WI-Fi and IP Embedded Wireless.
  • Further according to the invention, the payment facilitating arrangement may have a wireless purse communicating means for communicating with an electronic purse, in accordance with any suitable protocol, whereby an appropriate amount may be deducted from the value stored in the purse. The banking information transmitting means will then be operable to credit the account of the parking operator with the amount by which the purse was decreased. The purse may, for example, be a toll road electronic pass. The purse communicating means may detect, in use, when a vehicle having an electronic purse parks in the relevant parking bay and then automatically deduct the appropriate amount for a predetermined time period. If the vehicle is still parked in the bay at the end of the predetermined time period, the appropriate amount is again automatically deducted. This may then occur repeatedly until such time as the maximum permitted parking time has been reached, at which time no further money is deducted and a parking expired signal is provided.
  • Still further according to the invention, the parking meter device may have a payment received arrangement for receiving an instruction from a call centre that payment has been effected, via the call centre, from a cellular telephone.
  • The parking meter device may have a solar power charging arrangement whereby the power supply unit is recharged by solar energy. The parking meter device may then also have a power management facility.
  • As a further feature, the parking meter device may have a locating arrangement for determining the location of the parking meter device. The locating arrangement may be GPS operable.
  • The parking meter device may have a management communication arrangement for communicating management information to a management centre. For example such management information may include malfunction details, a tampering alert, duration expiration and the location of the parking meter device.
  • The parking meter device in accordance with the invention may also have a coin accepting and validating arrangement.
  • It is emphasized that the parking meter device is for a single parking bay or space. The display means may also display that the parking time paid for has expired.
  • The parking meter device may have a selection means for selecting the duration of parking time required and the appropriate cost thereof, whereby a person wishing to park (the “parker”) may select the desired time duration.
  • The parking meter device in accordance with the invention may be receivable in a conventional single space parking meter housing, such as that supplied by Duncan Industries, POM or Mackay.
  • Further in accordance with the invention there is provided a single bay parking meter which includes a parking meter device as described above.
  • Still further in accordance with the invention there is provided a cover for a single bay parking meter, which is engageable with a conventional single space parking meter housing base such that the cover of an existing parking meter may be replaced with one in accordance with the invention to accommodate a parking meter device in accordance with the invention in an existing conventional housing base.
  • The invention extends to a method of controlling parking in a single parking bay, which includes accepting payment for parking in the bay by means of a credit or debit card account, from an electronic purse, or by means of a cellular telephone.
  • If payment is effected by means of a credit or debit card account, the method may include transmitting data in a wireless manner to a first financial institution to debit an account of the parker and a second financial institution to credit the account of a parking operator.
  • If payment is effected from an electronic purse, then the method may include transmitting financial data in a wireless manner with the first financial institution to debit an account of the purse administrator and with the second financial institution to credit the account of the parking operator.
  • Similarly, if payment is effected by means of a cellular telephone, then the method may include receiving an authorisation signal that payment for the parking has been made. This signal may be provided by the second financial institution or from a control centre.
  • Further, if payment is effected from an electronic purse, then the method may include automatically detecting that a vehicle associated with the electronic purse has parked in the bay and automatically deducting an appropriate amount from the purse for a predetermined parking time period. If the vehicle is still parked in the bay at the end of the predetermined time period a further amount may be automatically deducted from the purse for a further predetermined parking time period. This may be repeated until a maximum permitted parking time has elapsed.
  • The method of controlling parking may include sensing if a vehicle is parked in the bay when the paid for parking time has expired or the maximum parking time has been exceeded and transmitting a time expired signal to a management centre. A location signal, providing the location of the bay, may also be transmitted.
  • The invention extends further to a method of operating a single bay parking meter, which includes effecting payment for parking in a bay associated with the meter by means of a debit or credit card, electronic purse or cellular telephone.
  • The method of operating the parking meter may include inserting a card into a card reader slot of the meter.
  • The invention extends still further to a method of upgrading an existing parking meter, which includes
  • removing a cover of the parking meter from a housing base thereof;
  • removing an existing parking meter device from the housing base;
  • attaching a new cover to the housing base;
  • inserting a new parking meter device as described above in the housing base; and
  • closing the new cover.
  • The invention is now described, by way of a non-limiting example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:—
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective front view of a single bay parking meter device in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 2 shows a perspective rear view of the parking meter device;
  • FIG. 3 shows a perspective front view of a parking meter in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 4 shows a view in more detail of a control window of the parking meter;
  • FIG. 5 shows a perspective rear view of the parking meter;
  • FIG. 6 shows a perspective front view of the parking meter with a cover thereof opened to provide access to the parking meter device housed therein;
  • FIG. 7 shows the housing and open cover of the parking meter with the parking meter device adjacent thereto; and
  • FIG. 8 shows a block diagram illustrating the components of the parking meter device.
  • Referring to the drawings, in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, a parking meter device in accordance with the invention is designated generally by reference numeral 10. The parking meter device 10 is for a single bay parking meter. The parking meter device 10 has a lower portion 12 and an upper portion 14. The lower portion 12 of the parking meter device 10 has the same shape and dimensions as the housing base of conventional known single bay parking meter devices. As will be explained below, because the lower portion 12 of the parking meter device in accordance with the invention has the same shape and dimensions as existing single bay parking meter devices, the parking meter device 10 in accordance with the invention is receivable in a housing base of an existing installed parking meter and the parking meter device 10 of the invention may be retrofitted to such existing installed meters, thereby upgrading them.
  • The lower portion 12 of the parking meter device 10 has a coin accepting and validating assembly 16 with a coin slot 18.
  • In the upper portion 14 of the parking meter device there is a card reading device 20 with an access opening 22, on a front side of the parking meter device 10, into which a credit or debit card may be inserted to be read by the reading device 20. Also in the upper portion 14, on its front side, are a keypad sensor 24 and a display 26. An infrared receiver and transmitter 27 are provided whereby management data and operational software may be transferred to and from a portable communication device (not shown).
  • On the rear side of the upper portion 14 of the parking meter device 10 (FIG. 2) there is a solar panel 28 and a flip dot expiry indicator. A red LED 31 and a green LED 33 are also provided to indicate if the paid for parking period has expired or not. In use these LED's are illuminated in a flashing manner.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 a single bay parking meter 32 is shown. The parking meter 32 has a housing base 34 which is the same as that of existing conventional single bay parking meters. It also has a cover 36 which is different from the covers of existing parking meters, and which accommodates and is adapted in accordance with the upper portion 14 of the parking meter device 10 of the invention. It will be seen that that part of the parking meter device 10 having the coin slot 18 and card reader access opening 22 are located in an opening defined between the housing base 34 and cover 36 to be accessible when the parking meter device 10 is placed in the housing 34 and the cover 36 closed.
  • The cover 36 has, on its front side, a window 38 through which the display 26 is visible and control touch keys 40 which interact with the keypad sensor 24. On its rear side the cover 36 as a further window 40 for the solar panel 28. An opening 42 is provided between the housing 34 and cover 36 for the flip dot 30. A key hole 44 is located in the housing 34 by means of which the cover 36 may be unlocked and opened, as shown in FIG. 6, so that the parking meter device 10 may be removed and replaced, as shown in FIG. 7.
  • The various electrical and other components of the parking meter device 10 are indicated in FIG. 8. Thus, the parking meter device 10 has the coin accepting and validating assembly 16, the card reading device 20, the display 26, the touch keys 40, and the solar panel 28 referred to above. In addition there is a power management facility 46, a rechargeable, replaceable battery 48, random access memory 50, a central controller 52, flash memory 54 for code, a real time clock 56, a coin validator interface 58, a card reader interface 60 for cards having chips and magnetic strips and for RF electronic purses, a receiver 62 for signals from such RF electronic purses, I/O hardware 64, sensors, switches and reset 66, an expiry indicator 68, a display driver for the display 26, a communications subsystem 72, a cellular phone engine 74 with its antenna 76, a Wi-Fi engine 78 and its antenna 80, a GPS unit 82 and its antenna 84 and a serial/USB/IrDA port 86.
  • The controller 52 controls operation of the meter. An integrated device is used, providing RAM, ROM, and some I/O capabilities. Power down features are of high importance when selecting the microcontroller, as the meter is typically in the idle or sleep mode. A serial port is provided for debug as well as connection to an external management system.
  • To minimize power consumption, special power management circuitry is provided to allow application of power to only the necessary peripherals at only the necessary times. The power management facility also provides battery status to the microcontroller to allow changes in operation based on available power, as well as health reporting to the management system.
  • An AMP card reader will be used as the external electrical/mechanical credit/smart card solution. One of two interfaces to the AMP device is the card head interface. A Magtek Triple Track ASIC will be used to convert the analog head signals to serial bit streams, readable by the microcontroller. The second interface to the external AMP card connector is the smart card interface. This block will provide necessary level shifting and synchronization to allow the microcontroller to bit-bang the smart card interface.
  • The coin validator interface 58 is an analog/digital block that connects to 3 coils in the coin validator 16. The coils are energized, and the change in inductance is measured as the coin passes through each of the coils. This profile can then be correlated by the microcontroller to a database of known coins to determine the type of coin present.
  • The parking meter device 10 contains a number of switches such as touch keys for user input, presence detection in the card reader, and door switches. The I/O hardware 64 allows the microcontroller to sense the state of the switches.
  • An expansion interface may be provided that will allow a daughter card assembly to be connected to the controller board. The communication protocol over the interface will support a minimum throughput of 20 KB/s. The expansion interface is intended to allow the addition of a communication device to the meter. Possible device types are: cellular, WiFi, Zigbee, and IrDA. Both communication signals and power will be provided through the expansion connector.
  • The following will be displayed on the display 26:—which of the 4 user buttons are pressed; information from a credit card; information from a smart card; which coins are passed through the coin validator.
  • As described in the introduction, a motorist will approach the meter and insert either a coin or card into the meter. Either method will wake up the electronic componentry and it will then either validate that it is a coin, credit card, debit/ATM card or a Smart Card. By inserting either the required number of valid coins or by inserting a card and manipulating the controls on the touch pad the motorist can determine the amount of parking time he wishes to purchase. The amount of time purchased is then displayed on the electronic display. The parking meter device will communicate with the credit card company wirelessly and authorize the payment using that card.
  • Payment via an electronic tag or electronic toll road pass will be as follows. The device will either sense or be advised by an electronic sensor that a motor vehicle has parked in the parking space. It will then identify the electronic tag in the vehicle and after the vehicle has been in that parking space for a predetermined time will then deduct time from the vehicles electronic tag for a predetermined length of time and display that time on the electronic device's LCD Display. After that time has been used up and the vehicle is still parked in that same parking space the device will again deduct the required amount of money from the vehicles electronic tag and display that amount of time on the device's LCD display. This process will repeat itself until the vehicle has stayed in the parking space for the maximum amount of time allowed for that parking zone or area.
  • At a time determined by the owner or the controller of the parking area, the device will communicate with a management system. This can be done wirelessly or through a hand held device.

Claims (12)

What is claimed is:
1. A timer apparatus comprising:
a) a timer configured to measure a predetermined time period associated with a physical location, the timer comprising: a front housing; and input controls comprising one or more buttons for interacting with the timer to configure the predetermined time period associated with a physical location;
b) a lower housing; and
c) a cover housing reversibly attachable to the lower housing to form an interior and to secure the timer within the interior;
wherein when the cover housing is attached to the lower housing and the timer is secured within the interior: the front housing is exposed to an external environment of the physical location, and the input controls are located above a highest edge of the lower housing.
2. The timer apparatus of claim 1, wherein when the cover housing is attached to the lower housing and the timer is secured within the interior the timer is protected from the external environment of the physical location.
3. The timer apparatus of claim 1, wherein the information pertaining to the predetermined time period comprises a duration or an expiration.
4. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a global positioning system (GPS) element configured to identify the physical location.
5. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a wireless transceiver configured to communicate information pertaining to the time period.
6. The timer apparatus of claim 5, wherein the wireless transceiver communicates via a cellular network or a Wi-Fi network.
7. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a solar panel and a solar power charging arrangement.
8. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an electronic sensor configured to detect a status of the physical location.
9. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a locking mechanism to secure the cover housing to the lower housing.
10. The timer apparatus of claim 1, configured to upgrade the lower housing by retrofit.
11. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a display screen for displaying information pertaining to the predetermined time period.
12. The timer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a radio frequency (RF) electronic card reader.
US16/258,414 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus Pending US20190272681A1 (en)

Priority Applications (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US74192005P true 2005-12-02 2005-12-02
PCT/IB2006/054574 WO2007063530A2 (en) 2005-12-02 2006-12-04 A parking meter and a device therefor
US9591408A true 2008-10-20 2008-10-20
US13/786,387 US8862494B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-03-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US14/297,525 US20140289025A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,587 US20180082490A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US16/258,414 US20190272681A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US16/258,414 US20190272681A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US15/826,587 Continuation US20180082490A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20190272681A1 true US20190272681A1 (en) 2019-09-05

Family

ID=38092651

Family Applications (8)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/095,914 Active 2027-10-22 US8595054B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2006-12-04 Parking meter and a device therefor
US13/786,387 Active US8862494B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-03-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US14/297,525 Abandoned US20140289025A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,587 Abandoned US20180082490A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,584 Pending US20180082489A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,583 Abandoned US20180082488A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US16/258,414 Pending US20190272681A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus
US16/258,410 Pending US20190272680A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus with radio frequency card reader

Family Applications Before (6)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/095,914 Active 2027-10-22 US8595054B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2006-12-04 Parking meter and a device therefor
US13/786,387 Active US8862494B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-03-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US14/297,525 Abandoned US20140289025A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-05 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,587 Abandoned US20180082490A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,584 Pending US20180082489A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor
US15/826,583 Abandoned US20180082488A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-11-29 Parking meter and a device therefor

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US16/258,410 Pending US20190272680A1 (en) 2005-12-02 2019-01-25 Timer apparatus with radio frequency card reader

Country Status (3)

Country Link
US (8) US8595054B2 (en)
CA (1) CA2631699C (en)
WO (1) WO2007063530A2 (en)

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US8862494B2 (en) 2014-10-14
US20190272680A1 (en) 2019-09-05
US20140289025A1 (en) 2014-09-25
WO2007063530A2 (en) 2007-06-07
US20130238406A1 (en) 2013-09-12
CA2631699A1 (en) 2007-06-07
US20180082488A1 (en) 2018-03-22
US20090159674A1 (en) 2009-06-25
US20180082489A1 (en) 2018-03-22
CA2631699C (en) 2016-02-23
US20180082490A1 (en) 2018-03-22

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