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Remotely actuated automatic telephone care system

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US3843841A
US3843841A US35835273A US3843841A US 3843841 A US3843841 A US 3843841A US 35835273 A US35835273 A US 35835273A US 3843841 A US3843841 A US 3843841A
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unit
means
alarm
telephone
signal
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M Rubinstein
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RUBINSTEIN H
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RUBINSTEIN H
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M11/00Telephonic communication systems adapted for combination with other electrical systems
    • H04M11/04Telephonic communication systems adapted for combination with other electrical systems with fire, police, burglar, or other alarm systems
    • H04M11/045Telephonic communication systems adapted for combination with other electrical systems with fire, police, burglar, or other alarm systems using recorded signals, e.g. speech
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B25/00Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems
    • G08B25/01Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium
    • G08B25/016Personal emergency signalling and security systems

Abstract

A small device carried or worn by a person emits a warning at predetermined intervals. Unless the person actuates a reset control within a short period of time, the device transmits a radio signal to a base unit that dials one or more predetermined telephone numbers and plays back a prerecorded message. The system is particularly useful for elderly persons or those with health problems where it may not be possible for the person to physically reach the base unit. In addition, means for actuating the transmitter at any time are provided.

Description

REMOTELY ACTUATED AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE CARE SYSTEM Oct. 22, 1974 3,694,579 9/l972 McMurray 179/2 E Primary ExaminerRalph D. Blakeslee Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Limbach, Limbach & Sutton 5 7] ABSTRACT A small device carried or worn by a person emits a warning at predetermined intervals. Unless the person actuates a reset control within a short period of time, the device transmits a radio signal to a base unit that dials one or more predetermined telephone numbers and plays back a prerecorded message. The system is particularly useful for elderly persons or those with health problems where it may not be possible for the person to physically reach the base unit. In addition, means for actuating the transmitter at any time are provided.

8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures [75] Inventor: Morton K. Rubinstein, Los Angeles,

Calif.

[73] Assignee: Herbert J. Rubinstein, Los Gatos,

Calif. a part interest [22] Filed:' May 8, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 358,352

[52] US. Cl. 179/5 P, 179/2 E [51] Int. Cl. H04m 11/04 [58] Field of Search 179/2 A, 2 E, 41 A, 5 P

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,267,379 8/1966 1316x5661 179/2 E 3,562,736 2/l97l Nelson 179/2 E 3.662.111 5/1972 Rubinstein 179/5 P 67 85 47 45 iii;

PRE- AMP 5\ EXISTING TELEPHONE l l TELEPHONE LINE RESET RAD/0 RECEIVER 01 29 [Res/5r 931 err A Fill n re MULTI- VIBKATOR /54 55 26 AUXILIARY ALARM ALARM a3 PATENTEDnm 22 m4 3.843L841 SEE! 10? 5 REMOTE UNIT BASE UNIT f & X7 v A mm 209 ms T TRANSMITTER RECEIVER TIMER LOGIC L l 201 203 1 ALARM f fi TELEPHONE AND DIALER ADJUSTABLE INDEFIINITELY 1.0m; TIME PERIOD cvcuwe) ALARM TRANSMIT we r N M i W -12 W ALARM mm: FOR MANUAL RESET PIE-- .5.

PATENTED um 22 I974 3.843841 SHEEI 3 0f 5 m UHHH Bis-432841 snmsws PATENIEDucr 22 1914- CLOCK XMTR REMOTELY ACTUATED AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE CARE SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is an improvement on my Automatic Telephone Care Device disclosed in US. Pat.

' No. 3,662,111, issued May 9, 1972 which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. In the subject patent a system is disclosed and claimed which is particularly useful in providing a warning when a person is incapacitated and unable to actuate an alarm.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the teachings of this invention, the automatic timing means of the system disclosed in my patent is located ina small device which can be worn or carried by the person under surveillance by the automatic care system. The timing means delivers a warning, which can be audible or otherwise discernible by the person, at predetermined intervals. If the device is not manually reset within a brief period after the warning, a radio transmitter in the device is actuated. The radio signal is received in a base unit which is connected to a telephone or telephone lines. The signal actuates an automatic dialer and prerecorded message means in the base unit. Thus, the present invention retains the benefits of my invention disclosed in said patent while allowing greater mobility by the person under surveillance. The person can be located anywhere within the range of the radio transmitter and receiver. Also, the remote device has provision for actuating the transmitter at any time by a manual control. If desired, the base unit may also include timing means which are, of course, disabled when the person is using the remote unit. The base unit may include means for plugging in the remote unit to recharge its batteries, during which time the remote unit is disabled and the base unit timer would be operative. Further, an auxiliary alarm may be provided, for example, to alert by a light or bell, etc, persons outside the residence. These and other advantages of the invention will be better understood as the following detailed description is read and understood in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the overall system embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is a timing diagram useful in understanding the invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a telephone and base unit which includes a timer.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a telephone and base unit which does not include a timer.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a base unit including a timer as in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a tape format usable with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a base unit as in FIG. 4 which does not include a timer.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram of an embodiment of the remote unit in accordance with the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1 wherein a block diagram of the overall system is shown and to FIG. 2 which shows a timing diagram useful in understanding FIG. 1. At the remote unit a timer 201 is connected to logic block 203. The timer may be adjusted so as to actuate alarm 205 at predetermined intervals, which are typically equal intervals in order to simplify the implementation. Alarm 205 can be audible, vibratory, etc., so long as it can be sensed by the person wearing or carrying the remote unit. If line 204 is not manually reset by the person within a short time period (typically predetermined and of fixed length), the transmitter 207 is actuated which sends a radio signal via antenna 209 to the base unit. The transmitter characteristics as a practical matter will be dictated by governmental regulations. In

principle the transmitter can have a long range with encoding, etc. to prevent interference from other signals.

However, in practice, the transmitter 207 will likely be a low-powered device having a range of on the order of feet or so. In order to satisfy a current Federal Communications Commission requirement and to provide a greater likelihood of actuating the base unit, the transmitter signals occur in short pulses alternating with the alarm until the remote unit is reset. In principle, the nature of the transmitter signal can take any form; continuous, pulsed, coded, swept, etc. The remote unit is desirably miniaturized so as to permit its unobtrusive carrying or wearing. For example, it could be carried in a wrist-watch like container for men or in a locket for women. Many variations of configuring the remote unit will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art.

The base unit includes a receiver 213 and antenna 211 receiving the signals from the remote unit. A received signal actuates the prerecorded message unit and dialer 215 which is connected to the telephone lines.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an emboidment of the automatic telephone call device base unit having its own timer is shown generally as an L-shaped enclosure 3 having sufficient dimensions for a standard telephone unit 5 to rest thereon. An on/off switch 7 controls the alarm capability of the unit as described below. A green lamp 9 lights when the alarm is operative; a red lamp 11 lights, when the alarm is disabled. A timer dial 13 may be set to actuate the alarm when the switch is on, at one or more times during each 24 hour period, for example. The timer operates continuously even when the alarm is disabled by switch 7. A reset button 15 terminates the alarm actuated by a timer unit associated with timer dial 13 as. described hereinafter. A cord 17 and call button'l9 may be used as an alternate manual remote means to actuate the unit as is described hereinafter. The base unit 3 may also have a plug (not shown) connectible to the remote unit for recharging the remote units batteries. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that the device may take any number of forms and is not limited to an L-shaped enclosure as shown herein.

In FIG. 4, a base unit without its own timer is shown. The unit includes a call button 119 and line 117 equivalent in function to button 19 and line 17 of the FIG. 3 embodiment. Reset button resets the automatic dialer and message if initiated by button 119 or by the remote unit. A switch 107 provides power to the message unit and dialer; green light 109 indicating power is on; red light 111 indicating power is off. The base unit 3 may also have a plug (not shown) connectible to the remote unit for recharging the remote units batteries.

FIG. 5 shows a partially block schematic diagram of the automatic telephone care system base unit of FIG. 3. A timer 21 preferably having a 24 hour period, is set by timer dial 13 (FIG. 3) to provide a signal on line 23 at the predetermined times depending on the location of the cams 22. Any number of cams may be positioned around the 24 hour dial. For example, if A.M. and 3 P.M. were set on dial 13, a pulse on line 23 would occur only at those times when switch 24 is closed by a cam 22. Line 23 is connected to the set input of a flipflop 25 through switch 7 when it is closed. When switch 7 is open, the flip-flop 25 cannot be set and no alarm can be actuated by the base unit timer. Thus, switch 7 is opened to place the unit in its off condition when the timer in the remote unit is being used. Timer 21 continues to operate when the switch 7 is open. A pulse is provided on line 26 a predetermined time after the pulse on line 23, for example, minutes later by 010- sure of switch 28 by cam 22. The timing between pulses may be changed by varying the distance between switch 24 and 28. Line 26 is connected to one input of an AND gate 29. The other input of AND gate 29 is connected to the output flip-flop 25. Reset button 15 is connected to the reset input of flip-flop 25. Thus when flip-flop 25 has been set by a signal on line 23 a high input is applied to AND gate 29 from flip-flop 25. A pulse is provided on line 26 at the end of the predetermined time period. If flip-flop 25 is not reset by then, AND gate 29 then has two high inputs and it provides a high output to set flip-flop 31. Flip-flop 31 is therefore set only if the predetermined time elapses following a time set on dial 13 without the reset button 15 being closed. A high output from flip-flop 25 resulting from a pulse on line 23 also initiates a low alarm condition. The flip-flop 25 output is connected to a multivibrator 34 over line 35. A signal on line 35 causes the multivibrator to oscillate to intermittently activate an alarm 33. The alarm 33 may be aural, visual, or some other means perceptible by the human senses or any combination of such means.

When flip-flop 31 is set, a high signal on line 37 is applied to alarm 33 to cause a continuous alarm condition. This state continues until the device is reset by reset switch 15 that resets flip-flop 31 along with flipflop 25. A high output from flip-flop 31, indicating that no one has responded to the low alarm during the predetermined time period, applies a high input to input 71 of OR gate 73 and also controls unit 77 over line 75 to apply B+ power to a tone sensing unit 49.

Flip-flop 31 is also set by the output from receiver 101 when it receives a signal at antenna 103 from the remote unit. As will be explained hereinafter the setting of flip-flop 31 starts the automatic dialing andmessage features of the invention into operation.

A high signal from flip-flop 31 can also control alarm 33 to cause it to emit a different type of alarm (such as pulses,'a higher pitched tone, etc.). Also, a high signal from flip-flop 31 can be used to control an auxiliary alarm 133 which, for example, can be an audible alarm or light located outside the residence so that neighbors or passersby will observe the situation. i

A conventional tape deck (not shown) having an endless loop magnetic tape is activated by relay 41 that may close the tape deck motorpower switch for example, or in some other manner activate the tape movement. Relay 41 includes a coil 79 and relay contacts 81 that are closed when the relay is energized by power unit 83. When the output of OR gate 73 is high the relay is energized. The output is high when the output of flip-flop 31 is high, indicating a high alarm condition. Tape foil sense unit 59, senses the end of the tape loop and provides a low output when the strip is sensed and a high output when no strip is sensed. Thus the relay is de-energized only when the foil is sensed during a nonhigh alarm condition.

The tape 61 carries two tracks: a lower track 85 having dialing information in the form of 1000 Hz tones, and an upper track 87 having the prerecorded voice message. A typical tape format is described in greater detail hereinafter. A reproducing head 45 is aligned with the lower track to pick up the 1000 Hz dial pulse tones. The head 45 signal is applied to a preamplifier 47 and a conventional tone sensing circuit 49 that conconditions across the telephone line to simulate ordinary dialing.

A message pickup head 53 is aligned with the upper tape track to pick up the prerecorded message thereon. The head 53 signal is applied to a preamplifier 55 and to an amplifier and impedance matcher 57 for connection to the telephone line through an audio transformer 93. The signal amplitude and line impedance out of unit 57 is selected to match the requirements of the telephone line or coupling unit inserted before the telephone line if one is required by local telephone tariff regulations.

Metallic foil or some other means such'as a tone on the tape is used to indicate the end of a message cycle on the endless loop tape. A foil sense unit 59 detects the foil and opens relay 41 to stop the tape deck motor when alarm 33 is not in the high alarm condition. If the alarm is still on, the tape continues to run.

Reset 15 is operable at any time to terminate the I of metallic foil 63 provides a detectable indication of the tape end and beginning. The tape shown in FIG. 3 is programmed for deliverying three messages to two different telephone numbers: the upper track 87 carrying three prerecorded voice messages 67, 69, and 71,

which may be identical to assure understanding by the answeringparty. The lower track 85 carries a 5 second period of no signal to cause the off-hook condition required to seize the telephone'line followed by 1000 Hz tones 77-arranged in the dialing pulse pattern required to call a first predetermined number. Following dial pulses 77 is a period of no signal 79 to cause the off-hook condition so that the voice message may be transmitted. A 5 second tone 81 then causes an onhook condition to hang-up or break the connection with the first number. A second off-hook condition 75 then occurs to re-seize the line followed by 1000 Hz pulses 77 to dial a second telephone number. A no signal condition 79 keeps the telephone off-hook for the transmission of the messages to the second telephone called. A 5 second period of tone 81 causes an on-hook condition to break the connection after the second S- quence of message.

It will be noted that a portion of message 67 will be interrupted by dialing pulses 77. This is not considered important if messages 67, 69 and 71 are identical. Moreover, since no means is provided to detect when the dialed telephone is answered, the answering party may likely being to hear messages 67, 69 and 71 at almost any time. While this may result in some confusion, if messages 67, 69 and 71 are identical it is likely that the message will be understood and significant cost is eliminated by omitting a feature that detects when the called telephone is answered. It may also be noted that no provision is made for detecting a busy line or a failure to ring the dialed number. Since the unit will continue to dial one or more numbers, repetitively in an endless cycle as preprogrammed, it is likely that the message will be eventually received.

FIG. 7 shows the details of the FIG. 4 base unit which has no self-contained timer. The automaticdialing and message features of the invention are initiated by a high signal from flip-flop 131 which is controlled by receiver 101 or by button 119. The flip-flop 131 is reset by button 115.

FIG. 8 shows details of an exemplary remote unit, it being understood that there are many equivalent ways in which to accomplish the same or similar functions within the teachings of this invention.

A clock source 221 drives a multiple stage binary ripple-carry counter 223. Each negative transition from clock 221 causes counter 223 to count by one. The clock source 221 can be an astable multivibrator with a nominal frequency of 2.2755112, for example, and counter 223 can have 14 stages, for example, with its first stage providing an output pulse every 0.88 seconds to the reset input of dual type-D flip-flop 225. The seventh stage of counter 223 provides a pulse to the clock input of flip-flop 225 every 56.25 seconds and the fourteenth stage of counter 223 provides an output pulse to NOR-gate 227 every 210 minutes. It will be appreciated that the outputs from the counter 223 are square waves with periods equal to 0.88 seconds for stage 1, 56.25 seconds for stage 7, 120 minutes for stage 14, etc. Thus, the output from each stage is high (or up) for half of each period and low (or down) for the other half of each period. The sense of the logic in this exemplary arrangement is such that when counter 223 has just been reset to zero, each output begins low and subsequently goes high. The flip-flops 225 and 229 are actuated by positive-going transitions and not by the high/- low state of the counter outputs. Further, flip-flops 225 and 229 being dual type D flip-flops assume the D" input as their output when clocked and are set and reset independently of the clock input.

Thus, flip-flop 225 is reset every 0.88 seconds and is set by the closure of switch 235. Switch 235 also sets flip-flop 229 and, as will be understood, switch 235 is the manual transmit activator control. When flip-flop 225 is clocked every 56.25 seconds by the positive transition of the seventh stage of counter 223 the flipflop output assumes its D input, which is always high. The output from the 14th stage of counter 223 is inverted by NOR-gate 227, thus because the stage starts with a low output there is no negative going transition (which is inverted by gate 227 to drive the clock input of flip-flop 229) for 240 minutes or 4 hours. At that time the flip-flop assumes its D input which is always high. The manual reset switch 233 resets flip-flop 229 and counter 223 returning its count to zero.

The Q outputs of flip-flop 225 and 229 are connected to NOR-gate 241 which controls the transmitter 207 and causes it to emit a signal from antenna 209. A light emitting diode 245 and series resistor 247 can be connected across the transmitter to provide a visual confirmation that a signal is being transmitted.

The 6 output of flip-flop 229 and the Q output of flip-flop 225 are connected to NOR-gate 243 which drive an alarm such as an oscillator 249 and speaker 251.

The alarm condition is F 1 where F is flip-flop 225 and F is 229. The transmit condition is F F 1n the automatic mode of operation, we may ignore the condition of F until F becomes true. F becomes true at the end of the 4 hour period when stage. 14 of counter 223 has a negative transition. At the same time the stage 7 of counter 223has just made a negative transition and half a period later (28.13 seconds) it again goes positive and clocks F so that F 1 goes true. Meanwhile, F is not true, i.e. the F F condition holds which is the alarm condition and oscillator 249 is actuated by gate 243. If switch 233 is not manually actuated to reset flip-flop 229 and counter 223 within 28.13 seconds, F goes true so that the F 1 condition holds which is the transmit condition. This condition holds until F is reset by stage one of the counter to cause the F F condition, i.e. the alarm again sounds and continues to sound for almost 56 seconds until stage 7 of counter 223 has another positive transition causing the transmitter to be actuated again. Thus, this alarm/brief transmit cycle continues until reset switch 233 is closed. The multiplicity of transmissions helps to assure that the receiver at the base unit will receive at least one transmitted pulse so as to begin the dialing and message playback sequence. Also, under current govemment regulations continuous transmission is not permitted although the nature of the transmission is not limited by the teachings of the invention.

To manually initiate transmission, switch 231 is closed which sets flip-flops 225 and 229 causing the EB transmit condition. Capacitor 235 causes the transmissions to cycle in a manner similar to the automatic mode of operation.

The particular timings disclosed herein are exemplary and are not to be considered limiting.

When the remote unit is plugged into the base unit to recharge its batteries, the plug can include means (not shown) for disabling the timer in the remote unit, for example, by removing power from the circuitry.

The invention thus described provides an automatic means for alerting others of a possible critical situation while allowing the person under surveillance to move about freely without the need to remain close to a base unit associated with the telephone.

The invention is not'limited to radio communication from the remote unit to the base unit. For example, any non-hard-wired connection may be used, including, but not limited to Ultrasonics, sound, light, etc. Thus, the term radio in theappended claims is to be interpreted with this broader meaning.

It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention may be practiced by apparatus equivalent to that disclosed herein without departing from the teachings of the invention. The invention is therefore to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim: I

1. An automatic telephone care device system for automatically transmitting a message without any physical action by a human operator comprising:

a base unit means for dialing a predetermined telephone number to transmit a prerecorded message in response to a received radio signal, remote unit means including means for cyclically generating an alarm signal at 2. The combination of claim 1 further comprising means for successively dialing a plurality of telephone numbers and for transmitting a plurality of prerecorded messages.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means for dialing a predetermined telephone number is further responsive to a manually activated signal, and further comprising means for manually providing said manually activated signal.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said means for manually providing said manually activated signal is located at said base unit means.

5. The combination of claim 3 wherein said means together to recharge said batteries and inactivating said remote unit means.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent 3,843,841 Dated October 22, 1974 Morton K. Rubinstein Invent or(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 4, line 64, the off-hook condition" should read the "off-hook" condition Column 5, lines 2, 5 and 8, "0ff- -hOOk", each occurrence, should read Boff-hook" lines 3 and 4', "on-hook should read "on-hook" line 18,

"being" should read begin Column 6, line 24, "F 1 should read F 1 --v.

Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1975.

Attest:

RUTH c. MASON A SIiALL DANN, Attesting Officer Ommlssloner of Patents and Trademark FORM Po-1o5o (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 u.s. eovzmwam murmu OFFICE: 869. 930

Claims (8)

1. An automatic telephone care device system for automatically transmitting a message without any physical action by a human operator comprising: a base unit means for dialing a predetermined telephone number to transmit a prerecorded message in response to a received radio signal, remote unit means including means for cyclically generating an alarm signal at predetermined time intervals, switch means actuatable by a human operator for terminating said alarm, means for transmitting said radio signal when said switch means is not actuated within a predetermined time period after initiation of said alarm signal.
2. The combination of claim 1 further comprising means for successively dialing a plurality of telephone numbers and for transmitting a plurality of prerecorded messages.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means for dialing a predetermined telephone number is further responsive to a manually activated signal, and further comprising means for manually providing said manually activated signal.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said means for manually providing said manually activated signal is located at said base unit means.
5. The combination of claim 3 wherein said means for manually providing said manually activated signal is located at said remote unit means.
6. The cOmbination of claim 3 wherein said means for manually providing said manually activated signal is located at said remote unit means and said base unit means.
7. The combination of claim 1 wherein said base unit means further includes auxiliary alarm means actuated in response to said received radio signal.
8. The combination of claim 1 wherein said remote unit means is powered by batteries and said remote unit means and base unit means are adapted for plugging together to recharge said batteries and inactivating said remote unit means.
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