WO2006133487A1 - Method and means for tracking people and objects with active tags - Google Patents

Method and means for tracking people and objects with active tags Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2006133487A1
WO2006133487A1 PCT/AU2006/000814 AU2006000814W WO2006133487A1 WO 2006133487 A1 WO2006133487 A1 WO 2006133487A1 AU 2006000814 W AU2006000814 W AU 2006000814W WO 2006133487 A1 WO2006133487 A1 WO 2006133487A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
tag
controller
system
adapted
signal
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Application number
PCT/AU2006/000814
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mark Stephen Anderson
Christopher James Guildford North
Original Assignee
Adina Resources Pty Ltd
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Publication date
Priority to AU2005903085 priority Critical
Priority to AU2005903085A priority patent/AU2005903085A0/en
Application filed by Adina Resources Pty Ltd filed Critical Adina Resources Pty Ltd
Publication of WO2006133487A1 publication Critical patent/WO2006133487A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B21/00Alarms responsive to a single specified undesired or abnormal operating condition and not elsewhere provided for
    • G08B21/02Alarms for ensuring the safety of persons
    • G08B21/0202Child monitoring systems using a transmitter-receiver system carried by the parent and the child
    • G08B21/0277Communication between units on a local network, e.g. Bluetooth, piconet, zigbee, Wireless Personal Area Networks [WPAN]
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B21/00Alarms responsive to a single specified undesired or abnormal operating condition and not elsewhere provided for
    • G08B21/02Alarms for ensuring the safety of persons
    • G08B21/0202Child monitoring systems using a transmitter-receiver system carried by the parent and the child
    • G08B21/0275Electronic Article Surveillance [EAS] tag technology used for parent or child unit, e.g. same transmission technology, magnetic tag, RF tag, RFID

Abstract

A system for tracking persons or objects including at least one tag and at least one controller, adapted to have a peer signal, wherein the controller is adapted to alert a user when the state of the peer signal indicates that the tag is no longer in a defined area in proximity to the controller.

Description

TITLE

METHOD AND MEANS FOR TRACKING PEOPLE AND OBJECTS WITH ACTIVE TAGS

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to the field of object location, in particular to the continuing location of people or objects including the use of carried or attached active electronic devices.

In many cases it is desirable for parents to be able to track and locate their children. Very young children have a peculiar ability to re-locate themselves without parental knowledge. If a parent is in one part of the house and there are young children in other parts or located in the yard, it is important for the parent to be able to re-assure themselves that the child remains in the vicinity. While physical measures such as locked gates will always remain a part of any control ensemble within the home environs, these are not always easy to employ in the case of group functions in areas such as parks and playgrounds and where groups of children may be located.

Some parents use child intercom systems where one device is located, for example, in the yard, and the other with the parent, (e.g. while entertaining visitors). If the child moves out of sound range of the intercom device, parents become alert when they can no longer hear the child.

More recently, it is becoming common to provide children with mobile phones, some of which have restricted functionality so as to be able to call only specific numbers so that if a child becomes separated from their parent they can contact said parent; alternatively, the parent can contact the child. However, some children may be too small or unable to operate even the more simple phones supplied. In addition, children may discard the phones as they play or move. Further, it is desirable in the case of very small children to be able to maintain contact within a given area where constant enduring visibility may not be possible. Even further, some children may damage the phone by getting it wet. Use of mobile phones for this type of tracking and locating is not typically cost effective due to timed call charges, and the cost of the phone itself with the specified features.

Communication devices may also be attached to pets, both for convenience, and because certain breeds of animals have high monetary value. These devices are required to be simple, durable and cannot require any intervention or activation by the wearer.

BACKGROUND ART

The concept of a controller tracking one or more tags, where one or more tags may be GPS equipped is known.

RFID systems are wireless devices that emit a unique identifier upon interrogation by an RFID reader. Typically, RFID tags are passive devices, requiring no battery, deriving their power from the transmitted signal from the RFID reader. Such systems are used extensively for electronic bar code applications and have reading ranges limited from approximately 1 cm to a couple of metres. The Electronic Product Code tag is an example of this style of system. The EPC RFID tag contains very simple circuitry which returns a unique identifier. This is useful for applications requiring identification such as inventory control and item tracking, however it is not applicable for applications that require digital authentication as this calls for more complex circuitry in the RFID tag to support cryptographic functions. More sophisticated RFID tags, such as those used in automobile security systems and electronic toll booths, have sufficient circuitry to allow the necessary cryptographic processing to support authentication protocols. However, these systems typically have passive RFID tags which limit their effective range.

Active tags have their own power source and thus may have larger ranges and bigger memories/processing capabilities. The range of active tags is typically measured in the tens of metres. In addition, the tracker may wish to operate in a passive mode where they do not emit any signal hence rendering passive tags as not practical in this type of circumstance.

The RFID system is fundamentally a transponder style system. RFID tags respond to stimulus, or queries, from an RFID reader.

Home detention systems utilize a wrist or ankle bracelet combined with either a cellular phone-integrated or carried upon the person, for portable operation, or with a base unit for home based use. Home detention systems typically operate in either of two modes; continuous surveillance, or scheduled reporting. In continuous surveillance systems the bracelet, or tag, worn by the detainee contains a radio which emits a signal. An associated base station continuously monitors the strength of this signal. In the event that the bracelet's received signal drops below a predefined threshold, indicating that the detainee has moved out of allowable range, the base station will notify the authorities via fixed line or mobile telephony. Scheduled reporting systems operate similarly, differing in that they report back to base on a predefined schedule.

There is a broad range of medical alert systems catering for either a large number of patients, such as in a nursing home or hospice, or single person systems designed for in home use. Systems designed for dementia, or Alzheimer patients have bracelets or ankle straps that are designed not to be removed by the patient, whilst personal systems typically rely on the user wearing a pendant around the neck. The systems targeted for dementia patients differ markedly from those for in home use in that they generally incorporate GPS so as to provide location details for the patient. Personal, in home, systems are geared towards providing distress notification. These systems generally consist of a pendant, with a distress button, which communicates to a base station plugged into a telephone outlet. When a patient requires assistance they can simply press a button on a pendant which lodges a call with a monitoring service. Some systems also provide for a two way voice call so that the patient, if able, can give details to the monitoring service on their situation.

All of these systems have significant disadvantages particularly in that they are not designed to interoperate with standards based radio systems, such as Bluetooth, which are commonly adopted in consumer devices such as mobile phones, and PDAs. Further, the systems are incapable of utilizing the tags as relays to extend, or grow, the communication network.

The Wheels of Zeus system is a smart, active tags system integrating a GPS system with secure local wireless. It has up to 1.5 mile range; all units have GPS. The tags are always on and are networked components. A disadvantage of such a system is relatively high power use, in particular because of the high duty cycle. The control unit is a high capability, dedicated unit. It cannot interface with low capability control terminals such as mobile phones. Nor is it capable of phone and SMS notifications without the use of a monitoring service. It is an object of the present invention to provide a system for tracking people or objects that overcomes or at least substantially ameliorates the problems associated with the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one form of the invention it may be said to reside in a system for tracking persons or objects including at least one tag and at least one controller, adapted to have a peer signal, wherein the controller is adapted to alert a user when the state of the peer signal indicates that the tag is no longer in a defined area in proximity to the controller.

In preference the system is adapted for the tracking and locating of small children. The system includes one or more devices known as tags, and one or more devices known as controllers, and optionally for a number of applications, one or more devices which act as hubs.

In one form, the system includes a controller equipped with telecommunications means such as GSM, or CDMA, or WCDMA. In a preferred embodiment the controller would be a mobile phone with GSM or CDMA equipment as well as a combination of one or more RF transceiver technologies such as Bluetooth or 802.11. In a further preferred embodiment, the phone is equipped with a Category 1 Bluetooth interface either built in the phone, or supplied as an add-on peripheral. In a further preferred embodiment, the controller contains a Category Three or Category Two Bluetooth device.

In preference, the tag is a purpose built device with an RF transmission capability. While tags may have embedded mobile telephony capability, they are not mobile phones and do not have a number of features such as screens or buttons designed for making calls to any other phone user. In one preferred embodiment of the tag it would include a water resistant enclosure with an embedded Category One Bluetooth transceiver, battery and logic control means. The enclosure would be connected to a flexible strap equipped with a child resistant lock so that it can be fitted around the neck, wrist, or ankle. Enclosures used for tracking children may optionally be shaped and decorated to encourage children to wear them.

The definition of peer signal is where two devices may be in communication without the intervention, or relay, of a third party. For example, two mobile phones with a direct Bluetooth connection where the carrier infrastructure and other third party communications devices are not involved can be said to involve peer communication, or have a peer signal.

In a further form the invention may be said to reside in a tag including an RF transmitter adapted to emit a signal uniquely identifying the tag, where the identity to be transmitted is set during manufacture and is unique to that tag. The emitted signal preferably employs one or more of the protocols Bluetooth, 802.11 , GSM, CDMA, and WCDMA.

In preference the tracking tag includes means to ensure a battery is not disconnected by a user. This may be a sealed battery unit so as to make the battery not disconnectable.

In preference the tracking tag has a water resistant sealed enclosure but where at least a portion of the enclosure is transparent to RF signals.

In preference the tracking tag has a strap adapted to permit fixing around the neck, or wrist, or ankle with a child resistant lock.

In preference the tracking tag including a sensor adapted to activate means for transmission of a signal when the strap has been opened. In preference the tracking tag includes a GPS chip and processing and transmission means adapted to ascertain its current location and transmit this location along with its identity.

In preference the tracking tag includes a set of buttons and switches adapted to be set and then locked by either physical or logical means to prevent alteration and where the buttons and switches can set tag properties which can be combination of: PIN number to be used as a basis for encryption of the signal such as Bluetooth pairing; maximum or minimum time interval for emitting a signal to the controller.

In preference the tracking tag includes means for negotiating a session identifier to be used as a basis for encryption (such as Bluetooth pairing) with a means for passing this identifier between control devices.

In preference the tracking tag includes a Bluetooth tag device which can act as a relay from a mobile phone being used as a controller to a combination of one or more tags including one or more variants.

In a further form, the invention may be said to reside in a system including a controller and one or more Bluetooth tags where the controller in pairing with the Bluetooth tag can decide unilaterally on the PIN to be used for pairing.

In a further form, the invention may be said to reside in a system including controllers and tags where one controller can communicate with another controller on the status of a tag and where such communications can utilize the mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

In preference, a system incorporating the invention, including two or more controllers and tags is adapted such that one controller can provide sufficient information to another controller so that the other controller may also track tags known to the first controller.

In a further form, the invention may be said to reside in a method of tracking persons or objects including the steps of providing at least one controller and at least one tag as in any one of the preceding claims, attaching the tag to the person or object to be tracked, establishing communication between the controller and the tag, periodic communication being maintained between the tag and the controller for so long as the tag remains within a selected area, alerting a user of the controller when the tag is no longer within the selected area.

Advantages to the system and components include the use of mobile phone coupled with the civilian mobile infrastructure, or the use of a Bluetooth relay tag in order to make tracking close range tags more practical. In addition, the construction of the tag with a single operating button and "one sided" PIN pairing for Bluetooth communication to act as a tag in the manner described are advantages over the prior art. Further, the combination of tags and controller is also an advantage.

The tag can be programmed and contains a processing logic allowing it to initiate or respond to a transaction with the controller. In this way the tag system allows for symmetric operation whereas the typical RFID tag system is inherently asymmetric. By integrating a microprocessor and memory means the tag system can support a range of different operating modes including timed and sleep modes to conserve battery life, and relay modes to extend range. The inclusion of GPS and radio interfaces with signal strength indicators allows the tag system to make position and range estimations. The addition of sensors and outputs, such as microphone, speaker, button, and LED, provide an interface allowing a human operator to control and interact with the tag. RFID tags on the other hand have no provision for input or output aside from RF Communications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of this invention it will now be described with respect to the preferred embodiment which shall be described herein with the assistance of drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a tag of the invention,

Figure 2 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a tag of the invention, including mobile telephony means.

Figure 3 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a tag of the invention a microphone and speaker.

Figure 4 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a tag of the invention, including mobile telephony means and a microphone and speaker.

Figure 5 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a tag of the invention, including a GPS chip module.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The system includes one or more controllers with one or more tags. The tags are attached to people or objects which are to be tracked. The invention is described by reference to several example embodiments or variants for implementing the Tags. The purpose of having variants is based on cost, and the type of function desired from the person undertaking a tracking function. Figure 1 depicts the components which make up a tag being one embodiment of this invention. The tag includes a Category One Bluetooth transceiver 2, a rechargeable battery 5 typically of a lithium based composition, a logic control means such as a small microprocessor 1 with a modicum of non-volatile RAM 3 such as FLASH and optionally a modicum of volatile RAM 4 where the minimum memory size would normally be no less than 10KB. The required memory could alternatively be made up of a modicum of ROM with a combination of a modicum of non volatile RAM such as FLASH and a modicum of RAM. There is also a water resistant enclosure 8, a push button 6 for activation where typically it is covered with a water resistant membrane so as not to compromise the water resistant enclosure, optionally one or more lights such as LEDs 7 to signal the status of the tag, a cap 9 which can be removed so that battery charging terminals 10 can be exposed and when the cap is fitted it forms part of the water resistant enclosure, colouring and design of the enclosure to appeal to small children, a cord or strap 11 which can be fitted snugly around neck, ankle, or wrist of the child with a child resistant lock 12.

In the case of the strap or cord, various fixed lengths may be supplied so that adjustment of a single length is not required thus compromising or complicating further the child resistant unfastening nature of the strap's construction. The strap could be passed through a fixed eyelet 13 on the tag.

In use the controller and tag communicate via a peer to peer protocol such as Bluetooth. This communication defines an area around the controller within which the tag is expected to be continuously found. If the tag cannot be found satisfactorily within this area the controller indicates an alert. An application of this system is to the tracking of children, wherein the tag is worn by the child and the controller is held by the parent or carer. If the child moves or is taken from the immediate vicinity of the controller then an alert is given.

The possible alert action are defined by the equipment and programming of the tag.

As depicted in Figure 2, the tag may include mobile telephony means 20. This need not be a fully functional mobile phone but need only be a means for the tag to originate a mobile telephony call. This allows the tag itself to raise an alert if it is no longer in peer to peer communication with its controller.

As shown in Figure 3 the tag may include a speaker 30 and a microphone 31. This allows for the user of the controller to communicate to the wearer of the tag and to speak to the wearer and hear responses, without the wearer of the tag having to make any action to initiate or receive the communication.

As shown in Figure 4 this may be combined with the mobile telephony module 20, allowing communication to and from the wearer of the tag by locations other than those within range of the peer to peer communication. This allows communication to the wearer after the tag and controller have moved into an alert situation.

As shown in Figure 5 the tag may be fitted with a GPS module 50, which allows the tag to signal, by any means available to it, its position as determined by the global positioning system.

In use a controller may be set to track one or more tags. In a preferred embodiment the user first depresses a button on a newly acquired tag. The LED blinks showing that the tag is ready for pairing as in the Bluetooth manner. The controller is a purpose written software application on a mobile phone which is set to scan for active tags via a Bluetooth interface. The controller finds the newly active tag and notes that it is requesting pairing. The user, via the controller is able to select a PIN for pairing and this is then downloaded into the tag. Bluetooth pairing then takes place. This PIN download sequence is different to the normal Bluetooth manner.

The controller includes means to display to the user relevant menus and dialogs to set other properties and the desired tracking method for the tag.

The controller may also be set not to track the tag at this time. Alternatively, the controller may be set not to track the tag unless the tag itself emits a signal.

Time interval for controller to check on tag by emitting an RF signal to the tag requesting that it respond, may be set.

When the controller is activated to track the tag, it remains in contact with the tag as a peer signal according to the Bluetooth standard.

The controller can be used to switch the tag off. The tag can then be re- activated by depressing the button on the tag. Optionally, there may be fitted a "soft" power down logic means whereby the tag goes into a low power mode but is still capable of receiving commands from its controller.

When in use, a tag transmits a periodic signal which is received by the controller. If the tag moves out of range, or the signal drops below a given strength, the controller indicates an alert. Alert actions may include any or all of: emitting an audible tone; a visual depiction accompanied by text identifying the tag; using telephony to contact another location with information about the event; wherein if the tag is fitted with GPS capability, the location of the tag is communicated.

The signal from the tag may be reacquired by the controller after being lost. In this case action may also be taken including inner or all of: emitting an audible tone; a visual depiction with text identifying the tag; using telephony to communicate the event to another location in all cases if available including GPS information as to the location of the tag.

The tag may be fitted with a GPS chip wherein it also transmits its location with the periodic signal. Where the tag has a GPS capability, the controller may be set to raise an alert when the tag moves into a defined area, as indicated by the GPS information, even though the tag remains within communication range with an acceptable signal strength. The controller, if fitted with a GPS chip, can show the location of the tag in relation to the controller on a screen, or optionally with a map underlay if a preloaded map of the location is available. If the controller is not fitted with a GPS chip, but the tag is, then the controller may optionally display the longitude and latitude information from the tag. This information may also optionally be displayed by the controller on a pre-loaded map for which longitude and latitude settings are known. In another similar application of the system, the controller stimulates the response from the tag by transmitting a peer query signal which is responded to by the tag.

In the case of peer signals using Bluetooth, many practical applications call for category one Bluetooth devices to be fitted to the controller and tag. The reason is that category one has an effective design range of one hundred metres and thus is better suited for a number of circumstances. For applications where the parent desires closer proximity of the child and to be alerted if they wander out of range, e.g. ten to twenty meters as an example, then the tag and the controller may be designed or fitted with control means such that a category two setting is made with the Bluetooth transceiver. It should be noted that GPS fitted variants become less useful in these circumstances due to the errors in the GPS location accuracy abilities for many GPS implementations. In addition, the control means may be such as to place an attenuation on the Bluetooth signal itself so that signal strength ranges between category one and category two may be selected.

In the case where the tag is fitted with mobile telephony capability, if the peer signal is lost it can use existing mobile telecommunications infrastructure to make a call and supply predefined data to the controller. The controller may then, for specific variants of the tag, remotely activate microphone or speaker in order to converse with the wearer.

Where the preferred embodiment of the controller includes a device such as a Bluetooth equipped mobile phone, it is most likely that the Bluetooth device on the phone is of Category 2. This arrangement is typically due to power considerations in the phone. However, this means that the phone is limited to around 10 metres of range for tracking tags. Thus many practical applications which require ranges up to 100 metres are not feasible. In this case, a tag variant known as the "controller relay" can be used. This relay is a Cat 1 Bluetooth device with a dedicated power supply which can either be fitted to the phone, worn on the person, or be located nearby within range of the phone's Bluetooth device. This relay boosts or processes the phone's Bluetooth communications with the tag to be tracked. A typical use would for the user to wear the relay on their person; the phone would send signals to a tag via the relay. This does not necessarily prevent the phone from receiving signals directly from the tag itself without going via the relay.

In one form of use, a controller may be placed within initial proximity of one or more tags, and it may signal one or more other controllers on the tags' status. This signalling can either take place "locally" in that the controller uses some networking means such as 802.11 or Bluetooth to communicate to a controller, or alternatively use a mobile phone call, email, SMS, MMS, or some such similar means to communicate with the other controller. Moreover, one controller may communicate with another second controller and after a specified security authorization procedure, request the controller to provide details of its tag list, or download from the second controller sufficient details of a tag so that the first controller is also able to directly track the nominated tags. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, such circumstances where this function would be useful are where the PIN number downloaded into a tag and used to set a pairing, permits other controllers to also achieve pairing with the tag.

The proposed tag is relatively power efficient, taking advantage of small, low power networking components, with a low usage duty cycle. It is also designed to interface with low capability control terminals such as mobile phones and is capable of phone and SMS notifications without the use of a monitoring service.

It also employs Bluetooth relay element which permits the transfer of signals from typical mobile phones equipped with only Cat 2 or Cat 3 Bluetooth devices.

There are a number of advantages to this tracking system:

• Toll bypass from public carrier systems for tracking and communications within a specified range. * Use of commercially available phone equipment for tracking and locating.

• Specialised tags which can be manufactured in bulk without the full functionality of a phone and yet with more functionality than RFID systems for the applications in mind. This results in much reduced costs, especially if tags are fitted to inanimate objects.

A tag may further include a set of buttons and switches which can be set and then locked in a tamper resistant manner so that they may not be changed without authorization. Such tamper resistant means may include either logical or physical means or a combination of both. The purpose of these switches is to set PIN numbers or encryption keys for either pairing as in the Bluetooth manner, or for authentication, or for session keys, or for a combination of authentication and session keys.

Table 1 lists some of the possible combinations of features of a tag, where Y indicates that a feature can be present in the variant, O means that the feature is optional in the variant and N means that the feature may not be present. It should be noted the table does not enumerate the features exhaustively or dictate the precise combinations. The table provides an indicator of preferred embodiments of the tag variants.

Table 1 Combination of tag features

Figure imgf000019_0001

Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognised that departures can be made within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details described herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the appended claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.

Claims

1. A system for tracking persons or objects including at least one tag and at least one controller, adapted to have a peer signal, wherein the controller is adapted to alert a user when the state of the peer signal indicates that the tag is no longer in a defined area in proximity to the controller.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the peer signal is a standard short range wireless protocol.
3. The system of claim 2 wherein the wireless protocol is the Bluetooth protocol, or the 802.11 protocol.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the tag periodically communicates its identity to the controller.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein the state of the peer signal that causes the controller to alert a user is a loss of the peer signal.
6. The system of claim 1 wherein the state of the peer signal that causes the controller to alert a user is the falling of the peer signal below a selected strength.
7. The system of claim 1 wherein the controller includes mobile telephony means.
8. The system of claim 1 wherein the tag is adapted to originate a mobile telephony call.
9. The system of claim 8 wherein the tag is adapted to accept a mobile telephony call.
10. The system of claim 4 wherein the tag is adapted to ascertain its position using global positioning technology and to communicate that position to the controller along with its identity.
11. The system of claim 10 wherein the state of the peer signal which causes the controller to alert a user is that the position communicated to the controller is outside an area designated to the controller by a user.
12. A tag for use with the system of any one of the preceding claims.
13. The tag of claim 12 including a battery unit sealed so as to prevent non destructive disconnection of the battery.
14. The tag of claim 12 including a water resistant sealed enclosure.
15. A tag as in claim 12 including a strap adapted for fixing the tag to the person of a child, the strap including child resistant closing means.
16. The tag of claim 15 further including a sensor adapted to indicate when the child resistant closing means has been opened, and adapted to communicate the state of this sensor to the controller.
17. The tag of claim 12 further including controls to set any one or more of the following tag properties: identification number to be used as a basis for encryption of a signal such as for Bluetooth pairing; maximum minimum time interval for emitting a signal to the controller, wherein the controls may be locked by either physical or logical means to prevent alteration.
18. The tag of claim 12 adapted to negotiate a session identifier with a controller to be used as a basis for encryption.
19. The tag of claim 18 wherein the encryption is Bluetooth peering.
20. A system including a plurality of controllers as in any one of the previous claims and at least one tag as in any one of the preceding claims wherein the controllers are adapted to communicate between them the status of a tag.
21. The system of claim 20 wherein the controllers are adapted to communicate sufficient information such that each controller may track tags known to the other controller.
22. The system of claim 20 or 21 wherein the communication is via mobile telephony.
23. The system of claim 20 or 21 wherein the communication is via a standard short range radio frequency communication protocol.
24. The system of claim 23 wherein the protocol is Bluetooth or 802.11.
25. A tag including an RF transmitter adapted to emit a signal uniquely identifying the tag, where the identity to be transmitted is set during manufacture and is unique to that tag.
26. The tag of claim 25 wherein the emitted signal employs one or more of the protocols Bluetooth, 802.11 , GSM, CDMA, and WCDMA.
27. A method of tracking persons or objects including the steps of providing at least one controller and at least one tag as in any one of the preceding claims, attaching the tag to the person or object to be tracked, establishing communication between the controller and the tag, periodic communication being maintained between the tag and the controller for so long as the tag remains within a selected area, alerting a user of the controller when the tag is no longer within the selected area.
28. A system of tracking people and objects with active tags substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated by the accompanying illustrations
29. A tag substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated by the accompanying illustrations
30. A method and means of tracking people and objects with active tags substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated by the accompanying illustrations
PCT/AU2006/000814 2005-06-14 2006-06-14 Method and means for tracking people and objects with active tags WO2006133487A1 (en)

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