WO2018236209A2 - Queue reservation system and method - Google Patents

Queue reservation system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018236209A2
WO2018236209A2 PCT/NL2018/000010 NL2018000010W WO2018236209A2 WO 2018236209 A2 WO2018236209 A2 WO 2018236209A2 NL 2018000010 W NL2018000010 W NL 2018000010W WO 2018236209 A2 WO2018236209 A2 WO 2018236209A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
reservation
queue management
attraction
guest
guests
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NL2018/000010
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2018236209A3 (en
Inventor
Thomas BOUWMAN
Teunis BOUWMAN
Original Assignee
Bouwman Thomas
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to NL102434 priority Critical
Priority to NL2102434 priority
Application filed by Bouwman Thomas filed Critical Bouwman Thomas
Publication of WO2018236209A2 publication Critical patent/WO2018236209A2/en
Publication of WO2018236209A3 publication Critical patent/WO2018236209A3/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C11/00Arrangements, systems or apparatus for checking, e.g. the occurrence of a condition, not provided for elsewhere
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C11/00Arrangements, systems or apparatus for checking, e.g. the occurrence of a condition, not provided for elsewhere
    • G07C2011/02Arrangements, systems or apparatus for checking, e.g. the occurrence of a condition, not provided for elsewhere related to amusement parks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C11/00Arrangements, systems or apparatus for checking, e.g. the occurrence of a condition, not provided for elsewhere
    • G07C2011/04Arrangements, systems or apparatus for checking, e.g. the occurrence of a condition, not provided for elsewhere related to queuing systems

Abstract

A queue management system for reducing the waiting time of guests in a physical queue of an attraction, comprising a data server system with an interface system for receiving a reservation request, a reservation right allotment system, a reservation assignment system and a guest location detection system, wherein the queue management system further comprises a virtual-queue management system for managing the allotted reservation rights by entering, sequencing and grouping the one or more guests in a virtual-queue, issuing a token with reservation information to the guest, whereby the token has reservation information of the guest, granting services in connection to the reservation and/or to the token and validating the realization of these services by the guest.

Description

QUEUE RESERVATION SYSTEM AND METHOD
TECHNICAL FIELD The invention relates to the field of attractions such as museums, landmarks, historical places, attractions in amusement parks, events and basically anywhere, where queues may be formed due to the popularity of it. More specifically, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to methods and equipment for the control of wait times in attraction queues by facilitating reservations.
BACKGROUND
It is often the case that an attraction has limited capacity for people to get access to at any specific time. For instance, a monumental building, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. France may only be able to allow a limited amount of people at the same time in the building. Especially with a growing population and growing numbers of tourists, the waiting lines (hereinafter referred to as "queues") sometimes increase to unacceptable length, whereby guests often have to stand in a line for hours. It is therefore desired that access is managed in such manner that the attraction is used efficiently as possible. Although queues are well known ways of managing this access, guests of the attraction may become bored and experience the waiting time as wasted time. Managing access to the attraction efficiently, whilst satisfying its guests, is therefore particular challenging. Moreover, guests who are waiting in a queue will be of less commercial value for the attraction, because waiting guests usually do not spend money on accommodations affiliated to the attraction. Examples of accommodations comprise restaurants, bars, hotels, snack bars, ice cream lounges and other points of interests.
Existing solutions comprise that guests who wish to access the attraction, are divided into two groups. A first group of people is arranged into a physical queue at a first access point for the attraction. Each member of the second group of people is informed of an allotted time slot when they can access the attraction. In order to access the attraction, a member of the second group need only be physically present at a second access point for the attraction, at their allotted time: slot. The time slot is selected such that the second group of people can gain access to the attraction without waiting in a long queue at the second access point. The size of the first group of people may be greater than or equal to zero.
One system according to this general approach provides the second group of people with paper tickets. As these tickets set a fixed time for use of the attraction, this system may not easily allow efficient use of the attraction when its throughput changes.
Ever since attractions facilitate guests to buy tickets using electronic devices and communication systems, employment of these means has been proposed to further optimize queue management. Hereinafter several existing solutions for queue management are discussed.
European patent application EP 2070058 (A1) by LO-Q PLC is summarized as a method and portable module for managing access to a resource by resource users, comprising: a module input to allow entr of a reservation request; a processor arranged upon receipt of the reservation request to identify a time slot during which resource users may access the resource, based upon an updatabie resource access parameter; and a module output arranged to indicate the identified time slot to a user of the module. A portable module and method for determining the number of tokens received from users of a network are also provided. The network, comprises a plurality of portable modules and includes a root node.
USA patent application US 2013/0151296 (A1 } by LO-Q PLC Is summarized as a systemi and method for assigning and managing guest reservations to one or more of a plurality of attractions receive reservation requests at personal communication devices (PCDs). Reservation requests are transmitted to a computer associated with the selected attraction, which determines a proposed reservation time based on information describing the attraction, the guest, previously-made reservations maintained in a virtual-queue, and the current state of a physical queue associated with the attraction. Proposed reservation time is transmitted to the PCD for confirmation or rejection by the guest. Confirmed reservations are entered in the virtual-queue. Guests are alerted by the PCD when their reservation time is approaching.
Japanese patent application JP H0573596 (A) by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone discloses a method for shortening a queue time and improving the rotational efficiency of guests by grasping the length of a queue by a sensor, determining the reserved number of guests to be entered into grounds after the lapse of a fixed time from the grasped information and restricting guest's time.
International patent application WO 03/007247 (A1) discloses a queue monitoring system wherein a detection system provides a coverage zone covering a queuing area. The detectio system is arranged to detect a handset which is issued to a user, when it is within the coverage zone and to record the user of the handset as being in the queue. Queue ioad is used to provide recommended itineraries to guests via the handsets.
International patent application O 2005/124699 by onkwood Technologies LTD discloses a queue management system for controlling the movement of a group of one or more people through a virtual-queue Sine for a sen/ice. The system and method, amongst others comprising registration means for registering th group, the registration means comprising an information carrier and at least one ID tag for the rnernber(s) of the group, the information carrier bearing a registration code and the at least one ID tag including ID details for identifying the member(s) of the group.
European patent application EP 2859537 (A2) by Universal City Studios LLC discloses a data server system configured to receive a reservation request including an indication of a genera! time period of arrival of a guest to an area; a reservation right allotment system of the data server system configured to correlate a reservation slot for accessing an attraction to identification information for the guest; a detection system of the data server system configured to determine when a portable identification feature associated with the identification information has arrived to the area; and a reservation assignment system of the data server system configured to establish a reservation to access the attraction a a specific time window.
A disadvantage of the current art solutions is that these solutions do not or just marginally take into account that guests differ very much in relation to the availability and use of electronic devices. Many people do have mobile phones these days, and of these mobile phone user, quite a large amount of people own a so-called smart phone. This also means that people who, due to whatever circumstances or reasons, have no access to a smart phone, or are unwilling, or have trouble in using ail kinds of electronic devices, can currently not be offered services in the best way possible in comparison to the services offered to smart phone users. DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a solution for guests who want to have access to an attraction, whereby it is of interest for the attraction and for the guests to limit a physical que, and to manage guests in a virtual queue before the guests enter the attraction or a physical queue of the attraction.
The object is realized by the following clauses.
1. A queue management system for reducing the waiting time of one or more guests in a physical queue of an attraction, comprising a data server system which comprises a processor and a memory, the data server system further comprising:
- an interface system configured to receive a reservation request including an indication of a time period of arrival of one or more guests to the attraction;
~ a reservation right allotment system arranged for correlating a reservation of a time slot for accessing the attraction to identification information for a first guest of the one or more guests;
- a reservation assignment system arranged for establishing a reservation to access the attraction at a specific time window;
~ a detection system arranged for determining the location of the one or more guests,
characterized in that,
the queue management system further comprises a virtual-queue management system arranged for:
- managing the allotted reservation rights by entering, sequencing and grouping the one or more guests in a virtual-queue;
- issuing one or more tokens comprising reservation information to the one or more guests, whereby a first token of the one or more tokens comprises reservation information of a first guest of the one or more guests;
- granting services in connection to the reservation and/or to the one or more tokens;
- validating the realization of these services by the one or more guests.
2. The queue management system according to clause 1 , characterized in thai the virtual-queue management system is arranged for communicating status information of the virtual-queue to the queue management system, whereby the queue management system is arranged for using the status information as input for the correlating of the reservation by the reservation right allotment system, The queue management system according io any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the virtual-queue management system is arranged for grouping the first guest with a second guest by coupling the first token to a second token of th one or more tokens issued to the second guest.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the queue management system further comprises a notification system arranged for sending a notification to the one or more guests, whereby the notification comprises a notification of the group of notifications comprising:
- the reserved time slot;
- a change of the reserved time slot;
~ an alert indication that the reserved time siot Is due;
·· an indication of the time it takes for the one or more guest to return to.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the token comprises data of the group of data comprising:
~ a unique identifier
- a date and time of reservation
- a reservation date and time slot
- an expiration date and time
- a price paid for the token
- a price paid for the reservation
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the on or more tokens are issued to the one or more guests at a location on the premises and/or ticket office of the attraction.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the token is issued to the guest by issuing to the guest a physical object comprising an electronic identifier. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the physical object comprises any object of the group of objects comprising: - a smart card;
- a gift artifact, such as a souvenir;
- a mobile phone issued for being temporarily rent or lend.
9. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the detection system employs location information for the determining, whereby the location information is acquired using a feature of the group of features comprising:
- a GPS location of the mobile communication device;
- a iocation determined by means of lateralization of radio signals of the mobile communication device;
~ an entering of a detectable area of a beacon arranged for detecting Near Field Communication signals, or short-range communicaiion signals, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which are detectable from the mobile communication device, or from the token.
- a physical action by the user of the mobile device and/or of the token at the premises of the attraction, such as by entering a code in a device located on the premises of the attraction;
- a video recognition system located at the premises of the attraction arranged for detecting the presence of the user by comparing the captured images with stored information on the physical identity of the user of the mobile device and/or of the token.
10. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the mobile communication device comprises a device of the grou of devices comprising:
- a mobile phone;
~ a tablet or portable computer;
- a wearable communication device,
11. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the service comprises a service of the group of services comprising:
- an offering of a service by an accommodation, such as a restaurant or bar;
- a discount on the purchase of goods and/or services, such as a meal of the restaurant: - a direction to a point of interest;
- information on the attraction or points of interest;
- route directions towards the attraction;
- an offering to change the reserved time slot to an earlier or later time slot;
- a customization of the mobile communication device, such as a skin for the mobile app.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding clauses, characterized in that the identification information is based on biomedical data of the guest, whereby the biometrical data comprises data of the group of data comprising:
- a finger print;
- an iris scan:
- a captured image.
A method for queue management for reducing the waiting time of one or more guests in a physical queue of an attraction, the queue management method executed by a queue management system which comprises a data server which comprises a processor and a memory, the method comprising the steps of:
- an interface system receives a reservation request including an indication of a time period of arrival of one or more guests to the attraction;
- a reservation right allotment system correlates a reservation of a time slot for accessing the attraction to identification information for a first guest of the one o more guests;
- a reservation assignment system establishes a reservation to access the attraction at a specific time window;
- a detection system determining the location of the one or more guests, characterized in that,
the queue management method further comprising that a virtual-queue management system performs the steps of:
- managing the allotted reservation rights by entering, sequencing and grouping the one or more guests in a virtual-queue;
- issuing one or more tokens comprising resei-vation information to the one or more guests, whereby a first token of the one or more tokens comprises reservation information of a first guest of the one or more guests ~ granting services in connection to the reservation and/or to the one or more tokens;
·· validating the realisation of these services by the one or more guests.
14. The method for queue management according to clause 13, characterized in thai the method further comprises the step of the virtual-queue management system communicating status information of the virtual-queue to the queue management system, whereby the queue management system uses the status information as input for the correlating of the reservation by the reservation right allotment system.
15. The method for queue management according to any one of the clauses 13-14, characterized in that the method further comprises the step of the virtual-queue management system grouping the first guest with a second guest by coupling the first token to a second token of the one or more tokens issued to the second guest.
16. The method for queue management according to any one of the clauses 13-15, characterized in tha method further comprises the step of a notification system sending a notification to the one or more guests, whereby the notification comprises a notification of the group of notifications comprising'.
- the reserved time slot;
- a change of the reserved time slot;
- an alert indication that the reserved' time slot is due;
- an indication of the time it takes for the one or more guest to return to.
17. The method for queue management according to an one of the clauses 13-16, characterized in that the method further comprises the step of issuing the one or more tokens to the one or more guests at a location on the premises and/or ticket office of the attraction,
18. The method for queue management according to any one of the clauses 13-17, characterized in that the step of issuing the one or more tokens, comprises issuing to the guest a physical object comprising an electronic identifier.
19. A method fo queue management according to any one of the clauses 13- 8, characterised in that the detection system employs location information for the ste of determining the location of the one or more guests, whereby the location information is acquired using a feature of the group of features comprising:
- a GPS location of the mobile communication device; - a location determined by means of lateralization of radio signals of the mobile communication device;
- an entering of a detectable area of a beacon arranged for defecting Near Field Communication signals, or short-range communication signals, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which are detectable from the mobile communication device, or from the token.
- a physical action by the user of the mobile devic and/or of the token at the premises of the attraction, such as by entering a code in a device located on the premises of the attraction;
- a video recognition system located at the premises of the attraction arranged for detecting the presence of the user by comparing the captured images with stored information on the physical identity of the user of the mobile device and/or of the token.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The figures show views of embodiments in accordance with the present invention. FIGURE 1 shows an embodiment of the method according to the invention, with a schematic overview of elements of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The invention is now described by the following aspects and embodiments, with reference to the figures.
FIGURE 1 shows a schematic overview of the method 100 according to the invention, with a schematic overview of an embodiment of the elements of the invention and how they are connected, either by integration or by a means of communication. This communication may be via a fixed line, or via a wireless communication system, as known in the art. The following' steps are i accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, with reference of the numbers to the numbers in the figure. The eiements involved are numbered as follows: 1 10 Attraction
1 1 Ticket booth (also known as ticket office)
112 Support desk, check point or Self-service terminal
113 Buffer zone (physical queue, of area)
1 14 Exit of the attraction
120 Guests
121 MCD
122 Take
123 MCD plus coupled Token(s)
124 MCD Grou
30 Business/service provider
31 Business that requires reservation (service provider)
132 Business requiring show up
133 Business delivering service
Business that requires reservation (service provider), business requiring show up 132 and business delivering service ma be comprised in one service provider, but this is not required.
The steps involved are as follows:
1. Ticket Booth sends request to QMS to generate sequence number ·*· Q code to be printed on ticket.
2. Support Desk (check-in point) sends order to put "token" user info Virtual-queue (VQ) and request return time,
3. Buffer queue zone sends signal to QMS to confirm that user (MCD or Token) has checked in o out of buffer zone.
4. Exit attraction sends signal each time a user leaves the attraction.
5. - User purchases ticket and checks into VQ by entering sequence number or QR code.
User requests overview of restaurants, bars, shops, activities etc, in the area. ·· User request directions, travel time and options for means of -transport- User makes reservation.
User places order.
User checks into premises of connected business. 1
User enters premises of connected business based on location data.
User makes payment at connected business.
User requests postponement of attraction visit.
6. MCD holder of group has same options for actions as 5,
7. Each individual member in MCD grou is able to do the same actions as 5. Extras for group members:
~ See where your group members are at any given time.
- See the battery life of other group members.
8. - Confirm reservation.
- Decline reservation and provide alternative offer.
9. Send signal to QMS at the moment user enters the premises.
10. - Confirm / Decline to deliver request.
Confirm successful delivery.
Send delay message.
- Send "cannot find" message.
Retrieve from QMS:
1 1. - Attraction receives real time data on VQ
Attraction receives data on received commissions
Attraction receives warning on local threats
12. - User receives notification in case of VQ delay (postponed return time)
User receives confirmation on reservation or order
User receives notification when delivery is nearby
User receives directions and transportation options
User receives warning in case of local threats
- User receives notification when close to participating main attraction with option to visit
13. MCD (+ token) holder receives same data as 12
14. Each individual is the MCD group receives same as 12
15. - Receives request and or orde for delivery
- Receives real time data on user's location in order to make delivery
Receives warning on local threats
16 - Receives reservation request
Receives cancellation Receives warning on local threats
Mutual data sharing:
17 MCD User checks into buffer
18 - Token user checks into VQ
·· Token user makes reservation using digital infrastructure at support desk
Token user requests delivery using digital infrastructure at support desk
19 Token User check into buffer
20 MCD holder + token holder all individually check into buffer
21 Each individual in the group cheeks into buffer with MCD
22 Scans MCD to confirm correct delivery
23 Token holder checks into premises
24 Scans token to confirm correct delivery
25 Scans MCD holder to confirm correct deliver
28 Scans one individual with MCD in the group to confirm correct delivery
The following features and scenarios are in according with the present invention.
A guest who wishes to benefit from the invention, for example because he or she prefers not to wait too long in a physical queue of an attraction, makes a reservation by use of an electronic device which is capable of connecting to a Queue Management System (hereinafter referred to as "QMS") operated by the attraction or by a service company working in cooperation with the attraction. Hereinafter "he" and "him" are used while this is meant to be read as "he or she" and "him" or "her" respectively.
The electronic device may comprise a personal computer at home, but preferably guest uses his mobile communication device (MCD) to check-in at a service point near the attraction. The service point may comprise an access point, such as a beacon, or a router, enabling communication between the MCD and the QMS, or a ticket office of the attraction at the premises of the attraction. The QMS has access to information about the duration before guest can physically access the attraction. Based on this information, a time slot is assigned to guest, and consequently guest enters a virtual- queue.
Alternatively, the QMS may propose a set of time slots that are available to guest, from which guest may select a time slot. The time which guest spends in the virtual- queue is hereinafter referred to as VQ time. It may be of interest for both the attraction and guest to spent VQ time in a pleasant manne instead of wasting time by waiting i the physical queue. Furthermore, both attraction and guest have an interest in eliminating the risks associated with waiting in a physical line such as terrorist attacks or other accidents. From al liability perspective, the attraction has a very strong incentive to minimize the number of people in a physical line. Guest may for example visit accommodations in the neighborhood or even further away from the attraction out of the premises of the attraction, when guest knows that sufficient time is available for visiting the accommodation and for returning to the attraction.
The Queue Management System may even allow and facilitate that guest changes the time slot to a later or earlier time when an alternative time slot is available. Vice versa, the QMS may propose a different time slot or may have to change a time slot into a later time slot, because of (sometimes unexpected) delays in the virtual- queue. These delays may for example take place, because the throughput of the attraction has slowed down, or the attraction is (temporary) out of order. In order to facilitate ad hoc reservation of a time slot in the virtual-queue, guest may have the possibility to download a mobile app (software program running o a mobile phone) at the premises of the attraction, or at a ticket office. For this purpose, guest's MCD is preferably a smart phone as known in the art.
While in the virtual-queue, guest may be offered services such as discounts on food in an accommodation in the area around the attraction and/or outside of the premises of the attraction, or other services such a quiz in which guest, may win a prize, or information. For this purpose, the attraction and/or the service company may have speciai deals with these accommodations, especially outside of the premises of the attraction, which either makes it interesting for the guest to go there, or makes it interesting for the attraction , the service company, or the accommodation to direct guest to these accommodations. Also public authorities may have an interest in directing or redirecting people to certain areas of the city and putting in requests to have the QMS making suggestions accordingly to guests making it effectively an ad hoc crowd management system in case that is ordered cr requested. In this way VQ time will result in added value for all parties involved.
in order to facilitate easy payments from guest to accommodation, established or newly developed payment systems ma be used. For example, when guest pays for a meal in a restaurant which has a deal with th attraction, a percentage or a fixed amount of money may automatically be transferred to the account of the attraction. For the QMS to give directions to accommodations and other points of interest, and towards the attraction, location information of the MCD is desired. For this purpose, the MCD is preferably equipped with a GPS device which is able to communicate its position to the QMS, preferably using existing wireless network communication systems. It is proposed that the premises of the attraction has a local position ing system available, examples of which are mentioned in the clauses. Especially when the premise is rather large, a determination of the location of guest on the premises is favorable. The attraction may for example direct guest via other points of interest or accommodations on the premises towards the attraction. This may tempt guest to make use of thes accommodations.
Having location information available also supports the QMS in calculating when a notification should be sent to guest for him to return in time to the attraction. The QMS may take into account the position in the virtual-queue and the expected return travel time. The return travel time may be derived from (real time) navigational information of navigation service providers. The GPS location of the attraction may be entered automatically, preferably after approval of guest into guest's MCD,
When guest returns in time there may still be a physical queue which needs to be joined by guest. This physical queue is desired and designed into the system in order to maintain a continuous flow of guests in the attraction so that the capacity of the attraction Is fully utilised.
This (limited) physical queue therefore acts as a buffer, and hereinafter this physical queue is referred to as "buffer queue". This implies that the tim slot that is assigned is i fact the time slot for a guest to enter the buffer queue. This should cause no irritation with the guest, because waiting time in the buffer queue may be kept within acceptable limits, such as 10 minutes. Moreover, the waiting time in the buffer queue may even be considered and even promoted as part of the experience, in which anticipation by guest will increase, when the access to the attraction is nesting. The attraction may even add special supporting attraction elements encompassing the buffer queue, such as a TV screen which already provides information on the attraction, or fells a story to provide context. Even live actors may animate the waiting guests. B keeping the buffer queue in a controlled timing, size and location, this kind of action may be concentrated accordingly at one location. The buffer queue may both be a physical line or be a gated buffer zone i which guests may only check into if they are authorized for the reserved return time window. Once in the buffer zone guests may move around freely and will be individually requested to enter the attraction based on their sequence in the buffer queue. This may be done by communicating via e.g. large displays installed/located in the buffer zone (area or room) and in addition by means of notifications via phone or MDS
A special feature of the invention relates to the consideration that not every guest has an MCD available, ft may even occur that a guest has an MCD, but the MCD may be unusable at the moment because of lack of access to wireless communication services, or a fiat battery. For these guests, it is proposed to issue and/or sell a token to that guest. The token has a unique identifier which provides the right to enter the attraction. Th token may be a passive object, without any communication means, it may, however,, still be used by guest as a certificate or as a voucher which provides access to the same or at least a couple of the services that a MCD user has access to.
A guest in possession of the token, may show this for example to a restaurant. The restaurant may subsequently verify the unique identifier and provide service, such as a discount on a meal.
Selling of these tokens will generate income for the attraction and/or the service provider. The token may also be incorporated in a souvenir or may have special artwork, possibly In relation to the attraction. In this way, the token itself may have added value for the guest.
There may be an expiration date set in the token, so guest may use the advantages of the token for example only for a week in all attractions and connected businesses in a particular geographical area such as a city, after which the token automatically renders unusable.
The token may be bought, produced (i.e. programmed and/or printed), at the premises of the attraction and/or at the ticket office for immediate issuing to guest. The token may also be ordered by mail and delivered to a address of guest. The unique identifier may be added in an integrated circuit, such as a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip, or memory in the token through a connection with the hardware and software of the station where the token Is produced.
Other data available in the token may comprise the data mentioned in the clauses. The token may for example comprise an RFID chip which allows storage of the relevant data and which allows to be detected and read out by an RFID reader. The token may also comprise a printed card having a generated bar code or a QR code as known in the art and which may be read by a bar code reader or a QR code reader respectively.
Alternatively, the token may be the purchased ticket having a printed number, which may be read by a person may serve as unique identifier.
Although tokens may be issued to a guest not having access to an MCD, the same, similar or a different token may be issued as well to a guest who wishes to have a token and couple the token to his MCD. A printed ticket may for example contain the unique identifier which may be scanned by the MCD or manually input in the MCD. A difference may be made in the numbering scheme of tokens which are stand-alone and tokens which may be coupled to an MCD.
It is also foreseen that a physical token is issued {sold) to each guest, allowing guests with an MCD to couple the token to the MCD and allowing every other guest to make use of at least parts of the available services.
The token may also be just a connection which is established between the guest and the QMS and recorded in the QMS, The QMS may for example use biometrical data of the guest, such as his finger print, an iris scan or a captured image of the guest.
For executing the scanning, verification and authentication of the identity of the guest, various scanners and image processors may be employed. One example comprises a finger scan system which comprises a first scanning device arranged fo scanning a guest's fingerprint, and a fingerprint memory for storing the scanned fingerprint in a database together with other scanned fingerprints. The guest has a first fingerprint scanned for the first time, for example when purchasing the reserved time slot. The first fingerprint is stored in the fingerprint memory and linked to the purchase and reservation by the QMS. When returning to the attraction and requesting access, or for making use of the offered services, guest has a second fingerprint scanned by the first finger scan device or by a second finger scan device of the finger scan system near the service provider, or near the attraction. This finger scan device compares the scanned second fingerprint and compares it to the stored fingerprint scans in the finge print memory, thereby verifying and authenticating th guest. Based on this verification and authentication the QMS may authorize the guest for services and/or access to the attraction and/or the premises of the attraction. To facilitate a smooth operation of the verification, authentication and authorization, the fingerprint system is comprised in the QMS by either integrating it in the QMS or by means for communicating with the QMS. it is also possible that guest still needs to show a physical ticket to a service provider, or before entering the attraction.
Considering that there may be guests who aim to visit the attraction as a group, or who may want to benefit from discounts applicable for groups, such as a children's class, the invention proposes solutions to group theses guests. In the example of a children's class, it is often the case that only the teacher who accompanies the class has access to an MCD. The invention provides for issuing tokens to the children in this case, and optionally for issuing a token to the teacher. It is proposed that the token for the teacher may even grant special rights, such as free access to the Wireless Local Area Network (VVLAN) of the attraction with the teacher's MCD. By coupling the teacher's token to his MCD this may be realized, and the MCD may be authorized in this manner to access the VVLAN. The children's tokens may for example give the right for a discount on children's meal at an affiliate restaurant, whereas the possibly more expensive token of the teacher, gives right to a discount on a normal meal in the same restaurant. If the class desires to be treated as a group and for example wish to access the attraction (at least roughly) at the same time, the QMS provides a grouping service.
The grouping service comprises that a guest having a token is facilitated to enter an identifier into the Interface of the app of an MCD. The app may propose to add the identifier to a group which is managed b the MCD. In this way, in the example of the class, the teacher, being the group manager, may add ail children by means of their token to the group in his MCD. Deleting a token connection Is aiso possible. If there are tokens to be grouped which differ substantially from each other with regard to the reserved time slots, the group manager may request the QMS a new time slot for the whole group. Entering tokens into an MCD may aiso be executed by using the MCD for scanning a code, such as a barcode or QR code printed on the ticket comprising the token. The MCD may aiso be equipped with a MFC device capable of reading a NFC chip on a smart card comprising the token, A guest, using his MCD may also indicate at the time of purchasing the reservation, that, he wants to add the following guests to his group, which enables the QMS to automatically add these following guests to the group which is to be managed by the group manager having access to the MCD.
One or more self-service terminals (SST), which are comprised in the QMS, may aiso be provided, for example on the premises of the attraction or near the ticket office. A guest, especially one who does not have access to an MCD, may access this terminal 8 on the one hand for buying a ticket or token, and make reservation of a time slot, and on the other hand enables the guest to change a reserved time slot, make a reservation in an accommodation and manage grouping of tokens in a similar manner as described above, wherein the SST functions in a similar manner as an MCD which is used for grou management.
The invention proposes that the QMS is arranged for keeping track and storing of ail realized services as provided to the guest. Above described verifications and authorizations are collected and stored in a memory. Especially at the point of access to the attraction, the physical entering of the attraction may be detected by the verification and authorization devices. Also entering the buffer queue is preferably registered in a similar manner, in order to calculate the duration of the waiting in line of the guest. By keeping track of these waiting times more accurately, better calculations of proposed reserved timesloi are possible, and differences in the expected access time (moment, where the guest may physically enterthe attraction), versus the reserved time slot may be used to propose a new time slot to the guest, if necessary.
After leaving the attraction or the use of a service, guest may be asked to provide feedback, This may be possible through the app running on the MOD, or by accessing an SST, or provide feedback as soon as guest has access to his personal computer, e.g. at home. Guest may be requested to share his e-mail address. This e-mail address may be used by the attraction, or affiliate service providers to offer future services and discounts.
After making use of the services by the attraction the guest leaves the attraction and the premises. The QMS completes a guest record comprising parts or all of the data gathered by the system and systems connected to the QMS. These data comprise events such as VQ time, time spent in the buffer queue, provided services by service providers, access to the VVLAN etc. Also, time stamps of these events ar recorded. Personal data, such as biometric data, bank account, possibly also name, address and e-mail are possibl stored as well. The personal data may be stored after permission of the guest, in this way profiles of the guests of the attraction may be generated and stored as such. These profiles may be anonymous, or when permitted, coupied to an individual.
Because of all the gathered real-time data, the QMS may be used for crowd management as well By offering discounts to a meal at a particular restaurant, for example, it may be foreseen that a rush to this restaurant happens, which leads to congestion at that restaurant. The QMS ma be arranged to be abie to foresee this and may be used to control the reservations at the restaurant, or having the restaurant to offer the discount only at certain times, when it is expected that no overload of the restaurant emerges, in this way, the QMS may even be used to distribute guest relatively evenly over a city in which the attractio is located, or over the premises of the attraction. Also, by giving directions to and from accommodations the QMS may take into account foreseeable congestion in traffic.
Further features of the invention comprise:
A user interface provides live updates of place in virtual-queue (visualization).
Mon-smartphones are able to get notified as well (SMS).
System in which app users will get notification on MOD when token which is connected / linked to MCD of fuser is getting geographically "out of range" of MCD. For example, children in a linked mixed group of MCD owners and users of tokens connected to these MOD'S.
Dinner reservation system Is unique because it recommends based on Geolocation and more important, participating restaurants are via their MCD's directly connected to our QMS server based system which has the feature to allow direct and most importantly instant communication between guest and restaurant. Dinner reservations requests may be confirmed or denied. Or restaurants may propose an alternative time (e.g. 20 minutes later, wherein QMS has the information and shares that immediately with restaurant on how much time guest has before he has to be back at the attraction). New proposed time may be confirmed instantly by guest.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned embodiments illustrate rather than limit the invention, and that a person skilled in the art will be able to design many alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the appended claims. In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. Use of the verb "to comprise" and its conjugations does not exclude the presence of elements or steps other than those stated in a claim. The term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. The article "a" or "an" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. The article "the" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. In the device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by one and the same item of hardware. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage.

Claims

A queue management system for reducing the waiting time of one or more guests in a physical queue of an attraction, comprising a data server system which comprises a processor and a memory, the data server system further comprising:
- an interface system configured to receive a reservation request including an indication of a time period of arrival of one or more guests to the attraction;
- a reservation right allotment system arranged for correlating a reservation of a time siot for accessing the attraction to identification information for a first guest of the one or more guests;
- a reservation assignment system arranged for establishing a reservation to access the attraction at a specific time window;
- a detection system arranged for determining the location of the one or more guests, characterized in that, the queue management system further comprises a virtual-queue management system arranged for:
- managing the allotted reservation rights by entering, sequencing and grouping the one or more guests in a virtual-queue;
- issuing one or more tokens comprising reservation information to the one or more guests, whereby a first token of the one or more tokens comprises reservation information of a first guest of the one or more guests;
- granting services in connection to the reservation and/or to the one or more tokens;
~ validating the realization of these services by the one or more guests.
The queue management system according to claim 1 , characterized in that the virtual-queue management system is arranged for communicating status information of the virtuai-queue to the queue management system, whereby the queue management system is arranged for using the status information as input for the correlating of the reservation by the reservation right allotment system. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the virtual-queue management system is arranged for grouping the first guest with a second guest by coupling the first token to a second token of the one or more tokens issued to the second guest.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the queue management system further comprises a notification system arranged for sending a notification to the one or more guests, whereby the notification comprises a notification of t e group of notifications comprising:
~ the reserved time slot;
a change of the reserved time slot;
- an alert indication that the reserved time slot is due;
- an indicatio of the time it fakes for th one or more guest to return to.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the token comprises data of the group of data comprising:
- a unique identifier
- a date and time of reservation
- a reservation date and time slot
- an expiration date and time
~ a price paid for the token
- a price paid for the reservation
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the one or more tokens are issued to the one or more guests at a location on the premises and/or ticket office of the attraction.
The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the token is issued to the guest by issuing to the guest a physical object comprising an electronic identifier.
8. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the physical object comprises any object of the group of objects comprising:
- a smart card:
~ a gift artifact, such as a souvenir;
~ a mobile phone issued for being temporarily rent or lend,
9. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the detection system employs location information fo the determining, whereby the location information is acquired using a feature of the group of features comprising:
- a GPS location of the mobile communication device;
~ a location determined by means of lateralization of radio signals of the mobile communication device;
- an entering of a detectable area of a beacon arranged for detecting Near Field Communication signals, or short-range communication signals, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which are detectable from the mobile communication device, or from the token.
- a physical action by the user of the mobile device and/or of the token at the premises of the attraction, such as by entering a code in a device located on the premises of the attraction;
- a video recognition system located at the premises of the attraction arranged for detecting the presence of the user by comparing the captured images with stored information on the physical identity of the user of the mobile device and/or of the token.
10. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the mobile communication device comprises a device of the group of devices comprising:
- a mobile phone;
- a tablet or portable computer;
- a wearable communication device.
11. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the service comprises a service of the group of services comprising:
- an offering of a service by an accommodation, such as a restaurant or bar;
- a discount on the purchase of goods and/or services, such as a meal of the restaurant;
- a direction to a point of interest;
~ information on the attraction or points of interest;
- route directions towards the attraction;
- an offering to change the reserved time slot to an earlier or later time slot;
- a customization of th mobile communication device, such as a skin for the mobile app.
12. The queue management system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the identification information is based on biometrical data of the guest, whereby the biometrical data comprises data of the group of data comprising:
- a finger print;
- a iris scan;
~ a captured image.
13. A method for queue management for reducing the waiting time of one or more guests in a physical queue of an attraction, the queue management method executed by a queue management system which comprises a data server which comprises a processor and a memory, the method comprising the steps of:
- an interface system receives a reservation request including an indication of a time period of arrival of one or more guests to the attraction;
~ a reservation right allotment system correlates a reservation of a time slot for accessing the attraction to identification information for a first guest of the one or more guests;
- a reservation assignment system establishes a reservation, to access the attraction at a specific time window;
- a detection system determining the location of the one or more guests, characterized in that, the queue management method further comprising that a virtual-queue management system performs the steps of:
- managing the allotted reservation rights by entering, sequencing and grouping the one or more guests in a virtual-queue;
- issuing one or more tokens comprising reservation information to the one or more guests, whereby a first token of the one or more tokens comprises reservation information of a firs guest of the one or more guests;
- granting services in connection to the reservation and/or to the one or more tokens;
- validating the realization of these services by the one or more guests. 14, The method for queue management according to claim 13, characterized in that the method further comprises the ste of the virtual-queue management system communicating status information of the virtual-queue to the queue management system, whereb the queue management system uses the status information as input for the correlating of the reservation by the reservation right allotment system*
15. The method for queue management according to any one of the claims 13-14, characterized in that the method further comprises the step of the virtual-queue management system grouping the first guest with a second guest by coupling the first token to a second token of the one or more tokens issued to the second guest.
18. The method for queue management according to any one of the claims 13-15, characterized in that method further comprises the step of a notification system sending a notification to the one or more guests, whereby the notification comprises a notification of the group of notifications comprising:
~ the reserved time slot;
- a change of the reserved time slot;
- an alert indication that the reserved time slot is due;
- an indication of the time it takes for the one or more guest to return to. Z b
17. The method for queue management according to any one of the claims 13-18, characterized in that the method further comprises the step of issuing the one or more tokens to the one or more guests at a location on the premise and/or ticket office of the attraction.
18. The method for queue management according to any one of the claims 13-17, characterized in that the step of issuing the one or more tokens, comprises issuing to the guest a physical object comprising an electronic identifier.
19. A method for queue management according to any one of the claims 13-18, characterized in that the detection system employs location information for the step of determining the location of the one or more guests, whereby the location information is acquired using a feature of the group of features comprising:
~ a GPS location of the mobile communication device;
- a location determined b means of lateralization of radio signals of the mobile communication device;
- an entering of a detectable area of a beacon arranged for detecting Near Field Communication signals, or short-range communication signals, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which are detectable from the mobile communication device, or from the token.
- a physical action by the user of the mobile device and/or of the token at the premises of the attraction, such as by entering a code in a device located on the premises of the attraction;
- a video recognition system located at the premises of the attraction arranged for detecting the presence of the user by comparing the captured images with stored information on the physical identity of the user of the mobile device and/or of the token.
PCT/NL2018/000010 2017-06-19 2018-06-27 Queue reservation system and method WO2018236209A2 (en)

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CN109934986A (en) * 2019-02-28 2019-06-25 中国联合网络通信集团有限公司 Queuing strategy, device, equipment and readable storage medium storing program for executing based on terminal

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GB0413624D0 (en) * 2004-06-17 2004-07-21 Monkwood Technologies Ltd A queue management system and method
GB201409764D0 (en) * 2014-06-02 2014-07-16 Accesso Technology Group Plc Queuing system
HK1209580A2 (en) * 2015-12-03 2016-04-01 奇點科技有限公司 Method and system for managing queues

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WO2020263811A1 (en) * 2019-06-27 2020-12-30 Universal City Studios Llc Systems and methods for a smart virtual queue

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