Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Transmission of Location and Directional Information Associated with Mobile Communication Devices", for Approval
The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "With the ever-increasing proliferation of mobile communication devices, there are opportunities daily for one to place a call to a cell phone number of a friend, family member or co-worker. Invariably, the conversation begins with the greeting 'Hi, where are you?'. In days past, when the telecommunications network was only a wireline network, such a greeting would be considered comical--the called party was at the residence/office associated with his telephone. However, it is now often useful, if not vital information, for the calling party to know the location of a called party using a mobile communication device.
"There exists various systems for determining, with extreme precision, the location of each mobile communication device. Geocoding--a triangulation method involving the use of at least a pair of mobile base stations--is a well-understood technique for ascertaining the location of a mobile telephone. Global positioning systems (GPS) have become popular in recent years and are also capable of ascertaining the location of a mobile communication device including the appropriate type of transponder.
"In the past, the location information of a mobile device has been used for a variety of applications, such as determining if the device is in a location (such as a hospital) where usage of such a device is prohibited. In this scenario, incoming calls will be immediately sent to the device's voice mail system (or to another 'reach' telephone number). The location information of a mobile device may also be used to inhibit the device from initiating outbound calls to 'forbidden' geographic areas (i.e., the mobile device may be restricted from placing any long distance and/or international calls).
"To date, however, there has not been any development or methodology for providing this location information to a calling party, who may then determine whether or not to complete the call as a function of such location information."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The need remaining in the prior art is addressed by the present invention, which relates to improved usage of mobile communication devices and, more particularly, to the transmission of the mobile device's current location to someone placing a call (wireline or wireless) to the mobile device user.
"In accordance with the present invention, a mobile device user subscribes to a 'location' service, such that when others initiate calls to the subscriber's mobile device, his current location information is transmitted during call set-up to the calling party. Since the information is transmitted prior to completing call set up, the calling party may decide to terminate the call without incurring any expenses for either party.
"In an advanced embodiment of the present invention, the location information may be enhanced to further include the 'direction' and 'speed' information associated with the mobile device (if the device is not stationary).
"The dissemination of location information is controlled by the subscriber and, as such, the subscriber may determine the population of calling parties that may receive this information. For example, the subscriber may have a 'buddy list' of calling party numbers associated with his subscriber record, where only calling parties on this buddy list may receive his location information. Alternatively, the subscriber may allow only incoming calls whose source can be identified (e.g., with CallerID capability) to read his location information (preventing unwanted incoming callers without full identification--'anonymous' or 'unknown') from obtaining this information. In its most general form, however, the dissemination of this information does not have to be restricted at all by the subscriber.
"In one embodiment of the present invention, the subscriber's location information may be provided as an 'audio' message to the calling party. Alternatively, a text message or video message (map) may be transmitted to calling devices with screen capabilities.
"Other and further advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent during the course of the following discussion and by reference to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Referring now to the drawings,
"FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary mobile communication network suitable for implementing the location service of the present invention;
"FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary subscriber record; and
"FIG. 3 is a flowchart of an exemplary process of using the location service of the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Todd, Steven. Transmission of Location and Directional Information Associated with Mobile Communication Devices. Filed
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