Patent Application Titled “Wireless Gateway Relay System And Method” Published Online (USPTO 20190230474)

Network Business Daily |

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Network Business Daily -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx journalists, a patent application by the inventors Lanes, Troy Edwin (Bozeman, MT); Naden, Gary Allen (Bozeman, MT), filed on , was made available online on .

The assignee for this patent application is Geoforce Inc. (Coppell, Texas, United States).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Many industries, such as the oil and gas industry, are supplied with equipment that is overseen by an asset management system. The equipment is often transported in various types of containers. Containers can include boxes, crates, tanks, pallets, and the like. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) tracking devices are increasingly used throughout the various supply chain endeavors, to locate or remotely monitor field equipment. The benefits of this technology include improved operational efficiency, increased utilization, improved service quality, and enhanced maintenance practices. GNSS tracking devices typically utilize wireless backhaul data links for sending data to a remote monitoring or control facility. The wireless links often include communication links over cellular communication networks, satellite communication networks, or local WiFi communication networks.”

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “This disclosure provides wireless gateway relay system and method.

“In a first embodiment, an electronic device is provided. The electronic device includes a transceiver and a processor. The transceiver is configured to receive a message from a tracking device associated with an asset. The received message includes an identification parameter associated with the tracking device. The transceiver is also configured to transmit the message to a server. The electronic device also includes a processor. The processor is configured to determine whether the received message indicates a location of the tracking device. When the location of the tracking device is a null location, the processor is configured to augment the received message with at least one of location information of the electronic device and identification information of the electronic device

“In a second embodiment, an electronic device is provided. The electronic device includes a location receiver, a communication unit and a processor. The location receiver is configured to receive location information of the tracking device. The communication unit is configured to transmit through a wide area network and transmit through a local area network. The processor is configured to attempt to ascertain the location information of the tracking device. The processor is also configured to generate a first message that indicates the location of the tracking device or a null location based on a failure to ascertain the location information of the tracking device. The processor is also configured to generate a second message that indicates the location of the tracking device or a null location based on a failure to ascertain the location information of the tracking device. The first message is transmitted through the wide area network to a remote server when the wide area network is available. The second message is transmitted through the local area network to the remote server when the local area network is available.

“In a third embodiment, a method is provided. The method includes receiving a message from a tracking device associated with an asset. The received message includes an identification parameter associated with the tracking device. The method also includes determining whether the received message indicates a location of the tracking device. In response to determining the location of the tracking device is a null location, augmenting the received message with at least one of location information of an electronic device, and identification information of the electronic device. The method further includes transmitting the message to a server.

“Other technical features may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following figures, descriptions, and claims.

“Before undertaking the DETAILED DESCRIPTION below, it may be advantageous to set forth definitions of certain words and phrases used throughout this patent document. The term ‘couple’ and its derivatives refer to any direct or indirect communication between two or more elements, whether or not those elements are in physical contact with one another. The terms ‘transmit,’ ‘receive,’ and ‘communicate,’ as well as derivatives thereof, encompass both direct and indirect communication. The terms ‘include’ and ‘comprise,’ as well as derivatives thereof, mean inclusion without limitation. The term ‘or’ is inclusive, meaning and/or. The phrase ‘associated with,’ as well as derivatives thereof, means to include, be included within, interconnect with, contain, be contained within, connect to or with, couple to or with, be communicable with, cooperate with, interleave, juxtapose, be proximate to, be bound to or with, have, have a property of, have a relationship to or with, or the like. The term ‘controller’ means any device, system or part thereof that controls at least one operation. Such a controller may be implemented in hardware or a combination of hardware and software and/or firmware. The functionality associated with any particular controller may be centralized or distributed, whether locally or remotely. The phrase ‘at least one of,’ when used with a list of items, means that different combinations of one or more of the listed items may be used, and only one item in the list may be needed. For example, ‘at least one of: A, B, and C’ includes any of the following combinations: A, B, C, A and B, A and C, B and C, and A and B and C.

“Moreover, various functions described below can be implemented or supported by one or more computer programs, each of which is formed from computer readable program code and embodied in a computer readable medium. The terms ‘application’ and ‘program’ refer to one or more computer programs, software components, sets of instructions, procedures, functions, objects, classes, instances, related data, or a portion thereof adapted for implementation in a suitable computer readable program code. The phrase ‘computer readable program code’ includes any type of computer code, including source code, object code, and executable code. The phrase ‘computer readable medium’ includes any type of medium capable of being accessed by a computer, such as read only memory (ROM), random access memory (RAM), a hard disk drive, a compact disc (CD), a digital video disc (DVD), or any other type of memory. A ‘non-transitory’ computer readable medium excludes wired, wireless, optical, or other communication links that transport transitory electrical or other signals. A non-transitory computer readable medium includes media where data can be permanently stored and media where data can be stored and later overwritten, such as a rewritable optical disc or an erasable memory device.

“Definitions for other certain words and phrases are provided throughout this patent document. Those of ordinary skill in the art should understand that in many if not most instances, such definitions apply to prior as well as future uses of such defined words and phrases.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. An electronic device comprising: a transceiver configured to: receive a message from a tracking device, wherein the received message includes an identification parameter associated with the tracking device and the received message indicates at least one of a null location or a location of the tracking device, and transmit the message to a server; and a processor configured to: determine whether the received message indicates a valid location of the tracking device, based on whether the location of the tracking device is within a predetermined range of the electronic device; and augment the received message with at least one of location information of the electronic device; and identification information of the electronic device, when the received message indicates the null location or the location of the tracking device is not the valid location of the tracking device.

“2. The electronic device of claim 1, further comprising a watch dog timer.

“3. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the transceiver is further configured to: derive a signal strength parameter associated with the received message; and transmit the signal strength parameter with the message.

“4. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to: in response to receiving the message, determine whether the received message matches a previously received message, wherein the received message and the previously received message match when each message indicates a similar location and each message includes the identification parameter associated with the tracking device; when the received message does not match a previously received message, transmit, via the transceiver, the message.

“5. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to: when the received message matches a previously received message, determine whether the received message and the previously received message are received within a predetermined period of time; and transmit, via the transceiver, a single message, after a second predetermined period of time, in response to determining that the received message and the previously received message are received within the predetermined period of time, wherein the single message is selected from the received message and the previously received message.

“6. The electronic device of claim 5, wherein the processor is further configured select the single message that is transmitted based on an age criteria of the received message.

“7. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to: in response to receiving the message, determine whether the received message was previously received from the tracking device within a threshold period, based on the identification parameter; transmit, via the transceiver, a decimation ratio associated with the tracking device.

“8. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein: the processor is further configured to generate a radio silence command; and the transceiver is further configured to transmit the radio silence command to the tracking device, wherein the radio silence command instructs the tracking device to stop all communication for a predetermined period of time.

“9. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the transceiver is further configured to transmit a set of instructions to the tracking device, wherein the set of instructions include at least one of: a command to perform an operational configuration change, a command to perform a maintenance tasks, a command to perform a self-diagnostic test, a command to transmit a set of history of the tracking device, and a set of new firmware.

“10. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to generate instructions to register an unregistered tracking device; wherein the transceiver is further configured to transmit a set of instructions to an unregistered tracking device, and wherein the generated instructions to register an unregistered tracking device performs at least one of: assign the identification parameter to the tracking device; assign a configuration to the tracking device, wherein the configuration indicates communication preferences; bind the tracking device to an asset; or override previous configurations.

“11. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the electronic device is at least one of located at a stationary position or a mobile position.

“12. A tracking device comprising: a location receiver configured to receive location information of the tracking device, and a communication unit configured to transmit through a wide area network and transmit through a local area network, and a processor configured to: attempt to ascertain the location information of the tracking device, and generate a first message that indicates a location of the tracking device based on ascertaining the location information, or a null location based on a failure to ascertain the location information of the tracking device, and generate a second message that indicates the location of the tracking device based on ascertaining the location information, or the null location based on the failure to ascertain the location information of the tracking device, wherein the first message is transmitted through the wide area network to a remote server when the wide area network is available, and wherein the second message is transmitted through the local area network to the remote server when the local area network is available.

“13. The tracking device of claim 12, wherein the processor is further configured to include a previous location of the tracking device in the second message when the location information is not received.

“14. The tracking device of claim 12, wherein the communication unit is further configured to receive a silent command from an electronic device; and wherein the processor is further configured to instruct the communication unit to stop the attempt to ascertain location information and stop transmitting through the communication unit for a period of time, in response to the received silent command.

“15. The tracking device of claim 12, wherein the communication unit is further configured to receive reconfiguration instructions from a remote server through the local area network.

“16. The tracking device of claim 12, wherein the communication unit is further configured to receive registration information from a remote server through the local area network, when the tracking device is unregistered.

“17. The tracking device of claim 12, wherein the wide area network is at least one of a satellite communication system or a cellular communication system, and wherein the local area network is a bluetooth communication system.

“18. A method comprising: receiving a message from a tracking device, wherein the received message includes an identification parameter associated with the tracking device and the received message indicates at least one of a null location or a location of the tracking device; determining whether the received message indicates a valid location of the tracking device, based on whether the location of the tracking device is within a predetermined range of an electronic device; transmitting the message to a server; and augmenting the received message with at least one of location information of the electronic device, and identification information of the electronic device, when the received message indicates the null location or the location of the tracking device is not the valid location of the tracking device.

“19. The method of claim 18, further comprising: deriving a signal strength parameter associated with the received message; and transmitting the signal strength parameter with the message, when the message is transmitted.

“20. The method of claim 18, further comprising: in response to receiving the message, determining whether the received message matches a previously received message, wherein the received message and the previously received message match when each message indicates a similar location and each message includes the identification parameter associated with the tracking device; when the received message does not match a previously received message, transmitting the message.

“21. The method of claim 20, further comprising: when the received message matches a previously received message, determining whether the received message and the previously received message are received within a predetermined period of time; and transmitting a single message after a second predetermined period of time, in response to determining that the received message and the previously received message are received within the predetermined period of time, wherein the single message is selected from the received message and the previously received message.

“22. The method of claim 18, further comprising: in response to receiving the message, determining whether the received message was previously received from the tracking device within a threshold period, based on the identification parameter; and transmitting a decimation ratio associated with the tracking device.

“23. A server comprising: a memory configured to maintain a plurality of identification parameters, wherein each identification parameter is associated with a tracking device and a gateway; a transceiver configured to receive a message from a gateway, wherein the message includes a first identification parameter of the gateway and a second identification parameter of the tracking device; and a processor configured to assign a location of the tracking device based on the received message.

“24. The server of claim 23, wherein the processor is configured to assign the location of the tracking device based on a predefined gateway location associated with the first identification parameter.

“25. The server of claim 23, wherein the received message further includes at least one of: a geographic location of the gateway; and a signal strength parameter associated with the tracking device and the gateway.

“26. The server of claim 25, wherein the processor is configured to assign a location of the tracking device based on the geographic location of the gateway.

“27. The server of claim 25, wherein the transceiver is further configured to receive a second message from a second gateway, wherein the second message includes a third identification parameter associated with the second gateway, the second identification parameter of the tracking device and a second signal strength parameter associated with the tracking device and the second gateway; and wherein the processor is further configured to: compare the signal strength parameter and the second signal strength parameter to identify a stronger signal, assign the location of the tracking device as the location associated with the gateway when the signal strength parameter is identified as the stronger signal, and assign the location of the tracking device as the location associated with the second gateway when the second signal strength parameter is identified as the stronger signal.

“28. The server of claim 23, wherein the transceiver is further configured to receive a second message from the tracking device, wherein the second message includes the second identification parameter of the tracking device and a geographic location of the tracking device; and wherein the processor is further configured to: determine whether the geographic location of the tracking device and a gateway location are within a predetermined range, assign the location of the tracking device as the geographic location of the tracking device, when the geographic location of the tracking device and the gateway location are within the predetermined range, and assign the location of the tracking device as the gateway location, when the geographic location of the tracking device and the gateway location are not within the predetermined range, wherein the gateway location is based on at least one of a predefined location associated with the first identification parameter or a received geographic location of the gateway.”

For more information, see this patent application: Lanes, Troy Edwin; Naden, Gary Allen. Wireless Gateway Relay System And Method. Filed and posted . Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190230474%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190230474&RS=DN/20190230474

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