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Publication numberCA2435919 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberCA 2435919
PCT numberPCT/CA2002/000111
Publication date15 Aug 2002
Filing date31 Jan 2002
Priority date2 Feb 2001
Also published asCA2435919C, EP1360666A2, US7558742, US7870028, US20020103708, US20090094128, WO2002063581A2, WO2002063581A3
Publication numberCA 2435919, CA 2435919 A1, CA 2435919A1, CA-A1-2435919, CA2435919 A1, CA2435919A1, PCT/2002/111, PCT/CA/2/000111, PCT/CA/2/00111, PCT/CA/2002/000111, PCT/CA/2002/00111, PCT/CA2/000111, PCT/CA2/00111, PCT/CA2000111, PCT/CA200111, PCT/CA2002/000111, PCT/CA2002/00111, PCT/CA2002000111, PCT/CA200200111
InventorsIouri Kloubakov, Bruce Mcvicar, Thierry Leroux-Demers
ApplicantOptimal Robotics Corp., Iouri Kloubakov, Bruce Mcvicar, Thierry Leroux-Demers, Optimal Group Inc., Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, Inc., Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: CIPO, Espacenet
Multi-device supervisor support for self-checkout systems
CA 2435919 A1
Abstract
A customer self-checkout system includes one or more checkout stations and multiple supervisor terminals. The supervisor terminals provide support to, and control over, the self-checkout system and checkout stations. A controller is used to coordinate communications among the checkout stations and supervisor terminals over a wired and/or wireless network interfaces. A user may provide input at supervisory terminal using an interface providing context sensitive prompting to enable control using a simple keyboard interface.
Description  available in
Claims(21)
1. A customer self-checkout system for processing items for purchase, comprising:
a checkout station configured for self checkout by customers of items for purchase;
a plurality of supervisory terminals configured to conduct supervisory activities administering operation of the checkout station; and a controller operatively coupling the plurality of supervisory terminals to the checkout station, wherein said controller is configured to enable administration of the checkout station by multiple ones of the supervisory terminals.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein:
the checkout station is one of a plurality of checkout stations;
the controller is one of a plurality of controllers;
each of the plurality of controllers is associated with a corresponding one of the plurality of checkout stations; and each of the controllers is operatively coupled to the plurality of supervisory terminals.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein:
the checkout station is one of a plurality of checkout stations;
the controller is operatively coupled to each of the plurality of checkout stations; and the controller is configured to administer control of the plurality of checkout stations by multiple ones of the plurality of supervisory terminals.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein:
a first one of the supervisory terminals is operatively coupled to the controller by a wireless data network; and the supervisory terminal and the checkout station are operatively coupled to each other by a wired data network.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein a second one of the supervisory terminals is operatively coupled to the controller by a wired data network.
6. The system of claim 4, wherein the first supervisory terminal is a battery operated mobile supervisory device.
7. The system of claim 6, wherein the first supervisory terminal is pager-size supervisory device.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein the pager-size supervisory device comprises a vibrating indication device.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein a first one of the supervisory terminals comprises a card reader configured to clear a weight violation at the checkout station in response to a reading of an authorization card.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein the authorization card comprises a transponder card.
11. The system of claim 9, wherein:
the checkout station is one of a plurality of checkout stations; and the first supervisory terminal is dedicated to conducting supervisory activities over a first one of the plurality of checkout stations.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein:
the supervisory activities comprise a plurality of supervisory functions that can be performed to administer operation of the checkout station;
a first one of the supervisory terminals can conduct supervisory activities consisting of a first subset of the supervisory functions;
a second one of the supervisory terminals can conduct supervisory activities consisting of a second subset of the supervisory functions; and, the first and second subsets of the supervisory functions are different.
13. The system of claim 12, wherein:
at least one of the plurality of supervisory functions is common to the first and second subsets of the supervisory activities.
14. A method for providing supervisory support in a customer self-checkout system, comprising:
monitoring operation of a checkout station;

detecting a request for supervisory activity at the checkout station;
transmitting the request for supervisory activity to a plurality of supervisory stations;
coordinating communication between the self-checkout station and the plurality of supervisory stations to enable a responding supervisory station to assert control over the checkout station.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein:
the supervisory activity comprises a plurality of supervisory functions that can be performed to administer operation of the checkout station;
a first one of the supervisory stations can conduct supervisory activities consisting of a first subset of the supervisory functions;
a second one of the supervisory stations can conduct a second subset of the supervisory functions; and, the first and second subsets of the supervisory functions are different.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein:
at least one of the plurality of supervisory functions is common to the first and second subsets of the supervisory functions.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein coordinating communication comprises:
receiving at a communications controller a first response from a first one of the supervisory stations and a second response from a second one of the supervisory stations;

enabling control over the checkout station in accordance with the first response; and rejecting the second response.
18. The method of claim 14, wherein coordinating communication comprises:
receiving at a communications controller a response from a first one of the supervisory stations;
enabling control over the checkout station in accordance with the first response; and transmitting a message from the communication controller to non-responding ones of the supervisory stations to cancel supervisory request outstanding at each of said non-responding supervisory stations.
19. A method of processing input at a supervisory terminal in a self checkout system using a handheld supervisory device, the method comprising:
receiving a supervisory request at a handheld supervisory device, the supervisory request indicating assistance required at a checkout station;
processing the supervisory request to determine a sequence of input steps associated with receipt of input responsive to the supervisory request, where the sequence of input steps differs depending on content of the received supervisory request and on input entered at the supervisory device as said steps are processed;
displaying context-sensitive input displays on a supervisory device display;
and altering the displayed information in response to data entry at the supervisory device.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein displaying context-sensitive input prompts on a supervisory device display and altering the displayed information in response to data entry comprises:
displaying information indicating data input required by a checkout station;
monitoring data input to detect entry of response data, a void input, a clear input, a cancel input, or an enter input; and when a void input is received, displaying a prompt requesting input of response data relating to an item to void;
when a clear input is received, clearing a previously received response data input;
when a cancel input is received, terminating the monitoring;
when an enter input is received, determining whether received response data is valid and if the response data is valid, transmitting the response data to a checkout station.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein monitoring data input further comprises detecting entry of bar code information and, when said bar code information is detected, determining whether the bar code information comprises valid response data.
Classifications
International ClassificationG06Q30/00, H04N7/18, G07G1/00, G07G3/00, G07G1/14
Cooperative ClassificationG07G1/14, G07G1/0054, G06Q20/202, G06Q30/02, G07G3/00, H04N7/181, G06Q20/20, G07G1/0036
European ClassificationG06Q30/02, G07G1/00C2D, H04N7/18C, G06Q20/20, G06Q20/202, G07G3/00, G07G1/14, G07G1/00C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
26 Nov 2003EEERExamination request