Advertiser pays information and messaging system and apparatus

Advertiser pays information and messaging system and apparatus
US005 87003 0A
Ulllted States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
DeLuca et al.
[45]
[54]
[75]
5,870,030
Date of Patent:
*Feb. 9, 1999
ADVERTISER PAYS INFORMATION AND
5,376,931
MESSAGING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS
5,380,991
1/1995 Valencia et 81.
5,420,606
5/1995
Inventors: Michael J_ DeLuca; Joan S_ DeLuca,
12/1994 Marrs ............................... .. 340/825.44
Begum et a1. ..
.
5,467,269 11/1995 Flaten .................................... .. 364/401
bOth
Parkland,
Of Boca
all of
Raton;
Fla. Douglas R- Kraul,
Motorola, Inc., “Motorola Product Family 255 Service
[73] Assignee: Motorola, Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.
_
[*] Notice:
_
_
Manual”, 1995' (Aug, 22)'
_
Motorola, Inc., “Motorola Product Family 255 Controller
This' patent issued on a continued pros-
Supplement”, 1995 (JuL 31)
ecutlon appheatlee ?led under 37 CFR
1.53(d), and 1s sublect to the tWenty year
patent term provlslons of 35 USC‘
154(aX2)‘
Motorola, Inc., “Introduction to The Wireless Concert!”,
1995 (Aug)'
Motorola, Inc., “Motorola HC11 Reference Manual”, 1991.
No Month.
Motorola, Inc., “Motorola MC68HC11PH8 Technical
Data”, 1995. N0 Month.
[21] Appl- N91 627,642
[22] Filed,
Apt 4’ 1996
Motorola, Inc., “Motorola MPS2000 Product Description”,
1996. (Feb.).
[51]
[52]
Int. Cl-6 ..................................................... .. G06K 5/00
US. Cl. .............................. .. 340/825.44; 340/825.47;
[58]
Field of Search ....................... .. 340/825.44, 825.47,
Motorola, Inc” “The Wireless Message Gateway Product
Speci?cation”, 1996. (Feb.).
340/825.34; 340/825.35; 377/561; 235/375
Motorola, Inc., “The Wireless Concert! Overview and Net
Work Design”, 1996 (Feb.).
340/825.35, 825.31, 825.34; 379/57, 58,
91, 114, 123; 235/375, 380, 382, 382.5
[56]
Motorola, Inc., “M15 System OvervieW, Int ernal Sales
Tool”, Dec. 1995.
References Cited
Primary Examiner—Michael Horabik
Assistant Examiner—Yonel Beaulieu
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
[57]
Re. 34,915
ABSTRACT
4/1995 Nichtberger et a1. ................. .. 364/401
4,412,217 10/1983 Willard et al
-- 340/825-44
A system and apparatus for permitting a user of a selective
476827148
7/1987 lellikewa et at -
340/3111
call receiver (31) to receive a certain number of personal
4706272
11/1987 Nlshlmura et a1‘
"""" " 379/57
messages and information service updates Without paying a
4’851’829
4,870,403
7/1989 DeLllca et a1‘
9/1989
Mon et al.
...... ..
" 340/825“
..
fee for such services in return for reading advertisements
340/825.44
.
.
.
.
478757038
“V1989 Siwiak et a1‘
~~~~~ N 235680
W1relessly transmitted to the selective call receiver. The user
4,882,675
4,952,929
11/1989 Nichtberger et a1. ................. .. 364/401
8/1990 DeLuca et a1. .................. .. 340/82544
is allowed to read the advertisements at any time Prier to
receiving the Personal messages and information Service
4,973,952
11/1990
updates. The certain number is proportional to the number of
Malec et a1, _ _ _ _ _ _
5,049,874
9/1991 Ishida et a1. ..
5,124,697
6/1992
_ _ _ _ __ 340/82535
.. 340/82544
advertisements read. The certain number can be increased by
340/825-44
the user responding to questions Within advertisements
5,138,650 8/1992 Stahl et a1. .............................. .. 379/61
5,153,582 10/1992 DaVlS ............................... .. 340/82544
using reverse Channel messaging Capabilities of a Selective
can transceiver (32), or by using a Conventional telephone
5,168,493 12/1992 Nelson~et ~a1.
(22)'
Moore --------- -
370/84
5,185,695
2/1993 Pruchnicki
364/401
5,192,854
3/1993
235/375
Counts .... ..
5,359,182 10/1994 Schilling .......................... .. 340/82544
8 Claims, 12 Drawing Sheets
78
ENABLER/
DISABLER
AUDIBLE
ALERT
DECODER/
CONTROLLER
74
TACTILE
ALERT
77
DEBIT/CREDIT
METER
3;
CODE
PLUG
76
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet 2 0f 12
[54
I I f
,,
5,870,030
26
34
42
[36
/
i50
0
CELL SITE
T
CONTROLLER
'
<—>
MESSAGE
0 l§¥ggggg§ “0
HANDLER
0
0
4+
0
A A
f 40
SUBSCRLBER
ogJETggALgNED
DATA BASE
MEMORY
CHANNEL
—
/ 38
ASSIGNMENT
LADDRESSL
—>
ELEMENT
I
51 \
+
DATA FRAME
LNFCRMATLON
L
FIELD
—>
FIELD
ELEMENT
ELEMENT
A
v
+I
62mg?‘
ELEMENT
ELEMENT
FIG. 2
52
J
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet3 0f 12
5,870,030
78\
DISPLAY
60
79\ +
ENABLER/
DISABLER
64\
TRANSMITTER
62
<-—
r 66
\
RECEIVER
——>
+
_>
68
f
POWER <—
S WITCH
77 \
72
AUDIBLE
ALERT
DECoDER/
CONTROLLER
\
74 \
TACTILE
"’
I
DEBAIIE$E§DIT
I
CODE
PLUG \70
3_2
FIG. 3
ALERT
SWITCHES
\76
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet 9 0f 12
5,870,030
200
ADVERTISEMENT
SURVEY MENU
202
\
216
N
DELAY
+
DEPOSIT $$ INTO ACCOUNT
=“
ADvERTIsENIENT/SURvEY
SELECTION
E TI
N "
QU S Q S AMOUNT
REOORD ANSWERS TO
QUESTIONS IN REPLY BUFFER
204
218
ADVERTISEMENT/
SURVEY SELECTED
NO
206 \
RECURRING
ADVERTISEMENT OR
SUFEPVEY
DISPLAY AD/SURVEY
YES
REOORD IN REPLY BUFFER
/ 220
INHIBIT ACCESS TO
AD/SURvEY FOR “T”
TIME
208
NO
FIRST
TIME AD/SURvEY
READ
F222
I?
'
DELETE
'
AD/SURvEY
210
AD
DISPLAYED
FOR A PRE-SELEOTED
PERIOD
NO
212
214
DEPOSIT $$ INTO ACCOUNT
QUESTIONS
= “READ" AMOUNT
ANSWERED
OORREOTLY
ENABLE COUPON
FIG. 9
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet 10 0f 12
ADVERTISEMENT/
SURVEY
REPLY MENU
5,870,030
230
232
REPLY TO
ADVERTISEMENT/
SURVEY
/
234
COMMUNICATE ON REVERSE CHANNEL
OR
DISPLAY NUMERIC SEQUENCE IF MANUAL DTMF
236
CONFIRMATION
PAGE RECEIVED
2
K38
DEPOSIT $$ INTO ACCOUNT EQUAL TO “REPLY"
AMOUNT & DELETE FROM REPLY BUFFER
END
FIG. 10
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet 11 0f 12
5,870,030
250
MESSAG E/INFO
SERVICE
/. 252
DISPLAY MESSAGE/INFO
SERVICE SELECTION
254
MESSAGE/
INFO SERVICE
SELECTED
256
MESSAGE OR INFO
SERVICE INFORMATION
?
ENOUGH$$
?
/
260
DISPLAY “INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, PLEASE
READ ADVERTISEMENT OR SURVEY"
/— 262
DEBIT $$ FROM ACCOUNT EQUAL TO
VALUE OF INFO SERVICE OR MESSAGE
#
K- 264
DISPLAY MESSAGE OR INFORMATION
FIG. 11
@
U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
Sheet 12 0f 12
5,870,030
265
COUPON
MENU
f.
266
DELETE COUPON IF
EXPIRED
+
f- 267
DISPLAY COUPON
SELECTION LIST
274 \
COUPON
SELECTED
?
YES
ERAsE COUPON
FROM DISPLAY AND
WIPE COUPON
FROM MEMORY
/ 269
A
WRITE COUPON ON PAGER
DISPLAY INCLUDING COUPON BAR CODE
(UNIFORM PRODUCT CODE) OR
’—>
DISCOUNT NUMBER
COUPON INDICATES SOURCE FROM
PAGING SYSTEM
NO
272
HAS
5 MINUTES
ELAPSED SINCE
COUPON WAS
SELECTED
CAN
COUPON BE USED,
I.E., DISPLAYED,
FIG. 12
5,870,030
1
2
FIG. 6 is a simpli?ed diagrammatic representation of
ADVERTISER PAYS INFORMATION AND
MESSAGING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS
interactions among elements of the selective call transceiver
of FIG. 1
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 7 is a simpli?ed diagrammatic representation of
interactions among elements of the selective call transceiver
of FIG. 1
This invention relates in general to wireless communica
tions and in particular to a system and apparatus for receiv
ing advertisements through a selective call receiver.
FIG. 8 shows a bar code written on a display of the
selective call transceiver of FIG. 1.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
It is well known that paging system infrastructure opera
10
tors derive revenue for selectively transmitting messages to
persons carrying selective call receivers or selective call
transceivers, hereinafter collectively referred to as pagers.
Usually such messages are personal messages transmitted to
one pager, although at times such messages are group 15
messages transmitted to more than one pager. Auser of the
FIG. 9 is a How diagram illustrating operation
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1.
FIG. 10 is a How diagram illustrating operation
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1.
FIG. 11 is a How diagram illustrating operation
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1.
FIG. 12 is a How diagram illustrating operation
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1.
pager pays a fee to the paging infrastructure operator for
for a predetermined time period. It is also well known that
20
information services such as stock prices, weather reports,
traf?c reports, sports scores, etc., to users of pagers for a fee.
Such services are customiZed to the needs and desires of
each pager user; however, the information received through
such services does not comprise personal messages. The fee
for such information services usually depends upon the
oftenness and quantity of information transmitted. Such fee
typically is paid directly or indirectly to the other entity that
provides the information. Collectively, the transmission of
personal messages and the transmission of information
services comprise paging services. In any event, the user of
25
controller 26 oversees the operation of at least one radio
30
35
functions to encode and decode paging messages to and
from selective call transceivers, or transceivers 32. The
system controller 26, the at least one radio frequency trans
controller 26 also includes an encoder and a decoder and
mitter 28, and the plurality of ?Xed radio frequency receivers
comprise an infrastructure 33 that is preferably ?Xed.
The system controller 26 queues data and stored messages
40
subscriber data base 40 (see FIG. 2) in the system controller
transceiver, including a correlation between the unique
address assigned to each transceiver and the telephone
45
The system controller 26 schedules transmissions of mes
sages and acknowledgments from the selective call trans
ceivers 32. These transmissions include demand type trans
missions from the transceivers, such as acknowledgments to
messages that have been transmitted by the system control
ler 26 and responses to messages such as status inquiries
transmitted from the system controller 26. The scheduled
55
FIG. 5 is a simpli?ed diagrammatic representation of
transmissions can also include non-demand transmissions
from the transceivers, such as messages being held by the
transceivers, about which the transceivers have informed the
accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present
interactions among elements of the selective call transceiver
of FIG. 1
number used within the PSTN 24 to route messages to each
transceiver 32, as well as other subscriber determined pref
erences.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
invention.
FIG. 2 is an electrical block diagram of the system
controller used in the communication system of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an electrical block diagram of the selective call
transceiver shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an electrical block diagram of a microcomputer
used in the selective call transceiver of FIG. 3.
for transmission to the selective call transceivers 32. A
26 stores information relevant to each subscriber’s
advertisements and instead pay for paging services. Finally,
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a communication system in
Referring to FIG. 1, an electrical block diagram of a
wireless communication system, preferably a wireless selec
tive call communication system, or system 20, is shown in
accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present
invention. The infrastructure of the system comprises a
message input device, such as a conventional telephone 22,
frequency transmitter 28 and a plurality of ?Xed radio
frequency receivers, or receivers 30, and encodes and
decodes inbound and outbound messages into formats that
are compatible with land line message switches. The system
displays the advertisement before the pager displays the
personal message. With such known method, an advertiser
pays for the paging services. Disadvantageously, with this
with known methods it is impracticable to transmit an
advertisement with every update, such as a stock price
update, transmitted as part of an information service.
Therefore, what is needed is an improved method and
apparatus for providing free paging services to pager users
through the use of advertisements in a way that encourages
the user to ponder the content of advertisements transmitted
to the user’s pager.
of the
connected by a conventional public switched telephone
Attempts have been made to provide paging services
prior art method, users of pagers must view every
advertisement, including those advertisements that the users
do not consider applicable to their interests. Further, known
methods fail to provide to the user an option to bypass
of the
network (PSTN) 24 to a system controller 26. The system
the pager pays for the paging services received on the pager.
without the user of the pager paying any money for the
services. One known method has been to transmit an adver
tisement with every personal message such that the pager
of the
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
such service either on a per message basis or on a ?at rate
the paging infrastructure operator or another entity provides
of the
system controller 26 within a previous message or acknowl
edgment transmitted to the system controller 26 by the
60
65
transceiver. As will be described in more detail below, a
scheduled reverse channel is a portion of the total time
available in a single radio channel frequency that is time
shared for both forward and reverse channels. Alternatively,
the scheduled reverse channel is some portion of the time
available, or all the time available, in a second radio carrier
frequency that is different from the forward channel radio
frequency.
5,870,030
3
4
Referring noW to FIG. 2, the system controller 26 com
prises a cell site controller 34, a message handler 36, an
outbound message memory 38, a subscriber data base 40, a
niZation in a Radio Communication System” issued Jan. 27,
1998 to Ayerst, et al.; US. Pat. No. 5,521,926 entitled
telephone interface 42, a channel assignment element 44, an
a Fixed System Receiver” issued May 28, 1996 to Ayerst et
al.; US. Pat. No. 5,638,369 entitled “Method and Apparatus
for Inbound Channel Selection in a Communication Sys
tem” issued Jun. 10, 1997 to Ayerst et al.; and US. Pat. No.
“Method and Apparatus for Improved Message Reception at
address ?eld element 46, an information ?eld element 48, a
data frame element 51, and a control frame element 52. The
cell site controller 34 is coupled to the radio frequency
transmitter 28 and receivers 30 (FIG. 1) by links 54. The cell
site controller 34 couples outbound messages including
selective call addresses to the transmitter and receivers and
controls the transmitter and receivers to transmit protocol
cycles that include the outbound messages. The cell site
controller 34 also processes inbound messages from the
transceivers 32. The inbound messages are received by the
transmitter and the plurality of receivers, and are coupled to
the cell site controller 34. The message handler 36, Which
routes and processes messages, is coupled to the telephone
interface 42, the subscriber data base 40, and the outbound
message memory 38. The telephone interface 42 handles the
PSTN 24 physical connection, connecting and disconnecting
10
5,737,691 entitled “A System and Method for Allocating
Frequency Channels in a TWo-Way Messaging NetWork”
issued Apr. 7, 1998 to Wang et al., Which are hereby
incorporated by reference herein. It should be appreciated
that other communication protocols are also contemplated.
A paging system in accordance With the preferred
15
portion and a portable portion. The ?xed portion comprises
embodiment of the present invention comprises a ?xed
a Wireless messaging infrastructure, or infrastructure 33, that
provides interfacing betWeen a pager and typically the PSTN
20
telephone calls at the telephone links 50, and routing the
audio signals betWeen the telephone links 50 and the mes
sage handler 36.
The subscriber data base 40 stores information for each
subscriber, including a correlation betWeen a selective call
address assigned to each selective call transceiver 32 and the
telephone number used Within the PSTN 24 to route mes
sages and telephone calls to each transceiver 32, as Well as
other subscriber determined preferences. The outbound mes
sage memory 38 is for storing a queue of messages that are
queued for delivery to at least one of the plurality of
transceivers 32, Wherein each message of the queue of
messages is associated With a selective call address, also
stored in the outbound message memory 38, of one of the
plurality of transceivers 32 for Which each message is
intended. The message handler 36 schedules outbound mes
sages and the selective call addresses associated thereWith
Within a transmission cycle. The message handler 36 also
determines response schedules for response messages that
minimiZe contention of messages at the transmitter and
25
30
35
863 entitled “Method and Apparatus for Identifying a Trans
mitter in a Radio Communication System” issued Dec. 12,
1995 to Simpson et al.; US. Pat. No. 5,712,624 entitled
“Method and Apparatus for OptimiZing Receiver Synchro
municating With the portable portion utiliZing the ReFlexTM
protocol and coupled by communication links to a system
controller that controls the at least one base station. The
hardWare of the system controller preferably includes a
Wireless Messaging GateWay (WMGTM) Administrator!TM
40
paging terminal, a RF-Conductor!TM message distributor,
and a RF-Usher!TM multiplexer, manufactured by Motorola,
Inc. The system controller has softWare elements and pref
erably runs under a UNIX operating system. The hardWare
of the base station preferably includes a Nucleus® Orches
45 tra! TM transmitter and a RF-Audience!TM receiver, manufac
tured by Motorola, Inc. A more detailed description of the
hardWare of the system controller and of the base station is
described in “Introduction to the Wireless Concert/TM”, in
“The Wireless Concert/TM Overview and Network Design”
associated With one of the outbound messages in the out
bound message memory 38. The message handler 36 then
further processes the outbound and response messages
Division Multiplexed Selective Call System” issued Dec. 1,
1992 to Nelson et al., assigned to the assignee of the present
invention, and Which is hereby incorporated by reference
herein. Alternatively, the invention preferably operates With
the Motorola ReFleXTM tWo-Way Wireless paging protocol
described in detail in the following US. patents assigned to
the assignee of the present invention: US. Pat. No. 5,475,
respectively, from Motorola Paging Products Group, Fort
Worth, Tex.
Alternatively, the infrastructure 33 is a tWo-Way paging
infrastructure modi?ed to perform operations in accordance
With the invention. The tWo-Way paging infrastructure has a
?xed portion including at least one base station, for com
identi?es an inbound message as being a response message
according to their content. The cell site controller 34, the
message handler 36, the outbound message memory 38, the
subscriber data base 40, and the telephone interface 42, are
conventional elements of the system controller 26.
The invention preferably operates With a one-Way paging
communication protocol such as the Motorola FlexTM sys
tem described in US. Pat. No. 5,168,493 entitled “Time
MPS2000 Manual Set, the M15 Series System Overview,
and the M15 Series Manual Set, available for sale to the
public as Part No. 6880451F17, Part No. 6880450F50-0,
Part No. 6880451F35, and Part No. 6880450F60-0,
receivers, and includes response timing information in out
bound messages so that transceivers 32 Will respond accord
ing to the response schedule. The message handler 36
associated With one of the transceivers in the subscriber data
base 40, and identi?es the response message as being
24 for communication of information With the pager. The
operation of such an is Well knoWn to those skilled in the art.
Preferably, the infrastructure includes one of a Motorola
MPS2000 paging terminal and a Motorola M15 paging
terminal for use With the Flex one-Way protocol. A more
detailed description of the hardWare of the infrastructure is
described in the MPS2000 Product Description, the
and in “The Wireless Message GatewayTM Product
Speci?cation”, published by Motorola, Inc., Which is avail
able for sale to the public as Part No. 6880491G01, Part No.
6880491G04 and Part No. 6880491G07, respectively, from
Motorola Paging Products Group, Fort Worth, Tex., and
55
Which are hereby incorporated by reference herein. It Will be
appreciated that other similar hardWare can be utiliZed for
the system controller and base stations.
Each of the at least one base station transmits or receives
60
radio signals to or from the portable portion via antennas.
The radio signals comprise selective call addresses and
message transactions betWeen the base stations and the
pagers. The message transactions include both personal
messages and information services data. The system con
troller preferably is coupled by conventional telephone links
65
to PSTN for receiving selective call messages, i.e., messages
intended for one or more pagers. The selective call messages
comprise voice and data received from the PSTN using, for
5,870,030
5
6
example, a conventional telephonic-type device or a
computer-type device coupled to the PSTN in a manner well
known in the art.
The decoder/controller 66 of FIG. 3 can be constructed
utiliZing a microcomputer 80, as shown in FIG. 4. The
microcomputer 80 preferably includes a display driver 82.
The microcomputer 80 includes an oscillator 84 that gener
The portable portion comprises a plurality of paging
receivers 31 (see FIG. 5) and transceivers such as pager 32.
Each paging transceiver includes a transmitter and a
receiver. The operation of a paging transceiver is well
known in the art and is described more fully in US. Pat. No.
5,124,697 entitled “Acknowledge Back Pager” issued Jun.
23, 1992 to Moore; US. Pat. No. 5,153,582 entitled
“Method and Apparatus for Acknowledging and Answering
10
liZed in controlling the operation of the receiver. A RAM
(random access memory) 88 is utiliZed to store variables
derived during processing, as well as to provide storage of
a Paging Signal” issued Oct. 6, 1992 to Davis; and US. Pat.
No. 4,875,038 entitled “Frequency Division Multiplexed
Acknowledge Back Paging System” issued Oct. 17, 1989 to
Siwiak et al., which are assigned to the assignee of the
present invention and which are hereby incorporated by
reference herein. The paging transceiver, or pager 32, is
15
preferably a Motorola TangoTM pager and has a microcom
puter 180 modi?ed to perform the operations described and
shown in this speci?cation. The Motorola Tango pager is
compatible with the ReFleX protocol. The Tango pager is
described more fully in the Motorola Product Family 255
Service Manual published 1995 by Motorola, Inc., and in the
Motorola Product Family 255 Series Controller Supplement,
published 1995 by Motorola, Inc., which are available for
sale to the public from Motorola Paging Products Group,
Boynton Beach, Fla. as part No. 6881024B80 and part No.
68881104B36, respectively, and which are hereby incorpo
rated by reference herein.
20
memory area can be provided by an EEPROM (electrically
an address/data/control bus, or bus, 92 to a microprocessor
25
30
published 1991 by Motorola, Inc., and using a Motorola
MC68HC11PH8 Technical Data, published 1995 by
Motorola, Inc., Part No. M68HC11RM/AD and Part No.
MC68HC11PH8/D, respectively, which are available for
sale to the public from Motorola Literature Distribution,
35
an associated message, such as numeric or alphanumeric
PhoeniX, AriZ.
The demodulated data generated by the receiver is
coupled into the microcomputer 80 through an input/output
port, or I/O port, 96. The demodulated data is processed by
the microprocessor 94 and when the received address is the
same as the address stored in the code-plug memory 70
40
which couples into the microcomputer 80 through an I/O
port 96, the message, if any, is received and stored in RAM
88. Recovery of the stored message, and selection of the
predetermined destination address, is provided by the
information in a manner well known in the art. A power
switch 68, coupled to the decoder/controller 66, is used to
control the supply of power to the receiver 62 and the
94, preferably a Motorola M68HC11PH8, that performs the
instructions and controls the operations of the microcom
puter 80. A person skilled in the art of programming modi
?es the software using a Motorola HC 11 Reference Manual,
of a receiver 62 and an output of a reverse channel trans
message. The receiver 62 processes the RF signal and
produces at the output a data stream representative of a
demodulated address and message information. The
demodulated address and message information are coupled
into the input of a decoder/controller 66 that processes the
implementations, the programmable-ROM (PROM)
erasable programmable read only memory). The oscillator
84, timer/counter 86, RAM 88, and ROM 90 couple through
frequency (RF) signals. The antenna is coupled to an input
mitter 64. The RF signals are preferably selective call
(paging) message signals that provide a receiver address and
message information that are received during operation as a
selective call receiver. A software element stores the sub
routines that control the operation of the receiver, as is well
known to those skilled in the art. The software element
resides in memory, preferably read-only memory (ROM) 90.
It will be appreciated that in many microcomputer
FIG. 3 is an electrical block diagram of a selective call
transceiver 32 in accordance with the preferred embodiment
of the present invention. The selective call transceiver 32
comprises an antenna 60 for intercepting transmitted radio
ates the timing signals utiliZed in the operation of the
microcomputer 80. A crystal, or crystal oscillator (not
shown) is coupled to the inputs of the oscillator 84 to
provide a reference signal for establishing the microcom
puter timing. A timer/counter 86 couples to the oscillator 84
and provides programmable timing functions that are uti
reverse channel transmitter 64.
When an address that has been pre-associated with a
switches that are coupled to the I/O port 96. The microcom
puter then recovers the stored message, and directs the
information over the bus 92 to the display driver 82 that
processes the information and formats the information for
selective call transceiver is received by the decoder/
presentation by a display. The display is preferably an LCD
controller 66, the received address is compared with one or
(liquid crystal display) because the LCD is advantageously
45
more addresses stored in a code plug (or code memory) 70,
light absorptive and is readable by conventional bar code
and when a match is detected an alert signal is generated to
scanners. At the time a selective call receiver address is
alert a user 71 that a selective call message, or page, has been
received, the alert signal is generated which can be routed
through the bus 92 to an alert generator 98 that generates the
alert signal which is coupled to the audible alerting device
received. The alert signal is directed to an audible alerting
device 72 for generating an audible alert or to a tactile
alerting device 74 for generating a silent vibrating alert.
55
select between an audible alert and a tactile alert in a manner
well known in the art.
96 to enable generation of a vibratory, or silent alert. A
battery saver operation is controlled by the microcomputer
The message information that is subsequently received is
stored in memory 88 see FIG. 4 and can be accessed by the
user 71 for display using one or more of the switches 76 that
provide such additional functions as reset, read, and delete,
etc. Speci?cally, by the use of appropriate functions pro
vided by the switches 76, the stored message is recovered
from memory 88 and processed by the decoder/controller 66
for displaying by a display 78 which enables the user to view
the message.
72. Alternatively, when the vibrator alert is selected as
described above, the microcomputer generates an alert
enable signal which is coupled through bus 92 to the I/O port
Switches 76 allow the user of the selective call receiver to
60
65
80 with battery saving signals that are directed over the bus
92 to the I/O port 96 which couples to the power switch 68.
Power is periodically supplied to the receiver 62 to enable
decoding of the received selective call receiver address
signals and any message information that is directed to the
receiver.
FIG. 3 shows a debit/credit meter 77 which is a hardware
memory element coupled to the decoder/controller 66 for
5,870,030
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8
establishing a paging service accounting system. It is con
templated that the debit/credit meter 77 is a non-volatile
memory that Will retain the information stored Within it
RF signal and decoding an update from an information
service, the update is stored in an information service buffer
during battery changes. The debit/credit meter 77, When
fully replenished (e.g., When the debit/credit meter is indi
ing an RF signal and decoding a personal message, the
112 Which is a data structure Within RAM 88. After receiv
message is stored in a message buffer 114 Which is a data
structure Within RAM 88.
Each ad transmitted to the pager has a preselected value
cating the total number of available credit units), indicates
the available number of credit units for enabling the user of
the selective call transceiver 32 to access the received
message information including personal messages and infor
mation services data, that is stored in memory 88. The
decoder/controller 66 calculates the number of credit units
(or debit units) from a parameter of the stored message,
preferably, from the number of characters of the stored
message to be presented or displayed. Those skilled in the
arts Will appreciate that the parameter of the stored message
may comprise other variables, such as, a time associated
With the displaying or presenting of the message. A charge,
in debit units, is preferably assigned to each character of the
message, and the decoder/controller 66 counts
(accumulates) the number of characters of the message to
determine the total number of debit units. This charge, debit
10
assigned to it. Preferably, the system controller transmits a
plurality of ads to a multiplicity of pagers during off-peak
hours. Each of the plurality of ads is stored in the advertis
er’s buffer 110 along With the value assigned to the ad.
Preferably, the value is eXpressed in units of money; but,
alternatively, the value is expressed in terms of a number of
personal messages. Preferably, the preselected value
15
assigned to an ad is directly proportional to the siZe, or
length, of the ad. The preselected value of a particular ad is
recovered by the user 71 by the user vieWing, and therefore
presumably reading, the particular ad. Advantageously, the
user vieWs the ads at a time convenient to the user, and not
20
necessarily When the user is receiving a personal message as
is detrimentally required in some prior art systems. After
units, is preferably calculated at the time the personal
receiving a manual request from the user, the pager presents
message, i.e., not an advertisement, is stored in memory. The
decoder/controller 66 then debits (subtracts) the total num
78, preferably a graphical display, using means Well knoWn
ber of message debit units from the number of indicated or
a message, such as an ad. The user vieWs the ad on a display
25
available credit units of the debit/credit meter 77. Upon
debiting the number of debit units of the stored message
from the indicated number of credit units of the debit/credit
meter 77, the decoder/controller 66 enables access to the
stored message When there is a suf?cient number of avail
actually reads, rather than merely scrolls through, the ad, the
ad is displayed for a preselected period, proportional to the
length and compleXity of the ad, before the user is credited
30
able credits units in the debit/credit meter 77 (e.g., When the
debit/credit meter 77 is not depleted), and disables access to
the stored message When the debit/credit meter 77 is
depleted. Thus, once the calculated debit units of the
received message are debited from the available credit units
of the debit/credit meter 77, the message is noW available for
display to the user 71 at no eXtra charge irrespective of the
number of times the user vieWs the message on the display
78. That is, the stored message is debited only once. The
debit/credit meter 77 then indicates the remaining number of
credit units available for subsequently received and stored
messages.
in the art. All ads have a unique identi?cation number that
is displayed With the ad. In order to ensure that the user
With the value assigned to the ad. SoftWare elements stored
Within ROM 90 cause the microcomputer 80 to automati
cally increment a paging service account 118 after the ad
appears on the display for the preselected period of time
35
40
Without further action by the user 71. The siZe of such
increment is equal to the value assigned to the ad. The
paging service account 118 is a data structure in RAM 88
and is a softWare-oriented designation for the debit/credit
meter 77 Which is hardWare memory and is shoWn in FIG.
3.
It is contemplated that all ads Will have a value assigned
to reading the ad, but, in additional, some ads Will have
questions posed to the user 71. The correct ansWers are also
FIG. 5 is a simpli?ed pictorial representation of softWare
elements 110, 112, 114, 118 and 120 and the display 78
transmitted With the ad, but hidden from the user. For those
ads that have questions propounded to the user 71, an
Within a selective call receiver 31 or one-Way pager and of 45 additional preselected value is assigned to the successful
ansWering by the user of the questions. It is contemplated
interactions among such softWare elements and With other
elements eXternal to the pager. An advertiser 100 places one
or more advertisements, or ads, With a service provider 102
and pays to the service provider a monetary fee for such
of the bene?t of ansWering the questions contained Within
the ad and the additional bene?t of conveying the actual
privilege. Concurrently, but independently, an information
service 104 supplies to the service provider 102 information
ansWers to the system controller 26. The bene?ts of ansWer
ing the questions contained Within the ad accrue to the user
that the ad Will inform the user in some quantitative measure
such as traf?c or Weather reports or stock market prices, and
in tWo steps. First, the microcomputer 80 is programmed to
the service provider pays to the information provider a fee
for such information. Typically, such information is regu
larly updated at frequent intervals soon after the contents
therein becomes available to the information provider. One
or more persons 106 place, Without paying any fee, personal
messages intended for the user 71 by telephoning the service
grade, or score, the ansWers and to automatically add credit
to the paging service account 118. The user ansWers the
questions using conventional user input means on the pager
55
such as push buttons, and the microcomputer 80 determines
through softWare elements stored in ROM 90 Whether the
ansWers are correct. If the ansWers are indeed correct,
provider. Collectively, the information supplied by the infor
mation provider and the personal messages are a ?rst
60
information type. The advertisements are a second informa
tion type. The service provider Wirelessly transmits ads,
information, and messages, as the case may be, to the
one-Way pager 31 via RF signals. The pager 31 intercepts RF
signals through antenna 60. After receiving an RF signal and
decoding an ad, the ad is stored in an advertiser’s buffer 110
Which is a data structure Within RAM 88. After receiving an
65
microcomputer 80 causes the paging service account to
increase. If the ansWers are incorrect, the paging service
account is not increased and the user merely receives credit
for reading the ad. Second, in the case of a one-Way pager
31, the user telephones the system controller 26 using a
telephone number stated in the ad, and responds to prompts
using a telephone push button keypad. The user identi?es the
ad using the unique identi?cation number of the ad that
appears on the display of the pager. In the case of a tWo-Way
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10
pager 32, the pager automatically transmits the answers and
the unique identi?cation number of the ad to the system
controller. In either case, the system controller determines
Wirelessly transmitted by the pager With the ansWer. When
the user vieWs an ad or ansWers questions Within an ad,
softWare elements in ROM 90 cause the microcomputer 80
to automatically load acknoWledge-back, or reverse channel,
Whether the ansWers are correct, and if so, the system
controller transmits a credit signal to the pager in order to
reply messages into the reply buffer 130 for automatic
credit the paging service account 118. The pager has soft
Ware elements 120 for processing of credit signals. Software
elements stored Within ROM 90 cause the microcomputer 80
to automatically increment a paging service account 118
after decoding of the credit signal Without further action by
transmission transparent to the user. The reply message
contains ansWers to the questions. It is also contemplated
that opinion surveys Will be sent to the pager in a manner
substantially similar to the manner that ads are sent to the
10
pager. Such surveys Will have questions for the user to
the user 71. The correct ansWers are relayed to the advertiser
ansWer, and the ansWers to the surveys are loaded into the
by the service provider along With the date and time of
ansWering and possibly other demographic information use
reply message buffer. Similarly, but at the option of the
information service entity, reverse channel reply messages
ful to the advertiser. It is precisely because the ansWers to the
questions in ads provide useful information to the advertiser,
and possibly also to the paging service provider, that the
15
pager user is granted additional credits. Even if the ansWers
do not provide useful information, per se, the ansWers do
lessly received by the system controller 26. Upon receiving
assure an advertiser that its ad Was read.
Apager 31, 32 in accordance With the invention alloWs a
user to receive information services and personal messages
in return for reading ads on the pager. Each information
20
this information to the information service entity and to and
the advertiser as “info use data” and “ads read data”,
respectively, preferably by Wireline. This provides the
25
advertiser or opinion surveyor With immediate and accurate
feedback of the mental impressions of the target user in
eXchange for ?nancing the user’s access to individual paging
messages.
FIG. 7 is a simpli?ed pictorial representation of bar code
30
generating softWare elements 110, 112, 114, 118, 120, 140
is continually updated at a preselected cost such as ten cents
per update. It is also contemplated that each pager is capable
of receiving personal messages Which is the traditional use
of a pager. Each personal message received by the pager has
a preselected cost assigned to it. A numeric message has a
loWer cost than an alphanumeric message, and longer alpha
numeric messages have a higher cost than shorter alphanu
meric messages. SoftWare elements stored Within ROM 90
cause the microcomputer 80 to automatically decrement the
paging service account 118 after decoding an information
the reverse channel reply messages from the pager, the
paging service provider is capable of immediately relaying
service subscribed to by the user has a preselected cost
assigned to it. For eXample, a user subscribes to a stock
quotation service, and the price of each stock subscribed to
are loaded into the reply buffer When the user reads infor
mation service updates. Such reverse channel transmissions
are made virtually immediately, or alternatively, if the adver
tiser or information service Wishes, made later during off
peak hours. Such reverse channel transmissions are Wire
and 142 and the display 78 Within a one-Way pager 31 or a
tWo-Way pager 32 and of interactions among such softWare
elements and With other elements external to the pager 31,
32. In the case of a one-Way pager, the reverse channel
35
shoWn in FIG. 7 is absent or is via Wireline. The advertiser
service update or a personal message Without further action
by the user 71. It is contemplated that a pager in accordance
supplies the paging service provider With an ad containing
questions, and coupon generating information. It is Well
With the invention Will not alloW a user to vieW any
knoWn that paper coupons presently have a uniform product
code, or bar code 145, printed on them, and that such bar
information service update or any personal messages When
the paging service account 118 has a value of Zero. HoWever,
40
information service updates and personal messages Will,
nevertheless, be received and decoded by the pager and
stored in the respective buffers 112, 114 for later presenta
tion When the paging service account is large enough to
alloW such presentation. Preferably, a caution message is
displayed on the display 78 When the paging service account
approaches a preselected value greater than Zero. Upon
codes are read by a bar code reader 144 such as a laser
scanner typically found at supermarkets. A pager in accor
dance With the invention is capable of Writing a coupon-style
bar code on the display 78 of the pager. The bar code Written
45
on the pager corresponds to an ad read by the user on the
pager. The bar code is identical to the bar code on paper
coupons. Alternatively the bar code is slightly different in
occurrence of the caution message, the user reads more ads,
or ansWers more questions that appear in the ads, or does
order to indicate that the bar code Was generated by a pager;
hoWever, the bar code on the pager functions identically to
a bar code on a paper coupon, that is, a discount is granted
both. In the event there are no more ads to be read or
to the presentor of the coupon. SoftWare elements residing
questions to be ansWered, or in the event the user is Willing
to pay for paging services, the user tenders a fee to the
in ROM 90 cause the microcomputer to tabulate accumu
lated coupons Within the coupon buffer 140 after an ad is
read or alternatively after the questions are ansWered cor
rectly. The coupon buffer is a data structure Within RAM 88,
service provider through any convenient ?nancial transfer
means, and the service provider Wirelessly transmits a credit
signal to the pager in order to update the paging service
55
account 118.
FIG. 6 is a simpli?ed pictorial representation of softWare
elements 110, 112, 114, 118, 120 and 130 and the display 78
Within a selective call transceiver 32, or tWo-Way pager and
of interactions among such softWare elements and With other
upon the user inputting an appropriate command via con
ventional pager user input means such as push buttons on the
60
elements external to the pager. The operation of the tWo-Way
pager is similar to the operation of a one-Way paging eXcept
that the tWo-Way pager also has a reply buffer 130 Which is
of a tWo-Way pager, Wirelessly transmitting an ansWer. The
unique identi?cation number of the ad is automatically
pager. Typically, the user Would input the appropriate com
mand immediately before needing to present the coupon,
such as When the user is in a supermarket checkout line. The
user or the checkout clerk then sWipes the pager across the
laser scanner, the laser scanner reads the coupon, and the
a data structure in RAM 88. Preferably, the user ansWers a
question by depressing buttons on the pager, and in the case
and is preferably a relatively non-volatile memory. Coupon
output softWare elements 142 residing in ROM 90 cause the
microcomputer to Write the coupon bar code on the display
65
coupon transaction is completed. FIG. 8 shoWs a bar code
Written on a display 78 of the pager. Alternatively, instead of
a coupon-style bar code Written on the display, a multichar
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acter alphanumeric code is Written on the display for visual
observation and manual recordation by a sales clerk.
FIG. 9 is a How diagram illustrating operation of the
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1 for establishing
the paging account service system in accordance With the
preferred embodiment of the invention. When the user
selects an advertisement/survey menu (step 200) from
among available menus appearing on the display of the
pager, step 250. At step 252, the user is given the choice of
Which services are available on the pager. At step 254, the
user selects one of the services. If at step 256 the user is
vieWing previously received and paid for personal messages
pager, an advertisement or survey name from among a list of
advertisements and surveys appears on the display, step 202.
10
The advertisement/survey (hereinafter ad) is selected With
or information, the personal messages and/or information is
displayed in a conventional manner (step 264). If hoWever,
the personal message or information is being vieWed for the
?rst time (e.g., is a neW message) then microcomputer of the
pager programmed to operate in accordance With the inven
tion checks (step 258) Whether there is enough money, or
credit, in the paging service account 118. If there is not
conventional user input means on the pager. The user either
enough money, or credit, then a message to that effect is
chooses to vieW the ad named, or scrolls through (step 204)
Written (step 260) on the display 78. If there is enough
a list of ads by returning to step 202 and vieWing the name
money, or credit, then the paging service account is debited
of the next ad on the list. Once an ad is selected, it is Written 15 an amount equal to the value of the information or personal
on the display, step 206. At step 208, the displayed message
is checked to determine Whether it is being displayed for the
?rst time. If the ad being displayed for the ?rst time, the
period of time that the ad appears on the display is measured
in step 210. If the period of time that the ad appears on the
message (step 262). Each occurrence of the user vieWing
information from an information service is recogniZed by
the microcomputer and the occurrence is loaded into the
reply buffer 130 for subsequent transmission by the tWo-Way
20
display is greater than a preselected period, the method
proceeds to step 212 Where money, or a credit, is deposited
into the paging service account 118 in an amount assigned
to the ad, and the method proceeds to step 214. The method
also proceeds directly to step 214 from step 208 if the ad had
been read before. At step 214, the user is given the oppor
information conveyed to the user. This enables successful
25
tunity to ansWer questions appearing in the ad (or response
to a survey) using conventional user input means on the
pager. If the questions are ansWered correctly, an additional
amount of money, or credit, is deposited into the paging
pager. Data composed of number, nature and time of these
occurrences alloW the service provider and the information
service the option to modify the content and nature (such as
frequency of updates useful to an individual user) of the
30
service account 118. If survey questions Were ansWered at
step 214, the ansWers are loaded into the reply buffer 130 for
development of the Wireless information service industry.
FIG. 12 is a How diagram illustrating operation of the
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1 shoWing the
operation of the pager When the coupon menu is selected,
step 265. Upon the coupon menu being selected, the micro
computer 80 programmed in accordance With the invention
Will check expiration dates of all coupons stored in the
coupon buffer 140 and delete all expired coupons step 266,
subsequent transmission to the system controller 26. An
and Will display the names and discount amount of the
advertiser can alloW a user to vieW an ad more than once
unexpired coupons in the coupon buffer (step 267). The user
(step 218), but it is expected that the paging service account
118 Will be credited only once. HoWever, some ads are
designed to be read more than once over a relatively long
time period to encourage retention of the information con
veyed in the ad. With an ad designed to be read more than
once, access to the ad is inhibited, at the advertiser’s option,
35
scrolls through the names of the coupons and selects a
coupon at step 268. At step 269, the coupon is Written on the
display 78, see FIG. 8. At step 270, the time that the coupon
has been displayed is measured. It is contemplated that the
coupon Will be displayed for a preselected limited period of
40
time to avoid repetitive use of a coupon intended to be used
for a preselected interval of time, T (step 220). Alternatively,
only once. At step 272, it is determined Whether the coupon
an ad is deleted after one vieWing (step 222).
FIG. 10 is a How diagram illustrating operation of the
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1 shoWing the
operation of the reverse channel transmitter 64 of the
tWo-Way pager 32 When the advertiser/survey reply menu is
being used (step 230). At step 232, if no reply is made to a
can be used more than once. If the coupon can not be used
more than one time, then at step 274, the coupon is erased
from the display, and the coupon is Wiped from the coupon
45
Thus, it Will be appreciated that there has been described
an advertiser pays information and messaging system for
survey or if no questions are ansWered from an ad, then no
presenting messages on a selective call transceiver 32.
Personal messages received on the selective call transceiver
transmission is made. HoWever, if a survey is replied to, or
if questions from an ad are ansWered, then at step 234 a
from an infrastructure are messages of a ?rst information
transmission is made on the reverse channel of a signal
containing the reply to the survey or ansWers to the
questions, as the case may be. At step 236, the receiver 62
of the tWo-Way pager 32 may receive a con?rmation signal
from the system controller 26, and from the con?rmation
signal it is determined Whether the reverse channel message
Was received by the system controller. If the reverse channel
type, and advertisements and opinion polls, or surveys, are
messages of a second information type. The system in
accordance With the invention includes the transmitter 64 at
the selective call transceiver for transmitting an ansWer
55
FIG. 11 is a How diagram illustrating operation of the
signal in response to manual inputs to the selective call
transceiver by the user 71 in response to the content of
messages of the second information type; the receiver 30 at
the infrastructure for receiving the ansWer signal; a control
ler 26 at the infrastructure for determining credit information
message Was successfully received by the system controller,
the paging service account 118 is increased and the reply
message is deleted from the reply buffer 130. If the reverse
channel message Was not successfully received, then the
pager programmed in accordance With the invention Will
re-transmit the reverse channel message again.
selection list stored in RAM 88.
60
in response to the ansWer signal; a transmitter 28 at the
infrastructure for transmitting a credit signal having the
credit information; and a microcomputer 80 at the selective
call transceiver 32 for selectively inhibiting and enabling
presentation of messages of the ?rst information type in
response to the credit information. Further, selective call
selective call transceiver according to FIG. 1 When a user 65
apparatus has been described that includes a receiver 62 for
selects either a personal message service or an information
service feature (collectively “message/info service”) on the
receiving messages including a ?rst information type and a
5,870,030
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13
second information type; a display 78 for displaying the
of the advertisements stored in the message memory,
messages; a memory, or debit/credit meter, 77 for storing
a number of credit units to be added to the credit
memory,
credit units; and a microcomputer 80 coupled to the receiver
and to the display. The microcomputer calculates a number
of credit units to be added to the memory after displaying the
second information type; enables display of the ?rst infor
for enabling display of at least one personal message in
response to the credit memory having at least a
pre-determined number of credit units,
for inhibiting display of personal messages in response
mation type in response to the memory having at least a
pre-determined number of credit units; inhibits display of
the ?rst information type in response to the memory having
less than the predetermined number of credit units; and
10
calculates a number of credit units to be subtracted from the
memory after display of the ?rst information type.
While a detailed description of the preferred embodiment
of the invention has been given, it should be appreciated that
many variations can be made thereto Without departing from
the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended
claims. For eXample, the invention is not limited to Wireless
communication, but is also applicable to any Wireline com
munication system, such as With the internet, or to fund the
15
information superhighWay.
20
We claim:
1. A selective call apparatus comprising:
a receiver for receiving messages including personal
messages and advertisements;
a message memory for storing received messages;
a display for displaying the messages, such that the
25
display
ity of the advertisement.
6. The selective call apparatus of claim 3 Which each of
the advertisements has a unique identi?cation number asso
advertisements are not displayed at a time advertise
ments are received by the receiver;
a credit memory for storing credit units;
a manual user input device for selectively, separately
displaying on the display, at a display time chosen by
the user, each of the advertisements stored in the
message memory; and
a microcomputer coupled to the receiver and to the
to the credit memory having less than the pre
determined number of credit units, and
for calculating a number of credit units to be subtracted
from the credit memory after display of a personal
message.
2. The selective call apparatus of claim 1 Which the
advertisements are displayable for a duration selectable by
the user through the manual input device.
3. The selective call apparatus of claim 2 in Which the
microcomputer calculates the number of credit units further
only after displaying the advertisement on the display for a
duration equal to or greater than a pre-determined credit
duration.
4. The selective call apparatus of claim 3 Which the
pre-determined credit duration is proportional to a length of
the advertisement.
5. The selective call apparatus of claim 3 Which the
pre-determined credit duration is proportional to a compleX
30
ciated With the advertisement.
7. The selective call apparatus of claim 6 Which the
pre-determined credit duration for each advertisement is
determined by the unique identi?cation number associated
With each advertisement.
35
8. The selective call apparatus of claim 1 in Which the
microcomputer calculates the number of credit units to be
subtracted from the credit memory only after a ?rst display
of a personal message.
for calculating, only after the occurrence of the display
time and in response to displaying on the display one
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