|United States Patent
||November 6, 2001 |
Child pager system
The present invention relates to a child pager system including a transmitter
unit which may transmit one of a plurality of messages to a select one of a
plurality of pager units. The transmitter unit has a plurality of channel
selection switches each predesignated for a particular pager. The transmitter
unit also has a plurality of transmission buttons each in communication with a
separate light means on a pager unit whereby each transmission button transmits
a signal indicating a different level of urgency to the pager carrier. Each
pager unit has a panic means in communication with an internal transmission
means that is automatically activated when the pager unit is removed from a
carrier's belt. A panic signal is then transmitted to the transmitter unit and a
light means on the transmitter unit is illuminated indicating which pager unit
sent the signal. The panic means also activates a sound recording means on the
pager unit whereby the carrier can quickly record a message in the event of an
assault or another sudden emergency. The transmitter unit also has a plurality
of lights each varying in color for indicating the relative distance of a pager
unit in communication therewith.
||Kyte; Ricky R. (1345 Camden Ct., Mobile,
AL 36695) |
||January 23, 1998|
|Current U.S. Class:
|Field of Search:
379/68 455/134 |
U.S. Patent Documents
||Hirsch et al.
||Perez et al.
||Schlager et al.
||Gargano et al.
||Chek et al.
||Schlager et al.
||Sugio et al.
||Schaible et al.
Examiner: Kizou; Hassan
Assistant Examiner: Ho; Duc
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Tolar; Kenneth L.
What is claimed is:
1. A child pager system comprising:
a transmitter unit having means for transmitting and receiving a
plurality of discrete wireless signals; said transmitter unit further including
means for transmitting a select one of a plurality of messages, each message
corresponding to a different level of urgency; a plurality of pager
devices, each pager device having means for receiving a discrete signal from
said transmitter unit, each of said pagers also having a transmitter means for
selectively transmitting a discrete signal to said transmitter unit; a
distance indication means on said transmitter unit for selectively determining a
relative distance of each of said pager devices, said distance indication means
including a plurality of lights, each illuminating a different color when
activated, said lights in selective wireless communication with each of said
pager units, each of said lights, when illuminated, indicating a discrete
relative distance of a select unit in communication therewith; a panic
means on each of said pager devices in communication with the pager transmitter
means for automatically transmitting a distress signal to said transmitter unit;
said panic means in communication with a sound recording means for recording a
message when said panic means is activated; said panic means including a
pressure sensitive panic button on the exterior surface of said pager unit and a
clip on the exterior surface of each of said pager units, said clip biased
against said panic button whereby said pager is attached to a user's belt with
the belt between the clip and the panic button so that, when the pager unit is
removed therefrom, the clip engages the panic button to activate said panic
means; a light means on each of said pager devices for indicating when a
message has been recorded on said sound recording means; a playback
means for selectively playing a message that has been recorded on said sound
recording means; a plurality of light means on said transmitter unit
each corresponding to a select pager for indicating which pager's panic means
has been activated.
2. A child pager system according to claim 1 wherein
said means for transmitting a select one of a plurality of messages comprises:
a plurality of transmission means on said transmitter unit each for
transmitting a discrete wireless signal to a preselected pager device; a
plurality of light means on each of said pager devices, each light in selective
communication with a separate transmission means and each corresponding to a
message having a select urgency.
3. A child pager system according to
claim 1 wherein said panic means is in communication with the pager's
transmission means for activating a panic indication means on said transmitter
4. A child pager system according to claim 1 wherein said panic
means is in communication with an alarm means on said pager device for emitting
an audible alarm when said panic means is activated.
5. A child pager
system according to claim 1 wherein said panic means is in communication with an
alarm means on said transmitter unit for emitting an audible alarm when said
panic means is activated.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a
child pager system in which a transmitter can selectively communicate with any
one of a number of receiver units, can determine the relative distance of each
receiver unit and can receive a distress signal therefrom. Each receiver unit
has an automatic panic means which when activated transmits a distress signal
back to the transmitter which can then attribute the signal to a particular
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
In certain situations, it is
almost impossible for parents to continuously monitor their children as is often
the case in shopping malls, amusement parks, restaurants and other public places
where children typically wander or stray. Whenever a child becomes lost or is
accosted, it is typically difficult for the child to communicate with his or her
parents. If a child is old enough to operate a telephone and a telephone is
accessible, the parents may not be near a phone to receive a call. In most
cases, however, a phone will not be accessible, or, in the case of an emergency,
such as a kidnaping or an assault, the child will simply not be able to call.
Additionally, parents often need a convenient method to transmit a message
directly to a child in non-emergency situations such as notifying the child to
return home or to a predesignated meeting place.
Many devices have
previously been developed which are designed to transmit messages or signals
from a remote location to a receiving device such as a pager. For example, U.S.
Pat. No. 5,247,293 issued to Nakagawa relates to a wireless device allowing a
user to remotely control and listen to a cassette player in communication
U.S. Pat. No. 4,998,095 issued to Shields relates to an
emergency transmitter system comprising a plurality of fixed transceivers
located at various locations within a predetermined geographic area which
communicate with various portable transmitters issued to selected individuals.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,924,211 issued to Davies relates to a personal
monitoring system designed for people under house arrest comprising a plurality
of local units for transmitting signals to a corresponding mobile unit.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,640,147 issued to Chek et al relates to a child
monitoring system comprising a device attachable to a child's clothing having a
sensitive audio microphone thereon in communication with a receiver unit
allowing the holder of the receiver unit to periodically listen to activity
proximal the child unit.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,557,259 issued to Musa relates
to a proximity alert and direction transmitter mounted on a person's shoe which
communicates with a receiver bracelet. The receiver has a proximity detector
with a threshold set that emits an audible sound when the distance between the
subject and the observer exceeds a preset distance.
U.S. Pat. No.
5,245,314 issued to Kah, Jr. relates to a location and monitoring system
comprising a radio frequency transmitter and receiver in which the receiver
sounds an alarm at a predetermined time after failure to receive a transmitter
signal. The device is capable of scanning for several transmitter signals so
that one person with the receiver can monitor the location of several children.
Although child monitoring devices exist in the prior art, these devices
do not have the features and advantages of the present invention such as a
receiver unit having an automatic panic means which activates a sound recording
chip and transmits a panic signal to the transmitter. The transmitter further
comprises a plurality of message transmission means each corresponding to a
different level of urgency with which a person receiving the message should
respond. Furthermore, the present invention has a unique tracking mechanism
which allows a holder of the transmitter unit to selectively determine the
relative distance between it and a select one of a plurality of receiver units
in communication therewith.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
invention relates to a child pager system comprising a transmitter unit having
radio frequency transmission and receiver circuitry therein. On the exterior
surface of the transmitter unit are a plurality of channel selection buttons
each corresponding to a discrete square wave frequency signal to be transmitted
via an externally mounted, telescoping antenna. Each discrete frequency
transmission signal will communicate with a separate child pager/receiver device
which is attachable to a child's clothing or belt. Accordingly, the transmitter
can selectively transmit messages to or receive messages from any one of a
plurality of different receivers allowing a user to selectively monitor one or
Adjacent each channel selection button is a channel
signal light for indicating which pager device is transmitting a panic signal as
described below. Horizontally disposed along the exterior of the transmitter
unit are a plurality of aligned signal strength indicator lights each in
selective communication with the channel selection switches and the
corresponding pager units. The strength indicator lights are arranged
sequentially from varying shades of green, amber to red each corresponding to a
different relative distance of the pager unit transmitting or receiving a
signal. Accordingly, a user may press one of the channel selection buttons at
which time the signal strength indicator lights indicate the relative distance
of the corresponding receiver/pager unit. Progressing from green to red, each
succeeding light would correspond to a greater relative distance between the
transmitter and the corresponding pager. Accordingly, a person holding the
transmitter may "track" the person holding a pager unit by periodically pressing
the corresponding channel selection button as the user travels from one location
The pager/receiver unit resembles a standard pager device
having a substantially rectangular housing within which is a transmitter and
receiver means similar to that of the transmitter unit. On a side of the housing
are a plurality of light means for indicating that a message has been
transmitted from the transmitter unit. Each light means corresponds to a
different level of urgency with which the person receiving the signal should
The pager unit has a pivotally engaging belt clip for
easily securing the device to a user's belt. The belt clip normally engages a
pressure sensitive panic button in communication with an external microphone and
a recording sound chip. When the device is attached to a user's belt, the clip
is disengaged from the panic button. Accordingly, if a child is in distress, he
or she may remove the receiver causing the belt clip to engage the panic button,
automatically activating the recorder allowing the child to record a message. At
the end of the predetermined recording duration, a speaker on a side of the
housing would emit a piercing sound emission to alert people in the immediate
area or to frighten an attacker. A play button is provided on a side of the
receiver unit allowing the recorded message to be replayed. The panic button is
also in radio communication with a panic light on the transmitter unit such that
when the panic button is activated, the panic light on the transmitter is
illuminated. When the panic button on a particular pager is activated, a channel
signal light corresponding to the pager is likewise illuminated thereby visually
indicating which pager's panic button has been activated. An audible alarm is
also emitted through a speaker on the transmitter unit.
It is therefore
an object of the present invention to provide a child pager system which may
selectively communicate with any one of a plurality of receiver units.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a child
pager system in which the receiver/pager units have an automated sound recording
It is yet another object of the present invention to
provide a child pager system having a transmitter device which can selectively
determine the relative distance of any one of a number of corresponding pager
devices in communication therewith.
It is yet another object of the
present invention to provide a child pager system which may transmit to a select
pager one of a plurality of messages each corresponding to a different level of
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a
child pager system in which each pager unit has a panic means which
automatically emits a loud piercing noise and which transmits a signal to the
transmitter unit allowing the holder thereof to attribute the signal to a
particular pager. Other objects, features and advantages of the present
invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description
of the preferred embodiment when considered with the attached drawings and the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
depicts the pager/receiver unit according to the present invention.
2 depicts the transmitter unit.
FIG. 3 depicts a side view of a pager
FIG. 4 depicts a schematic of the transmitter unit circuitry.
FIG. 5 depicts a schematic of the pager/receiver unit circuitry.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to FIGS. 1
through 4, the present invention relates to a child pager system including a
transmitter unit 25 comprising a substantially rectangular hollow base component
1 having a front surface, a back surface and four peripheral edges therebetween.
Extending from the top surface of the base component is a telescopic antenna 3
for assisting in the transmission and reception of a radio frequency signal. On
the front surface of the base component are a plurality of channel selection
buttons 2 in communication with a radio frequency transmitter system (not
pictured) received within the base component, the circuitry of which is depicted
in FIG. 3 and is described in more detail below. Each channel selection button 2
corresponds to a discrete predetermined square wave frequency to be transmitted
for selectively communicating with any one of a plurality of pager units.
Adjacent each channel selection button 2 is a light 10 for identifying
which pager unit has transmitted a panic situation as described below. Also on
the front surface of the base component 1 are two or more transmission switches
5 each for emitting a separate, discrete transmission signal which will
illuminate a separate light means 4 on a pager unit as described below. The
transmitter unit has a speaker 11 disposed on its exterior for emitting an
audible alarm upon receiving a panic signal from a pager unit. The transmitter
may also have a belt clip 12 for attaching it to a user's belt.
system also comprises a plurality of pager/receiver units 3 each selectively
receiving a signal from the transmitter unit depending upon which channel
selection button has been activated. Each pager unit 3 also has a transmitter
circuit therein for transmitting a panic message to the transmitter unit.
Accordingly, by depressing one of the channel selection buttons 2, the user may
selectively communicate with a select one of a number of separate
Each receiver unit 3 comprises a substantially
rectangular hollow housing having front and back surfaces and four peripheral
edges therebetween. On a peripheral edge are a plurality of light means 4 each
in communication with a separate transmission switch 5. Preferably each light
means 4 emits a unique color when activated by a transmission switch 5, each
corresponding to a preselected degree of urgency with which the signaled person
should respond (i.e. return immediately, call home etc.). Two light means 4, two
transmission switches 5 and four channel selection buttons 2 are depicted in
FIG. 1. However, as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, any
number of light means, switches and buttons may be provided without departing
from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, selected degrees of
urgency with which a child should respond to the signal are provided by pressing
a channel selection switch corresponding to a particular pager, then, depressing
one of the transmission switches 5 corresponding to the desired urgency. For
example, a red light on a pager unit in communication with a first transmission
5 switch may be provided to transmit an urgent situation and an amber light in
communication with a second transmission switch can transmit a non-emergency
Disposed on the back surface of the pager unit is a pivotally
engaging belt clip 7 for easily attaching the device to a user's belt, pants or
other clothing items. The belt clip 7 is biased towards and normally engages a
pressure sensitive panic button 6 disposed on the back surface of the pager
unit. The panic button is in communication with a sound recording chip and a
sound producing circuit 48. A condenser microphone 8 in electrical communication
with the recording chip is disposed on the front surface of the pager for
receiving and recording audible messages thereon. Accordingly, in an emergency
situation such as if the child is being kidnaped or assaulted, the child or
other person carrying the device may remove it from his or her belt. The belt is
then no longer disposed between the panic button and the clip allowing the belt
clip 7 to engage the panic button 6 at which time the child may record a brief
message. The panic button 6 will also automatically activate an alarm means
capable of emitting an ear piercing, high decibel tone via a speaker 26 to alert
people in the vicinity that the child is in distress. The panic button 6 is also
in radio frequency communication with a panic light 9 disposed on the front
surface of the transmitter unit alerting the person monitoring the child that an
emergency is occurring. Furthermore, each pager panic button 6 is in wireless
communication with the light 10 adjacent its corresponding channel selection
switch allowing a person holding the transmitter unit to attribute the panic
signal to a particular pager.
On a side of each receiver unit is a
message indicator light 13 for visually indicating when a message has been
recorded. A play button 14 is likewise disposed on the exterior surface of a
receiver unit and is in communication with the sound recording chip allowing the
message recorded during the panic mode to be replayed.
transmitter and receiver units are selectively activated using a power switch
15,16 respectively, and each are powered with a battery means 78,79 which may be
recharged with an accompanying adaptor 17. The adapter may be connected to an
external jack 17A.
Horizontally disposed on the front surface of the
transmitter unit are a plurality of signal strength indicator lights 20
sequentially disposed according to color from dark green to dark red with amber
lights therebetween. The lights 20 are in communication with each pager and the
channel selection switches. By depressing a channel selection switch, a user may
determine the relative distance of a particular pager in communication therewith
by viewing the indicator lights. For example, the green indicator lights would
indicate that the particular pager unit is within a predetermined distance of
the base component. Amber indicator lights would indicate that the pager is at a
farther distance and the red indicator lights would indicate that the particular
pager is even a greater distance from the transmitter unit. Therefore, a user
may quickly and easily determine the relative distance of each person carrying a
pager device. The user may travel in various directions periodically pressing
the channel selection switch until a green light is illuminated allowing the
user to pursue a select pager.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the circuitry
associated with the transmitter unit is depicted. The transmitter unit includes
an FM transmitter circuit 30 and an FM receiver circuit 31. The receiver circuit
31 receives a signal from a transmitter located within a pager unit described in
more detail below. The circuits are powered by the rechargeable battery means 78
described above and the voltage is regulated by integrated circuit 60.
The relative strength of a signal received from a pager transmitter is
amplified by an associated audio amplifier circuit 71 in communication with an
L.E.D. level meter circuit 72 and a bargraph circuit 73. The bargraph circuit 73
determines the relative strength of the signal received from a particular pager.
Each transmitter within each pager transmits on the same FM frequency
but each has its own distinguishing square wave tone frequency. When a signal is
received by the receiver circuit 31 such as when the panic mode 15 is activated,
the tone is decoded with a phase locked loop tone decoder 74 which illuminates
the panic mode LED on the transmitter unit. The tone decoder 74 also determines
which child pager transmitter sent the signal and illuminates the light means
adjacent the appropriate channel selection button.
circuitry 30 is capable of transmitting a digital notification signal to any one
of the pager receiver units by means of a same tone transmitting technique. When
a particular channel switch is selected, a tone generator circuit 90 produces
any one of a plurality of separate square wave frequency tones which communicate
with a tone decoder circuit 41 within the pager (see below). When a channel
switch is activated, a discrete frequency is transmitted. The frequency
transmitted by transmission switches 5 for a given urgency level remains
constant regardless of the channel selected. Since selecting a channel will only
activate that particular pager's tone decoder circuit, the appropriate light
means will be illuminated only on the pager selected. When a panic button is
activated, a tone signal is fed to transmitter via buffer 36 and triggers
transistor 35 activating the audio oscillator/amplifier/speaker 36 creating an
The transmitter unit antenna is normally set by relay 38
to receive signals and feed the signals to the FM receiver. By actuating a
channel selector switch, tone generator circuit 90 delivers a voltage to relay
38 thereby closing relay 38 allowing a signal to be transmitted through the
antenna. In absence of such a signal, the relay 38 causes the antenna to return
to the receive mode.
The pager circuitry is depicted in FIG. 5. As with
the transmitter unit, the pager units each comprise an FM transmitter and an FM
receiver circuit. The receiver circuit 40 receives a digital square wave tone
from the transmitter unit which is connected to a phase locked loop (PLL) tone
decoder integrated circuit 41. If the received digital square wave riding on the
FM carrier wave matches the frequency set on the phase locked loop tone decoder,
the signal is transmitted to a two channel PLL decoder integrated circuit 43
which responds to the second signal riding on the FM carrier wave. A first tone
activates the amber LED indicating a routine response and the other activates
the red LED indicating an emergency response.
When the panic button is
activated, switch 46 activates the transmitter 47 which has an on-board digital
square wave generator set for a specific frequency. A signal is transmitted to
the transmitter unit in which its PLL decoder 74 will respond to the particular
frequency tone being generated by illuminating the appropriate indicator light
adjacent the corresponding channel selection button. As opposed to the
transmitter unit, separate internal wave antennas 80,81 are used for the pager
transmitter and receiver circuits.
A solid state audio storage
integrated circuit 48 is activated by the emergency belt clip switch 46 and
stores a voice message of a predetermined duration. The condenser microphone 8
is connected to integrated circuit 48 as is the stored message LED 13. The
output of the audio storage chip is connected to an audio amplifier integrated
circuit 82 and a speaker 83 for selectively playing the audio message.
To use the above described device, each child to be monitored would be
assigned a pager unit. The child would then clip the device to his or her belt
thereby de-activating the panic switch and the power switch would be placed to
the "on" position. A person operating the transmitter unit may activate a
channel selection switch corresponding to the pager to be signaled then activate
one of the transmission buttons to deliver a message requesting a predetermined
response. To determine the relative distance of a particular pager device, a
person monitoring the transmitter unit may again activate the appropriate
channel selection switch. The signal strength indicator lights would illuminate
indicating the relative distance of the particular paging device. In an
emergency situation, the child can remove the pager causing the belt clip to
engage the panic button thereby activating the recording chip and a loud
piercing alarm will be emitted. An audible alarm is emitted on the transmitter
unit and the panic mode light and the appropriate channel signal light on the
transmitter unit are then illuminated.
Although there has been shown and
described the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be readily
apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications may be made thereto
which do not exceed the scope of the appended claims. Therefore, the scope of
the invention is only to be limited by the following appended claims.
* * * * *