US Patent No. 9,934,485

METHODS AND APPARATUS TO TRACK WIRE OR CABLE REELS IN AN INVENTORY STORAGE ENVIRONMENT USING A MOBILE DEVICE


Patent No. 9,934,485
Issue Date April 03, 2018
Title Methods And Apparatus To Track Wire Or Cable Reels In An Inventory Storage Environment Using A Mobile Device
Inventorship Michael C. Barron, Barrington, IL (US)
Peter Bordonaro, Chester, NH (US)
Assignee ANIXTER, INC., Glenview, IL (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 9,934,485

1. A method to track wire or cable inventory in an inventory storage environment using an application on a mobile device, the method comprising:during a material intake phase:
obtaining, by the mobile device, an identifier of a wire or cable reel;
associating, by the mobile device, the identifier of the wire or cable reel with a first physical location of the wire or cable reel in the inventory storage environment, a first length of a wire or cable on the wire or cable reel, and a first type of the wire or cable on the wire or cable reel; and
storing, by the mobile device, the first physical location, the first length, and the first type in association with the identifier at a data store separate from the mobile device;
during a material retrieval phase:
receiving, at the mobile device, a target location in response to a search query, the target location corresponding to the first physical location of the wire or cable reel in the inventory storage environment, and the search query being based on one or more user-provided wire or cable characteristics;
locating the wire or cable reel using a global positioning system (GPS) receiver of the mobile device based on the target location when the mobile device is located farther than a threshold distance from the target location;
when the mobile device reaches the threshold distance from the target location:
switching between the GPS receiver of the mobile device and a Bluetooth radio interface of the mobile device; and
establishing a wireless connection between the Bluetooth radio interface and a beacon disposed at the first physical location of the wire or cable reel;
locating the wire or cable reel using the Bluetooth radio interface of the mobile device, without the GPS receiver, based on the target location, when the mobile device is located closer than the threshold distance to the target location;
displaying a visual indication of the first physical location of the wire or cable reel relative to the mobile device via a user output interface of the mobile device; and
synchronizing between the beacon and the data store, via the mobile device, at least one of:
(a) location information based on the wire or cable reel being moved to a second physical location; or
(b) length information based on the wire or cable being changed to a second length.