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Patents

ThinAir has successfully negotiated a license agreement to operate under two patents pertaining to GPS tracking systems.

The patents cover the GPS and logistical tracking methods used by ThinAir and Vision 20/20 products.  The patents, listed below along with their U.S. Patent Office descriptions, benefit ThinAir and Vision 20/20 by allowing them to provide their tracking and logistic services without and infringement issues or violations.

U.S. Patent 6,611,686, August 26, 2003
Tracking control and logistics system and method

A system, apparatus, and method are disclosed for monitoring, tracking, and logistics purposes that preferably includes a monitoring unit wherein data is processed using a microcontroller. The monitoring unit includes an interface with the target or asset to be tracked such that electrical signals may be sent between the target and monitoring unit to denote events from the target, e.g., air bag deployment and for activating features of the target, e.g., an alarm.

The interface may be unique for each monitoring unit because unique information relating to each interface is stored in the system database, e.g., data may be related to a temperature in one unit and to a movement sensor indication in another. Therefore, the system may respond appropriately to signals having unique meanings from each different monitoring unit.

A pager unit with a pager modem is controlled by the microcontroller to thereby encode the signals for transmission.

A pager transmitter/receiver network is used for sending and receiving messages from the monitoring unit. The pager transmitter/receiver network is in communication with a server and the database.

The server may be accessed by multiple clients over the Internet or other lines of communication so that the clients at numerous different remote locations may activate controls on their respective one or more remote targets/assets, find the locations thereof, and receive cumulative status reports.

U.S. Patent 6,879,962, April 12, 2006
Logistics system and method

A logistics method is disclosed that provides logistics computer programming for controlling a plurality of transports to supply a plurality of delivery locations from one or more bases. Each of the bases and delivery locations are in communication with a central database, preferably an Internet server database, that contains updated logistics information.

The central database is preferably automatically updated at selectable intervals as to transport location, destination, fuel level, speed, and heading. Manifests may be originated at the respective delivery location or at an associated base and are stored in the central database.

Each material on the manifest is associated with information such as the authorized vendor, a description, storage preferences, units, hazardous designations and additional information if the material is hazardous. Given information about each transport such as load capacity, fuel level, location intelligence, and the like that is stored in the central database and information about the materials, manifest status, and other factors, potential least cost delivery routes using capable transports can be automatically produced for selection by an operator.

The logistics computer programming automatically designates where each manifested material is stored on the transport. The computer programming associates a status designation with each manifest such as outstanding, staged, printed, loaded, unloaded, and cancelled. Each manifest is also associated with a priority which may range from emergency to routine. Updated logistics information concerning materials, manifests, vendors, transports, delivery locations, and operating companies is available from the central database.