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Title:
USER TRACKING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/044225
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system for tracking users in an activity venue, the system including a number of wearable identification devices, each wearable identification device being worn by a user and being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the user, a number of readers, at least one reader being associated with each of a number of areas within the venue, and each reader being capable of reading identification data from a wearable identification device in the vicinity of the reader and at least one processing device in communication with the number of readers, the at least one processing device being adapted to receive data from the readers, the data being indicative of identification data read by the readers, determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the data and record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

Inventors:
CHUA, Soo Jin (37 Cheng Soon Crescent, Singapore 9, 599909, SG)
Application Number:
SG2016/000013
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 31, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CHUA, Soo Jin (37 Cheng Soon Crescent, Singapore 9, 599909, SG)
International Classes:
G07C9/00; G06K7/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JIM LIM KHENG HUAT (KhattarWong LLP, 80 Raffles Place #25-01UOB Plaza 1, Singapore 4, 048624, SG)
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Claims:
THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS :

1) A system for tracking users in an activity venue, the system including:

a) a number of wearable identification devices, each wearable identification device being associated with and worn by a respective user in use and being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user;

b) a number of readers, at least one reader being associated with each of a number of areas within the venue, and each reader being capable of reading

identification data from a wearable identification device in the vicinity of the reader; and,

c) at least one processing device in communication with the number of readers, the at least one processing device being adapted to:

i) receive reader data from the readers, the reader data being indicative of identification data read by the readers;

ii) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

iii) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

2) A system according to claim 1, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user enters an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area; and,

b) determines user participation to commence when the user enters the activity area.

3) A system according to claim 2, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user leaves an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an exit to the activity area or a reader provided at an entry to a subsequent area; and

b) determines user participation to end when the user leaves the activity area.

4) A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 3, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines a user allocation for the respective user; and, b) selectively modifies the user allocation in accordance with the user participation.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 4, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user attempts to enter an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area; and,

b) causes an indication of a user allocation for the respective user to be displayed.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 5, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in a training area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the training area;

b) determines user training to occur when the user is in the training area; and, c) records an indication of user training associated with the respective user.

A system according to claim 6, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user attempts to enter an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area;

b) determines if the user has completed training; and,

c) causes a notification to be provided indicative of an outcome of the determination.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 7, wherein the at least one processing device causes a payment to be requested at least partially in accordance with the user participation.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 8, wherein the at least one processing device causes a payment to be requested if a user participation exceeds a user allocation.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 9, wherein the at least one processing device: a) receives at least one image of the user recorded by an imaging device when the user is participating in the activity; and,

b) associates the at least one image with the user data of the respective user, thereby allowing the image to be provided to the respective user.

A system according to claim 10, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the activity area;

b) determines when an image of a user is captured; and,

c) associates the image with the user data based on when the user is in the activity area and when the image is captured.

A system according to claim 10, wherein the image is captured at least one of:

a) in response to determination that the user has entered the activity area;

b) in response to detection of at least one of:

i) a presence of the user in the activity area;

ii) a presence of the wearable identification device in the activity area; iii) a face of the user; and,

iv) a facial expression of the user; and,

c) manually using imaging operated by an operator.

A system according to claim 12, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the activity area;

b) associates an image storage location with the user;

c) receives at least one image from an imaging device; and,

d) stores the at least one image in the image storage location.

A system according to any one of the claims 10 to 13, wherein the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in a photo viewing area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the photo viewing area; and,

b) causes an image of the respective user to be displayed. A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 14, wherein the wearable identification device includes machine readable coded data displayed thereon, the reader including a reader capable of reading the coded data.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 14, wherein the wearable identification device includes:

a) identification device memory that stores the identification data; and, b) an identification device communications module, the identification device communications module being adapted to communicate with the reader allowing identification data to be provided from the memory to the sensing device upon request.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 16, wherein the at least one electronic processing device:

a) determines user data indicative of an identity of the respective user; and, b) records an association between the identification data and the user data.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 16, wherein the at least one electronic processing device:

a) determines user data indicative of an identity of the respective user;

b) generates identification data at least partially in accordance with the user data; and,

c) causes the identification data to be stored in identification device memory.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 18, wherein the reader data includes at least one of:

a) an indication of the identification data;

b) a user identifier indicative of an identity of the respective user;

c) a reader identifier indicative of an identity of the reader;

d) an indication of a read time; and,

e) an indication of a read date.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 19, wherein the at least processing device: a) receives reader data;

b) determines a reader location from a reader identifier forming part of the reader data;

c) determines an identity of the respective user from the reader data; and, d) tracks the user based on the reader location and identity of the respective user.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 20, wherein each reader includes: a) a reader processor that receives signals indicative of reader data from the sensor; and,

b) a reader communications module that communicates with the at least one processing device to thereby provide reader data indicative of at least one of:

i) the identification data; and,

ii) a time.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 21, wherein the wearable identification device includes at least one of:

a) a wristband; and,

b) a helmet.

A system according to any one of the claims 1 to 22, wherein the user is at least one of:

a) a customer; and,

b) an instructor.

A method for tracking users in an activity venue, the method including:

a) providing a number of wearable identification devices, each wearable identification device being associated with and worn by a respective user in use and being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user;

b) using a number of readers to sense identification data from a wearable identification device, at least one reader being associated with each of a number of areas within the venue so as to sense identification data as users are in the area; and, c) at least one processing device in communication with each reader, the at least one processing device being adapted to: i) receive reader data indicative of reader data from the readers;

ii) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

iii) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

A system for tracking users in an activity venue, the system including at least one processing device that:

a) receives reader data from a number of readers, at least one reader being associated with each area of a number of areas within the venue, and each reader being capable of reading identification data from a wearable identification device associated with and worn by a respective user in use, the wearable identification device being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user and the reader data being indicative of identification data read by the readers;

b) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

c) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

Description:
USER TRACKING SYSTEM Background of the Invention

[0001] The present invention relates to a method and system for tracking users in an activity venue, and in one particular example to a method and system for tracking customers and instructors in an indoor skydiving venue.

Description of the Prior Art

[0002] The reference in this specification to any prior publication (or reader data derived from it), or to any matter which is known, is not, and should not be taken as an acknowledgment or admission or any form of suggestion that the prior publication (or reader data derived from it) or known matter forms part of the common general knowledge in the field of endeavour to which this specification relates.

[0003] Indoor skydiving is performed in a venue having a flight chamber including a vertical wind tunnel which acts to simulate a skydiving experience. Typically such venues operate by having a number of individuals booked to use the wind tunnel in a given time slot, with each individual purchasing packages of skydives for use during the time slot, with each individual dive typically lasting for approximately 45 to 90 seconds.

[0004] Prior to commencing the skydiving activity, the individuals typically need to prepare, including undergoing briefing and/or training, before equipped with apparel including a skydiving suit, goggles and a helmet. Following this, the individuals are held in a holding area, taking it in turn to utilise their allocated skydives. As part of this, one or more instructors may be present to assist guide and train the individuals, and to accompany the individuals during the dive to prevent accident or injury.

[0005] To assist with managing individuals, indoor skydiving venues are typically divided into a number of distinct areas, such as respective rooms, each of which has a respective function. Thus individuals can progress through a briefing area, training area, equipment area, holding area, or the like. This allows groups of individuals to progress sequentially through the venue without crossover or interference.

[0006] However, this type of arrangement results in a number of difficulties for operators of the venue. [0007] For example, it is difficult to track the number of skydives each individual has used. In this regard, each skydiving session typically has a number of individuals, for example up to sixteen people, with these having each purchased a respective number of skydives, such as one, two, four, ten, or the like. Each session is overseen by one or more instructors, and the instructors therefore need to keep track of the individuals as they perform each skydive to ensure they only use their allocated number of skydives. This requires each instructor to remember the number of skydives each user has purchased, and count the number of skydives each user has performed.

[0008] Individuals can also elect to perform additional skydives, opting to pay for these after they have been completed. Again however, this requires that instructors manually track the number of skydives performed, in order to ensure that payment is collected.

[0009] Furthermore, as the individuals are typically wearing a flying suit, goggles and helmet, the individuals are difficult to distinguish, meaning it is hard for instructors to accurately count the number of skydives each individual has used, often resulting in individuals performing excessive numbers of skydives. This also makes it difficult to track the individuals throughout the venue, meaning it is not possible to determine if users are in the holding area, or training room, gearing up, or flying in the flight chamber.

[0010] Additionally, instructors have little or no information regarding individuals when they commence their skydiving experience. This makes it difficult for instructors to tailor briefing and training, meaning time is wasted with instructors asking each individual their relevant level of expertise or the like.

[0011] A further issue is that in many venues, individuals are filmed/photographed during the process, allowing then to purchase a video/photos of their skydives. However, as individuals cannot be easily distinguished, currently individuals have to purchase a video/photo of the entire session instead of just of their own skydives. This is undesirable for privacy reasons, and leads to unnecessary expense, and often results in individuals not proceeding with a purchase, meaning revenue for the venue is lost.

[0012] Additionally, instructors typically have a certain flight time allocated to them, for practice, training and pleasure purposes. Such usage is subject to approval by the venue operators, but can be difficult to track. For example, the instructor will have to approach the management to request manually if they can book the flight chamber for their flight time usage. If the instructor obtains approval this is then tracked via an honesty or manual process, for example a spreadsheet containing their balance flight will need to be updated. Such a system is very manual and time consuming, and hence is not productive, whilst also being inaccurate.

Summary of the Present Invention

[0013] In one broad form the present invention seeks to provide a system for tracking users in an activity venue, the system including:

a) a number of wearable identification devices, each wearable identification device being associated with and worn by a respective user in use and being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user;

b) a number of readers, at least one reader being associated with each of a number of areas within the venue, and each reader being capable of reading identification data from a wearable identification device in the vicinity of the reader; and,

c) at least one processing device in communication with the number of readers, the at least one processing device being adapted to:

i) receive reader data from the readers, the reader data being indicative of identification data read by the readers;

. ii) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

iii) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

[0014] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user enters an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area; and,

b) determines user participation to commence when the user enters the activity area.

[0015] Typically the at least one processing device: a) determines when a user leaves an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an exit to the activity area or a reader provided at an entry to a subsequent area; and,

b) determines user participation to end when the user leaves the activity area.

[0016] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines a user allocation for the respective user; and,

b) selectively modifies the user allocation in accordance with the user participation.

[0017] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user attempts to enter an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area; and,

b) causes an indication of a user allocation for the respective user to be displayed.

[0018] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in a training area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the training area;

b) determines user training to occur when the user is in the training area; and, c) records an indication of user training associated with the respective user.

[0019] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user attempts to enter an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area;

b) determines if the user has completed training; and,

c) causes a notification to be provided indicative of an outcome of the determination.

[0020] Typically the at least one processing device causes a payment to be requested at least partially in accordance with the user participation.

[0021] Typically the at least one processing device causes a payment to be requested if a user participation exceeds a user allocation.

[0022] Typically the at least one processing device: a) receives at least one image of the user recorded by an imaging device when the user is participating in the activity; and,

b) associates the at least one image with the user data of the respective user, thereby allowing the image to be provided to the respective user.

[0023] Typically the image is captured at least one of:

a) in response to determination that the user has entered the activity area;

b) in response to detection of at least one of:

i) a presence of the user in the activity area;

ii) a presence of the wearable identification device in the activity area; iii) a face of the user; and,

iv) a facial expression of the user; and,

c) manually using imaging operated by an operator.

[0024] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the activity area;

b) associates an image storage location with the user;

c) receives at least one image from an imaging device; and,

d) stores the at least one image in the image storage location.

[0025] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the activity area;

b) determines when an image of a user is captured; and,

c) associates the image with the user data based on when the user is in the activity area and when the image is captured.

[0026] Typically the at least one processing device:

a) determines when a user is in a photo viewing area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the photo viewing area; and,

b) causes an image of the respective user to be displayed.

[0027] Typically the wearable identification device includes machine readable coded data displayed thereon, the reader including a reader capable of reading the coded data. [0028] Typically the wearable identification device includes:

a) identification device memory that stores the identification data; and, b) an identification device communications module, the identification device communications module being adapted to communicate with the reader allowing identification data to be provided from the memory to the sensing device upon request.

[0029] Typically the at least one electronic processing device:

a) determines user data indicative of an identity of the respective user; and, b) records an association between the identification data and the user data.

[0030] Typically the at least one electronic processing device:

a) determines user data indicative of an identity of the respective user;

b) generates identification data at least partially in accordance with the user data; and,

c) causes the identification data to be stored in identification device memory.

[0031] Typically the reader data includes at least one of:

a) an indication of the identification data;

b) a user identifier indicative of an identity of the respective user;

c) a reader identifier indicative of an identity of the reader;

d) an indication of a read time; and,

e) an indication of a read date.

[0032] Typically the at least processing device:

a) receives reader data;

b) determines a reader location from a reader identifier fonning part of the reader data;

c) determines an identity of the respective user from the reader data; and, d) tracks the user based on the reader location and identity of the respective user.

[0033] Typically each reader includes:

a) a reader processor that receives signals indicative of reader data from the sensor; and,

b) a reader communications module that communicates with the at least one processing device to thereby provide reader data indicative of at least one of: i) the identification data; and,

ii) a time.

[0034] Typically the wearable identification device includes at least one of:

a) a wristband; and,

b) a helmet.

[0035] Typically the user is at least one of:

a) a customer; and,

b) an instructor.

[0036] In one broad form the present invention seeks to provide a method for tracking users in an activity venue, the method including:

a) providing a number of wearable identification devices, each wearable identification device being associated with and worn by a respective user in use and being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user;

b) using a number of readers to sense identification data from a wearable identification device, at least one reader being associated with each of a number of areas within the venue so as to sense identification data as users are in the area; and, c) at least one processing device in communication with each reader, the at least one processing device being adapted to:

i) receive reader data indicative of reader data from the readers;

ii) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

iii) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

[0037] In one broad form the present invention seeks to provide a system for tracking users in an activity venue, the system including at least one processing device that:

a) receives reader data from a number of readers, at least one reader being associated with each area of a number of areas within the venue, and each reader being capable of reading identification data from a wearable identification device associated with and worn by a respective user in use, the wearable identification device being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user and the reader data being indicative of identification data read by the readers; b) determine user participation in an activity in accordance with the reader data; and,

c) record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity. [0038] It will be appreciated that the broad forms of the invention and their respective features can be used in conjunction, interchangeably and/or independently, and reference to separate broad forms is not intended to be limiting.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0039] An example of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: -

[0040] Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of an example of a system for tracking users in an activity venue;

[0041] Figure 2 is a flow chart of an example of a process for tracking users in an activity venue;

[0042] Figure 3 is a schematic diagram of a further example of apparatus for tracking users in an activity venue;

[0043] Figure 4 is a schematic diagram of an example of a reader of Figure 3;

[0044] Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of an example of a wearable identification device of

Figure 3;

[0045] Figure 6 is a schematic diagram of an example of a processing system of Figure 3;

[0046] Figure 7 is a schematic diagram of an example of a client device of Figure 3;

[0047] Figure 8 is a flow chart of an example of a process for allocating a wearable identification device to a user;

[0048] Figure 9 is a flow chart of an example of the process for updating a user participation;,

[0049] Figures 10A to 10D are a flow chart of an example of a process for tracking a user performing a skydiving activity.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments

[0050] An example of a system and method for tracking users in an activity venue will now be described with reference to Figures 1 and 2. [0051] For the purpose of this example, it is assumed that the venue is an indoor skydiving venue, including a number of different areas, each of which is used for a respective purpose as outlined above. However, it will be appreciated that the techniques could be applied to other venues, particularly those suffering from the difficulties outlined above, in terms of their ability to accurately track participation of users in an activity. As will become apparent from the following description, the term user is intended to refer to any individual participating in the activity, and could include either a customer, or an instructor.

[0052] In this example, the system 100 used to track the individuals includes a number of wearable identification devices 110. Each wearable identification device 110 is associated with and worn by a respective user in use, and can be of any appropriate form depending on the preferred implementation. In one example, the wearable identification device 110 is a wristband, which can be easily worn by users as required, and which would typically not interfere with clothing involved in activities such as skydiving or the like, and is therefore safe for use during the activity. [0053] Each wearable identification device 110 is encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user. The identification data can be of any appropriate form, and could include information identifying the user, or alternatively could be a generic identifier, such as a unique alphanumeric code, which is associated with the user. The identification information could be encoded in any appropriate manner and could be printed on the device, stored in a memory, or the like, as will be described in more detail below.

[0054] A number of readers 120 are provided in the venue, with each reader 120 typically being associated with, and in one example situated at an entry to, each of a number of areas within the venue. Thus, for example, a reader can be placed at the entry to the holding area, the training room and the skydiving flight chamber, as well as any other area within the venue. Each reader is typically capable of reading identification data from a wearable identification device in the vicinity of the reader, for example as the user enters, or is within, the area. It will be appreciated that the nature of the reader, and manner in which the identification data is read will largely depend on the manner in which identification data is encoded, and could include using a scanner or imaging device to detect a visible code, or using an RFID, Bluetooth or another similar wireless reader to retrieve data stored in memory. [0055] The system typically also includes at least one processing device 130, forming part of one or more processing systems, such as a computer system, which may in turn be connected to one or more client devices, such as mobile phones, portable computers or the like, via a network architecture, as will be described in more detail below. [0056] In use, at step 200, as a user is within a vicinity of a reader, for example as a user enters an area within the venue, a respective reader 120 reads the user's identification device 110 to determine the identification data. The 120 reader transfers reader data to the processing device, at step 210, with the reader data typically being at least partially based on the identification data, and optionally including other information, such as an indication of the reader location, read time or the like.

[0057] The processing device 130 uses the reader data to determine user participation in an activity at step 220. hi particular, the reader data can be used to determine the identity of the user and their relative location within the venue, such as whether they have just entered a holding area, training room or flight chamber, in turn allowing participation in the activity to be determined.

[0058] At step 230 the processing device utilises the collected information in order to record an indication of the user participation to thereby track user participation in the activity.

[0059] Accordingly, the above described system utilises wearable devices, such as wristbands, which are worn by each user participating in the activity, including customers and/or instructors. Readers are positioned throughout the venue in order to track the location of users as they move through the venue, and hence determine which part of an activity the user is currently involved in.

[0060] This process can be utilised in order to track participation of the user in a particular activity, such as skydiving, ensure that a particular part of an activity has been completed, such as to ensure training has been performed or the like. Additionally, this process can be used to present information to other individuals, for example allowing information regarding a customer to be displayed to an instructor utilising a client device, such as a monitor, tablet, wearable display device, or the like. This can ensure instructors are able to monitor how many times a user participates in the activity, as well as to allow instructors to be presented with relevant information regarding users, such as a level of expertise. This in turn allows the system to ensure users do not have the opportunity to participate in the activity more than they are entitled to.

[0061] Finally, the tracking process can be used to ensure photos and/or videos captured of users are associated with and hence provided to the correct user, thereby facilitating the sale of such media to customers, as will be described below.

[0062] A number of further features will now be described in more detail.

[0063] Typically the processing device determines when a user enters an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to, or within, the activity area, and then determines user participation to commence when the user enters the area. Optionally, the processing device can determine participation in an activity to end when the user leaves the area, which could be detected by a reader at an exit to the area, or by a reader at an entrance to a subsequent area. This can be used to determine a length of time spent participating in the activity, for example to allow participation to be measured on a duration basis, as well as to ensure compliance with training requirements, such as a length of time spent training, or the like.

[0064] In one particular example, if it determined that the user, such as a customer, has entered a room and not exited within a given time frame, then the system can record that an activity has been completed. This may arise for example if the user has entered a room, such as a flight chamber, for a period longer than the stipulated time, such as 45 seconds, and the reader at the exit of the room or the entrance of a subsequent room, does not detect the exit of the user. Thus, in this instance, an activity status can be updated to completed to account for the failure to detect the user leaving the room.

[0065] Additionally and/or alternatively techniques can be provided to allow information to be entered into the system manually. For example, in the event the readers do not detect, or do not read the identification data from the wearable identification device, a user such an instructor could manually input information into the processing device so that the user can be correctly tracked. For example, if the reader at the flight chamber fails to detect that the customer has completed the training and has left the chamber, the instructor has the option to manually input the information that the customer has completed the training. [0066] Typically the processing device determines a user allocation for the respective user and selectively modifies the user allocation in accordance with the user participation. For example, if the user is allocated a set number of skydives, each time a skydive is completed a remaining number of skydives allocated to the user can be calculated. In this instance, when a user attempts to enter an activity area, the processing device can cause an indication of a remaining user allocation for the respective user to be displayed. This can allow an instructor to determine whether a customer has an allocation remaining or whether they have utilised their allocation and have no more skydives remaining. Additionally and/or alternatively the user could be precluded from entering an area, for example by displaying an indication such as a red or green light depending on whether the user has a remaining allocation.

[0067] It will be appreciated that this system can also be utilised in order to track training in a similar manner. Thus, the processing device determines whether a user is in a training area in accordance with reader data from a reader associated with the training area, determines user training to occur when the user is in the training area and records an indication of user training associated with the respective user. It will be appreciated that the term "training area" is used to identify an area in which training occurs, and that in practice this could be the same as an activity area.

[0068] The processing device can then determine when the user attempts to enter an activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area, determine if the user has completed training and cause a notification to be provided indicative of an outcome of the determination. Thus, this can be used to flag to instructors if a user has not undergone required briefings and/or training, ensuring safety is maintained at all times.

[0069] It will also be appreciated that the system can be utilised in order to track user participation over an extended time period, for example to track a number of skydives completed over multiple visits to the venue. This information can be presented to an instructor in a similar manner thereby assisting the instructor in ascertaining the level of expertise of a customer and hence provide appropriate instruction.

[0070] The processing device can cause a payment to be requested at least partially in accordance with user participation. Whilst payment can be collected solely after the process has been performed, more typically venues request payment in advance, with a partial refund, or further payment being required depending upon the amount of user participation compared to the allotted user allocation. Thus, if the user participates in more skydives than they have paid for, additional payment can be sought before the user leaves the venue, thereby ensuring sufficient payment is obtained.

[0071] In one example, the processing device receives at least one image of the user recorded by an imaging device when the user is participating in the activity. The image could be a single image, or could include a sequence of images, for example forming part of a video sequence. The processing device can then associate the image(s) with user data associated with the respective user, thereby allowing the image(s) to be subsequently provided to the respective user. In one particular example, this can be achieved by determining when an user enters the activity area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided at an entry to the activity area, determining when the image is captured and then associating the image with the user data based on when the user enters the activity area and when the image is captured. Thus, if images(s) are captured after the user has entered, but before the user has left the activity area, the images can be associated with the respective user. [0072] Similarly, images can be captured in response to determination that the user has entered the activity area, so that entering the activity area triggers capturing of the image. In this instance, the processing device will typically detect the user entering the area, and then instruct an imaging device to commence capturing one or more images. Additionally and/or alternatively, images can be captured in response to detection of a face of the user and/or a facial expression of the user. Thus, in this instance an imaging device can be configured to continually monitor a field of view, and when either a face or particular facial expression is provided in the field of view, the processing device can cause the relevant image to be captured and stored.

[0073] Similarly, images can be detected in response to detection of either the user or a wearable identification device in the activity area. For example, the activity area could include sensors that detect the presence of a person, such as proximity sensors, infra-red beam broken by the body of a user while in flight, or the like. In this instance, when the user is detected, the photographs and/or videos can be captured, and automatically stored as required.

[0074] Additionally, images could be captured based on detected of the wearable identification device. For example, the wearable device may allow detection to be performed remotely, for example, allowing scanning of a displayed code, such as a barcode, QR code, or infra-red code, or remote reading of an RFID or other wireless identification device. In this instance, once the identification device is detected, photographs / videos can be captured and automatically stored as required.

[0075] A further alternative is for images to be captured manually by a user, such as an instructor. In this instance, when the processing system detects when a user is in an activity area, for example based on reader data from a reader associated with the activity area. In this case, when an image is captured by the user, it can be uploaded from the imaging device directly to a relevant image storage location allowing this to be subsequently retrieved as required. [0076] In all of the above examples, the images can be stored in a storage location associated with the respective user, allowing these to be subsequently retrieved as required. In this regard, when the user enters the activity area and their wearable identification device is read, the processing device associates a respective storage area with the user, for example by creating a respective folder in a data store, such as a memory, database, or the like. As images are captured, these are automatically stored in the respective image storage location, allowing these to be retrieved as required.

[0077] Once the image(s) have been captured, these can be provided to the user. Typically, this is achieved by having the processing device determine when a user enters or is within a photo viewing area in accordance with reader data from a reader provided in, or at an entry to the photo viewing area, and then causes an image of the respective user to be displayed based on the image associated with the corresponding user data. Thus, for example, this could involve retrieving images from the image storage location in which the images are stored.

[0078] The wearable identification device can be of any appropriate form depending on the preferred implementation, but in one example is in the form of a wristband, which can be easily attached to and removed from users as required. Additionally, wristbands typically do not interfere with clothing involved in activities such as skydiving or the like and therefore are safe for use during the activity. However, it will be appreciated that alternatively the wearable identification device could include a leg band, pendant, watch, article of clothing or apparel, such as a helmet or the like. Additionally, the wearable identification device could be a card or the like worn in a pocket of the flight suit. [0079] Each user, including customers and instructors, would be provided with a respective wearable identification device, with the wearable identification device being encoded with identification data for use in tracking the respective user.

[0080] In one example, the wearable identification device includes machine readable coded data displayed thereon, with the reader including a readable capable of reading the coded data. Thus, the wristband could include a barcode, QR code or similar which is read by a suitable scanning device. In this instance, the machine readable coded data could be uniquely associated with user data corresponding to the respective user, allowing the user data to be retrieved when the coded data is read. [0081] Alternatively, the wearable identification device includes an identification device memory that stores identification data and an identification device communications module that is adapted to communicate with the reader allowing identification data to be provided from the memory to the sensing device upon request.

[0082] In either case, this allows a user to be temporarily associated with a respective wearable identification device, either by recording an association between user data and a device identifier in a backend system, or by storing user data on the wearable identification device. In the former case, the processing device typically determines user data indicative of the identity of the user and then records an association between the identification data and the user data. Alternatively, in the latter case, the processing device can determine the user data indicative of the identity of the respective user, generate identification data at least partially in accordance with the user data and then store the identification data in the identification device memory, with the identification data being the entirety or a subset of the user data, depending upon the preferred implementation.. In either case, after use, the wearable identification device can then be reprogramed, or associated with another user, allowing the device to be reused.

[0083] The user data can include a variety of information, but typically includes at least basic information regarding the user allowing the user to be identified, such as a user name, or the like, but could optionally include additional information regarding an indication of a level of expertise, photo of the user, or the like. The user data can also be populated with data regarding the current activity, such as the amount of packages purchased by the user, a time slot to which the user is allocated, or the like. [0084] Typically, the reader data provided from the reader typically includes one or more of an indication of the identification data, a user identifier indicative of an identity of the respective user, a reader identifier indicative of an identity and/or location of the reader, an indication of a read time and/or a read date, or the like. This allows the processing device to readily identify the respective user, and determine other information including the location of the user, an activity commencement time, or the like.

[0085] Typically, the processing device receives reader data, determines a reader location from a reader identifier forming part of the reader data, determines the identity of the respective user from the reader data, determines an identity of the respective user from the reader data and tracks the user based on the reader location and the identity of the respective user. Thus, each reader is typically assigned to a respective location, with the location being associated with the reader identifier, so that the location of the reader, and hence the user can be determined based on the reader identifier.

[086] Each reader typically includes a reader processor that receives signals indicative of reader data from the sensor and a reader communications module that communicates with the at least one processing device to thereby provide reader data indicative of at least one of the identification data and time. However, it will be appreciated that any suitable arrangement could be used.

[087] A further example system will now be described in more detail with reference to Figures 3 to 7.

[088] In this example, the tracking system includes a plurality of wearable identification devices 310, a number of readers 320 provided at respective physical locations, a processing system 330, such as one or more servers, in communication with the readers 320 and one or more client devices 350, via one or more communications networks 340. [089] It will be appreciated that the configuration of the networks 340 are for the purpose of example only, and in practice the readers 320, the processing system 330 and client devices 350 can communicate via any appropriate mechanism, such as via wired or wireless connections, including, but not limited to mobile networks, private networks, such as an 802.11 networks, the Internet, LANs, WANs, or the like, as well as via direct or point-to- point connections, such as Bluetooth, or the like. [090] In one example, each reader 320 is adapted to read one or more wearable identification devices and provide reader data to the processing system 330 to allow for tracking of users and/or other actions to be performed.

[091] Whilst the processing system 330 is shown as a single entity, it will be appreciated that in practice the processing system 330 can be distributed over a number of geographically separate locations, for example as part of a cloud based environment. However, the above described arrangement is not essential and other suitable configurations could be used.

[092] An example of a reader 320 will now be described in further detail with reference to Figure 4. [093] In this example, the reader 320 typically includes a microprocessor 400, a memory 401, an optional input/output (I/O) device 402, an external interface, such as a communications module 403 and a reading device, such as a sensor 404, interconnected via a bus 405.

[094] In use, the microprocessor 400 executes instructions in the form of applications software stored in the memory 401 to allow the required processes to be performed, in particular reader devices 310 and providing reader data to the processing system 330. Whilst the microprocessor 400 can be a standard microprocessor, such as an Intel Architecture based microprocessor, this is not essential and any suitable arrangement, such as microchip processor, logic gate configuration, firmware optionally associated with implementing logic such as an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), or any other electronic device, system or arrangement, could be used.

[095] The external interface 403 can be utilised for connecting the reader 320 to the processing system 330, whilst the reading device 404 could include any suitable reading device depending on the nature of the encoded data on the wearable identification device. For example, the reading device 404 could include a sensor such as an optical imaging or scanning device for reading machine readable visual data, or a transceiver, such as a Bluetooth transceiver for wirelessly communication with the wearable identification device.

[096] An example of a wearable identification device is shown in more detail in Figure 5. [097] In this example, the wearable identification device 310 includes a wireless system 500, including an integrated processor 501, memory 502 and transceiver 503, which is in turn connected to an antenna 504, which in one example is a miniature chip antenna, or the like. The system 500 is typically powered by a power supply 505, such as a battery, and allows data to be communicated using wireless communications, such as Bluetooth, RFID or the like.

[098] In this example, the processor 501 executes instructions stored in the memory 502 to allow the required processes to be performed, including responding to the reader to provide identification data, as well as allowing identification data to be stored on and/or retrieved from the wearable identification device. [099] It will be appreciated that in this example, the wearable identification device is an active device, having a memory to which data can written and retrieved from. However, as previously described, this is not essential, and alternatively wearable identification devices can be passive devices including a barcode or other identifier printed thereon. Reference to activate wearable identification devices is for the purpose of illustration only and is not intended to be limiting.

[0100] An example of a suitable processing system 330 is shown in Figure 6.

[0101] In this example, the processing system 330 includes at least one microprocessor 600, a memory 601, an optional input/output device 602, such as a keyboard and/or display, and an external interface 603, interconnected via a bus 604 as shown. In this example the external interface 603 can be utilised for connecting the processing system 330 to peripheral devices, such as the communications networks 340, databases, other storage devices, or the like. Although a single external interface 603 is shown, this is for the purpose of example only, and in practice multiple interfaces using various methods (e.g. Ethernet, serial, USB, wireless or the like) may be provided. [0102] In use, the microprocessor 600 executes instructions in the form of applications software stored in the memory 601 to allow the required processes to be performed. The applications software may include one or more software modules, and may be executed in a suitable execution environment, such as an operating system environment, or the like.

[0103] Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the processing system 330 may be formed from any suitable processing system, such as a suitably programmed client device, PC, web server, network server, or the like. In one particular example, the processing system 330 is a standard processing system such as an Intel Architecture based processing system, which executes software applications stored on non-volatile (e.g., hard disk) storage, although this is not essential. However, it will also be understood that the processing system could be any electronic processing device such as a microprocessor, microchip processor, logic gate configuration, firmware optionally associated with implementing logic such as an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), or any other electronic device, system or arrangement.

[0104] As shown in Figure 7, in one example, the client device 350 includes at least one microprocessor 700, a memory 701, an input/output device 702, such as a keyboard and/or display, and an external interface 703, interconnected via a bus 704 as shown. In this example the external interface 703 can be utilised for connecting the client device 350 to peripheral devices, such as the communications networks 340, databases, other storage devices, or the like. Although a single external interface 703 is shown, this is for the purpose of example only, and in practice multiple interfaces using various methods (e.g. Ethernet, serial, USB, wireless or the like) may be provided.

[0105] In use, the microprocessor 700 executes instructions in the form of applications software stored in the memory 701 to allow communication with the processing system 330.

[0106] Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the client devices 350 may be formed from any suitable processing system, such as a suitably programmed PC, Internet terminal, lap-top, or hand-held PC, and in one preferred example is either a tablet, or smart phone, smart television, monitor, or the like. Thus, in one example, the client device 350 includes a standard processing system such as an Intel Architecture based processing system, which executes software applications stored on non-volatile (e.g., hard disk) storage, although this is not essential. However, it will also be understood that the client devices 350 can be any electronic processing device such as a microprocessor, microchip processor, logic gate configuration, firmware optionally associated with implementing logic such as an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), or any other electronic device, system or arrangement.

[0107] Examples of the processes for tracking users will now be described in further detail. For the purpose of these examples it is assumed that interaction between the processing system 330 and client devices 350 are via hosted pages or an application executed by the client device 350. The processing system 330 is therefore typically a server, and will hereinafter be referred to generally as a server 330, that communicates with the readers 320 and client devices 350 via a communications network.

[0108] To achieve this the server 330 executes applications software for communicating with the readers 320, as well as communicating with the client devices 350, with actions performed by the server 330 being performed by the processor 600 in accordance with instructions stored as applications software in the memory 601 and/or input commands received from a user via the I/O device 602, or commands received from the client device 350.

[0109] It will also be assumed that the user interacts with the server 330 via a GUI (Graphical User Interface), or the like presented on the client device 350, and in one particular example via pages hosted by the server 330, or an application that displays data supplied by the server 330. Actions performed by the client device 350 are performed by the processor 700 in accordance with instructions stored as applications software in the memory 701 and/or input commands received from a user via the I/O device 702.

[0110] However, it will be appreciated that the above described configuration assumed for the purpose of the following examples is not essential, and numerous other configurations may be used. It will also be appreciated that the partitioning of functionality between the client devices 350, the processing system 330 and readers 320 may vary, depending on the particular implementation.

[0111] An example of the process for associating a user with a wearable identification device in the form of a wristband will now be described with reference to Figure 8.

[0112] In this example, at step 800 user information is collected by the server 330, for example by having user information entered via a client device. This process could be performed at the venue by a venue operative, or alternatively could be performed remotely by a user, for example when making an online booking. The nature of the user information collected will vary depending on the preferred implementation and could include information such as a user name, membership number, contact details, payment information, a photo of the user, details of prior skydiving experience, or the like. As part of this process, at step 805, a user allocation is defined based on the number of skydives that the user wishes to purchase. At step 810, the user data is created by the server 330 and stored in a user database 331. [0113] The above steps could be performed online prior to a user arriving at a venue, or during a previous visit to the venue. The following steps are then performed each time a wristband is allocated to the user, for example, when the user arrives at the venue, or in the case of an instructor, when the instructor initially commences employment. Accordingly, at step 815 user data is retrieved from the server 330 using a client device 350, typically by having the user provide identifying information, such as a name and address associated with the user data.

[0114] At step 820, a wristband is scanned by a reader 320 associated with the client device 350, with user data then being associated with the wristband at step 825. In one example, this process involves using the reader 320 in order to write user data, or a subset of user data to the wristband, or alternatively by retrieving a wristband identifier from the wristband and then recording an association between the wristband identifier and the user data in the user database 331. It will be appreciated as a further alternative if the wearable identification device includes a printed code, this could be printed on demand. [0115] An example of the process for tracking a user will now be described generally with reference to Figure 9.

[0116] In this example, a user proceeds to a next area at step 900. The user presents his/her wristband 310 to a reader 320 provided at an entry to the area at step 905, with the reader 320 transferring reader data to the server 330 at step 910. The reader data can include a wristband identifier, user data or a subset of the user data, such as a username or the like, depending on the preferred implementation.

[0117] At step 915, the server 330 identifies the user and updates a user participation stored in the user data at step 920. The user participation will typically indicate a current area in which the user is situated and hence the activity which the user is performing, such as whether the user is undergoing a briefing or training, whether the user is being equipped, or whether the user is participating in a skydive.

[0118] At step 925 user data may optionally be displayed. This is typically performed in the vicinity of the reader, allowing an instructor or other individual to review the user data. This can be used to determine a remaining skydive allocation, ensure training has been performed, ascertain a level of expertise or the like, to thereby facilitate interaction between customers and instructors. In one example, the user data is retrieved from the server 330 and displayed on a client device 350, such as a monitor screen or tablet, or alternatively could be displayed directly on a screen associated with the respective reader, depending on the preferred implementation. [0119] A specific example of a tracking process will now be described with reference to Figures lOA to 10D.

[0120] In this example, at step 1000 a user proceeds to an introduction area and presents their wristband to a reader at step 1002, with the server 330 updating the relevant user location at step 1004. The user is then typically presented with an introduction video or talk, explaining the skydiving experience.

[0121] Following this, at step 1006 the user moves to a training room and presents their wristband to a reader at step 1008, with the server 330 updating the user location at step 1010 to indicate that the user is undergoing training. One or more users will then undergo training by one or more instructors as required, [0122] After training the user moves into a holding area before entering an activity area, in the form of the flight chamber, when it is their turn to perform the activity. In this case, as the user moves into the activity area at step 1012, the user presents their wristband to a reader 320 at the entrance to flight chamber at step 1014. The server 330 determines the respective user data from the reader data before updating the user location at step 1016, and determining a user allocation at step 1018, causing this and other information to be displayed to an instructor at step 1020. This allows the instructor to confirm the user has a remaining skydiving allocation before the dive commences. In the event that the user does not have further allocations remaining the user can be asked to confirm they are willing to pay for further dives. [0123] At step 1022 the activity commences, with one or more images being captured by an imaging device in the activity area, while the skydive is being performed at step 1024. As previously described, this can be performed automatically in response to detection of the user, the face of the user, particular facial expressions, or the like, or could be performed manually by having an instructor or other operator use a camera or other suitable imaging device. The image(s) are transferred from the imaging device to the server 330 at step 1026, with the server operating to store the image(s) in a relevant storage location that is associated with the user, and created when the user's wearable identification device is read upon entry into the activity area.

[0124] After completion of the activity it is determined if further activity is to be performed at which case the process returns to step 1014. Otherwise, when the user leaves the activity area, he will present his wristband to the reader 320, allowing the server 330 to determine user participation at step 1030, and hence determine if payment is required, for example if the user has performed more than his allocated number of skydives. If payment is required, this is collected at step 1034, otherwise or following this, the user enters a photo area at step 1036, where the user again presents his wristband to a reader 320 at step 1038 with reader data being used by the server 330 to update the user location at step 1040. The server 330 further retrieves the image(s) associated with the respective user and causes these to be displayed at step 1042, allowing the user to select to optionally purchase the photos/video at step 1044, allowing the server 330 to determine if further payment is required. If payment is not required at step 1046 the process ends at step 1048, with the user returning the wristband, otherwise payment can be collected at step 1050.

[0125] It will be appreciated that a broadly similar process can be used to track usage of the facilities by an instructor, allowing the venue operator to monitor instructors to ensure they are compliant with training requirements, and to ensure they do not use the venue for personal purposes beyond an allocated amount. This can also be used to ensure that instructors are correctly overseeing groups or individual customers to which they have been allocated, thereby ensuring that customers receive the best possible experience.

[0126] Whilst the above described example has focussed on individual users it will be appreciated that the techniques can be used for groups of individuals, for example by reading the wristband of each member of a group as they enter the flight chamber.

[0127] Accordingly, the above described system utilises a wristband or other similar wearable identification device that can be worn by and hence used to track individuals, including customers and instructors.

[0128] In one example, this is achieved by having a personalised barcode and/or RFID and/or Near field communication (NFC) and/or QR code wristbands, that can be used to track the customer's location by installing scanners at different entrance point. During reading, a green light or red light to denote successfully scan or unsuccessfully scan. This system is fully automatic without the need for human invention.

[0129] By taking a photo of the customer, for example during initial customer registration, the photo can be displayed to the instructor on a screen when the user is to commence an activity, allowing the instructor to recognise the customer and hence tailor instruction accordingly. Additionally, other information can be displayed, including any information from the user data, including the customer name, birthday, photo, package bought etc, allowing the user to prepare for the customer lesson, and ensure the lesson is personalised for the user.

[0130] Furthermore, by displaying details of the package bought and remaining allocations of the skydives remaining, this avoids the need for instructors to remember the details, avoiding the problem of individuals attempting to use more than their allocated number of skydives. Thus, when a customer initially purchases a package and is assigned a wristband, a customer account can be created in the system. When the customer enters the flight chamber for their skydive experience, they will scan their wristband. Upon successful scanning of the wristband, an indication, such as a green light, can be displayed confirming the customer has a remaining skydive allocation, with additional information being shown on a monitor, including the customer's photo, package bought, the skydive remaining and another extra skydive purchased.

[0131] Furthermore, reading of the wristband can ensure that all photos and videos captured while the user is skydiving, can be associated with the user data and hence user account, meaning these can be subsequently viewed and/or purchased. Consequently, the customer also no longer needs to enter details to access system to view their photos and videos at the photo/video kiosk; instead they can simply scan their wristband and the photos/videos can be automatically displayed.

[0132] The tracking process also allows the system to record the number of skydives flown versus the number purchased. This information can be displayed on a screen in the flight chamber and at a gearing counter where the customer will de-gear after the flight experience, allowing additional payment to be collected if needed. This is facilitated by display of the users details and/or photo, allowing instructors to easily identify individuals required to make additional payment either due to additional skydives, or to purchase photos and/or video.

[0133] Accordingly, the above described arrangement can be used to track customer movement within the indoor skydiving experience without the need of putting a person to track them. This allows instructor to prepare for their class by understanding the profile of his customer including what packages bought in advance before instructor even see the customer. Instructors can differentiate immediately what packages the customer has bought when in the flight chamber and how many skydive the customer has remaining and any other information such as birthday which the instructor can give special treats to the customer. This is all fully automated avoiding chances of error and time wastage. The system is further able to individualize and personalize capture and display of customer's photos and videos in a very short period of time for customer to choose instead of customer going thru the entire archive. The instructor can also accurately confirm which customers flew extra and get them to pay for the extra skydives flew. [0134] The system can similarly be used to track instructors, allowing instructors to request flight time and then once approved use their wristband to record the skydive used, and update a balance of a remaining allocation accordingly.

[0135] Throughout this specification and claims which follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise", and variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

[0136] Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that numerous variations and modifications will become apparent. All such variations and modifications which become apparent to persons skilled in the art, should be considered to fall within the spirit and scope that the invention broadly appearing before described.