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Title:
A SERVING STATION RAPID ORDER DOCKET CONFIGURATION AND PRINTOUT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/041834
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A serving station rapid order docket configuration and printout system has a server comprising configurable order configuration data having configurable order options. A client computer in operable communication with the server across has a digital display device which displays a user interface thereon for configuring an order having at least one selection from the order options. Once configured, the digital display device displays computer readable data thereon encoding the at least one selection. As such, an order point terminal having an optical scanner reads the computer readable data from the digital display device of the client computer and decodes the at least one selection therefrom.

Inventors:
PRICE JASON (AU)
Application Number:
AU2019/050914
Publication Date:
March 05, 2020
Filing Date:
August 28, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PRICE JASON (AU)
International Classes:
G06Q50/12; G06F3/0482; G06Q30/06
Foreign References:
US20180122022A12018-05-03
US20140089061A12014-03-27
US20130024299A12013-01-24
US20140006182A12014-01-02
US20160292797A12016-10-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTEC PATENT ATTORNEYS (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Cla i ms

1. A serving station rapid order docket configuration and printout system comprising: a server comprising configurable order configuration data, the order configuration data comprising a plurality of configurable order options,

a client com puter in operable com munication with the server across a wide area network, the client com puter having a digital display device which displays a user interface thereon which configures an order in accordance with the order configuration data displayed thereon, the order com prising at least one selection from the pl urality of order options, wherein the digital display device displays computer readable data thereon, the computer readable data encod ing the at least one selection; and

an order point terminal having an optical scanner which reads the computer readable data from the digital display device of the client computer and decodes the at least one selection therefrom .

2. A system as claimed in cla im 1, further comprising a printer terminal which prints an order docket comprising the at least one selection accordingly.

3. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the order configuration data com prises a data tree data format com prising a plurality of menu item nodes and a plural ity of children menu item option nodes for each menu item node.

4. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the user interface com prises a selection input field dynamically generated according to the menu item nodes and a plurality of option selection input fields dynam ically generated in accordance with a current selection of the selection input field and the menu item option nodes.

5. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the system is configured for generating an order string in accordance with the at least one selection and wherein the order string is encoded within the com puter readable data .

6. A system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the order string com prises data fields comprising at least one of a location identifier field, at least one menu item U I D field, at least one respective menu item option configuration field for the at least one menu item U I D field and a checksum field.

7. A system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the checksum field is cryptographically generated in accordance with a private key held by the server, wherein the order point terminal comprises the corresponding public key and wherein the order point terminal verifies the checksum using the public key.

8. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the order point term inal com prises a digital display and an application controller and wherein the application controller is configured to display at least one selection using the digital display.

9. A system as claimed in claim 8, where in the application controller is configured for editing the at least one selection using the digital display by allowing at least one of the adding of a selection, the removal of the at least one selection, varying of a quantity of the at least one selection and editing of options for the at least one selection.

10. A system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the order point terminal comprises a near field reader, wherein the order point terminal is configured for calculating a total according to the at least one selection and wherein the order point term inal is configured for processing payment for the total using the near field reader.

11. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the user interface is generated by a web browser appl ication of the client computer browsing a web resource served by a web server application of the server.

12. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the order point term inal is in operable comm unication with the server and wherein the order point terminal references the configurable order configuration data of the server when decoding the at least one selection from the computer readable data.

13. A system as claimed in claim 12, wherein the configurable order configuration data comprises version history for respective versions of order configuration data and wherein the computer readable data encodes a version num ber for the selection of a version of the order configuration data.

14. A system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the web server appl ication stores session data of a session when generating the order configuration data and stores the at least one selection in relation to the session and, when receiving a back navigation request from the web browser application of the client computer, reads the header information of the request to identify the session, and select the at least one selection for serving to the client terminal for editing.

Description:
A serving station rapid order docket configuration and printout system

Field of the I nvention

[1] This invention relates general ly to fast food point of sale ( POS) ordering systems.

Background of the Invention

[2] Fast food point of sale systems incl ude drive-through digital displays with which customers may configure orders prior proceeding to a serving window.

[3] Attem pts to speed the order configuration process incl ude systems wherein a user may configure an order onl ine and provide an identification, suc h as a license plate num ber. In this manner, when at a drive-through, a camera and image recognition system may identify the l icense plate num ber and retrieve the order data without requiring user input.

[4] The present invention seeks to provide an alternative, which wil l overcome or substantial ly amel iorate at least some of the deficiencies of the prior art, or to at least provide an alternative.

[5] It is to be understood that, if a ny prior art information is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an adm ission that the information forms part of the com mon general knowledge in the art, in Austral ia or any other country.

Summa ry of the Disclosure

[6] There is provided herein a serving station rapid order docket configuration and printout system. The system com prises a server com prising configurable order configuration data. The order configuration data com prises a pl urality of configurable order options.

[7] The system further comprises at least one client com puting device in operable comm unication with the server across a wide area network. The client com puting device has a digital display device which displays a user interface thereon which al lows for the configuration of an order in accordance with the order configuration data. An order configuration may com prise at least one selection from the pl ural ity of the order options.

[8] Once an order is configured, the digital display of the client com puting device displays com puter readable data thereon which encodes the at least one selection.

[9] As such, when placing a n order, an order point term inal having an optical scanner may be em ployed which reads the com puter readable data from the digital display of the cl ient com puter. The system decodes the at least one order selection from the com puter readable data and a printer term inal prints an order docket com prising the at least one selection accordingly. [10] The order point terminal may be a ruggedised com puting device located at a drive - through and the client com puter may take the form of a mobile phone device which is scanned by the order point term inal .

[11] As such, the encoding of the order data within the com puter readable data al lows the present system to configure orders without storage of personal information in a com puter network. Furthermore, the present system may al low for stand-alone instal lation without requiring integration with existing point of sale systems.

[12] In embodiments, order configuration data of the server is represented in data tree format which allows for the drill down configuration of orders sub-selection and options using the user interface of the client com puter.

[13] Furthermore, the data tree format al lows for the com pact representation of order data within lim ited data storage com puter readable data formats incl uding 2D barcodes such as QR™ codes. When decoding the at least one selection, the order point term inal may reference the same order configuration data tree to interpret the order items from the data com pactly encoded within the com puter readable data.

[14] In em bodiments, the order data may be encoded as an order string within the com puter readable data wherein the order string com prises a plurality of data fields which may com prise at least one of a location U I D data field, menu item U I D data fields and associated menu item option encoding fields for a plurality of menu items and a checksum field.

[15] The checksum field may be cryptographically generated in accordance with a private key held by the server such that the order point term inal may verify authenticit y of the order string using a corresponding public key.

[16] In em bodiments the order configuration interface may be web -based wherein the server com prises a web server application browsed by a web browser application of the cl ient com puter. In this way, the co m puter readable data may be generated without installation of a bespoke application software on the cl ient com puter device al lowing for a wide variety of client com puter types or alternatively even QR™ code printouts.

[17] Furthermore, generated com puter reada ble data may be stored as image data within the memory device of the client com puter, such as by taking a screenshot of the user interface of the web browser application when configuring orders. Each image may further com prise a title for each encoded orde r image such that a user may subsequently make a selection from images of preconfigured orders for presentation to the order point term inal. [18] The web server application may use sessions when configuring orders which may be used to identify preconfigured orders. As such, when a user navigates back to the order configuration web resource, the already configured selections may be retrieved by the identified session thereby allowing the user to modify and/or update orders to generate updated computer readable data.

[19] Other aspects of the invention are also disclosed.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[20] Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the present invention, preferred embodiments of the disclosure will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[21] Figure 1 shows a seven station rapid order docket configuration and printout system in accordance with an embodiment;

[22] Figure 2 shows an exemplary user interface for configuring an order in accordance with an embodiment;

[23] Figure 3 illustrates the display of computer readable data on a digital display device of a client computer of the system in accordance with an embodiment;

[24] Figure 4 illustrates an exemplary outdoor order point terminal in accordance with an embodiment;

[25] Figure 5 illustrates order configuration data in data tree format in accordance with an embodiment;

[26] Figure 6 illustrates fields of an order string in accordance with an embodiment;

[27] Figure 7 illustrates exemplary processing by the system for rapid printing of an order docket; and

[28] Figure 8 illustrates exemplary updating of computer readable data in a web browser environment.

Description of Embodiments

[29] A system 100 may comprise a server 104 in operable communication with a client computer 103 across a wide area network 130. The system 100 may further comprise an order point terminal 102 having an optical scanner 116. The system 100 may further comprise a printer terminal 101 having a docket printer 108 which prints order dockets 109 having orders 110 thereon.

[30] Each computing device 101 - 104 may comprise a processor 105 for processing digital data. In operable communication with the processor 105 across a system bus 112 is a memory device 107. The memory device 107 is configure d for storing digital data including com puter program code instructions. In use, the processor 105 fetches these com puter program code instructions and associated data from the memory device 107 for interpretation and execution of the functional ity describ ed herein . The com puter program code instructions may be logical ly divided into various controllers including those described herein.

[31] Each com puter device 101 - 104 may further com prise a network interface 106 for sending and receiving data across the loca l area and wide area networks. Each com puter device 101 - 104 may further com prise an I/O interface 111 for interfacing with various peripheral devices.

[32] The server 104 may comprise a web server appl ication 107 for serving web resources in response to HTTP requests across the wide area network 130. The server 105 may further com prise configuration data 129 which may include configurable order configuration data .

[33] The client computer 103 may take the form of a mobile comm unication device having a network interface 106 for comm unicating with the server 100 for across the wide area network 130.

[34] The client com puter 103 may com prise a web browser application 126 which may browse the resources served by the web server appl ication 128 of the server 104.

[35] The cl ient com puter 103 may com prise a digital display device 103 in operable comm unication with the processor 105 via the I/O interface 111 which may display digital information thereon in a user interface 115. The digital display 113 may com prise a haptic overlay for the receipt of user gestures in relation to the digital information displayed thereon.

[36] The web browser application 126 may cause the digital display 113 to display com puter readable data 114 thereon.

[37] The com puter readable data 114 may be read by an optica l scanner 116 of the order point term inal 106.

[38] The order point term inal 102 may com prise a scanner driver 123 which controls the optical scanner 116 to decode and/or interpret the data encoded within the computer readable data 114.

[39] The order point term ina l 102 may further com prise a data interpretation control ler 124 which may interpret the data read from the com puter readable data 114. The com puter readable data 114 may encode an order string com prising at least one of an order sele ction which is interpreted by the data interpretation controller 124. [40] The order point terminal 102 may further comprise an application controller 125 which may control a user interface 118 displayed on a digital display 117 thereof.

[41] In embodiments, the order point terminal 102 may further comprise an NFC reader 109 for contactless payment processing.

[42] The order point terminal 102 may be in operable communication with a printer terminal 101. In embodiments, the order point terminal 102 communicates with the terminal 101 across a Wi-Fi network by Wi-Fi interfaces 120.

[43] The printer terminal 101 may comprise an interface controller 122 to receive data from the order point terminal 102 and a printer driver 121 which may control the docket printer 108 to print order dockets 109.

[44] Figure 4 shows an exemplary embodiment of the order point terminal 102 which may comprise a ruggedised housing for outdoor deployment, such as at a drive-through entrance. The order point terminal 102 may comprise the digital display 117 on a front surface thereof which may display the user interface 118. The order point terminal 102 may comprise a scanner housing 138 comprising optical scanner 116 therein. The scanner housing 138 may comprise a slot 139 which receives the client computer 103 therein so as to read the computer readable data 114 from the digital display 113 thereof.

[45] Order data 137 interpreted from the computer readable data 114 may be displayed on the digital display 117 of the order point terminal 102.

[46] Figure 5 illustrates exemplary order configuration data 140 in data tree format which may be stored within the configuration data 129 of the server 104. The data tree format may comprise a plurality of nodes which are used for configuring an order string 145 given in Figure 6.

[47] The data 140 may comprise a plurality of location nodes 141 representing a respective plurality of locations. Each location node 141 may comprise child menu item category nodes 142.

[48] Each menu item category node 142 may comprise child menu item nodes 143. Each menu item node 143 may comprise a plurality of option nodes 144.

[49] In use, the order configuration data 140 may be used to configure the user interface 115 of the client computer 103 including in the exemplary manner shown in Figure 2 for configuring an order.

[50] For example, the exemplary interface 115 may allow a user to select a location. In alternative embodiments, the system 100 detects the location of the client computer 103 in an automated manner incl uding using a browser location identification technique known in the art.

[51] The user interface 115 may com prise a menu item category selection field 131 corresponding to the menu item category nodes 142 of the data 140.

[52] According to the selection of the menu item category selection field 131, the interface 115 may dynam ically populate options within a menu item selection field 132 according to the menu item selection nodes 143 of the data 140.

[53] Furthermore, the interface 115 may dynam ical ly display a plural ity of option selection fields 133 according to the menu item option selection nodes 144 of the data 140.

[54] The user interface 115 may com prise an order button 134 to confirm an order in accordance with the selections and options configured within the inte rface 115.

[55] The system 100 may generate an order string 145 as a substantially shown in Figure 6. The order string 146 may com prise a location U I D field 146 identifying a location.

[56] The order string 145 may com prise a menu item U I D field 147 uniquely identifying a menu item . The string 145 may com prise an option configuration field 148 encoding options associated with the menu item of the menu item U I D field 147. The option configuration field 148 may com prise a plura lity of binary options as ones and zeros a nd/or configuration option U I Ds.

[57] In em bodiments, the string 145 may represent a pl urality of menu items wherein the menu item U I D field 147 and option configuration field 148 is repeated for each menu item .

[58] The order string 145 may com prise a checksum 149 configured in accordance with the preceding fields. In em bodiments, checksum 149 is cryptographical ly generated using public-private key cryptography and in accordance with a private key held by the server 104. In this way, the order point term inal 102 hav ing the corresponding publ ic key is able to ensure that the string 145 is generated by the server 104.

[59] Exem plary processing 150 by the system 100 will now be given with reference to Figure 7.

[60] The processing 150 may com prise configuring the configuration da ta 129 of the server 104 with the order configuration data 140 for a plurality of locations. As alluded to above, the order configuration data may take the form of the order configuration data 140 of Figure 5.

[61] The processing 150 may com prise the web browse r application 126 of the cl ient com puter 103 browsing to a web resource served by the web server appl ication 128 of the server 104. The web resource causes the web browser application 126 to display the user interface 115 on the digital display 113 of the cl ient com puter 103.

[62] At step 152, a user makes various options selections and sub-selections including in the manner described above with reference to the exem plary interface of Figure 2.

[63] At step 153, the system 100 may encode the order string 145 and, at step 154 generate the com puter readable data 114. The com puter readable data 114 encodes the option and sub-options selections made by the user using the interface 115.

[64] The com puter readable data 114 may take the form of a two-dimensional code such as a QR™ code substantially shown in Figure 3.

[65] At step 155, the user may save generated computer readable data 127 to the memory device 107 of the client com puter 103. For example, the user may take a screenshot of the com puter readable data displayed on the digital display 113 for storage within an image files of the cl ient com puter 103. The user may generate com puter readable data for a plural ity of orders each of which may be assigned a title 135. As such, subsequent ordering, the user may browse images of the client com puter 103 to select the com puter readable data according to the title thereon for use in scanning.

[66] When placing an order, the user approaches the order point term inal 102. In the em bodiment of Figure 4, the order point term inal 102 is at a drive-through entrance.

[67] The com puter readable data 114 is displayed on the digital display 113 of the client com puter 103, either by the web browser application 126 or selected from an image within memory 107 of the client com puter 103. The user inserts the c l ient com puter 103 within the slot 139 of the scanner housing 138 and, at step 157, the optical scanner 116 therein optically scans the computer reada ble data 114 from the digital display 113 of the client com puter 103.

[68] At step 158, the data interpretation controller 124 may decode the order string 158 from the com puter readable data 114.

[69] With reference to the exemplary order string 145 of Figure 6, at step 159, the data interpretation control ler 124 may utilise the location field 146 to confi rm the location and then, for each menu item U I D field 147 and order configuration field 148 identify and configure at least one menu item .

[70] The at least one menu item may be displayed as displayed menu items 137 on the digital display 117 of the order poi nt term inal 102 for user confirmation. I n embodiments, the application controller 125 may allow a user to confirm and/or edit the order configuration displayed thereon. For exam ple, the user may cancel certain menu items, change menu item options, vary order quantities for each menu item and/or configure options.

[71] In em bodiments, the user may make contactless payment using the N FC reader 119. In accordance with this em bodiment, the order point term inal 102 is configured for calculating a total price in accordance with the at least one option selection and to process payment accordingly.

[72] In em bodiments, the data interpretation controller 124 com m unicate s via the wide area network 130 with the server 104 to interpret the menu items from the order configuration data 140. I n this way, the order configuration data 140 may be updated periodical ly and the order point term inal 102 may retrieve the latest configuration data from the order configuration data 140.

[73] In embodiments, the order configuration string 145 may encode a version num ber of the order configuration data 140 and wherein version history of a plurality of order configuration data is 140 stored within the configuration data 129 of the server 104.

[74] As such, if the order configuration data 140 is updated since the generation of the com puter readable data 114, the order point term inal 102 as yet able to interpret the correct order items therefrom by using the version history encoded within the string 145.

[75] At step 159, the order point term inal 102 may transm it the interpreted order data via the Wi-Fi interfaces 120 to a printer term inal 101 within a kitchen. In em bodiments, the order point term inal 102 and the printer term inal 101 locally connected, either by way of a wired interface or alternatively contained within the same com puting device.

[76] The interface controller 122 may interpret the order selections received from the order point term inal 102 and may cause the printer driver 121 to control the docket printer 108 to print a docket 109 com prising the order selections and sub-selections thereof.

[77] In alternative em bodiments, the order selections may additionally or alternatively be displayed on a digital display.

[78] Figure 8 il l ustrates exem plary processing 163 by the server for data editing com puter readable data despite being generated within a web server architecture. The processing 163 com prises the server 104 creating and storing a session 164 when generating the com puter readable data 114 at step 165.

[79] The at least one selection of the com puter readable data 114 is stored in relation to the session data at step 166.

[80] As such, when the web browser application 126 browses back to the order configuration web resource at step 167, the web browser application 128 reads the header information from the request at step 168 to identify the session at step 169 and to read the option selections at step 170.

[81] The retrieved option selections are displayed within the interface 115 at step 171.

[82] In em bodiments, the web browser application 126 may sto re a session identifying cookie within the memory device 107 of the cl ient com puter 103. The expiration date of the cookie may be configured to allow the user to retrieve a configured order within a set period of time.

[83] The foregoing description, for purposes of expla nation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough u nderstanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skil led in the art that specific details are not required in order to practi se the invention. Thus, the foregoing descri ptions of specific embodiments of the invention are presented for purposes of ill ustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to lim it the invention to the precise forms disclosed as obviously many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings. The em bodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to best util ize the invention and various em bodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contem plated. It is intended that the fol lowing claims and their equivalents define the scope of the invention.

[84] The term "approximately" or sim ilar as used herein should be construe d as being within 10% of the value stated unless otherwise indicated.