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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING AMONG USERS OF A REUSABLE ITEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/055480
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method are provided for social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly. The system can include an application that runs on a mobile device that enables users to create and share digital messages for the recipient of the gift. The gift wrap assembly can include a reusable wrap and a reusable band for binding the wrap about the gift. The gift wrap assembly includes a unique identifier that is recognizable by the system. In this manner, the system can track the gift wrap as it travels among users, thereby creating a social network connection between users that have interacted with the gift wrap assembly.

Inventors:
PARK JANE (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/051076
Publication Date:
March 25, 2021
Filing Date:
September 16, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TOKKI LLC (US)
International Classes:
G06Q10/00; A45C13/10; B65D30/04; B65D30/10; B65D85/00; G06Q30/00
Foreign References:
US20120209783A12012-08-16
AU2010203012A12011-02-10
US8548865B12013-10-01
US20140249953A12014-09-04
US20090024530A12009-01-22
US20140214505A12014-07-31
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TSIRCOU, Kyriacos (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A computer-implemented method for facilitating social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly, comprising: receiving, at a network-based system, a unique identifier associated with a reusable item via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of a first user of a plurality of users; receiving, at the network-based system, a digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item, the digital message identifies the first user that generated the message and a second user that is an intended recipient of the message; receiving, at a network-based system, a request to access the digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of the second user of a plurality of users; and transmitting the digital message to the mobile device of the second user.

2. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the reusable item is a gift wrap assembly having a tag attached thereto that provides the unique identifier.

3. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the first user and the second user can access from the network-based system a plurality of digital messages specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item to include digital messages from other users of the plurality of users.

4. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the plurality of users can access from the network-based system giving history, to include date, location, recipients, digital messages associated thereto.

5. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the first user further assigns privacy settings to the digital message.

6. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 5, wherein the privacy setting is selected from group enabling (a) public, message is visible to everyone, (b) friends, message is visible to sender, recipient and friends, or (c) private, message is visible to sender and recipient only.

7. A computer-implemented method for facilitating social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly, comprising: receiving, at a network-based system, a unique identifier associated with a gift wrap assembly via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of a first user of a plurality of users; receiving, at the network-based system, a digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the gift wrap assembly, the digital message identifies the first user that generated the message and a second user that is an intended recipient of the message; receiving, at a network-based system, a request to access the digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the gift wrap assembly via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of the second user of a plurality of users; transmitting the digital message to the mobile device of the second user; wherein the first user and the second user can access from the network-based system a plurality of digital messages specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item to include digital messages from other users of the plurality of users; and the plurality of users can access from the network-based system giving history, to include date, location, recipients, digital messages associated thereto.

8. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the plurality of users can access from the network-based system giving history, to include date, location, recipients, digital messages associated thereto.

9. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the first user further assigns privacy settings to the digital message.

10. The computer implemented method as defined in claim 5, wherein the privacy setting is selected from group enabling (a) public, message is visible to everyone, (b) friends, message is visible to sender, recipient and friends, or (c) private, message is visible to sender and recipient only.

11. A networked-based system for facilitating social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly, comprising: a system platform that includes a database management system (DBMS) and a system module, the system module facilitates operation of system functionality, the system platform in communication with user devices via an interactive communications network, the user devices having a system application operational thereon; the DBMS maintains user data, digital messages, unique identifiers associated with reusable items; the system module in digital communication with the DBMS, the system module: receives a unique identifier associated with a reusable item via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of a first user of a plurality of users via a system application thereon, receives a digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item, the digital message identifies the first user that generated the message and a second user that is an intended recipient of the message, receives a request to access the digital message specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item via an interactive communications network from a mobile device of the second user of a plurality of users, and transmits the digital message to the mobile device of the second user.

12. A networked-based system as defined in claim 11, wherein the reusable item is a gift wrap assembly having a tag attached thereto that provides the unique identifier.

13. The networked-based system as defined in claim 11, wherein the first user and the second user can access from the network-based system a plurality of digital messages specific to the unique identifier associated with the reusable item to include digital messages from other users of the plurality of users.

14. The networked-based system as defined in claim 11, wherein the plurality of users can access from the network-based system giving history, to include date, location, recipients, digital messages associated thereto.

15. The networked-based system as defined in claim 11, wherein the first user further assigns privacy settings to the digital message.

16. A networked-based system as defined in claim 15, wherein the privacy setting is selected from group enabling (a) public, message is visible to everyone, (b) friends, message is visible to sender, recipient and friends, or (c) private, message is visible to sender and recipient only.

Description:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING AMONG USERS OF A

REUSABLE ITEM

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. App. No. 62/900,962, filed September

16, 2019, which is incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to social networking sites, and more particularly, to social networking among users of a reusable item, such as, those who are in a contiguous chain of gifting.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Single-use items can have an adverse impact on our environment, both in the manufacturing and disposal of such items. The environmental impact during manufacturing can include issues as C02 emission, power usage, and resource efficiency, just to name a few. Moreover, disposal of single-use items can result is litter and strain on waste disposal resources, among others.

[0004] Such environmental concerns are important to many individuals. Typically, those intending to affect positive change for the environment typically do so through various channels such as political activism, charitable donations, volunteerism, or their profession. It is readily apparent that positive change results from individuals banding together around common concerns. However, it can be challenging for individuals to align their everyday purchasing decisions with such concerns, particularly when there is a lack of recyclable alternatives for typical single-use items.

[0005] For example, most gift wrap and gift cards are used as single-use items.

Typically, gift wrap and gift cards are physical and not recyclable, contributing to significant land waste each year. Also, single-use items can raise practical concerns, e.g., recipients who want to save gift cards must store the physical items, which can get lost and destroyed. [0006] As such, there remains a need for improved reusable gift wraps and gift cards.

Moreover, connecting with other individuals aligned with concerns for the environment can further motivate individuals to increase their efforts towards environmental conservation.

[0007] It should, therefore, be appreciate that there remains a need for a system and method for social networking among users of reusable items.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Briefly, and in general terms, the present invention provides a computerized system and method for social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly. The system can include an application that runs on a mobile device that enables users to create and share digital messages for the recipient of the gift. The gift wrap assembly can include a reusable wrap or bag having means for securing the gift therein. The gift wrap assembly includes a unique identifier that is recognizable by the system, which can be incorporated onto the assembly. In this manner, the system can track the gift wrap as it travels among users, thereby creating a social network connection between users that have interacted with the gift wrap assembly associated with the unique identifier. As such, users will be motivated to reduce reliance on single-use items, such as disposable gift wraps and gift cards.

[0009] More specifically, in an exemplary embodiment, the present systems and methods is directed at facilitating richer communication between gift givers and gift recipients by enabling gift givers to record personalized digital messages that they can record and send to the gift recipients along with their physical gifts via a unique identifier, e.g., QR code or NFC. This system also tracks the reuse of the unique identifier, along a social chain of gifting.

[0010] In another detailed aspect of an exemplary embodiment, when the first gift recipient regifts the item, via the app, the user can create a new message for a second gift recipient. All givers/recipients along the chain can opt to receive a notification when a new message is recorded as associated with that gift wrap assembly as identified by the unique identifier, indicating that their item has been reused (contributing to less landfill waste). They can save all their interactions in a digital album of the system, and login to see information about gift givers and recipients further down the chain. [0011] For purposes of summarizing the invention and the advantages achieved over the prior art, certain advantages of the invention have been described herein. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all such advantages may be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment of the invention. Thus, for example, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention may be embodied or carried out in a manner that achieves or optimizes one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other advantages as may be taught or suggested herein.

[0012] All of these embodiments are intended to be within the scope of the invention herein disclosed. These and other embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments having reference to the attached figures, the invention not being limited to any particular preferred embodiment disclosed.

[0013]

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the following drawings in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 depicts a reusable gift wrap assembly in accordance with the present invention, depicting a reusable wrap and securing band, along with wrapping instructions. The securing band includes a unique QR code that is recognizable by a mobile app of the system.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of a computerized system for social networking among users of a reusable item (reusable gift wrap assembly) accordance with the invention.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a simplified flow chart of a contiguous chain of gifting utilizing the gift wrap assembly of FIG. 1, wherein in each gift giver can record digital message for the gift receiver utilizing the system app running on a mobile device.

[0018] FIG. 4 depicts a screenshot of the system app for creating a gift message in accordance with the present invention, a flow chart is further provided that details steps for completing the message via the app such that the message is thereafter linked to the particular QR coded of the securing band of FIG 1.

[0019] FIG. 5 depicts a screenshot of the system app for tracking a particular gift wrap along its chain of gifting, the screenshot provides information that has been designated for public view.

[0020] FIG. 6 depicts screenshots of the system app for tracking a particular gift wrap along its chain of gifting, the screenshot provides information that has been designated for private view.

[0021] FIG. 7 depicts a screenshot of the system app for messages associated with a user of the system, the screenshot provides a user access to all digital messages sent and received with the system app.

[0022] FIGS. 8A-8C provide a simplified flow chart depicting steps for users to interact with the system.

[0023] FIGS. 9A-9B provide a simplified flow chart depicting steps for users to interact with a user profile maintained by the system.

[0024] FIG. 10 depicts another embodiment of a reusable gift wrap assembly in accordance with the present invention, depicting a reusable bag having securing straps, along with a tag that provides a unique identifier that is recognizable by the system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] Referring now to the drawings, and particularly FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a gift wrap assembly 10 having a reusable gift wrap 12 and securing band 14 that interacts with a computerized system 20 that provides social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly 10. The system can include an application that runs on a mobile device that enables users to create and share digital messages for the recipient of the gift. The reusable band 14 is for binding the wrap 12 about the gift. The gift wrap assembly includes a unique identifier 16 that is recognizable by the system. In this manner, the system can track the gift wran as it travels among users, thereby creating a social network connection between users that have interacted with that specific gift wrap assembly associated with the unique identifier.

As such, users will be motivated to reduce reliance on single-use items, such as disposable gift wraps and gift cards.

[0026] In the exemplary embodiment, the unique identifier 16 of the gift wrap assembly

10 is in the form of a unique QR code (Quick Response Code). Each gift wrap assembly is assigned a unique QR code. In other embodiments, other unique identifiers can be used, e.g., alpha-numeric codes, bar codes, hash functions, Bluetooth® chips, micro RF antennas, near field communication (NFC), among others. In the exemplary embodiment, the unique identifier is disposed on the securing band 14. Additionally, or alternatively, the unique identifier can be disposed on, or otherwise attached to, the reusable wrap 12.

[0027] With continued reference to FIG. 1, step-by-step instructions are provided for wrapping a gift within the gift wrap assembly 10. Steps 1-4, detail a method for securing the wrap 12 about the gift, utilizing the band 14. Notably, the band should be positioned so that the unique identifier 16 (e.g., QR codes) is readily assessable. Step 5 reminds the user to utilize the system app (discussed in detail below) on mobile devices 26, such as a mobile phone, to create a digital message with the system app.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 10, in another embodiment, a gift wrap assembly 10 can comprise a bag 13 formed of reusable materiel, e.g., fabric, having a drawstring 15 about an upper opening 17 thereof to secure the contents, e.g., gift 21, within the bag. The unique identifier (e.g., a QR code and/or NFC) can be incorporated into a tag 19 attached proximate to the drawstring. In the exemplary embodiment, the tag incorporates both QR code and NFC, which identifies the gift wrap assembly as discussed in detail herein. The user can

[0029] With reference now to FIG. 2, the system 20 includes a database management system (DBMS) 22 that maintains detailed data relating to user profiles, user location data, digital messages (including text, photos and videos), and gift wrap assemblies via corresponding unique identifiers. The system 20 further includes a system module 28 to execute system functionality, such as, gathers data from users 26 via a digital network 12, e.g., internet, to aid in populating the DBMS 22. For example, a user utilizes a device to interact with the system via a system app (program) running on the mobile device, which communicates via the digital networks with server(s), as is known in the art. In this manner, users provide user profile information, digital messages, gift wrap data (including unique identified s)), among other data, which is maintained in the DBMS for storage and access.

[0030] FIG. 3 depicts an exemplary contiguous chain of users as a reusable item is transfer among users. More particularly, the chain consists of users that have utilized a gift wrap assembly 10, as gift givers and gift recipients, using the system app. As a result, the user will be connected in a social network via the system. Each gift giver (message generator) uses the system app to record a digital message for the gift recipient, as detailed in FIG. 4.

[0031] With reference to FIG. 4, a screenshot for creating a digital message via the system app is shown. First, the user scans the QR code with the mobile device. The user then provides “to” and “from” information and creates the message, using combinations of emojis, text, video, and/or photos. The system further enables the user to set the privacy level for the message. For example, the privacy option enables the user to select whether the digital message and uploaded media is viewable only by the gift giver and gift receiver, by all users along the contiguous chain of gifting, by all friends of the gift giver and gift receiver, etc. Additional privacy options may be available.

[0032] FIG. 5 provides a screenshot of the system app, depicting information that is publicly available relating to a specific gift wrap assembly 10 via its unique identifier. For example, users can track the number of reuses. The system can also provide details about the social network created as a result of the reuses. Moreover, basic information such as, “to,” “from,” and publicly available aspects of the digital messages can be viewed. Such social connections will promote further reuse, resulting in less reliance on single-use items, e.g., single use gift wrapping and cards.

[0033] FIG. 6 provides screenshots of the system app, depicting information that is confined to prescribed users via privacy settings. For example, authorized users can access specific digital messages to include text, video, photos, “to,” and “from,” etc. History button provides access to past digital messages. [0034] FIG. 7 provides a screenshot of the system app, depicting an “Album” for a prescribed user showing all prior digital messages sent, received, and saved. The album is linked to the user profile.

[0035] FIGS. 8A-8C provide a simplified flow chart depicting steps for users to interact with the system. The flow charts depict a giver user flow and a recipient user flow, along with corresponding screenshots for each step along the user flow. For example, FIG. 8B provides steps for creating digital media to incorporate in a digital message. FIG. 8C provides additional steps for completing the digital message, to include assigning a privacy setting for the message.

In the exemplary embodiment, the user can choose from the following privacy settings:

(a) Public, message is visible to everyone, (b) Friends, message is visible to sender, recipient and friends, and (c) Private, message is visible to sender and recipient only.

[0036] FIGS. 9A-9B provide a simplified flow chart depicting steps for users to interact with a user profile maintained by the system through the system app, thereby the user can create and manage an account with the system. The account can include an overview of the user’s giving history, to include date, location, recipients, digital messages, and so on. In this way, users can track gifting history as well as link each individual gift wrap assembly the user has interacted with, thereby accessing the contiguous chain of gifting and corresponding users, as discussed above. In this manner, the user maintains connections with users throughout the world along the chain. This provides community ties to others that recognize the benefits of reusable items.

[0037] With reference again to FIG. 2, connections between components are shown using double-sided arrows, which may be physical, fiber optic, wireless, or any other type of communications link over a network. The network can be any of a variety of conventional network topologies and types (including optical, wired and/or wireless networks), using a variety of conventional network protocols (including public and/or proprietary protocols). The network can include, for example, home networks, cellular networks, corporate networks, Intranet(s), or the Internet, as well as possibly at least portions of one or more local area networks (LANs) and/or wide area networks (WANs) or telephone networks, among others.

[0038] The user devices 26 that may be any of a variety of digital devices, including, for example, and not limitation, a desktop PC, a notebook or portable computer, a workstation, an Intemet appliance, a handheld PC, a cellular telephone or other wireless communications device, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a set-top box, or combinations thereof. Other hardware components capable of digitally communicating and interacting with the system can be used without departing from the invention.

[0039] The system 20 can incorporate a database management system (DBMS) 22 configured to store system information in digital format utilizing hardware known in the art, such as hard drive, random access memory, read only memory, flash memory, cache memory, a portable magnetic computer diskette, such as a floppy diskette, zip disk, and/or other configurations capable of storing programming, data, or other digital information on hardware devices, whether co-located or distributed across a network. Other hardware components capable of digitally communicating and interacting with the system can be used without departing from the invention.

[0040] The system 20 is arranged to include a system module 28 to process data, control data access and storage, issue commands, and control other desired operations. The system includes processing circuitry configured to implement desired programming. For example, processing circuitry (hardware) may be implemented as one or more processor and/or other structure configured to execute executable instructions including, for example, software and/or firmware instructions, and/or hardware circuitry. Exemplary embodiments of processing circuitry include hardware logic, state machines, and/or other structures alone or in combination with a processor. Storage circuitry is configured to store programming such as executable code or instructions (e.g., software and/or firmware), electronic data, databases, or other digital information and may include processor-usable media. Processor-usable media may be embodied in any computer program, product(s), or article of manufacture(s) that can contain, store, or maintain programming, data, and/or digital information for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system including processing circuitry in the exemplary embodiment.

System capabilities (including processing, data processing, data storage, module features, and others) of the system can be co-located or distributed across a network (including internet) without departing from the invention. [0041] It will be understood that when components, apparatus, appliance, functions, steps or elements of this invention need to be or may be implemented on a data processing apparatus as a whole, or any individual component thereof described herein, that the apparatus or any individual component as described herein may be utilized within the contemplation of this invention. For instance, if a flowchart as described herein expressly or implicitly requires for example that a processor or storage for example be utilized, the applicable components described herein may be so utilized even if not specifically recited for that step.

[0042] It should be appreciated from the foregoing that the present invention provides a computerized system and method for social networking among users of reusable items, such as a reusable gift wrap assembly. The system can include an application that runs on a mobile device that enables users to create and share digital messages for the recipient of the gift. The gift wrap assembly can include a reusable wrap and a reusable band for binding the wrap about the gift. The gift wrap assembly includes a unique identifier that is recognizable by the system. In this manner, the system can track the gift wrap as it travels among users, thereby creating a social network connection between users that have interacted with the gift wrap assembly. As such, users will be motivated to reduce reliance on single-use items, such as disposable gift wraps and gift cards.

[0043] The present invention has been described above in terms of presently preferred embodiments so that an understanding of the present invention can be conveyed. However, there are other embodiments not specifically described herein for which the present invention is applicable. Therefore, the present invention should not be seen as limited to the forms shown, which is to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive.

[0044] Although the invention has been disclosed in detail with reference only to the exemplary embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other embodiments can be provided without departing from the scope of the invention, to include any and all combination of features discussed herein.