06631271 is referenced by 145 patents.
A rules-based system for monitoring the movement and relative location of a plurality of electronic devices and performing specified actions, such as issuing notification messages and actuating alarms, when the conditions specified in tone or more rules are satisfied. The rules are accepted from a user. Each rule includes a condition part and an action part. The condition part includes at least one positional condition which defines the relative position of at least two electronic devices. The action part defines one or more functions to be performed when the corresponding condition part is satisfied. Each electronic device incorporates radio signaling means which preferably takes the form of a Bluetooth chip. The signaling device on at least selected ones of the electronic devices performs inquiry operations to identify other electronic devices which are with range of the inquiring device. The positional data derived from these inquiries is passed to a rules processor which initiates defined actions when one or more of the rules are satisfied. A web server may be used to accept rules definitions, receive posted positional data from connected devices, and initiate the actions specified by the satisfied rules. Alternatively, user devices may be programmed to perform one or more of these functions. The system may be advantageously used to issue notification messages to prevent needed electronic devices from being misplaced or forgotten.