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Patent MarketPlace: Smart Home Patents for Sale

Self-Cooling/Self-Heating Buildings (Tran): U.S. Patent No. 9,566,608

For the last 100 years or so, buildings were initially heated – and then later cooled – using a system of piping or ducts. A furnace in the basement would distribute heated water through pipes to radiators that would radiate heat to warm the building, or distribute heated air through ducts to registers that would direct the heated air into a room to heat it. When air conditioning came along, the same ducts that distributed heated air in the winter were used to distribute cooled air in the summer. And that technology has not substantially changed for over a century.

This patent discloses the fabrication of a building structure from an aggregate filler mixed with a PCM (phase change material) that consists of perlite, glass microballoons, glass bubbles, phenolic microballoons and microspheres that create small microstructures within the walls of the building that are not visible to the human eye. Those microstructures increase air flow within the structure, enabling the heated or cooled air that is pumped throughout the building to circulate not just through the rooms, but through the walls of the structure, more effectively heating or cooling the building. The result is a dramatic reduction in heating and cooling costs for a building that uses this technology!

U.S. Patent No. 9,566,608 for a “Smart building and system methods” would be a strategic acquisition for any manufacturer of building materials.

Reducing Electric Power Usage (Tan): U.S. Patent No. 9,190,844

A building – residential, industrial or commercial – has numerous appliances that use electrical power at any time. There are systems that track and report electrical power usage, but the only way to effectively reduce electrical power usage is to first determine how much power each individual appliance is drawing – specifically how much power the heating and cooling equipment in the building is using since that is often the largest share.

This patent discloses the latest Nonintrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) technology. It disaggregates climate control (heating and cooling) energy usage from non-climate control energy (all the other appliances in the building) usage. It records building energy usage and corresponding outdoor temperatures for a time period, and it then computes changes in the outdoor temperature against a baseline. It uses regression analysis to determine a climate control coefficient and a non-climate control coefficient from the building’s energy usage and outside temperature changes. The climate control coefficient and the non-climate control coefficient can be used to determine energy use based on outside climate changes and energy use by non-climate control appliances and equipment in the building.

An electric meter captures the building’s composite load profile, while a detector coupled to the meter creates a load profile for each appliance. A clusterizer detects patterns in the load profile, and an analyzer that is coupled to the detector receives data from each appliance and disaggregates the building’s total energy usage into individual appliance or groups-of-appliances usage.

The intelligence generated by this patented system can be used to automatically control and, thereby, reduce heating and cooling costs. In commercial and industrial buildings, the data can be used to coach employees how to reduce use of certain appliances to save energy costs. Employee staffing and scheduling, and use of machinery and appliances, can be rescheduled to reduce electrical power consumption and take advantage of off-hours reduced electric rates.

U.S. Patent No. 9,190,844 for “Systems and methods for reducing energy usage” would be a key acquisition for any manufacturer or installer of HVAC equipment and systems, as well as providers of Smart Home and Smart Office configurations.

Wireless Optical Smart Building Controls (Tran): Three U.S. Patents

Updating an older building to become a “Smart Building” can be challenging and expensive. Connecting together all the devices that create an Internet-of-Things environment can be a daunting task, and the older the structure, the more of a challenge it is to bring it up to current Smart Building standards. This portfolio addresses exactly that challenge: It creates a new generation of LED lighting fixtures that screw into conventional light bulb connectors, but also provide broadband optical data communications!

This portfolio covers the use of a standardized electrical connector for a conventional light bulb or tube with one or more LEDs that include a multiband-type ultra-wideband (UWB) transceiver with optical channels covering one or more orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) bands. There is also a controller coupled to the LEDs that adjust LED light output and communicate with the optical network. The LEDs can include at least one optical transmitter and receiver that are optically coupled to an optical network with one mode to generate light and a second mode to receive optical transmissions using ambient light.

An LED-based light tube can be linked to a building environment regulator that provides high-speed data communication and regulates the environment in one or more rooms in the building. The LED-based light can include a tube that incorporates a light transmitting portion and a pair of electrical connectors attached to opposing ends of the tube that are compatible with a standard fluorescent light fixture. The LEDs can produce light that passes through the light-transmitting portion of the tube, and some of the LEDs can serve as light sensors to generate a signal when people enter a room so the system will know which rooms in the building are occupied and, therefore, need to be illuminated and be heated or cooled.

Patent No.Title
8,547,036Solid state light system with broadband optical communication capability
9,192,030Solid state light system with broadband optical communication capability
9,826,597Solid state light system with broadband optical communication capability

By using existing light fixtures, this portfolio enables virtually any building – no matter how old its wiring system is – to be upgraded to a Smart Building. Just one benefit is all the disposed cabling that will NOT makes its way into landfills! The benefits of the technology covered by this portfolio are numerous:

This portfolio would be a critical acquisition or licensing opportunity for any enterprise in the Smart Building business segment and any lighting manufacturer seeking to enter this growing sector with a next-generation product line.

Combination Voice-Activated LED + Smoke/CO/Gas Detector + Visual/Audible Alarm + Intercom (Athena): Two U.S. Patents and Two U.S. Patent Application

There was a time when cell phones just made phone calls. Today they are smart phones, and they take pictures and video, access your email, schedule your events, provide driving directions and help you find the best chili in town. What happened to cell phones is about to happen to light bulbs and light fixtures. Since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb 140 years ago, the only major improvement has been the replacement of incandescent filament bulbs with LED fixtures. The next major advancement is here.

This intriguing patent portfolio converts an LED lamp into a combination lamp-and-smoke/CO/gas detector. No tools needed. Just screw it in. This portfolio enables each combo LED and smoke/CO/gas detector to communicate with each other and flash color-coded signals that guide residents to safety in the event of a fire or other emergency. They also broadcast warning messages, they are voice-activated, and they can be used to create an intercom system. These super-combo units can be used to supplement convention smoke/CO/gas alarms, quickly install a smoke/CO/gas alarm where one is needed, or be used in place of conventional smoke/CO/gas alarms in a conventional setting or integrated into a Smart Home/Office network. They run off rechargeable batteries so they work during power outages, and they can be configured to communicate with residents during an emergency.

Branded “LampLife Detector™” by the inventors, the products covered by this portfolio will forever change the lighting products, smoke/CO/gas alarm, and Smart Home/Smart Office industries! Applications include not just the replacement of current light bulbs with these multi-functional super-combo bulbs, the technology can be incorporated into the next generation of residential and commercial renovations and all new construction to replace the unattractive conventional smoke/CO alarms with attractive lighting fixtures that perform multiple functions.

Patent Portfolio

U.S. Patent No. 9,747,763: Networked audible and visual alarm apparatus and method of synchronized alerting
U.S. Patent No. 10,028,357: LED light bulb, lamp fixture with self-networking intercom, system and method therefore
U.S. Patent Application 20180018866: Networked audible and visual alarm apparatus for synchronized alerting with a base station and electronic coding for each alarm
U.S. Patent Application 20180082685: Networked audible and visual alarm light system and method with voice command control and base station having alarm for smoke, carbon monoxide and gas

This portfolio will give any LED bulb manufacturer, or smoke/CO alarm manufacture, or Smart Home/Smart Office equipment manufacturer or system integrator the opportunity to leapfrog all of its competitors and offer what will unquestionably be the next generation of LED lamps, smoke/CO/gas detectors and Smart Home/Smart Office safety components!

LampLife Detector is trademark of Athena Patent Development LLC.

IoT, Smart Home and Gigabit Optical Access Network (Mazed): Four U.S. Patents and an Open Continuation

The late comedian George Carlin correctly observed that “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” Were he around today, he might observe that “A smart home is just a place to connect all your devices while you go out and get more devices.” The results of all these devices – from PCs to smart phones, appliances and HVAC systems, alarm and security devices to energy management systems – generate a tremendous about of data that uses up the available bandwidth pretty quickly. This portfolio enables critical machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity for Internet-of-Things and Smart Home installations by creating an intelligent subscriber subsystem that is connected to an optical access network, providing a solution to this bandwidth challenge at a significantly lower cost.

This portfolio includes:

  1. An intelligent subscriber unit for home or office that compares favorably with Amazon Alexa or Google Home
  2. Gigabits or more bandwidth for a home or office installation at significantly lower cost than Cable TV
  3. Intelligent, self-learning appliances such as a self-learning mobile telephone
Patent No.Title
8,073,331Dynamic intelligent bidirectional optical and wireless access communication system
8,548,334Dynamic intelligent bidirectional optical access communication system with object/intelligent appliance-to-object/intelligent appliance interaction
9,426,545Dynamic intelligent bidirectional optical access communication system with object/intelligent appliance-to-object/intelligent appliance interaction
9,723,388Dynamic intelligent bidirectional optical access communication system with object/intelligent appliance-to-object/intelligent appliance interaction

The patents in this portfolio all share a 2006 Priority Date, and the portfolio also includes U.S. Patent Application 20170272847 for an “Access communication subsystem with object/intelligent appliance-to-object/intelligent appliance interaction.” The company that acquires this portfolio will be able to provide critical connectivity via an intelligent subscriber subsystem using a gigabit optical access network that will compete very effectively against the current market leaders, and it provides a cost-effective solution to the need for greater bandwidth between access points. E-o-U documentation is available upon request.

Smart Grid Home/Office Energy Management and Automation (Advanergy): Portfolio of Ten U.S. Patents

Key elements in the emerging Smart Home sector are the CEM® (Certified Energy Management) systems that integrate the electrical, mechanical, process and building infrastructure in a home or office by determining the optimum solutions to reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner. This comprehensive portfolio covers an Internet Protocol-based solution that is secure, yet non-intrusive and inexpensive. It uses a global standard, is Plug-and-Play installable, and is compatible with all third-party technology including the latest electric utility “smart meters” and Zigbee systems.

Patent No.Title
8,443,071Data server system and method
8,478,450Power control system and method
8,583,955Battery management system and method
8,649,883Power distribution system and method
8,666,560Power control system and method
8,761,050Network integration system and method
8,769,327Battery charger management system and method
8,826,046Light fixture monitoring/control system and method
9,335,750Light fixture adapter (LFA) security monitoring
9,430,021Battery management system and method

This portfolio covers:

This portfolio covers a single, seamless and comprehensive platform for energy monitoring, sensor network security, and device-control battery charging. It can broadcast messages, images or video across an internal network or via an encrypted Wi-Fi intranet. For any company in the Smart Home business, or a company seeking to enter this growing segment, this portfolio would be a critical and strategic acquisition!

CEM is a registered trademark of the Association of Energy Engineers.

Real-Time, Multilingual Voice Alerts to Smart Devices (Verna): U.S. Patent No. 8,265,938

How do you get a time-sensitive message to dozens or hundreds of people quickly and efficiently? The invention covered by this patent converts text messages into voice alerts that are sent wirelessly (via cellular communication, wireless LAN, etc.) to smartphones, tablets, PCs, televisions, remote electronic devices in automobiles such as OnStar or IOT- connected vehicle systems, and other smart devices. This invention fills the need to efficiently transmit or broadcast instant voice alerts during times of emergencies or as part of a security monitoring system.

The patent includes text-to-voice alerts transmitted to remote computing devices as well as the generation of text message alerts and their conversion to synthesized speech. Included is the detection of activity by a sensor and the transmission of instant voice alerts regarding such activity. In addition, voice alerts can be translated into different languages. This patent creates an efficient, effective and relatively inexpensive method for notifying the public about a flood, earthquake, plane crash, auto accident, terrorist attack or other critical event. U.S. Patent No. 8,265,938 for a "Voice Alert Methods, Systems and Processor-Readable Media" would be a valuable acquisition for a cellular service provider that wants to offer its customer base a value-added service to differentiate itself from the competition.

Tracking of Homeowner and Pet (Domuset): Two U.S. Patents Plus Foreign Patents and Applications

An important and growing subset of the emerging Smart Home sector is monitoring senior citizens. When grandma or grandpa has a pet, monitoring the movement of the person and his or her animal can be an effective, but totally passive, way of keeping an eye on them. When there is no movement, has the resident fallen down or is he taking a nap? When there is no movement, is she ill or watching TV? The technology covered in this international portfolio uses sensors to track the movement of the resident of the house or apartment, as well as his or her movements in relationship to the person’s cat, dog or other pet(s).

Patent Portfolio

If the person is not moving, but his dog is also inactive, that indicates that things are probably okay. However, if the system detects no movement from the human, but the dog is running around the house and barking, that indicates to the system that something is wrong. A set of algorithms analyzes the data and makes that determination. This portfolio would be a critical acquisition for any business in the elderly care sector, as well as any company the home monitoring business.

RFID Product Management and Tracking (McTigue): Two U.S. Patents

You are getting ready to do the laundry, and you discover that you are out of laundry detergent. You go to feed the dog, and you are out of dog food. It is easy to remember to buy the stuff we use every day – milk, bread, orange juice – but easy to forget to buy items that come in larger quantities and are not purchased on the regular trip to the store. In a business, unexpectedly running low on supplies is even more inconvenient and expensive. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a system that notified you automatically when you were running low on these items?

Patent No.Title
US 8,284,056Product management system and method of managing product at a location
US 8,976,029Product management system

This portfolio creates a solution to this common and very real problem. Using small and inexpensive, weight-sensitive RFID tags, the invention covered by this portfolio has these tags attached to large-quantity consumer items – dog food and cat food, cat litter, laundry detergent, flour and sugar, shampoo, paper goods, etc. – so that as the product is consumed, and it reaches a re-order level, the RFID tag notifies the homeowner that it’s time to start shopping around for more of whatever is running low.

One application for the technology is to have it notify the homeowner via a Smart Home system. Or the home owner can use a receiver to quickly determine what items are reaching the re-order level. A business can use the technology to inform the staff when it is time to order virtually any raw material – from copier paper and toner to industrial cleaners and lubricants – it uses on a regular or irregular basis. In a more sophisticated application, the RFID tags can notify a re-order mechanism that shops for prices and availability on the items to be re-ordered. The acquirer of this portfolio will be able to create an automatic re-order system for all of the larger quantity items it sells!

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