State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company – InsuranceNewsNet

Date:


2022 JUN 06 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — From Alexandria, Virginia, NewsRx journalists report that a patent by the inventors Carlson, Gail L. (Bloomington, IL, US), Donovan, John (Bloomington, IL, US), Harr, Joseph P. (Bloomington, IL, US), Harris, Jr., Michael (Tempe, AZ, US), Jordan, II, Jackie O. (Bloomington, IL, US), Markwardt, Kerstin (Phoenix, AZ, US), Nussbaum, Bryan R. (Bloomington, IL, US), Schiebel, Kyle C. (Bloomington, IL, US), Stockweather, Deanna (Normal, IL, US), Stoiber, Jeffrey W. (Atlanta, GA, US), Sun, Jennylind (Bloomington, IL, US), Turrentine, David (Normal, IL, US), Wagner, Ellakate (Bloomington, IL, US), Winslow, Troy (Bloomington, IL, US), Wollenschlager, Torri (Bloomington, IL, US), filed on February 8, 2021, was published online on May 17, 2022.

The patent’s assignee for patent number 11334040 is State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Bloomington, Illinois, United States).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “There are many emergency situations that may impact buildings and the people located within the buildings. In some such emergency situations, a building may be on fire and/or a fire may be present inside a building. Currently, many appliances and other goods are capable of communicating information about their operation via mesh networks as part of the “internet of things.” However, there is no way to aggregate and analyze all of this communicated data to detect the presence of the fire. Further, there is no way to analyze the data to determine the most appropriate response to mitigate the risks associated with the fire.”

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As a supplement to the background information on this patent, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “The present embodiments may, inter alia, detect the presence of a fire and determine a response that mitigates the risks associated with the presence of the fire. For instance, a system and method may facilitate communications with connected devices and items, and/or facilitate the evacuation of individuals located on a property (e.g., smart home) and/or alter a navigation state associated with a door. The present embodiments may monitor sensor data received from a plurality of devices populated on the premises of the property. Each of the plurality of devices may be configured to monitor various conditions of the property to determine the presence of a fire on the premises of the property. A controller may determine the location of the fire to determine which of the devices should perform an action that mitigates the risks associated with the presence of the fire. The controller may also determine a set of actions that may be performed by the plurality of devices that mitigates the risks. Additionally, the controller may transmit escape routes to individuals to ensure effective and efficient evacuation procedures while minimizing the risk of harm to the individuals.

“In one aspect, a computer-implemented method of responding to a fire on a property may be provided. The property may be populated with a hardware controller in communication with a plurality of devices and each of the plurality of devices may be configured to monitor various conditions associated with the property. The method may include, with customer permission or affirmative consent, (1) receiving, by the hardware controller via a first communication network, a first set of sensor data from at least one of the plurality of devices, the first set of sensor data indicative of the fire being present on the property; (2) analyzing, by one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of the fire on the property; (3) comparing, by the one or more processors, the location of the fire to a list of the plurality of devices, the list including for each device at least one of a location of the device and/or a set of functions that the device is capable of performing to mitigate risks associated with the fire; (4) based upon the comparison, determining, by the one or more processors, a set of actions to be performed by at least a portion of the plurality of devices; and/or (5) directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, the at least the portion of the plurality of devices to perform the set of actions to facilitate a set of individuals escaping the fire in a safe manner. The method may include additional, less, or alternate actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.

“In another aspect, a system for responding to a fire on a property may be provided. The property populated with a hardware controller in communication with a plurality of devices and each of the plurality of devices may be configured to monitor various conditions associated with the property. The system may include (i) a plurality of transceivers adapted to communicate data; (ii) a memory adapted to store non-transitory computer executable instructions; and/or (iii) one or more processors adapted to interface with the plurality of transceivers. The one or more processors may be configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the system to, with customer permission, (1) receive, by the plurality of transceivers, a first set of sensor data from at least one of the plurality of devices, the first set of sensor data indicative of the fire being present on the property; (2) analyze, by the one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of the fire on the property; (3) compare, by the one or more processors, the location of the fire to a list of the plurality of devices, the list including for each device at least one of a location of the device and/or a set of functions that the device is capable of performing to mitigate risks associated with the fire; (4) based upon the comparison, determine, by the one or more processors, a set of actions to be performed by at least a portion of the plurality of devices; and/or (5) direct or control, by the one or more processors, the at least the portion of the plurality of devices to perform the set of actions to facilitate a set of individuals escaping the fire in a safe manner. The system may include additional, less, or alternate actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.

“In another aspect, a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing processor-executable instructions may be provided. When executed, the instructions may cause one or more processors to (1) receive, via a first communication network, a first set of sensor data from at least one of the plurality of devices, the first set of sensor data indicative of the fire being present on the property; (2) analyze, by the one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of the fire on the property; (3) compare, by the one or more processors, the location of the fire to a list of the plurality of devices, the list including for each device at least one of a location of the device and/or a set of functions that the device is capable of performing to mitigate risks associated with the fire; (4) based upon the comparison, determine, by the one or more processors, a set of actions to be performed by at least a portion of the plurality of devices; and/or (5) direct or control, by the one or more processors, the at least the portion of the plurality of devices to perform the set of actions to facilitate a set of individuals escaping the fire in a safe manner. The instructions may cause additional, less, or alternate actions, including those discussed elsewhere herein.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A computer-implemented method of responding to a fire on a property, the property populated with a hardware controller in communication with a plurality of devices, the plurality of devices including a smart door including a corresponding smart hinge, the method comprising: analyzing, by one or more processors of the hardware controller, a first set of sensor data received from at least one of the plurality of devices to detect a presence of the fire on the property; accessing, by the one or more processors, a database of smart device information, wherein, for devices associated with information in the database, the database includes indications of at least one of (i) a location of the device or (ii) a set of functions that the device is capable of performing; based upon the accessed smart device information, generating, by the one or more processors, one or more instructions corresponding to a set of actions to mitigate risks associated with the fire, wherein at least one action of the set of actions is for the smart door to cause the smart hinge to rotate in a manner that opens or closes the smart door, and wherein each instruction includes (i) an identity of a particular device that performs a particular action from the set of actions and (ii) an action code associated with the particular action; and directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, at least the portion of the plurality of devices to perform the set of actions by transmitting the one or more instructions to cause the plurality of devices to analyze the identity in the transmitted one or more instructions to determine whether to perform the action associated with the action code.

“2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein directing or controlling the smart door further comprises: receiving, at the hardware controller via a first communication network, a second set of sensor data from at least one of the plurality of devices, the second set of sensor data indicative of the presence of the set of individuals on the property; analyzing, by the one or more processors, the second set of sensor data to determine a number of individuals within the set of individuals present on the property; when the set of individuals present on the property includes no individuals, directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, the smart door to close to facilitate fire suppression; and when the set of individuals present on the property includes at least one individual, directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, the smart door to open to facilitate evacuation by the set of individuals.

“3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein directing or controlling the at least the portion of the plurality of devices further comprises: analyzing, by the one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of smoke on the property; comparing, by the one or more processors, the location of the smoke to a location of the smart door; and when the location of the smoke is proximate to the location of the smart door, directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, the smart door to cause a corresponding smart door knob to glow or change color to increase a visibility of the smart door.

“4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein directing or controlling the at least the portion of the plurality of devices further comprises: analyzing, by the one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of fire on the property; comparing, by the one or more processors, the location of the fire to a location of the smart door; and when the location of the fire is proximate to the location of the smart door, directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, the smart door to cause a corresponding smart door knob on a first side of the smart door to be illuminated in a color indicative of the fire being located proximate to a second side of the smart door.

“5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: receiving, from a heat sensor located in a smart door knob corresponding to the smart door, a portion of the first set of sensor data.

“6. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the at least the portion of the plurality of devices includes smart evacuation equipment, wherein the smart evacuation equipment includes at least one of an escape ladder, a rope, or a set of stairs, and wherein directing or controlling the at least the portion of the plurality of devices further comprises: directing or controlling, by the one or more processors, a portion of the smart evacuation equipment to deploy, wherein deploying causes the smart evacuation equipment to become usable by individuals on the property.

“7. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: transmitting, to an insurance provider associated with the property, a notification, wherein the notification includes an indication of at least one of the set of actions, and wherein transmitting the notification causes the insurance provider to perform an insurance-related action.

“8. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: transmitting, to an emergency services provider, an alert, wherein the alert indicates that the fire is present on the property.

“9. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein generating the one or more instructions corresponding to the set of actions further comprises: generating, by the one or more processors, an escape route for an individual located on the premises of the property; and transmitting, to an electronic device associated with the individual, the escape route.

“10. A system for responding to a fire on a property, the property populated with a hardware controller in communication with a plurality of devices, the plurality of devices including a smart door including a corresponding smart hinge, the system comprising: a plurality of transceivers adapted to communicate data; a memory adapted to store non-transitory computer executable instructions; and one or more processors adapted to interface with the plurality of transceivers, wherein the one or more processors are configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the system to: analyze, by the one or more processors, a first set of sensor data received from at least one of the plurality of devices to detect a presence of the fire on the property; access, by the one or more processors, a database of smart device information, wherein, for devices associated with information in the database, the database includes indications of at least one of a (i) location of the device or (ii) a set of functions that the device is capable of performing; based upon the accessed smart device information, generate, by the one or more processors, one or more instructions corresponding to a set of actions to mitigate risks associated with the fire, wherein at least one action of the set of actions is for the smart door to cause the smart hinge to rotate in a manner that opens or closes the smart door and wherein each instruction includes (i) an identity of a particular device that performs a particular action from the set of actions and (ii) an action code associated with the particular action; and direct or control, by the one or more processors, at least the portion of the plurality of devices to perform the set of actions by transmitting the one or more instructions via the plurality of transceivers to cause the plurality of devices to analyze the identity in the transmitted one or more instructions to determine whether to perform the action associated with the action code.

“11. The system of claim 10, wherein to direct or control the smart door, the one or more processors are further configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the system to: receive, by the plurality of transceivers, a second set of sensor data from at least one of the plurality of devices, the second set of sensor data indicative of the presence of the set of individuals on the property; analyze, by the one or more processors, the second set of sensor data to determine a number of individuals within the set of individuals present on the property; when the number of individuals is zero, direct or control, by the one or more processors, the smart door to close to facilitate fire suppression; and when the number of individuals is at least one, direct or control, by the one or more processors, the smart door to open to facilitate evacuation by the set of individuals.

“12. The system of claim 10, wherein to direct or control the at least the portion of the plurality of devices, the one or more processors are further configured to execute the non-transitory computer executable instructions to cause the system to: analyze, by the one or more processors, the first set of sensor data to determine a location of smoke on the property; compare, by the one or more processors, the location of the smoke to a location of the smart door; and when the location of the smoke is proximate to the location of the smart door, direct or control, by the one or more processors, the smart door to cause a corresponding smart door knob to glow or change color to increase a visibility of the smart door.”

There are additional claims. Please visit full patent to read further.

For additional information on this patent, see: Carlson, Gail L. Systems and methods for automatically responding to a fire. U.S. Patent Number 11334040, filed February 8, 2021, and published online on May 17, 2022. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11334040.PN.&OS=PN/11334040RS=PN/11334040

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)





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