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1. (WO2017221020) SYSTÈME ET PROCÉDÉ DE SUIVI D'OBJET
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

CLAIMS

1. A method for tracking the position of an object, the method comprising:

receiving magnetic field data from one or more sensors disposed within a base, the sensors being configured to detect the magnetic field emanating from a magnet on or within the object;

determining an actual position of the object relative to the base based on the magnetic field data from the sensors; and

generating a corresponding virtual position of the object based on the magnetic field data for displaying electronically.

2. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

generating a virtual environment comprising a virtual base corresponding to the base; and

displaying, in the virtual environment, a corresponding virtual object at the determined virtual position relative to the virtual base.

3. The method of any of claim 2, further comprising reading an electronic ID associated with the object and generating a signal representative of a corresponding ID of the virtual object.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising, based on the signal representative of the ID of the virtual object, displaying the virtual object having one or more unique characteristics.

5. The method of any of claims 2 to 4, wherein generating the virtual object and/or virtual position of the object is performed in real time or near real time, or otherwise.

6. The method of any of claims 1 to 5, further comprising, when the object is moved relative to the base, determining a new actual position of the object relative to the base and updating the virtual position of the virtual object relative to the virtual base.

7. A system for tracking the position of an object, the system comprising:

an object comprising a magnet;

a base comprising one or more sensors for detecting the magnetic field emanating from the magnet; a receiver or transceiver configured to receive and output magnetic field data from the sensors; and software for determining, based on the output magnetic field data, an actual position of the object relative to the base based on the sensor data and generating a corresponding virtual position for displaying electronically.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the magnet is comprised in an object module that is insertable into and removable from the object.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the object further comprises an electronic ID and the object module comprises a reader for reading the electronic ID of the object.

10. The system of claim 7, wherein the object further comprises an electronic ID and the base further comprises a reader for reading the ID.

11. The system of any of claims 7 to 10, wherein the magnet is or comprises an electromagnet.

12. The system of claim 11 , wherein the object or object module further comprises a microcontroller and a switching element operable to control electrical power delivered to the electromagnet, wherein the microcontroller is in data communication with the transceiver and/or an external computing device; and, optionally or preferably, wherein the microcontroller is operable to control the switching element based on commands received from the transceiver and/or external computing device.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the transceiver and/or external computing device is in wireless data communication with the microcontroller of the object or object module and, optionally or preferably, wherein the wireless data communication is via Bluetooth.

14. The method of any of claims 1 to 6, or the system of any of claims 7 to 13, wherein displaying electronically comprises displaying the generated virtual position on the display of an electronic device and, when dependent on any of claims 2 to 6, for displaying the generated virtual environment.

15. The method of any of claims 3, 4 or 6, or the system of any of claims 9 to 14, wherein the electronic ID is a radio frequency electronic ID (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) ID.

16. The method of any of claims 1 to 6 or 14 to 15, or the system of any of claims 7 to 15, wherein the sensors are arranged to and are operable for determining a position of the object in 3D space.

17. The system or method of claim 16, wherein the magnetic field data received from the plurality of sensors is or comprises a three dimensional magnetic field vector.

18. The system or method of claim 17, wherein determining the position of the object relative to the base comprises converting the data from the sensors into a three dimensional position vector relative to the position of the sensors and, where a plurality of sensors is used, calculating the position of the object relative to the base by multilateration or trilateration.

19. The method of any of claims 1 to 6 or 14 to 18, or the method of any of claims 7 to 18, further comprising recording tracking of the virtual object on a display.

20. An object module for use in a system for tracking the position of an object, the object module comprising:

a magnet;

an ID reader for reading the electronic ID of an object;

a wireless communications device for communicating with the object and/or an external device;

an accelerometer; and

a gyroscope.

21. The object module of claim 20, further comprising a magnetometer for sensing the magnetic field from the magnet of another object module in accordance with claim 20.

22. An object comprising the object module of claim 20 or 21 and a base comprising one or more magnetometers for sensing the magnetic field emanating from the magnet.

23. An object as defined in claim 22, further comprising a hard data connection between the object module and the object.

24. An object comprising a removable object module, as defined in and for use with the system of any of claims 7 to 18; or an object module as defined in and for use with the system of any of claims 8 to 18.

25. A computer program configured to, when executed on a computing device, cause the computing device to perform the method according to any of claims 1 to 6 or 14 to 19.