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1. (EP1708375) DISPOSITIF ET PROCEDE DE RECONNAISSANCE DE LOCALISATION D'ETIQUETTE A CIRCUIT INTEGRE
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Claims

1. A system for location recognition comprising an interrogators (1) and a plurality of IC tags (2), each tag having a unique ID, wherein the interrogator (1) makes, by radio, a first communication with multiple IC tags (2) existing in a first communication area (A), and during said first communication with the interrogator, said ICtags (2) make, in response to an ID specifying probe signal send out command specific to the respective tag received from the interrogator (1), a second communication, by probe signals, with other IC tags (2) existing in a second communication area (B) being smaller than, and lying within, the first communication area (A), whereby those IC tags (2) are determined as being adjacent IC tags if their received probe signal strength is more than a predetermined level and make a third communication, communicating the determined adjacent tag IDs from the IC tags (2) to the interrogator (1) in response to an adjacent ID readout command from said interrogator (1) each said IC tag (2) comprising:

a first response means for responding own first information comprising the unique ID of the tag to the interrogator (1),

a transmission means for sending out said probe signals to the other IC tags (2),

a reception means for receiving said probe signals sent out by the other IC tags (2),

a reception strength detection circuit (28), detecting the reception strength of said probe signal,

a storage means for storing IDs acquired from the specification of the probe signal send out command from said interrogator (1) as adjacent tag IDs in a memory as second information, and

a second response means for responding the second information stored in the memory (26) to the interrogator (1),

whereby relative positions of said IC tags (2) are recognized from the first information and the second informations collected via said interrogator (1) when said reception strength of said probe signal is more than said predetermined level.
  2. The system for location recognition using IC tags as described in claim 1, wherein the first and second information collected via said interrogator (1) is combined such that all possible combinations of said first information and second information are obtained, each combination thus comprising a unique ID of a tag and a respective unique ID of an adjacent tag, and any of said combinations having one side of information in common are joined so that locations and arrangement order of said IC tags (2) are specified, each side of information comprising a unique ID.
  3. The system for location recognition using IC tags as described in claim 1, wherein either one of radio wave, magnetism, sound and light, which are all omnidirectional propagation media that become attenuated progressively with distance, is used for said probe signals.
  4. The system for location recognition using IC tags as described in claim 1, wherein the communication range of said second communication area (B) is dependent on the sizes and arrangement of items to which said IC tags (2) are affixed.
  5. The system for location recognition using IC tags as described in claim 1, wherein responses of said first response means and second response means are sequentially made while the interrogator (1) specifies response requirements so as to avoid collisions.
  6. The system for location recognition using IC tags as described in claim 1, wherein said probe signals are sequentially transmitted while the interrogator (1) specifies response requirements so as to avoid collisions.
  7. A method for location recognition using a plurality of IC tags, each tag having a unique ID, wherein an interrogator (1) makes by radio, a first communication with multiple IC tags (2) existing in a first communication area (A), and during said first communication with the interrogator, said IC tags (2) make, in response to an ID specifying probe signal send out command specific to the respective tag received from the interrogator (1), a second communication, by probe signals, with other IC tags (2) existing in a second communication area (B), being smaller than, and lying within, the first communication area (A), whereby those IC tags (2) are determined as being adjacent IC tags if their received probe signal strength is more than a predetermined level and make a third communication, communicating the determined adjacent tag IDs from the ICtags (2) to the interrogator (1) in response to an adjacent ID readout command from said interrogator (1), the method comprising:

a first response step (203) in which each said IC tag (2) responds own first information comprising the unique ID of the tag to the interrogator (1),

a transmission step (206) in which said IC tag (2) sends out said probe signals to the other IC tags (2),

a reception step (207) in which said IC tag (2) receives said probe signals sent out by other IC tags (2),

a reception strength detecting step, in which said IC tag (2) detects the reception strength of said probe signal,

a storage step (208) in which said IC tag (2) stores IDs acquired from the specification of the probe signal send out command from said interrogator (1) as adjacent tag IDs in a memory (26) as second information, and

a second response step (210) in which said IC tag (2) responds the second information stored in the memory (26) to the interrogator (1),

whereby relative positions of said IC tags (2) are recognized from the first information and the second information collected via said interrogator (1) when said reception strength of said probe signal is more than said predetermined level.