REMOTE SERVICE SYSTEM
 Inventors: Howard W. Michael, Long Grove;
Earl M. Helium, Evanston, both of 111.
 Assignee: Toyoda Machinery USA Corp.,
Arlington Heights, 111.
 Appl. No.: 09/177,425  Filed: Oct. 22, 1998
 Int. CI. I HUM 11/00
 U.S. CI 379/110.01; 348/14; 379/21
 Field of Search 348/14-20; 379/90.01,
379/93.01, 93.05-93.08, 93.17, 93.23, 110.01,
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,528,285 6/1996 Morikawa et al 348/14
5,760,824 6/1998 Hicks, III 348/14
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
6-141308 5/1994 Japan 348/14
Primary Examiner—-Wing F. Chan
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—-Wood, Phillips, VanSanten, Clark & Mortimer
A remote service system provides reduced down time of serviced equipment, provides quicker service availability, and provides more experienced service technicians virtually on site. By using high tech video links over conventional phone lines, utilizing two-way wireless audio and visual communication in real time, technicians at a central site can see exactly what the customer's maintenance person is seeing. This allows an untrained technician or someone unfamiliar with the device to be the eyes, ears and hands of the technician at the central site. The maintenance person can then be talked through the steps of the repair process. This enhances the capabilities of existing personnel, thus reducing labor costs, service calls, and down time.
15 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets