REMOTE CONTROL ELECTRONIC
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent applica- 5 tion Ser. No. 09/132,456, filed Aug. 11, 1998, for "Remote Control Electronic Display System" and which is, in turn, a continuation-in-part of my provisional patent application Serial No. 60/083,597, filed Apr. 30, 1999, also entitled "Remote Control Electronic Display System"; 10
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates in general to certain new and useful improvements in display signs, and more particularly, to 15 remotely controlled electronically operable display signs in which a display on a sign may be changed at will from a remote source.
2. Brief Description of Related Art
Display signs are used in a wide variety of industries, 20 frequently as promotional and advertising aids. Thus, many retail stores will employ display signs in the front of their stores or elsewhere featuring products which are being sold or otherwise offered by that establishment. Display signs are also frequently used for traffic control by various munici- 25 palities and governmental agencies.
Essentially all display signs presently available are static in that they carry a substrate with a message or design thereon and which is to be conveyed, as for example, a paper ^ sheet having information thereon for display and which may be frequently mounted behind a transparent member such as a sheet of glass.
In many cases, the poster or other display sheet may be mounted within a frame having a light source mounted 3J therein. In this case, the front face of the sheet may be lighted from lights located along portions of the periphery of the frame. In some cases, when using a somewhat transparent or translucent sheet, back lighting may also be employed. 40
The cost of preparing display signs made with paper and paper-board substrates can be quite substantial. Initially, the art work must be prepared often times by hand, although certain computer aids for purposes of preparing the drawing may be available. Nevertheless, preparation of the drawing 45 is labor intensive. Thereafter, multi-color printing is usually required in order to complete the preparation of the paper or paper-board sign or display. These various steps, as indicated, are labor intensive and therefore materially add to the overall costs of preparing a sign or display, particularly 50 when made of a paper or paper-board material.
In addition to the foregoing, there are also costs involved in the shipping or transport of these signs. Generally, they cannot be folded or bent or they would otherwise be unsuitable for use. As a result, special precautions and shipping 55 containers must be provided for transport of the paper or paper-board substrate signs or displays.
There have also been display signs which use a frame and a source of light along with a glass sheet having an image or other information literally formed on the sheet, as for 60 example, by means of glass etching, masking, or the like. However, with this type of display, when it is necessary or desirable to change the display in the sign, it is necessary to prepare a new piece of glass or otherwise a masking on a rear surface thereof having other information presented thereon. 65
Here again, the cost of preparing an etched glass sheet can be quite substantial. The same also holds true of preparing
glass sheets with masks on the rear surface thereof to create a design or display with that sheet. Again, because of the frailty of these sheets, substantial precautions must be taken for the transport or shipment of these sheets.
There is presently no display sign capable of having information changed thereon as quickly as information can be changed on the screen of a computer monitor. Moreover, and independently thereof, there is presently no effective display sign which can be changed from a remote location.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide an electronic display sign which uses a plasma display image and which can readily be changed in accordance with electronic signals applied thereto.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an electronic display sign of the type stated which can be altered rapidly through the use of a computer or otherwise through an image scanner.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an electronic display sign of the type stated which can be controlled from a remote source and the display on the sign can be changed at will from that remote source.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a display sign of the type stated which completely eliminates the need for interchangeable substrates bearing the information to be displayed.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an electronic display sign and a method of altering a display on a sign electronically and without using interchangeable substrates bearing information to be displayed.
It is another salient object of the present invention to provide a method of displaying information by generating that information from a remote source and transmitting that information to a display sign.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a unique circuit enabling operation of a display sign from a remote source.
With the above and other objects in view, my invention resides in the novel features of form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts presently described and pointed out in the claims.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates in general terms to a display system including a display sign which is electronically accessible from a remote source and which enables the almost automatic change of a display pursuant to control of an operator at the remote source. In a broad sense, the display system of the present invention comprises a display sign having a display panel thereon as well as display generating means at the remote source for generating a display to be displayed on that display panel. The display is actually generated in the form of an electrical signal and the system comprises a transmitting means for transmitting the electrical signal representing the display to the display panel of that display sign.
The present invention also provides a method of generating a display on a display sign from a remote source. The method involves the steps of generating the display and then transmitting that display to the display sign in the form of electrical signals representing the display. The display sign is provided with electronics using the received electrical signal to recreate the generated display and present same on the display panel.