ApplicationNo. 330112 filed on 03/29/1989
US Classes:700/236, Data collection or reporting (e.g., sales, inventory)235/381, With vending396/564, FLUID-TREATING APPARATUS700/225, Having an identification code700/237Authorization (e.g., password, time usage limit, personal identification number (PIN)
ExaminersPrimary: Ruggiero, Joseph
Attorney, Agent or Firm
Foreign Patent References
International ClassG06F 015/20
AbstractAn automated, interactive system for receiving, storing, processing, retrieving and dispensing film, still video camera diskettes, or other products which must be processed. The system includes an unmanned, automated and computerized apparatus analogous to an automatic teller machine (ATM). Instructions presented on an interactive video display prompt a patron to enter identification information and data concerning the type of photoprocessing desired. The information entered is stored on a floppy computer disc or transmitted electronically to a remote processing facility via a telephone link and used to track the order as it is processed at a remote location. The finished prints are returned to the apparatus and stored in a compartmentalized storage unit while awaiting pick-up by the customer. A random access retrieval mechanism included in the apparatus allows packages of processed prints to be stored in any empty compartments of the storage unit.An alternative embodiment of the present invention integrates an unmanned, automated film processing system with the apparatus described above, eliminating all human handling of the film once it is deposited by the patron. The self-contained, automated system of this embodiment accepts the film products and information concerning the customer and the order, opens the film cartridge, processes the negatives (or transmits information concerning a still video camera diskette to appropriate optics) and prints, cuts and packages the processed products, determines the fee for the processing and returns the package to the storage unit.