Title:
Electronic Cooker and Method for Game Using the Same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an electronic cooker, and a method for a game using the same. According to the method for a game using the electronic cooker, when a cooking start command is input through a keypad, a microprocessor causes games, which have a game time equal to a cooking time among games stored in a memory, to be displayed on a display unit, and allows a user to select one of the games. The microprocessor performs control such that the cooking operation and the game can be simultaneously executed during the cooking time. When the cooking time elapses, the game is ended. Therefore, the method for a game using the electronic cooker has an advantage in that the user can play a game during a waiting time for cooking, thereby improving user's satisfaction in the cooking process.



Inventors:
Choi, Sung Ho (Daegu City, KR)
Application Number:
12/159437
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
01/19/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
219/720, 463/43, 463/48, 219/473
International Classes:
F24C7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, HUNG D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (P.O. Box 221200, Chantilly, VA, 20153-1200, US)
Claims:
1. An electronic cooker, comprising: a memory for storing one or more game programs; an input unit for use in inputting a cooking command and a game selection command; and a control unit for performing control such that at least one of the game programs is displayed according to input of the cooking command and any one of the game programs selected according to the game selection command among the displayed game programs is executed.

2. An electronic cooker, comprising: a memory for storing one or more game programs; an input unit for use in inputting a cooking command and a game selection command; and a control unit for performing control such that game programs with a game time equal to a cooking time is displayed according to input of the cooking command and any one of the game programs selected according to the game selection command among the displayed game programs is executed.

3. The electronic cooker as claimed in claim 1, wherein the input unit separately comprises an input unit for the cooking command and an input unit for a game execution command.

4. The electronic cooker as claimed in claim 1, wherein the input unit is provided as a single input unit with at least two functions so as to perform different functions according to mode conversion of the control unit.

5. The electronic cooker as claimed in claim 4, wherein the at least two functions are the cooking command and the game selection command.

6. The electronic cooker as claimed in claim 1, wherein the control unit terminates a cooking operation when the game is ended.

7. A method for a game using an electronic cooker, comprising the steps of: sensing a cooking command and performing a cooking operation; if the cooking command is sensed, displaying one or more of game programs stored in advance; and selecting one of the displayed game programs, and executing the selected game program.

8. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein the step of performing the cooking operation further comprises the steps of: if the cooking operation is completed, displaying the completion of cooking; sensing a game end command; and ending the game according to the sensed game end command.

9. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein if a game selection command is input while the cooking operation is performed due to the sensing of the cooking command, one or more of the game programs are displayed and a game program selected among the displayed game programs is executed.

10. A method for a game using an electronic cooker, comprising the steps of: sensing a cooking command and performing a cooking operation; if the cooking command is sensed, displaying a list of one or more game programs with a game time equal to a cooking time among game programs stored in advance; and selecting one of the game programs and executing the selected game program.

11. The method as claimed in claim 10, further comprising the step of: completing cooking if the game is ended.

12. The method as claimed in claim 10, wherein the step of executing the game program is performed in a game program execution mode.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an electronic cooker, and more particularly, to an electronic cooker adapted to execute a game during a cooking time for performing a cooking operation, and a method for the game using the same.

BACKGROUND ART

In general, an electronic cooker is a cooking apparatus for performing a cooking operation by heating a cooking material through driving of a heater or magnetron.

When the electronic cooker receives a cooking command from a user, the electronic cooker performs a desired cooking operation by driving the heater or magnetron during a cooking time. In this case, the cooking time varies according to the kinds of foods to be cooked. For example, it takes only a few seconds to a few minutes to simply warm a food, but it takes a longer time to ferment a food in the electronic cooker. For example, it takes about 8 hours to ferment yoghurt and about 48 hours to ferment soybeans. The fermentation time slightly varies according to the product performance of the electronic cooker. As described above, when a user cooks a food by the electronic cooker, it takes at least a few minutes up to a few hours to complete cooking.

Therefore, when the user cooks a food using the electronic cooker, he/she cannot efficiently use the time.

Except for the cooking function, the electronic cooker does not provide any other services. Thus, the user should wait until a cooking operation is finished. If the user does not have anything to do except the cooking, or if the cooking time is too short for the user to do another job, there is a problem in that the user cannot do anything else for the cooking time but waits for completion of the cooking operation.

DISCLOSURE

Technical Problem

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an electronic cooker which enables a user to play a game during a cooking operation, and a method for the game using the same.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electronic cooker which allows a user to select/execute a game with a game time similar or equal to a cooking time, and to be informed of completion of cooking when the game is ended, and a method for the game using the same.

Technical Solution

According to an aspect of the present invention for achieving the objects, there is provided an electronic cooker

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS

According to the present invention thus constructed, there is an advantage in that a user can cheerfully and usefully spend a cooking time by playing a game during a cooking operation using the electronic cooker.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view showing the configuration of an electronic cooker according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating a cooking process including a method for a game using the electronic cooker according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a cooking process including a method for a game using the electronic cooker according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

BEST MODE

Hereinafter, an electronic cooker and a method for a game using the same according to preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 shows the configuration of an electronic cooker according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, the electronic cooker includes a memory 10 for storing a plurality of game programs. The game programs include game programs with fixed game times, game programs executed with scores rather than game times, various simulation games, and online games. In addition, the memory 10 stores various application programs including an operating system.

The game programs include those provided by an electronic cooker manufacturer as well as those downloaded through a computer, a notebook computer system, a portable terminal (PMP, PDA, cellular phone, digital camera), a memory stick, and the like. To this end, the electronic cooker is provided with a connection port 20 to which such apparatuses are connectable. Generally, since these apparatuses have USB ports, the connection port 20 is preferably provided as a USB port to easily receive the game programs. However, if the above apparatuses are provided with wireless communication ports, such as an infrared port, instead of the USB port that a wired connection medium, the electronic cooker may be provided with a wireless communication port for use in downloading the game programs in a wireless manner. The electronic cooker may be provided with a communication module 30 connectable to a local area network, a general switched telephone network and a wireless communication network, for receiving and executing online games in real time.

The electronic cooker includes a keypad 40 for use in inputting various commands for cooking foods using the electronic cooker and in selecting/executing the game programs stored in the memory 10. Here, the keypad 40 is constructed to have separate keypads for use in inputting the cooking commands and in selecting/executing the game programs, or to have only a single keypad with the two functions of instructing cooking and game operations. In a case where the keypad 40 has a single keypad, if the cooking operation is started through input of a cooking command, the function of the keypad 40 is changed to enable a user to play games by using the game programs. For example, up/down movement button control commands for selecting a cooking menu are recognized as up/down movement commands in the games, and right/left movement button control commands for selecting a cooking menu are recognized as right/left movement commands in the games.

The electronic cooker includes a control unit 50 for performing cooking operations by controlling a heating cooking unit 70, which will be discussed later, and executing the game programs stored in the memory 10.

When a cooking command is input, the control unit 50 accesses the plurality of game programs stored in the memory 10, and displays them on a display unit 60. When any one of the game programs is selected through the keypad 40, the control unit 50 performs control such that the selected game program is executed.

In addition, when a cooking command is input, the control unit 50 performs control such that a game program, which has a game time equal to a cooking time according to the input cooking command, among the plurality of game programs stored in the memory 10 is selected/executed. If one game program exists, the control unit 50 performs control such that the game program is directly selected. If two or more game programs exist, the control unit 50 displays all the corresponding game programs on the display unit 60. When any one of the game programs is selected through the keypad 40, the control unit 50 performs such that the selected game program is executed.

Meanwhile, in addition to a general display device for displaying only image information, a touch screen device can be used as the display unit 60, so that the user can directly input an input command on the display unit 60. Accordingly, if the display unit 60 is provided as a touch screen display device, manipulation of the keypad 40 is performed on the display unit 60.

Although not shown in the figure, the electronic cooker includes the heating cooking unit 70 that comprises a magnetron for generating microwaves, a plurality of heaters for emitting heat, various blower fans for circulating or discharging hot air in or from the electronic cooker, sensors for sensing the internal state of a cooking chamber, and a turntable for rotating a cooking material. Sine the heating cooking unit 70 has the same structure as a general cooking apparatus, a detailed explanation thereof will be omitted.

A method for a game using the electronic cooker according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating a cooking process including a method for a game using the electronic cooker according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

In step S100, the control unit 50 (hereinafter, referred to as ‘microprocessor’) checks whether a cooking start command is input through the keypad 40. If the cooking start command is input, the microprocessor 50 starts cooking by driving the heating cooking unit 70 in step S102.

If the cooking start command is input, the microprocessor 50 accesses and displays the plurality of game programs stored in the memory 10 in step S104, and the microprocessor 50 enables a user to select any one of the game programs in step S106. However, if a game selection command is input by means of manipulation of the keypad 40 while a cooking operation is performed after the input of the cooking start command, the microprocessor 50 accesses and displays the plurality of game programs stored in the memory 10, and enables the user to select any one of the games.

Once the user selects any one of the game programs, the microprocessor 50 performs mode conversion of the current cooking mode into a game mode for supporting the game in step S108. In step S110, the selected game program is displayed on the display unit 60 in the game mode, so that the user can play the game by manipulating the keypad 40.

While the microprocessor 50 controls both the cooking operation and the game, the microprocessor 50 counts a cooking time by using an internal timer (step S112). Until the cooking time elapses, the cooking operation and the game are continuously executed.

In step S114, after the cooking time has elapsed, the microprocessor 50 stops the driving of the heating cooking unit 70 to complete the cooking operation. The microprocessor 50 informs the user of the completion of cooking through the display unit 60, so that the user can take out the cooked food (step S116).

In step S118, the microprocessor 50 checks whether a game end command is input. If the game end command is input, the microprocessor 50 ends the game (step S120).

That is, in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention, when the cooking start command is input or when the game selection command is input during the cooking operation, the cooking mode is converted into the game mode for executing the game. Even after the cooking operation is terminated, the game can be selectively executed until the game end command is input.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with the embodiments described and illustrated above, the embodiments are only for illustrative purposes. It will be apparent that those skilled in the art can make various modifications, changes and equivalents thereof without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Therefore, the true scope of the present invention should be defined by the technical spirit of the appended claims.

MODE FOR INVENTION

A method for a game using the electronic cooker according to another embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a cooking process including a method for a game using the electronic cooker according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

In step S130, the microprocessor 50 checks whether a cooking start command is input through the keypad 40. If the cooking start command is input, the microprocessor 50 starts cooking by driving the heating cooking unit 70.

If the cooking start command is input, the microprocessor 50 displays, on the display unit 60, a list of game programs, which have a game time equal to a cooking time, among the game programs stored in the memory 10 in step S132. If the user designates a game program in advance, the microprocessor 50 displays the game program on the display unit 60 according to the cooking start command even through the game time of the game program is not equal to the cooking time or is not predetermined.

The microprocessor 50 enables the user to select one of the game programs displayed on the display unit 60 (step S134).

When the user selects any one of the game programs, the microprocessor 50 performs mode conversion of the current cooking mode into a game mode for supporting the game (step S136). Therefore, the microprocessor 50 performs the cooking operation by driving the heating cooking unit 70 and simultaneously executes the selected game program (step S138).

If the cooking time has elapsed, i.e., the game time equal to the cooking time has elapsed and the game is ended in step S140, the microprocessor 50 stops the driving of the heating cooking unit 70 to complete the cooking operation in step 142. In step S144, the microprocessor 50 informs the user of the completion of cooking through the display unit 60, so that the user can take out the cooked food.

That is, in accordance with the second embodiment of the present invention, since the game with the game time equal to the cooking time is executed, the game progressing time indicates the degree of cooking progression. When the game is ended, the completion of cooking is informed.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

As discussed in detail above, the present invention provides the following advantages.

First, the electronic cooker can simultaneously execute a cooking operation and a game.

In addition, one of game programs with a game time equal to a cooking time and game programs designated to be executed for a cooking time can be selected and executed.

Accordingly, a user of the electronic cooker can play a game during a cooking time, which provides superior competitiveness of the product.