Title:
GAMING OBJECT AND GAME CONSOLE WITH MILLIMETER WAVE INTERFACE AND METHODS FOR USE THEREWITH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming object includes an actuator for generating user data in response to the actions of a user. A millimeter wave transceiver receives an RF signal from a game console, converts the RF signal into a power signal for powering the gaming object, and backscatters the RF signal based on user data.



Inventors:
Rofougaran, Ahmadreza (Reza) (Newport Coast, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/950075
Publication Date:
06/04/2009
Filing Date:
12/04/2007
Assignee:
BROADCOM CORPORATION (Irvine, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/36, 463/33
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MOSSER, ROBERT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GARLICK & MARKISON (BRCM) (100 CONGRESS AVENUE SUITE 2000, AUSTIN, TX, 78701, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming object comprising: an actuator for generating user data in response to the actions of a user; a millimeter wave transceiver coupled to: receive an RF signal from a game console; convert the RF signal into a power signal for powering the gaming object; and backscatter the RF signal based on user data.

2. The gaming object of claim 1 wherein actuator includes one of: a button, a joy-stick and thumb wheel.

3. The gaming object of claim 1 wherein actuator includes a sensor for sensing motion of the gaming object.

4. The gaming object of claim 1 wherein the sensor is an on-chip gyrator.

5. The gaming object of claim 1 wherein actuator includes a photo sensor that generates the user data based on an optical signal from a video display.

6. An interface module that couples a gaming object to a game console, the interface module comprising: a millimeter wave transceiver coupled to: transmit an RF signal for powering the gaming object; and demodulate backscattering of the RF signal to produce user data.

7. The interface module of claim 6 wherein the game console is includes a video game application.

8. The interface module of claim 6 wherein the user data represents motion of the gaming object.

9. The interface module of claim 6 wherein the user data is based on an optical signal from a video display.

10. A method for use in a gaming object comprising: generating user data in response to the actions of a user; receiving an RF signal from a game console; converting the RF signal into a power signal for powering the gaming object; and backscattering the RF signal based on user data.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the RF signal includes a millimeter wave signal.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the game console is includes a video game application.

13. The interface module of claim 10 wherein the user data represents motion of the gaming object.

14. The interface module of claim 10 wherein the user data is based on an optical signal from a video display.

15. A method for coupling a gaming object to a game console, the method comprising: transmitting an RF signal for powering the gaming object; and demodulating backscattering of the RF signal to produce user data.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the game console is includes a video game application.

17. The method of claim 15 wherein the user data represents motion of the gaming object.

18. The interface module of claim 15 wherein the user data is based on an optical signal from a video display.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENTS

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to wireless systems and more particularly to determining position within a wireless system and/or tracking motion within the wireless system.

2. Description of Related Art

Communication systems are known to support wireless and wire lined communications between wireless and/or wire lined communication devices. Such communication systems range from national and/or international cellular telephone systems to the Internet to point-to-point in-home wireless networks to radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. Each type of communication system is constructed, and hence operates, in accordance with one or more communication standards. For instance, radio frequency (RF) wireless communication systems may operate in accordance with one or more standards including, but not limited to, RFID, IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth, advanced mobile phone services (AMPS), digital AMPS, global system for mobile communications (GSM), code division multiple access (CDMA), local multi-point distribution systems (LMDS), multi-channel-multi-point distribution systems (MMDS), and/or variations thereof. As another example, infrared (IR) communication systems may operate in accordance with one or more standards including, but not limited to, IrDA (Infrared Data Association).

Depending on the type of RF wireless communication system, a wireless communication device, such as a cellular telephone, two-way radio, personal digital assistant (PDA), personal computer (PC), laptop computer, home entertainment equipment, RFID reader, RFID tag, et cetera communicates directly or indirectly with other wireless communication devices. For direct communications (also known as point-to-point communications), the participating wireless communication devices tune their receivers and transmitters to the same channel or channels (e.g., one of the plurality of radio frequency (RF) carriers of the wireless communication system) and communicate over that channel(s). For indirect wireless communications, each wireless communication device communicates directly with an associated base station (e.g., for cellular services) and/or an associated access point (e.g., for an in-home or in-building wireless network) via an assigned channel. To complete a communication connection between the wireless communication devices, the associated base stations and/or associated access points communicate with each other directly, via a system controller, via the public switch telephone network, via the Internet, and/or via some other wide area network.

For each RF wireless communication device to participate in wireless communications, it includes a built-in radio transceiver (i.e., receiver and transmitter) or is coupled to an associated radio transceiver (e.g., a station for in-home and/or in-building wireless communication networks, RF modem, etc.). As is known, the receiver is coupled to the antenna and includes a low noise amplifier, one or more intermediate frequency stages, a filtering stage, and a data recovery stage. The low noise amplifier receives inbound RF signals via the antenna and amplifies then. The one or more intermediate frequency stages mix the amplified RF signals with one or more local oscillations to convert the amplified RF signal into baseband signals or intermediate frequency (IF) signals. The filtering stage filters the baseband signals or the IF signals to attenuate unwanted out of band signals to produce filtered signals. The data recovery stage recovers raw data from the filtered signals in accordance with the particular wireless communication standard.

As is also known, the transmitter includes a data modulation stage, one or more intermediate frequency stages, and a power amplifier. The data modulation stage converts raw data into baseband signals in accordance with a particular wireless communication standard. The one or more intermediate frequency stages mix the baseband signals with one or more local oscillations to produce RF signals. The power amplifier amplifies the RF signals prior to transmission via an antenna.

In most applications, radio transceivers are implemented in one or more integrated circuits (ICs), which are inter-coupled via traces on a printed circuit board (PCB). The radio transceivers operate within licensed or unlicensed frequency spectrums. For example, wireless local area network (WLAN) transceivers communicate data within the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) frequency spectrum of 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz. While the ISM frequency spectrum is unlicensed there are restrictions on power, modulation techniques, and antenna gain.

In IR communication systems, an IR device includes a transmitter, a light emitting diode, a receiver, and a silicon photo diode. In operation, the transmitter modulates a signal, which drives the LED to emit infrared radiation which is focused by a lens into a narrow beam. The receiver, via the silicon photo diode, receives the narrow beam infrared radiation and converts it into an electric signal.

IR communications are used video games to detect the direction in which a game controller is pointed. As an example, an IR sensor is placed near the game display, where the IR sensor to detect the IR signal transmitted by the game controller. If the game controller is too far away, too close, or angled away from the IR sensor, the IR communication will fail.

Further advances in video gaming include three accelerometers in the game controller to detect motion by way of acceleration. The motion data is transmitted to the game console via a Bluetooth wireless link. The Bluetooth wireless link may also transmit the IR direction data to the game console and/or convey other data between the game controller and the game console.

While the above technologies allow video gaming to include motion sensing, it does so with limitations. As mentioned, the IR communication has a limited area in which a player can be for the IR communication to work properly. Further, the accelerometer only measures acceleration such that true one-to-one detection of motion is not achieved. Thus, the gaming motion is limited to a handful of directions (e.g., horizontal, vertical, and a few diagonal directions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to apparatus and methods of operation that are further described in the following Brief Description of the Drawings, the Detailed Description of the Invention, and the claims. Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention made with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of an overhead view of an embodiment of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of a side view of an embodiment of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram representation of a gaming system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of an overhead view of another embodiment of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of a side view of another embodiment of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 6-8 are diagrams of an embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 9-11 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a diagram of a method for determining position and/or motion tracking in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a diagram of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an RFID reader and an RFID tag in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a diagram of an example of positioning and/or motioning of a game controller to select an item on the display of a game console in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a diagram of a method for processing a position and/or motion based selection in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 19 is a diagram of a method for processing a position and/or motion based gaming action in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a flowchart representation of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 21 is a flowchart representation of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of an overhead view of an embodiment of a gaming system that includes a game console and a gaming object. A video display 98 is shown that can be coupled to game console 100 to display video generated by game console 100 in conjunction with the set-up and playing of the game and to provide other user interface functions of game console 100. It should also be noted that game console 100 can include its own integrated video display that displays, either directly or via projection, video content in association with any of the functions described in conjunction with video display 98.

The gaming system has an associated physical area in which the game console and the gaming object are located. The physical area may be a room, portion of a room, and/or any other space where the gaming object and game console are proximally co-located (e.g., airport terminal, at a gaming center, on an airplane, etc.). In the example shown the physical area includes desk 92, chair 94 and couch 96.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the gaming object 110 may be a wireless game controller and/or any object used or worn by the player to facilitate play of a video game. For example, the gaming object 110 may include a simulated sword, a simulated gun, a helmet, a vest, a hat, shoes, socks, pants, shorts, gloves, etc. In this system, the game console 100 determines the positioning of the gaming object 110 within the physical area using one or more position determination techniques as subsequently discussed. Once the gaming object 100's position is determined, the game console 110 tracks the motion of the gaming object using one or more motion tracking techniques as subsequently discussed to facilitate video game play. In this embodiment, the game console may determine the positioning of the gaming object 110 within a positioning tolerance (e.g., within a meter) at a positioning update rate (e.g., once every second or once every few seconds) and tracks the motion within a motion tracking tolerance (e.g., within a few millimeters) at a motion tracking update rate (e.g., once every 10-100 milliseconds) based on user data generated in response to the actions of a user in the form of position data.

In a further embodiment, the gaming object 110 can be an object that can include a joystick, touch pad, wheel, one or more buttons and/or other user interface device that generates other user data in response to the actions of a user. While the gaming object 110 is discussed above as including a simulated sword, a simulated gun, a helmet, a vest, a hat, shoes, socks, pants, shorts, gloves, etc., it should be noted that the gaming object 110 may represent or resemble another object from the game, may be coupled to an object that is worn or otherwise coupled to a user or be as simple as a standard box, pod or other object that is held by the user.

In operation, the gaming object 110 and gaming console 100 communicate via wireless transceivers over a wireless communication link that will be described in greater detail in conjunction with FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of a side view of an embodiment of a gaming system of FIG. 1. In particular, a user 106 is represented schematically as holding a particular gaming object 110 in his or her hand or hands. User data 102 is generated by the gaming object 110 and communicated via a wireless communication path 104 with the game console 100. The user data 102 can include user selections, commands, position data indicating the position, orientation, and/or motion of the gaming object 110 or other user data that is generated based on the actions of the user in conjunction with the playing, and set-up of a particular game, and/or the user's other interactions with the game console 100.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram representation of a gaming system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In particular, a gaming system is shown that includes game console 100 and gaming object 110. Gaming object 110 includes an actuator 114 for generating user data, such as user data 102 in response to the actions of a user, such as user 106. Actuator 114 can include a button, joy stick, wheel, keypad, keyboard, motion sensor (such as an on-chip gyrator or accelerometer or other position or motion sensing device) along with other driver circuitry for generating user data 102 based on the actions of the user 106. Further the actuator can include a photosensor that generates the user data 102 based on an optical signal from a video display such as a video display integrated in game console 98 or separate video display 98. In this fashion, the optical signal can be used to generate user data 102 that represents position or orientation of the gaming object 110. For instance, an optic sensor in a gaming object that represents a gun can generate optical feedback to determine if the gun is pointed at particular object on the screen.

Millimeter wave transceiver 120 is coupled to receive an RF signal 108 initiated by game console 100, such as a 60 GHz RF signal or other millimeter wave RF signal. In a similar fashion to a passive RFID tag, millimeter wave transceiver 120 converts energy from the RF signal 108 into a power signal for powering the millimeter wave transceiver 120 or all or some portion of the gaming object 110. By the gaming object 110 deriving power, in while or in part, based on RF signal 108, gaming object 110 can optionally be portable, small and light. Millimeter wave transceiver 120 conveys the user data 102 back to the game console 100 by backscattering the RF signal 108 based on user data 102.

Game console 100 includes an interface module 132 for coupling to the gaming object 110. In particular, interface module 132 includes a millimeter wave transceiver 130 that transmits RF signal 108 for powering the gaming object 110. In operation, millimeter wave transceiver 130 demodulates the backscattering of the RF signal 108 to recover the user data 102.

Game console 100 further includes a memory 124 and processor 122 that are coupled to interface module 132 via a bus 125. In operation, processor 122 executes one or more routines such as an operating system, utilities, and one or more applications such as video game applications or other gaming applications that produce video information that is converted to display signal 128 via driver 126. Processor 122 can include a dedicated or shared processing device. Such a processing device may be a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on operational instructions. The memory 124 can be a single memory device or a plurality of memory devices. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that when the processor 122 implements one or more of its functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory storing the corresponding operational instructions is embedded with the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry. While a particular bus architecture is shown, alternative bus architectures including architectures having two or more buses or direct connectivity between the various modules of game console 100, can likewise be employed within the broad scope of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of an overhead view of another embodiment of a gaming system that includes a game console, a plurality of players and a plurality of gaming objects. In this instance, interface module 132 of game console 100 sends RF signal 108 to power both gaming object 110 and gaming object 110′ and receives user data 102 from each gaming object. In an embodiment of the present invention, game console 100 operates on a separate frequency for each device, however, other multiple access techniques can likewise be used.

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of a side view of another embodiment of a gaming system that includes multiple gaming objects that can be implemented in conjunction with a single user/player. In this embodiment, the gaming objects, such as gaming object 110, are implemented with sensing tags 140 that can be embodied as a game controller, a helmet, a shirt, pants, gloves, and socks, that each generate user data 102 that includes motion/position data. In this manner, the gaming objects 110 facilitate the determining of position and/or facilitate motion tracking as will be subsequently discussed. In this embodiment, the positioning of the gaming objects 110 can be determined within a positioning tolerance (e.g., within a meter) at a positioning update rate (e.g., once every second or once every few seconds) and tracks the motion within a motion tracking tolerance (e.g., within a few millimeters) at a motion tracking update rate (e.g., once every 10-100 milliseconds) within a position and motion tracking area that is range of the millimeter wave transceiver 132 of game console 100.

In one mode of operation, the game console 100 sends one or more RF signals 108 on a continuous basis and reads the user data 102 generated by each of the game objects 110 periodically (e.g., once every 10-100 milliseconds) to update the positioning of game objects 110. In another mode of operation, the game console 100 generates the sends one or more RF signals 108 periodically (e.g., once every 10-100 milliseconds) and reads the user data 102 generated by each of the game objects 110 only when required to update the positioning of game objects 110.

FIGS. 6-8 are diagrams of an embodiment of a coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system. In these figures an xyz origin is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and each point being tracked and/or used for positioning on the player and/or on the gaming object 110 is determined based on its Cartesian coordinates (e.g., x1, y1, z1). As the player and/or gaming object moves, the new position of the tracking and/or positioning points are determined in Cartesian coordinates with respect to the origin.

FIGS. 9-11 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system. In these figures an origin is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and each point being tracked and/or used for positioning on the player and/or on the gaming object 110 is determined based on its vector, or spherical, coordinates (ρ, φ, θ), which are defined as: ρ≧0 is the distance from the origin to a given point P. 0≦φ≦180° is the angle between the positive z-axis and the line formed between the origin and P. 0≦θ≦360° is the angle between the positive x-axis and the line from the origin to the P projected onto the xy-plane. φ is referred to as the zenith, colatitude or polar angle, while θ is referred to as the azimuth. φ and θ lose significance when ρ=0 and θ loses significance when sin(φ)=0 (at φ=0 and φ=180°). To plot a point from its spherical coordinates, go ρ units from the origin along the positive z-axis, rotate φ about the y-axis in the direction of the positive x-axis and rotate θ about the z-axis in the direction of the positive y-axis. As the player and/or gaming object 110 moves, the new position of the tracking and/or positioning points are determined in vector, or spherical, coordinates with respect to the origin.

While FIGS. 6-11 illustrate two types of coordinate system, any three-dimensional coordinate system may be used for tracking motion and/or establishing position within a gaming system.

FIG. 12 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking that begins in step 300 by determining a reference point within a coordinate system (e.g., the vector coordinate system of FIGS. 9-11). The reference point may be the origin or any other point within the localized physical area. In particular, the reference point can be the location of the game console 100, the location of the game object 110 at a particular time, such as a set-up time, the location of one of a plurality of game objects 110, however, other reference points can likewise be used.

The method continues in one or more branches. Along one branch, a vector with respect to the reference point is determined to indicate the player's initial position based on the reference point as shown in step 302. This branch continues by updating the player's position to track the player's motion based on user data as shown in step 304.

The other branch includes determining a vector with respect to the reference point for the gaming object 110 to establish its initial position as shown in step 306. This branch continues by updating the gaming object 110's position to track the gaming object's motion using user data as shown in step 308. Note that the rate of tracking the motion of the player and/or gaming object may be done at a rate based on the video gaming being played and the expected speed of motion. Further note that a tracking rate of 10 milliseconds provides 0.1 mm accuracy in motion tracking.

FIG. 13 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking that begins in step 310 by determining the coordinates of the player's, or players', position in the physical area. The method then continues by determining the coordinates of a gaming object's initial position as shown in step 312. Note that the positioning of the gaming object may be used to determine the position of the player(s) if the gaming object is something worn by the player or is close proximity to the player. Alternatively, the initial position of the player may be used to determine the initial position of the gaming object. Note that one or more of the plurality of positioning techniques described herein may be used to determine the position of the player and/or of the gaming object.

The method then proceeds by updating the coordinates of the player's, or players', position in the physical area to track the player's motion as shown in step 314. The method also continues by updating the coordinates of a gaming object's position to track its motion as shown in step 316. Note that the motion of the gaming object may be used to determine the motion of the player(s) if the gaming object is something worn by the player or is close proximity to the player. Alternatively, the motion of the player may be used to determine the motion of the gaming object. Note that one or more of the plurality of motion techniques described herein may be used to determine the position of the player and/or of the gaming object.

FIG. 14 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking that begins in step 320 by determining a reference point within the physical area in which the gaming object lays and/or in which the game system lays. The method then proceeds by determining a vector for a player's initial position with respect to a reference point of a coordinate system (e.g., one of the systems shown in FIGS. 9-11) as shown in step 322. As an example, if the physical area is a room, a point in the room is selected as the origin and the coordinate system is applied to at least some of the room.

The method then continues by determining a vector of a gaming object 110's initial position as shown in step 324. Note that the positioning of the gaming object may be used to determine the position of the player(s) if the gaming object 110 is something worn by the player or is close proximity to the player. Alternatively, the initial position of the player may be used to determine the initial position of the gaming object 110. Note that one or more of the plurality of positioning techniques described herein may be used to determine the position of the player and/or of the gaming object.

The method then proceeds by updating the vector of the player's, or players', position in the physical area to track the player's motion as shown in step 326. The method also continues by updating the vector of the gaming object's position to track its motion as shown in step 328. Note that the motion of the gaming object 110 may be used to determine the motion of the player(s) if the gaming object is something worn by the player or is close proximity to the player. Alternatively, the motion of the player may be used to determine the motion of the gaming object 110. Note that one or more of the plurality of motion techniques described herein may be used to determine the position of the player and/or of the gaming object.

FIG. 15 is a diagram of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system that is an extension of the coordinate systems discussed above. In this embodiment, the coordinate system includes a positioning coordinate grid and a motion tracking grid, where the motion tracking grid is of a finer resolution than the positioning coordinate grid. In general, the player or gaming object 110's position within the physical area can have a first tolerance (e.g., within a meter) and the motion tracking of the player and/or the gaming object has a second tolerance (e.g., within a few millimeters). As such, the position of the player and/or gaming object can be updated infrequently in comparison to the updating of the motion (e.g., the position can be updated once every second or so while the motion may be updated once every 10 milliseconds).

FIG. 16 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an RFID reader and an RFID tag. In particular, RFID reader 205 represents a particular implementation of millimeter wave transceiver 130. In addition, RFID tag 235 represents a particular implementation of millimeter wave transceiver 120. As shown, RFID reader 205 includes a protocol processing module 40, an encoding module 42, an RF front-end 46, a digitization module 48, a predecoding module 50 and a decoding module 52, all of which together form components of the RFID reader 205. RFID 205 optionally includes a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) 44.

The protocol processing module 40 is operably coupled to prepare data for encoding in accordance with a particular RFID standardized protocol. In an exemplary embodiment, the protocol processing module 40 is programmed with multiple RFID standardized protocols to enable the RFID reader 205 to communicate with any RFID tag, regardless of the particular protocol associated with the tag. In this embodiment, the protocol processing module 40 operates to program filters and other components of the encoding module 42, decoding module 52, pre-decoding module 50 and RF front end 46 in accordance with the particular RFID standardized protocol of the tag(s) currently communicating with the RFID reader 205. However, of game objects 110 each operate in accordance with a single protocol, this flexibility can be omitted.

In operation, once the particular RFID standardized protocol has been selected for communication with one or more RFID tags, such as RFID tag 235, the protocol processing module 40 generates and provides digital data to be communicated to the RFID tag 235 to the encoding module 42 for encoding in accordance with the selected RFID standardized protocol. This digital data can include commands to power up the RFID tag 235, to read user data or other commands or data used by the RFID tag in association with its operation. By way of example, but not limitation, the RFID protocols may include one or more line encoding schemes, such as Manchester encoding, FM0 encoding, FM1 encoding, etc. Thereafter, in the embodiment shown, the digitally encoded data is provided to the digital-to-analog converter 44 which converts the digitally encoded data into an analog signal. The RF front-end 46 modulates the analog signal to produce an RF signal at a particular carrier frequency that is transmitted via antenna 60 to one or more RFID tags, such as RF ID rag 235.

The RF front-end 46 further includes transmit blocking capabilities such that the energy of the transmitted RF signal does not substantially interfere with the receiving of a back-scattered or other RF signal received from one or more RFID tags via the antenna 60. Upon receiving an RF signal from one or more RFID tags, the RF front-end 46 converts the received RF signal into a baseband signal. The digitization module 48, which may be a limiting module or an analog-to-digital converter, converts the received baseband signal into a digital signal. The predecoding module 50 converts the digital signal into an encoded signal in accordance with the particular RFID protocol being utilized. The encoded data is provided to the decoding module 52, which recaptures data, such as user data 102 therefrom in accordance with the particular encoding scheme of the selected RFID protocol. The protocol processing module 40 processes the recovered data to identify the object(s) associated with the RFID tag(s) and/or provides the recovered data to the server and/or computer for further processing.

The processing module 40 may be a single processing device or a plurality of processing devices. Such a processing device may be a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on hard coding of the circuitry and/or operational instructions. The processing module may have an associated memory element, which may be a single memory device, a plurality of memory devices, and/or embedded circuitry of the processing module. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, cache memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that when the processing module 40 implements one or more of its functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory element storing the corresponding operational instructions may be embedded within, or external to, the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry.

RFID tag 235 that includes a power generating circuit 240, an oscillation module 244, a processing module 246, an oscillation calibration module 248, a comparator 250, an envelope detection module 252, a capacitor C1, and a transistor T1. The oscillation module 244, the processing module 246, the oscillation calibration module 248, the comparator 250, and the envelope detection module 252 may be a single processing device or a plurality of processing devices. Such a processing device may be a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on hard coding of the circuitry and/or operational instructions. One or more of the modules 244, 246, 248, 250, 252 may have an associated memory element, which may be a single memory device, a plurality of memory devices, and/or embedded circuitry of the module. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, cache memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that when the modules 244, 246, 248, 250, 252 implement one or more of their functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory element storing the corresponding operational instructions may be embedded within, or external to, the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry.

In operation, the power generating circuit 240 generates a supply voltage (VDD) from a radio frequency (RF) signal that is received via antenna 254. The power generating circuit 240 stores the supply voltage VDD in capacitor C1 and provides it to modules 244, 246, 248, 250, 252.

When the supply voltage VDD is present, the envelope detection module 252 determines an envelope of the RF signal, which includes a DC component corresponding to the supply voltage VDD. In one embodiment, the RF signal is an amplitude modulation signal, where the envelope of the RF signal includes transmitted data. The envelope detection module 252 provides an envelope signal to the comparator 250. The comparator 250 compares the envelope signal with a threshold to produce a stream of recovered data.

The oscillation module 244, which may be a ring oscillator, crystal oscillator, or timing circuit, generates one or more clock signals that have a rate corresponding to the rate of the RF signal in accordance with an oscillation feedback signal. For instance, if the RF signal is a 900 MHz signal, the rate of the clock signals will be n*900 MHz, where “n” is equal to or greater than 1.

The oscillation calibration module 248 produces the oscillation feedback signal from a clock signal of the one or more clock signals and the stream of recovered data. In general, the oscillation calibration module 248 compares the rate of the clock signal with the rate of the stream of recovered data. Based on this comparison, the oscillation calibration module 248 generates the oscillation feedback to indicate to the oscillation module 244 to maintain the current rate, speed up the current rate, or slow down the current rate.

The processing module 246 receives the stream of recovered data and a clock signal of the one or more clock signals. The processing module 246 interprets the stream of recovered data to determine a command or commands contained therein. The command may be to store data, update data, reply with stored data, verify command compliance, read user data, an acknowledgement, etc. If the command(s) requires a response, the processing module 246 provides a signal to the transistor T1 at a rate corresponding to the RF signal. The signal toggles transistor T1 on and off to generate an RF response signal that is transmitted via the antenna. In one embodiment, the RFID tag 235 utilizing a back-scattering RF communication. Note that the resistor R1 functions to decouple the power generating circuit 240 from the received RF signals and the transmitted RF signals.

The RFID tag 235 may further include a current reference (not shown) that provides one or more reference, or bias, currents to the oscillation module 244, the oscillation calibration module 248, the envelope detection module 252, and the comparator 250. The bias current may be adjusted to provide a desired level of biasing for each of the modules 244, 248, 250, and 252.

FIG. 17 is a diagram of an example of positioning and/or motioning of a game controller to select an item on the display of a game console. In an embodiment, a game controller 260 such as gaming object 110, and console utilize tracking of the orientation of the controller to provide a selection of a menu item displayed on a video display associated with game console 100, to provide gaming functionality (e.g., alignment for a shot from a video game gun), etc.

FIG. 18 is a diagram of a method for processing a position and/or motion that begins by placing the controller and/or gaming console in a menu selection mode as shown in step 330. In this mode, the controller is set up to process a menu selection as opposed to a gaming function. The method continues by establishing the gaming object 100's current position and orientation with respect to an initial position in a display area as shown in step 332. For example, regardless of the current position and orientation (assuming it is in range), the gaming object 100's current position and orientation is processed to correspond to a particular location on the menu display.

The method proceeds by highlighting the menu item corresponding to the initial position (e.g., a start menu button) as shown in step 334. The method then continues by tracking the motion of the gaming object and mapping the motion to coordinates of the menu display area (e.g., in an embodiment, the mapping of the motion will be limited to somewhere with the menu display area) as shown in steps 336 and 338. The method continues by determining whether the motion has moved to another item in the menu list as shown in step 340. If yes, the method proceeds by highlighting the new item as shown in step 342.

The method then proceeds by determining whether a selection of the highlighted item is received as shown in step 344. If not, the process continues by tracking the motion in step 336. If a selection is received, the process continues by processing the menu selection as shown in step 346. This may be done in a convention manner.

FIG. 19 is a diagram of a method for processing a position and/or motion based gaming action that begins by placing the gaming object (e.g., a controller) and/or game console in a gaming mode as shown in step 350. The method continues by establishing the gaming object's current position and orientation with respect to an initial position in a gaming display area as shown in step 352. For example, if the game being played is a shooing arcade game and the gaming object is functioning as a gun, this step determines the initial aiming of the gun.

The method continues by determining whether the position and orientation of the gaming object is within the gaming display area as shown in step 354. If yes, the method continues by providing a display icon corresponding to the position and orientation as shown in step 356. For example, the icon may be cross hairs of a gun to correspond to the aiming of the video game gun. The method continues by tracking the motion of the gaming object and mapping the motion to the gaming display area as shown in steps 358 and 360.

The method continues by determining whether an action has been received as shown in step 362. For example, has the trigger of the gun been pulled? If not, the process repeats as shown. If yes, the process continues by processing the action as shown in step 364. For example, the processing may include mapping the shooting of the gun in accordance with the aiming of the gun.

FIG. 20 is a flowchart representation of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In step 400, user data is generated in response to the actions of a user. In step 402, an RF signal is received from a game console. In step 404, the RF signal is converted into a power signal for powering the gaming object. In step 406, the RF signal is backscattered based on user data.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the RF signal includes a millimeter wave signal. The game console can include a video game application. The user data can represent motion of the gaming object and/or can be based on an optical signal from a video display.

FIG. 21 is a flowchart representation of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In step 410 an RF signal is transmitted for powering the gaming object. In step 412, the backscattering of the RF signal is demodulated to produce user data.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the game console is includes a video game application. The user data can represent motion of the gaming object and/or be based on an optical signal from a video display.

As may be used herein, the terms “substantially” and “approximately” provides an industry-accepted tolerance for its corresponding term and/or relativity between items. Such an industry-accepted tolerance ranges from less than one percent to fifty percent and corresponds to, but is not limited to, component values, integrated circuit process variations, temperature variations, rise and fall times, and/or thermal noise. Such relativity between items ranges from a difference of a few percent to magnitude differences. As may also be used herein, the term(s) “coupled to” and/or “coupling” and/or includes direct coupling between items and/or indirect coupling between items via an intervening item (e.g., an item includes, but is not limited to, a component, an element, a circuit, and/or a module) where, for indirect coupling, the intervening item does not modify the information of a signal but may adjust its current level, voltage level, and/or power level. As may further be used herein, inferred coupling (i.e., where one element is coupled to another element by inference) includes direct and indirect coupling between two items in the same manner as “coupled to”. As may even further be used herein, the term “operable to” indicates that an item includes one or more of power connections, input(s), output(s), etc., to perform one or more its corresponding functions and may further include inferred coupling to one or more other items. As may still further be used herein, the term “associated with”, includes direct and/or indirect coupling of separate items and/or one item being embedded within another item. As may be used herein, the term “compares favorably”, indicates that a comparison between two or more items, signals, etc., provides a desired relationship. For example, when the desired relationship is that signal 1 has a greater magnitude than signal 2, a favorable comparison may be achieved when the magnitude of signal 1 is greater than that of signal 2 or when the magnitude of signal 2 is less than that of signal 1.

While the transistors in the above described figure(s) is/are shown as field effect transistors (FETs), as one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate, the transistors may be implemented using any type of transistor structure including, but not limited to, bipolar, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFET), N-well transistors, P-well transistors, enhancement mode, depletion mode, and zero voltage threshold (VT) transistors.

The present invention has also been described above with the aid of method steps illustrating the performance of specified functions and relationships thereof. The boundaries and sequence of these functional building blocks and method steps have been arbitrarily defined herein for convenience of description. Alternate boundaries and sequences can be defined so long as the specified functions and relationships are appropriately performed. Any such alternate boundaries or sequences are thus within the scope and spirit of the claimed invention.

The present invention has been described above with the aid of functional building blocks illustrating the performance of certain significant functions. The boundaries of these functional building blocks have been arbitrarily defined for convenience of description. Alternate boundaries could be defined as long as the certain significant functions are appropriately performed. Similarly, flow diagram blocks may also have been arbitrarily defined herein to illustrate certain significant functionality. To the extent used, the flow diagram block boundaries and sequence could have been defined otherwise and still perform the certain significant functionality. Such alternate definitions of both functional building blocks and flow diagram blocks and sequences are thus within the scope and spirit of the claimed invention. One of average skill in the art will also recognize that the functional building blocks, and other illustrative blocks, modules and components herein, can be implemented as illustrated or by discrete components, application specific integrated circuits, processors executing appropriate software and the like or any combination thereof.