Title:
Portable dance game system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dance game system includes a host and a motion sensor. The host includes a prompting unit using indicators to prompt dance step directions. The motion sensor includes an acceleration sensor sensing user's dance step directions and communicating with the host wirelessly. The dance game system can operate without using a display unit (such as TV) or dance pads. Therefore, the dance game system is safer and easy to carry about, and the operation thereof is not limited by dance pads.



Inventors:
Huang, Chung-jen (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
12/222826
Publication Date:
02/18/2010
Filing Date:
08/18/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/35, 463/36, 463/44
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LIM, SENG HENG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (3458 ELLICOTT CENTER DRIVE-SUITE 101, ELLICOTT CITY, MD, 21043, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dance game system comprising: a host comprising: a data inputting interface communicating with a storage medium storing at least one audio signal and at least one prompting signal; an audio outputting unit outputting the audio signal; a prompting unit prompting step directions of a user; a control unit electrically coupled to the data inputting interface, the audio outputting unit, and the prompting unit, receiving the audio signal and transmitting the audio signal to the audio outputting unit, and receiving the prompting signal and controlling the prompting unit according to the prompting signal; a first transceiver receiving a step signal, wherein the control unit determines whether or not a step of the user is correct according to the step signal; a user interface, whereby the user operates the host; and a power supply unit providing power to the host; and a motion sensor worn on feet of the user and comprising: an acceleration sensor sensing the step of the user and outputting a sensation signal; a processing unit electrically coupled to the acceleration sensor, processing the sensation signal, and outputting the step signal; an second transceiver electrically coupled to the processing unit and transmitting the step signal; and a battery module providing power to the motion sensor.

2. The dance game system according to claim 1 further comprising a communication port electrically coupled to the processing unit, whereby the host exchanges data with another host.

3. The dance game system according to claim 2, wherein the communication port includes a wired communication port or a wireless communication port.

4. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the prompting unit comprises a plurality of light emitting diodes.

5. The dance game system according to claim 4, wherein the light emitting diodes are respectively arranged in 4-8 directions.

6. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the audio outputting unit includes a built-in speaker.

7. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the audio outputting unit includes an external speaker.

8. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the user interface comprises a plurality of buttons and a built-in display unit.

9. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the storage medium is a memory card or a game cartridge.

10. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the audio signal is a music signal, a voice signal, a sound effect signal, or a combination thereof.

11. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the acceleration sensor is a two-axial acceleration sensor or a three-axis acceleration sensor.

12. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein a communication frequency of the first transceiver and the second transceiver is an ISM band (Industrial Scientific Medical band).

13. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein each of the first transceiver and the second transceiver includes a Bluetooth module or a WLAN (wireless local area network) module.

14. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the power supply unit includes rechargeable battery, a disposable battery or an external power source.

15. The dance game system according to claim 1, wherein the battery module includes rechargeable battery or a disposable battery.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a dance game system, and more particularly to a portable dance game system.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 1 illustrates conventional dance game system, which comprises a host (not illustrated), a display unit 11, and dance pads 12. The host executes programs and presents the images directing users' dance steps on the display unit 11. For example, the images on the display unit 11 include static signs 111 respectively indicating UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT, and scrollable signs 112. When one scrollable sign 112 is scrolled up to coincide with one static sign 111, the user steps on an area of the dance pad 12 corresponding to the same direction. The dance pad 12 generates a signal transmitted to the host via a wire 121, and the host determines whether the step is correct or not and presents the result on the display unit 11.

The conventional dance game system mentioned above needs a larger size display unit 11, such as a TV or a monitor. Therefore, the conventional dance game system is large and hard to carry about, and the sites for playing a dance game are limited. Besides, when two persons play the dance game at the same time, they both face the display units 11 with the result that users lack interaction between them. As the users have to use the dance pads 12 to input signals, dance activities are limited to inside the dance pads 12. Further, the dance pads 12 may slip and cause safety concern of the players.

Accordingly, how to solve the above-mentioned problems of the conventional dance game system is highly desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a dance game system, which prompts step directions with indicators and detects step directions with an acceleration sensor, whereby users can play a dance game without using a display unit or dance pads. Thus, the present invention is safer and easy to carry about, and the playing space thereof is not limited by the dance pads.

In one embodiment, a dance game system comprises a host and a motion sensor. The host comprises a data inputting interface, an audio outputting unit, a prompting unit, a control unit, a first transceiver, a user interface and a power supply unit. The data inputting interface communicates with a storage medium. The storage medium stores at least one audio signal and at least one prompting signal. The audio outputting unit outputs the audio signals. The prompting unit prompts step directions to users. The control unit is electrically coupled to the data inputting interface, the audio outputting unit, and the prompting unit. The control unit receives the audio signals and the prompting signals and then outputs the audio signals to the audio outputting unit and controls the prompting unit according to the prompting signals. The first transceiver receives a dance step signal, and the control unit uses the step signal to determine whether or not the dance step of the user is correct. Users use the user interface to operate the host. The power supply unit provides power for the host. The motion sensor is worn on two feet of a user and further comprises an acceleration sensor, a processing unit, a second transceiver and a battery module. The acceleration sensor senses the motions of the feet and outputs sensation signals. The processing unit is electrically coupled to the acceleration sensor. The processing unit processes the sensation signals and outputs the dance step signals. The second transceiver is electrically coupled to the processing unit to receive the dance step signals and then sends out the dance step signals. The battery module provides power for the motion sensor.

The objective, technologies, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing conceptions and their accompanying advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated after being better understood by referring to the following detailed description, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagram schematically illustrating the operation of a conventional dance game system;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram schematically illustrating a dance game system according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a diagram schematically illustrating the host appearance of a dance game system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 2 illustrates a dance game system. In one embodiment, a dance game system 2 comprises a host 21 and a motion sensor 22. The host 21 comprises a data inputting interface 218, an audio outputting unit 212, a prompting unit 211, a control unit 215, a first transceiver 217, a user interface 214 and a power supply unit 216. The data inputting interface 218 communicates with a storage medium 3. The storage medium 3 stores at least one audio signal AS and at least one prompting signal PS. For example, the storage medium 3 is a memory card or a game cartridge. The audio outputting unit 212 outputs audio signals AS. The prompting unit 211 prompts step directions to users.

The control unit 215 is electrically coupled to the data inputting interface 218, the audio outputting unit 212, and the prompting unit 211. The control unit 215 receives audio signals AS and prompting signals PS from the storage medium 3 via the data inputting interface 218. Then, the control unit 218 transmits the audio signals AS to the audio outputting unit 212, and the audio outputting unit 212 outputs the audio signals AS. The control unit 218 controls the prompting unit 211 according to the prompting signals PS. For example, the audio outputting unit 212 is a built-in speaker or an external speaker, and the prompting unit 211 includes a plurality of LEDs (Light Emitting Diode), and the LEDs are respectively arranged in 4-8 different directions to prompt dance step directions to a user, as shown in FIG. 3.

The first transceiver 217 receives a step signal StS, and the control unit 215 determines whether or not the step of a user is correct according to the step signal StS. The user uses the user interface 214 to operate the host 21. For example, the user interface 214 comprises a plurality of buttons 2141 and a built-in display unit 2142, as shown in FIG. 3. The display unit 2142 is only intended to present brief information, such as repertoire, score, elapsed time, consumed calories, etc. Therefore, the display unit 2142 can be miniaturized. The power supply unit 216 provides power for the host 21.

The motion sensor 22 is worn on two feet of a user. The motion sensor 22 detects the motions of the feet and transmits the motion signals to the host 21. The motion sensor 22 comprises an acceleration sensor 223, a processing unit 222, a second transceiver 221 and a battery module 224. The acceleration sensor 223 senses the motions of the feet and outputs a sensation signal SeS. For example, the acceleration sensor 223 is a two-axis or three-axis acceleration sensor. It should be particularly mentioned that the acceleration sensor 223 not only can sense the motions of two feet toward 4-8 different directions but also can detect the motions of standing on toes, standing on heels, revolving, bouncing, etc.

The processing unit 222 is electrically coupled to the acceleration sensor 223. The processing unit 222 processes sensation signals SeS and outputs step signals StS. The second transceiver 221 is electrically coupled to the processing unit 222 to receive step signals StS and then sends out the step signals StS. The battery module 224 provides power for the motion sensor 22.

In one embodiment, a communication frequency of the second transceiver 221 and the first transceiver 217 may be an ISM band (Industrial Scientific Medical band), such as 27 MHz or 2.4 GHz, and the second transceiver 221 and the first transceiver 217 may be two-way transmission. For example, each of the second transceiver 221 and the first transceiver 217 may be a Bluetooth module or a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) module. The power supply unit 216 may be a rechargeable battery, a disposable battery or an external power source. The battery module 224 may be a rechargeable battery or a disposable battery.

In the abovementioned structure, the control unit 215 of the host 21 receives audio signals AS and prompting signals PS. The audio signals AS include music, voice, sound effects and a combination thereof. The control unit 215 controls the audio outputting unit 212 to output the audio signals AS for users. According to the predetermined prompting signals PS, the control unit 215 controls the indicators of the prompting unit 211, and the user moves his feet according to the indicators. For example, the user moves his feet forward, backward, left, right, upper left, lower left, upper right, or lower right according to the indicators. According to another example, the user stands on toes, stands on heels, revolves or bounces according to the indicators.

Further, the motion sensor 22 worn on the feet converts the foot motions responding to the indicators into step signals StS and returns the step signals StS to the host 21. The control unit 215 evaluates the foot motions of the user according to the feedback step signals StS and responds to the foot motions via controlling the audio outputting unit 212 to make voices (such as GREAT, GOOD, BAD, etc.) or sound effects.

Referring to FIG. 2, the host 21 of the dance game system 2 further comprises a communicating port 213 electrically coupled to the control unit 215, and the host 21 can exchange data with another host 21′ via the communication port 213. Inserting the storage medium 3 into the host 21 or the host 21′ enables more than two persons to play dance game simultaneously. In one embodiment, the communicating port 213 is a wired or wireless communicating port.

In conclusion, the dance game system of the present invention does not use a larger-size and complicated display unit, instead adopts indicators to prompt step directions. Therefore, the present invention can realize a miniaturized dance game system which is not limited by the space. The present invention does not use the conventional dance pads, instead adopts an acceleration sensor to detect dance steps and transmits the results to the host wirelessly. Therefore, the operation area of the dance game system is not limited by the dance pads, and the safety concern of the users caused by slippery dance pads may be avoided. Further, when using the present invention, users needn't face conventional display units, such as televisions, but can arbitrarily arrange the portable dance game systems. For example, the users can play the dance game systems of the present invention by facing to each other. Therefore, the users can have better interaction while using the present invention.

The embodiments described above are intended to demonstrate the technics and features of the present invention to enable the persons skilled in the art to understand, make, and practice the present invention. However, it is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. Any equivalent modification or variation according to the spirit of the present invention shall also be construed to be within the scope of the present invention.