Title:
Interactive Puzzle Game over a Portable Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game which divides an image into multiple parts, sends the multiple parts to multiple users, and allows the users to make “guesses” about what the image represents. The user or user groups who guesses what the image is really showing wins a prize.



Inventors:
Bailey, Kenneth S. (San Jose, CA, US)
Carmichael, Christopher (Laguna Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/958343
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
12/17/2007
Assignee:
UBIQUITY HOLDINGS (San Juan Capistrano, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/41
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOSHI, ANKIT B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chris Carmichael (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method, comprising: Hosting a game by obtaining an image, and dividing said image into multiple different parts, responsive to a request from a user, sending one of said parts to the user, and receiving, from the user, information indicative of the users guess at what the different pieces of the image represent, wherein said guests is compared with the correct information, to determine if said guess is a correct guess, and awarding a prize for a correct guess.

2. A method as in claim 1, wherein said dividing an image comprises dividing the image into at least 25 different parts, and sending said parts only responsive to said request.

3. A method as in claim 2, wherein said dividing comprises dividing the image into parts, and where said part each have a different shape than a shape of a cellular phone display.

4. A method as in claim 2, further comprising allowing entry of an indication that multiple users working together have made the correct guess, and automatically dividing a prize obtained from the correct guess.

5. A system, comprising: a computer which obtains an image of a recognizable thing, and divides said image into a plurality of separated image parts, and sends said plurality of separated image parts responsive to requests, wherein each request receives a single image part, said computer sending said image parts over a cellular network such that said image parts can be displayed on displays of cellular telephones, said computer receiving a response from one of the cellular telephones indicating a name that the picture represents, comparing said name to an actual name of the picture, and awarding a prize when the name that is guest by said one of said cellular phones is correct.

6. A system as in claim 5, wherein said computer divides said image into at least 20 different parts.

7. A system as in claim 5, wherein said computer divides only parts of said image, and sends said only parts.

8. A system as in claim 5, wherein said computer divides said image into division portions that are different than a shape of the cellular display.

9. A method, comprising: requesting, from a cellular phone, a portion of an image of an overall image; forming a team between multiple cellular phone users, and analyzing multiple portions of the overall image among said users; and making a guess from said team of cellular users, said guess representing the contents of said image.

10. A method as in claim 9, further comprising awarding a prize for a proper guess, and automatically dividing said prize among said team.

11. A method as in claim 9, wherein said requesting requires payment of a fee to obtain said portion.

12. A method as in claim 9, wherein said requesting requires viewing an advertisement to obtain said portion.

Description:

The present application claims priority from Provisional application No. 60/876,376 filed 12-20-2006, the disclosure of which is herewith incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

Games can be played at over networks such as the Internet. In fact, many subscription games, such as World of Warcraft, have become immensely popular and profitable for their developers. Games can use luck, strategy, skill, diplomacy, and anything else the user can do.

While many games are available, the games that can be played over a mobile network are much more limited. Cell phones and other such devices often have limited processing power. In addition, the display of a cell phone has small amounts of definition/resolution, and cannot display three-dimensional information.

SUMMARY

An embodiment describes an interactive game played interactively among numerous cellular phone users. The game is intended for use with a limited-capability display, such as a cell phone display. In fact, the embodiment uses a game that relies on the limited quality of the display.

Another aspect describes a way of obtaining compensation to the game owner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the Drawings:

FIG. 1 illustrates how the image in the game is formed;

FIG. 2 illustrates a view from certain player perspectives; and

FIG. 3 illustrates the game being played over the cellular network.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The game is illustrated with reference to FIG. 1. FIG. 1 shows a picture, here a picture of a recognizable character such as Britney Spears. The overall picture is broken into multiple separated parts.

The user of the cellular phone does not know who is being depicted and the object of the game is to make that determination. In the embodiment, the game is played interactively among several cellular telephone users. FIG. 2 shows the part of the image that may be produced and FIG. 3 illustrates images that may be seen by six different players for example.

Player one has telephone 300, and gets only a very small piece of the image, for example the piece of the image shown as part 200 in FIG. 2.

Player two has telephone 302 which receives part 202 in the game.

The object of the game is to find what the image shows, using several cellular telephone customers. These customers need to be together in a large group or communicate with one another in order to see enough of the image to determine what the picture represents.

In many ways, this is like looking at an object through some kind of periodic grate, such as a clenched fist or a wire mesh. You can see parts of the object but typically cannot see the whole object. In the embodiment, the players may be able to each see a very small part of the image, but not the whole thing.

As shown in FIG. 2, the system sends contiguous parts of the images to the multiple players. Therefore, when several players hold their telephones next to each other in the proper manner, they will be able to solve the puzzle. The system may randomly send the next direction of contiguous image piece, or may send pieces in some order.

The game sponsor uses image capture equipment that allows partitioning the image into enough pieces such that a single piece or small group of pieces does not necessarily give away the result. FIG. 1 illustrates the image being divided into 43 different images. However, the embodiment contemplates that 25 people might be a good number of people to need in solving the game. If 25 players solve the puzzle together, then the price could be divided into 25 equal parts, one for each of the participants. The system also includes a technique of allowing informing the system that many people are working together to obtain the proper guess. In that way, this system can automatically divide the prize among the partners, should a proper guess be obtained from a group of people. For example, users can register as co-prize recipients.

According to another embodiment, even though the display on the cellular phone is rectangular, the pieces of the puzzle which are provided to the cellular phone for display are round. This may make it even more difficult to solve the puzzle, but may still maintain the interest of the users.

FIG. 3, as previously discussed, shows a number of cellular phones, each being connected to the cellular carrier shown here as 350. The cellular carrier stores the image 100, broken up into its different parts.

In an embodiment, the cellular telephone carrier may charge for entering the game, and provide a prize to those who solve the puzzle. Playing the game may provide a different part of the picture at each of a number of different times. The rewards that can be provided for winning the game can be any of a number of different rewards.

Another embodiment may use advertising revenues, to finance the game or game pieces. When users can play for free, they may be more likely to play the game and tried to find others to help them get together and win the game.

A random number generator 352 may randomly select one of the different image parts and send it to any cellular phone that requests a piece of the image, either after payment for after reviewing an advertisement.

The general structure and techniques, and more specific embodiments which can be used to effect different ways of carrying out the more general goals are described herein.

Although only a few embodiments have been disclosed in detail above, other embodiments are possible and the inventors intend these to be encompassed within this specification. The specification describes specific examples to accomplish a more general goal that may be accomplished in another way. This disclosure is intended to be exemplary, and the claims are intended to cover any modification or alternative which might be predictable to a person having ordinary skill in the art. For example, other techniques of determining the delta CT beyond real time PCR can be used, and other cell counting techniques can be used.

Also, the inventors intend that only those claims which use the words “means for” are intended to be interpreted under 35 USC 112, sixth paragraph. Moreover, no limitations from the specification are intended to be read into any claims, unless those limitations are expressly included in the claims.

The operations and/or flowcharts described herein may be carried out on a computer, or manually. If carried out on a computer, the computer may be any kind of computer, either general purpose, or some specific purpose computer such as a workstation. The computer may be an Intel (e.g., Pentium or Core 2 duo) or AMD based computer, running Windows XP or Linux, or may be a Macintosh computer. The computer may also be a handheld computer, such as a PDA, cellphone, or laptop. Moreover, the method steps and operations described herein can be carried out on a dedicated machine that does these functions.

The programs may be written in C or Python, or Java, Brew or any other programming language. The programs may be resident on a storage medium, e.g., magnetic or optical, e.g. the computer hard drive, a removable disk or media such as a memory stick or SD media, wired or wireless network based or Bluetooth based Network Attached Storage (NAS), or other removable medium or other removable medium. The programs may also be run over a network, for example, with a server or other machine sending signals to the local machine, which allows the local machine to carry out the operations described herein.

Where a specific numerical value is mentioned herein, it should be considered that the value may be increased or decreased by 20%, while still staying within the teachings of the present application, unless some different range is specifically mentioned. Where a specified logical sense is used, the opposite logical sense is also intended to be encompassed.