Title:
Toy sword device and game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy sword device and game is disclosed that provides an enhanced user play experience. For example, the sword device may comprise a point sensor and game controller. A user may then play various sword point games managed by the game controller.



Inventors:
Cuisinier, Jarret P. (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/074924
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
03/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/484, 463/37, 463/43, 463/47.2
International Classes:
A63H33/30; A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JARRET CUISINIER (SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A toy sword device comprising: a point sensor, a point counter, and a game controller further comprising a game setting.

2. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said sword device further comprises a user interface and wherein said user interface receives said game setting from an individual.

3. The toy sword device of claim 2, wherein said game controller comprises a plurality of game settings.

4. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said game setting comprises a point-based game.

5. The toy sword device of claim 4, wherein said sword device comprises a stimulus generator and said game controller triggers said stimulus generator at a predetermined point value during said point-based game.

6. The toy sword device of claim 4, wherein said game controller stops said point counter from recording points at a predetermined point value during said point-based game.

7. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said sword device further comprises a timer and wherein said game setting comprises a time-based game.

8. The toy sword device of claim 7, wherein said sword device comprises a stimulus generator and said game controller triggers said stimulus generator at a predetermined time during said time-based game.

9. The toy sword device of claim 7, wherein said game controller stops said point counter from recording points at a predetermined time during said time-based game.

10. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said sword device comprises a point adjuster.

11. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said sword device further comprises a communicator and wherein said communicator operative to communicate between said sword device and a second sword device.

12. The toy sword device of claim 1, wherein said sword device further comprises a communicator and wherein said communicator operative to communicate between said sword apparatus and an external computer.

13. A toy sword game device comprising: a toy sword, point counter, a game controller further comprising a game setting, and a body device further comprising a point sensor.

14. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said sword game device further comprises a user interface and wherein said user interface receives said game setting from an individual.

15. The toy sword game device of claim 14, wherein said game controller comprises a plurality of game settings.

16. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said game setting comprises a point-based game.

17. The toy sword game device of claim 16, wherein said sword game device comprises a stimulus generator and said game controller triggers said stimulus generator at a predetermined point value during said point-based game.

18. The toy sword game device of claim 16, wherein said game controller stops said point counter from recording points at a predetermined point value during said point-based game.

19. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said sword game device further comprises a timer and wherein said game setting comprises a time-based game.

20. The toy sword game device of claim 19, wherein said sword game device comprises a stimulus generator and said game controller triggers said stimulus generator at a predetermined time during said time-based game.

21. The toy sword game device of claim 19, wherein said game controller stops said point counter from recording points at a predetermined time during said time-based game.

22. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said point counter records negative points from said point sensor.

23. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said toy sword comprises a second point sensor.

24. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said sword game device further comprises a communicator and wherein said communicator operative to communicate between said toy sword and said body device.

25. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said sword game device further comprises a communicator and wherein said communicator operative to communicate between said sword game device and a second sword game device.

26. The toy sword game device of claim 13, wherein said sword game device further comprises a communicator and wherein said communicator operative to communicate between said sword game device and an external computer.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/905,548 entitled “Toy Sword Device and Game” and filed on Mar. 7, 2007 which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to children entertainment devices and more particularly to children entertainment devices such as toy swords.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of toy swords has long been known to the prior art. These swords come in a variety of forms but often comprise a length and a handle, thereby permitting a user to hold the toy sword about the handle and to play with the protruding length as an imaginary sword. Often two or multiple children, or adults alike, will play with toy swords, each child having at least one toy sword. Then, the children may take part in pretend sword combat by attempting to block and parry each others sword movements.

Additionally, it is known to the prior art to utilize sensors with toy swords. For example, toy swords often comprise motion sensors. Such configurations allow the sword to emit (via a stimulus generator) a noise or other stimuli when the sword experiences a sudden movement (e.g., stopping upon hitting an object). Additionally, some swords comprise sensors located at an end of the sword and these configurations may also comprise a stimulus generator.

These configurations do not allow a user to easily engage in an organized game utilizing these devices. Additionally, these devices do not enhance or maximize a user's potential experience with these devices.

Accordingly, a toy sword device and game that is easy to use for both children and adults is desirable. In addition, a toy sword that enhances a user's overall experience and play value is also desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a toy sword device and game that is easy to use and enhances a user's play experience. In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a toy sword is configured to comprise a point sensor and this sensor is further linked with a game controller. Subsequently, the game controller may work with the point sensor in various game configurations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Additional aspects of the present invention will become evident upon reviewing the non-limiting embodiments described in the specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein like numerals designate like elements, and:

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1b is an overview of principal components of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of an embodiment comprising a scabbard;

FIG. 2b is an overview of principal components for an embodiment comprising a timer; and,

FIG. 3 is a top view of a body device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following descriptions are of preferred exemplary embodiments only, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather the following description provides a convenient illustration for implementing a preferred embodiment of the invention. Various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in the preferred embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth herein.

Generally, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a toy sword device and game is provided comprising a point sensor and a game controller. The toy sword is suitably configured to comprise game settings. For example, the toy sword may comprise a point sensor at an end of the sword and a game controller for setting the winning number of points to a predetermined point value. Thus, a user may grasp the sword and use it normally. Then, when the user strikes an object with the sensor end of the sword, the point sensor is triggered and the triggering may be recorded as a “point”. Thus, the user may play with another person having a sword with a similar configuration and easily record triggered “points” at the sensor end of the swords. In this manner, the users may compete to see who can score the predetermined point value first by means of the game controller.

In accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the point sensor may be located on a body device. For example, the toy sword game device may comprise a body device with a sensor thereby allowing a user to record “points” from impacts on the body device by another user's sword. Thus, the users may compete in similar games with points being scored or subtracted when a user strikes targets on the body device.

Thus, with reference to FIG. 1a and FIG. 1b, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a toy sword device 10 is shown. In accordance with the present preferred embodiment, toy sword 10 is preferably composed predominantly of a material that is lightweight and suitably flexible, such as a rubber, foam, or a pliable polymer. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments, sword 10 may be substituted with heavier or less flexible materials and may be substituted with alternative materials and combinations of materials including plastics, composites, and the like. Moreover, sword 10 comprises a relatively simple, linear shape. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention, sword 10 may be configured to comprise various other shapes known and not yet known for swords. Moreover, sword 10 may be configured to comprise multiple ends, each with sensors. For example, sword 10 may be configured to be a two-sided sword with a center handle or a staff with a center handle, wherein each end may be configured to comprise sensors. Additionally, complete sword 10 may be integrated or used in combination with any number of other toy configurations. For example, sword 10 may be used in combination with scabbards, shields, body devices, and other devices known or not yet known to the prior art.

In accordance with the present exemplary embodiment, toy sword 10 comprises a first end 20, a point sensor 21, a length 30, and a second end 50. Like overall sword 10, first end 20, sensor 21, length 30, and second end 50 are preferably made of a flexible material. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments first end 20, sensor 21, length 30, and second end 50 may be substituted with alternative materials including polymers, composites, and the like and may be separate parts and composed of different materials. Moreover, in accordance with various alternate embodiments, the size, shape, and number of first end 20, sensor 21, length 30, and second end 50 may as well vary.

Sensor 21 is preferably located proximate first end 20 of toy sword 10 and is configured to sense pressure at first end 20. Additionally, sensor 21 preferably comprises a spring-mounted button configuration capable of absorbing some of the impact when end 20 strikes an object. Moreover, length 30 may collapse or bend to also absorb an impact at first end 20. However, in accordance with alternate embodiments of the present invention, sensor 21 may comprise other configurations than a spring-mounted button and may comprise various interior or exterior configurations known or not yet known to the prior art. For example, sensor 21 may comprise an RFID sensor. Furthermore, sensor 21 may be located elsewhere on toy sword 10.

In accordance with another aspect of the present embodiment, toy sword 10 comprises a game controller 35, a power source 36, a user interface 40, and a point counter 41. Game controller 35 is preferably an IC configured to suitably manage the game play of sword 10 and to work with the other components. In accordance with the present embodiment of the invention, game controller 35, power source 36, user interface 40, and point counter 41 are separate components. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention, components may be integrated together or comprise alternate inter-component connections. For example, point counter 41 may be integrated with game controller 35 on the same IC. Furthermore, various additional components or component configurations may be comprised.

Point counter 41 is preferably linked with sensor 21 and counts points triggered by sensor 21. Additionally, power source 36 is preferably a standard battery source, but various alternate power sources may be used. Also, user interface 40 is preferably configured to be linked with game controller 35 and to receive game setting input from a user. For example, a user may input a preferred game setting with user interface 40. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention, user interface 40 may be absent and sword 10 may be set to comprise a single game setting. For example, game controller 35 may be set to a game of “five” points.

Additionally, user interface 40 is preferably configured to provide the user with game information. For example and in accordance with the current embodiment of the present invention, user interface 40 comprises an LCD screen for showing points scored. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention user interface 40 may report other information. For example, user interface 40 may report game time information and user statistics (e.g., point-to-block ratio). Additionally, user interface 40 is preferably located proximate second end 50 for easier use. However, user interface 40 may be configured to be located elsewhere. Furthermore, user interface 40 may be configured to comprise button systems, menu systems, voice recognition systems, or other configurations known or not yet known to the prior art.

In accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, sword 10 may comprise multiple sensors and may comprise a second sensor 22. Second sensor 22 may be configured to sense “points” at a different location on sword 10 or may be configured to sense movement of sword 10. Additionally, second sensor 22 may be configured to sense tactile pressure along a surface of sword 10 via a compression “skin” sensor configuration.

In accordance with alternate embodiments comprising multiple sensors, toy sword 10 may comprise multiple point counters 41 for tracking multiple sensors or may comprise a single point counter 41 for tracking multiple sensors. Additionally, toy sword 10 may also process scores based on the information from multiple sensors. For example, point counter 41 may add “points” from sensor 21 and sensor 22. Alternatively, point counter 41 may subtract “points’ from sensor 22 from “points” from sensor 21, yielding a net score. In accordance with alternate embodiments of the present invention, other scoring methods and processes known and not yet known may be used with toy sword 10.

In use, a user will input a game setting for sword 10 with user interface 40. Preferably, user interface 40 will be configured to provide the user with a list of games to select from. For example, a user may select from a game setting list comprising a 1-point match, 3-point match, 5-point match, 10-point match or various alternate point-based games. However, in accordance with alternate embodiments, a user may enter a preferred game setting via alternate means. For example, a user may enter a game setting by typing the number of desired points for a game. After selecting a desired game setting via user interface 40, the game setting will be started and managed by game controller 35. At the same time, another user with a similar sword 10 will select the same game type. Thus, during a game the two users may each score points by triggering point sensors 21 on their swords (via contact with each other) and may compete to win by scoring the predetermined number of points first.

Now with reference to FIGS. 2a and 2b, an alternate embodiment of the invention is shown. In accordance with one aspect of the present embodiment, toy sword 10 comprises a fanning first end 20 and a handle 51 proximate second end 50 for easier grasping. Additionally, toy sword 10 comprises a timer 42. In accordance with one aspect of the present embodiment, timer 42 is a separate component. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention, timer 42 may be integrated or comprise alternate inter-component connections with the other components.

Inclusion of timer 42 expands the range of games possible with toy sword 10 and allows a user to play various time-based games. For example, with point counter 41 and timer 42 a user may compete with another user to score the most “points” via sensor 21 in a predetermined amount of time. Alternatively, users may compete for personal best times to reach a predetermined number of points. Additionally, toy sword 10 may comprise a “solo mode” game. For example, sword 10 may be configured to issue instructions (e.g., block left, block right, block down, thrust) to a user. A user may then attempt to act out the given instructions before timer 42 counts down a predetermined time. Furthermore, sword 10 and game controller 35 may be configured to comprise and control other game methods known or not yet known utilizing point counter 41 and timer 42.

Additionally, sword 10 is preferably configured to comprise a score adjuster 43. Score adjuster 43 is preferably configured to work with game controller 35 and point counter 41 so that a user may adjust the point total with user interface 40 if an accidental point is recorded.

In accordance with another aspect of the present embodiment, toy sword 10 comprises a stimulus generator 23. Stimulus generator 23 may be configured to work with various sword 10 components. Stimulus generator 23 is preferably configured to be activated by sensor 21 so that when sensor 21 is triggered stimulus generator 23 creates a stimulus or combination of stimuli (e.g., light, sound, vibration, movement, etc.). For example, triggering sensor 21 may cause stimulus generator 23 to emit a noise, produce a light, or vibrate handle 51. Additionally, second sensor 22 may also be configured to be linked with stimulus generator 23 or with a second stimulus generator 24, which may be configured to make a different stimulus. For example, second sensor 22 may sense motion and linked second stimulus generator 24 may be configured to create a metal clashing noise, like that of two swords hitting each other. In this manner, sword 10 may release clashing metal sounds during use with parries and blocks and may then release a victorious set of stimuli when first end 20 strikes an object, while simultaneously logging the point at end 20 and keeping score with point counter 41. However, in accordance with various alternate embodiments of the present invention, various stimulus and combinations of stimuli known and not yet known may be used with toy sword 10.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, stimulus generator 23 may be configured to be linked with game controller 35. In this manner, a user may be notified of score or time information during a game. For example, stimulus generator 23 may be configured by game controller 35 to release a specific noise when point counter 41 reaches a set score (e.g., “Sudden Death—Next point is the winner!” or “Victor!”) or a different noise when timer 42 reaches a certain time (e.g., “30 seconds left in game!”). Additionally, toy sword 10 may comprise separate stimulus generators for game controller 35 or may comprise an integrated stimulus generator 23 or set of stimulus generators. Furthermore, game controller 35 may also be configured to control stimulus generator 23 settings (e.g., sound volume).

In accordance with another aspect of the present embodiment, toy sword 10 is configured to work with a secondary device 60. In accordance with this embodiment, secondary device 60 is configured to be a scabbard. However, in accordance with alternate embodiments, secondary device may be configured to be a secondary sword (e.g., dagger), shield, body device, leggings, belts, helmet, or alternate devices known or not yet known. Additionally, secondary device 60 may comprise a sensor with a linked stimulus generator. In this manner, secondary device 60 may emit a stimulus during use. For example, secondary device 60 configured to be a scabbard may comprise a sensor along its inner surface. Thus, scabbard secondary device 60 may emit a sword sheathing noise when length 30 is inserted or removed from scabbard 60. However, in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, scabbard 60 may work with a sensor on sword 10 to create a sheathing noise when length 30 is inserted or removed.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a toy sword game device comprising a body device 80 is presented. Body device 80 is configured to work with sword 10 and is preferably composed of a flexible vinyl material, but may also be composed of alternate materials. Furthermore, body device 80 may be integrated with clothing (e.g., shirt). In use, a user would place body device 80 over his or her clothing with front 81 facing forward and back 82 facing backward from the user's perspective. Additionally, body device 80 is configured to comprise a target pattern 83. Target pattern 83 provides a suitable target or set of targets for an opponent using toy sword 10 and may comprise various configurations known or not yet known to the prior art. Thus, body devices 80 will provide an enhanced game play experience by providing suitable targets for sword 10.

In accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, body device 80 may comprise point sensors in a pattern paralleling target pattern 83. Additionally, body device 80 may comprise point counter 41. In this manner, body device 80 may track “points” on body device 80 and may keep score with point counter 41 as dictated by target pattern 83. For example, points on a user's body device 80 may be recorded in total. A user may then subtract the body device score (i.e., body device points against the user) from the score on sword 10 (user sword points against competitor) to calculate a net user score. Additionally, point counter 41 on body device 80 may also track and process statistics, like percent of points in a specific target area on target pattern 83. Similarly, target patterns, point sensors, and point counters may be used on various other devices (e.g., shields) in a similar manner.

In accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, sensor 21 may be absent on toy sword 10 and body device 80 may comprise sensor 21. Additionally and in accordance with other alternate embodiments, body device 80 may comprise various other sword 10 components. For example, body device 80 may comprise game controller 35, user interface 40, point counter 41, stimulus generator 23, or timer 42. In continuing reference to such an exemplary embodiment, sword 10 may further be configured to be a simple sword without electronics and body device 80 may record points (with points being added or subtracted when a user strikes sensor 21 on body device 80) and manage all game play. For example, in a point-based game body device 80 may receive a desired starting point value game setting from a user via user interface 40. Game controller 35 may then work with point counter 41 to set the starting number of points and subsequently subtract points as sensor 21 is triggered. Furthermore, points may be shown via stimulus generator 23. For example, body device 80 may comprise a light for each point and a single light may turn from on to off when a point is scored.

In accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention, toy sword 10 and body device 80 may comprise a communicator 44. For example, communicator 44 may use infrared, WiFi, USB ports, or radio signaling to allow toy sword 10 and body device 80 to communicate with each other. However, communicator 44 may comprise other configurations known or not yet known. In use, a point counter on sword 10 may receive scoring information from body device 80 and may calculate a net score for the user. Additionally, communicator 44 may be configured to communicate information with other users' devices. For example, communicator 44 may be configured to transmit a user's score to an opponent's game controller 35 so that each user may know who is winning at any given time. Additionally, communicator 44 may be configured to upload and download information from an external computer.

In accordance with another alternate embodiment of the present invention, sensor 21 of toy sword 10 may be configured to sense the distance from body device 80 (or other device) or to identify the target hit. For example, sensor 21 may comprise a magnet field sensor and body device 80 may comprise a magnet. In accordance with another alternate embodiment, sensor 21 may comprise RFID technology. In such a configuration, sensor 21 may be configured to sense RFID tags in body device 80, preferably configured to parallel target pattern 83. In this manner, a user may receive different “point” values for striking different locations of body device 80 with toy sword 10. This information may again be linked with stimulus generator 23 or shared within a user's devices or with another user's devices via a communicator in sword 10 and body device 80 (however, some RFID configurations may not require a communicator in body device 80 as sensor 21 in toy sword 10 may discern which RFID tags were hit). Similarly, such embodiments may be configured for multi-player use so that point counter 41 may track who hit a user where and who the user hit where. Similarly, other devices may be configured to comprise like configurations or sword 10 may be configured to comprise such sensors along its length 30.

Thus, while the principles of the invention have been described in illustrative embodiments, many combinations and modifications of the above-described structures, arrangements, proportions, the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention in addition to those not specifically described may be varied and particularly adapted for a specific environment and operating requirement without departing from those principles.