Title:
LOCAL POSITIONING SYSTEM AND VIDEO GAME APPLICATIONS THEREOF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system includes a plurality of Local Positioning System (LPS) base units, an LPS mobile unit, and a game console device. The LPS base units are physically distributed and proximal to a gaming environment and transmit an LPS signal. The LPS mobile unit receives the LPS signal, determines distance to the LPS base units based on the received LPS signals, and determines position of the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment based on the distances. The game console device receives the position of the LPS mobile unit, associates the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of a video game player, and processes a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player.



Inventors:
Rofougaran, Ahmadreza (Reza) (Newport Coast, CA, US)
Rofougaran, Maryam (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, US)
Seshadri, Nambirajan (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/128797
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
05/29/2008
Assignee:
Broadcom Corporation (Irvine, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BOSKEN, CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Foley & Lardner LLP/ Broadcom Corporation (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system comprises: a plurality of Local Positioning System (LPS) base units for physical distribution proximal to a gaming environment, wherein an LPS base unit of the plurality of LPS base units transmits an LPS signal; an LPS mobile unit associated with a video game player, wherein the LPS mobile unit is operable to: receive the LPS signal from at least some of the plurality of LPS base units to produce a plurality of received LPS signals; determine distance to each of the least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on corresponding ones of the plurality of received LPS signals to produce a plurality of distances; and determine position of the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances; and a game console device coupled to: receive the position of the LPS mobile unit; associate the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player; and process a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the LPS base unit comprises: a first functional module coupled to perform a first function; and an LPS transmitter coupled to generate the LPS signal.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the first function module comprises at least one of: an access point of a wireless local area network (WLAN); a local area network (LAN) device; a smoke detector; a security camera; a motion sensor; a light bulb; a speaker; an electrical outlet; and an electrical plug.

4. The system of claim 2, wherein the LPS transmitter comprises: an accurate clock circuit that generates a clock signal; a processing module coupled to: determine timing information regarding time of transmission of the LPS signal based on the clock signal; and generate a baseband signal that includes a timing field and an identity field, wherein the timing field contains the timing information and the identify field includes at least identity of the LPS base unit; and a transmitter section coupled to convert the baseband signal into the LPS signal.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the game console device comprises: a local area connection module operable to provide a communication link with the plurality of LPS base units; a system clock module coupled to produce a system reference clock, wherein the system reference clock is provided to the plurality of LPS base units via the communication link; a video display interface; a transceiver coupled to: receive the position of the LPS mobile unit as a high carrier frequency signal; and convert the high carrier frequency signal into a baseband signal; a processing module coupled to: process the baseband signal to obtain the position of the LPS mobile unit; associate the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player; process the video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player to produce a video game rendering; and provide the video game rendering to the video display interface.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the LPS mobile unit comprises: an LPS receiver section coupled to: receive the plurality of LPS signals as high carrier frequency signals; convert the high carrier frequency signals into baseband signals; an LPS processing module coupled to: interpret a corresponding one of the baseband signals to identify one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units; calculate a time delay of the corresponding one of the baseband signals; and calculate the distance between the LPS mobile unit and the one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on the time delay.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the LPS mobile unit further comprises: a gaming object input module coupled to receive a video game response input relating to the video game function, and an LPS transmitter section, wherein the LPS processing module converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream; and the LPS transmitter section is coupled to: convert the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal; and transmit the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to the game console device, wherein the game console device captures a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and the position of the video game player with the video game function.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the LPS transmitter further functions to: receive a second outbound symbol stream from the LPS processing module, wherein the second outbound symbol stream includes the position of the LPS mobile unit; convert the second outbound symbol stream into a second outbound high carrier frequency signal; and transmits position the second outbound high carrier frequency signal to the game console device.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the LPS mobile unit comprises: a plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers, wherein an LPS receiver of the plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers is coupled to: receive the plurality of LPS signals as high carrier frequency signals; convert the high carrier frequency signals into baseband signals; an LPS processing module coupled to: interpret a corresponding one of the baseband signals to identify one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units; calculate a time delay of the corresponding one of the baseband signals; calculate the distance between the LPS receiver and the one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on the time delay; and determine the position of the LPS mobile unit based on the distances between the plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers and the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units.

10. A system comprises: a Local Positioning System (LPS) mobile unit that transmits an LPS signal, wherein the LPS mobile unit is associated with a video game player; a plurality of LPS base units for physical distribution proximal to a gaming environment, wherein an LPS base unit of the plurality of LPS base units: receives the LPS signal; and determines distance to the LPS mobile unit based on the received LPS signal; a game console device coupled to: receive the distance to the LPS mobile unit from the plurality of LPS base units to produce a plurality of distances; determine position of the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances; associate the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player; and process a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the LPS base unit comprises: a first functional module coupled to perform a first function; and an LPS receiver coupled to receive the LPS signal.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the first function module comprises at least one of: an access point of a wireless local area network (WLAN); a local area network (LAN) device; a smoke detector; a security camera; a motion sensor; a light bulb; a speaker; an electrical outlet; and an electrical plug.

13. The system of claim 11, wherein the LPS receiver comprises: a receiver section coupled to: receive the LPS signal as a high carrier frequency signal; and convert the high carrier frequency signal into a baseband signal; an accurate clock circuit that generates a clock signal; a processing module coupled to: process the baseband signal to determine transmission timing information; determine a time delay based on the transmission timing information and the clock signal; and determine the distance to the LPS mobile unit based on the time delay.

14. The system of claim 10, wherein the game console device comprises: a local area connection module operable to provide a communication link with the plurality of LPS base units, wherein the plurality of LPS base units transmit the plurality of distances via the communication link; a system clock module coupled to produce a system reference clock, wherein the system reference clock is provided to the plurality of LPS base units via the communication link; a video display interface; a processing module coupled to: determine position of the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances; associate the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player; process the video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player to produce a video game rendering; and provide the video game rendering to the video display interface.

15. The system of claim 10, wherein the LPS mobile unit comprises: an LPS processing module coupled to generate a baseband positioning signal; and an LPS transmitter section coupled to: convert the baseband positioning signal into a high carrier frequency signal; and transmit the high carrier frequency signal as the LPS signal.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the LPS mobile unit further comprises: a gaming object input module coupled to receive a video game response input relating to the video game function, wherein the LPS processing module converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream; and the LPS transmitter section is coupled to: convert the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal; and transmit the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to the game console device, wherein the game console device captures a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and the position of the video game player with the video game function.

17. The system of claim 10, wherein the LPS mobile unit comprises: an LPS processing module coupled to generate baseband positioning signal; and a plurality of physically distributed LPS transmitters, wherein an LPS transmitter of the plurality of physically distributed LPS transmitters is coupled to: convert the baseband positioning signal into a high carrier frequency signal; and transmit the high carrier frequency signal as the LPS signal.

18. A local positioning system (LPS) mobile unit comprises: an LPS receiver section coupled to: receive a plurality of LPS signals as high carrier frequency signals; convert the high carrier frequency signals into baseband signals; an LPS processing module coupled to: interpret a corresponding one of the baseband signals to identify one of at least some of the plurality of LPS base units; calculate a time delay of the corresponding one of the baseband signals; calculate a distance between the LPS mobile unit and the one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on the time delay; and determine position of the LPS mobile unit within an environment based the distances to the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units.

19. The LPS mobile unit of claim 18 further comprises: a gaming object input module coupled to receive a video game response input relating to a video game function, and an LPS transmitter section, wherein the LPS processing module converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream; and the LPS transmitter section is coupled to: convert the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal; and transmit the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to a game console device, wherein the game console device captures a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and the position of the LPS mobile unit with the video game function.

20. The LPS mobile unit of claim 19, wherein the LPS transmitter further functions to: receive a second outbound symbol stream from the LPS processing module, wherein the second outbound symbol stream includes the position of the LPS mobile unit; convert the second outbound symbol stream into a second outbound high carrier frequency signal; and transmits position the second outbound high carrier frequency signal to the game console device.

21. The LPS mobile unit of claim 18 further comprises: a plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers, wherein the plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers includes the LPS receiver, wherein the LPS processing module further functions to: calculate the distances between the plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers and the one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on the time delay; and determine the position of the LPS mobile unit based on the distances between the plurality of physically distributed LPS receivers and the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units.

22. A local positioning system (LPS) mobile unit comprises: an LPS processing module coupled to generate a baseband positioning signal; and an LPS transmitter section coupled to: convert the baseband positioning signal into a high carrier frequency signal; and transmit the high carrier frequency signal as an LPS signal.

23. The LPS mobile unit of claim 22 further comprises: a gaming object input module coupled to receive a video game response input relating to a video game function, wherein the LPS processing module converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream; and the LPS transmitter section is coupled to: convert the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal; and transmit the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to a game console device, wherein the game console device captures a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and position of the LPS mobile unit with the video game function.

24. The LPS mobile unit of claim 22 further comprises: a plurality of physically distributed LPS transmitters, wherein the plurality of physically distributed LPS transmitters includes the LPS transmitter, wherein each of the plurality of physically distributed LPS transmitters is coupled to: convert the baseband positioning signal into the high carrier frequency signal; and transmit the high carrier frequency signal as the LPS signal to produce a plurality of high carrier frequency signals.

Description:

This patent application is claiming priority under 35 USC §119 to a provisionally filed patent application entitled POSITION AND MOTION TRACKING OF AN OBJECT, having a provisional filing date of Jun. 22, 2007, and a provisional Ser. No. of 60/936,724.

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENTS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

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 in 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 detects 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).

Therefore, a need exists for improved motion tracking and positioning determination for video gaming and other applications.

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 embodiment of a video game system that includes a local positioning system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system that includes a local positioning system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagram of a method for determining position and/or motion tracking in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system that includes a local positioning system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS transmitter of an LPS base unit in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS mobile unit in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system that includes a local positioning system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS receiver of an LPS base unit in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of an LPS mobile unit in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 11-13 are diagrams of an embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 14-16 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 17-19 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention; and

FIGS. 20-22 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a gaming system in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a video game system 10 that includes a game console device 12, a local positioning system (LPS) mobile unit 14, a player 16, and a plurality of LPS base units 36-40 within a gaming environment 22. The gaming environment 22 may be a room, portion of a room, and/or any other space where the LPS mobile unit 14 and the game console device 12 can be proximally co-located (e.g., airport terminal, on a bus, on an airplane, etc.).

The game console device 12 includes a processing module 20, a transceiver 32, a bus 33, a video display interface 34, a local area connection module 35, and a system clock module 39. The processing module 30 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 30 may have an associated memory and/or 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 30 implements one or more of its functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory and/or 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. Further note that, the memory element stores, and the processing module executes, hard coded and/or operational instructions corresponding to at least some of the steps and/or functions illustrated in FIGS. 1-22.

As shown, the plurality of LPS base units (embodiments of which will be described with references to FIGS. 5, 6, 8, and 9) is physically distributed and proximal to the gaming environment 22. The LPS base units 36-40 may transmit signals to and/or receive signals from the LPS mobile unit 14 to facilitate determining the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 within the gaming environment 22. For example, three or more of the LPS base units 36-40 transmit an LPS signal.

The LPS mobile unit 14, which is associated with the video game player 16, receives the LPS signals from the three or more LPS base units 36-40 to produce a plurality of received LPS signals. The LPS mobile unit 14 then determines the distance to each of the LPS base units that it received a signal from to produce a plurality of distances. The LPS mobile unit 14 then determines its position within the gaming environment 22 based on the plurality of distances.

As an example, each LPS base unit 36-40 includes an accurate clock (e.g., an atomic clock) or is coupled to an accurate clock source (e.g., has a global positioning system (GPS) receiver) to provide an accurate time standard available for synchronization at any point in the gaming environment 22. The LPS signal transmitted by the LPS base units 36-40 may be a spread spectrum signal containing a BPSK (Bi-Phase Switched keyed) signal in which 1's & 0's are represented by reversal of the phase of the carrier. Each LPS signal is transmitted at a specific frequency at a “chipping rate” of x bits per second (e.g., 50 bits per millisecond or more bits at a higher rate). The LPS signals may repeat every 30 milliseconds (or more frequently) and may be referred as a local C/A signal (Coarse Acquisition signal) and include information regarding the positioning of the LPS base units within the gaming environment and identity the corresponding LPS base unit 36-40.

From these signals, the LPS mobile unit 14 determines the position of the corresponding plurality of LPS base units 36-40 using the position data of the local C/A signals to calculate the LPS base unit's position. The LPS mobile unit 14 then determines its distance to each of the LPS base units and uses the distances to determine its location within the gaming environment 22. For instance, by knowing the position and the distance of an LPS base unit 36-40, the LPS mobile unit 14 can determine it's location to be somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered on that LPS base unit and whose radius is the distance to it. When three or more (e.g., four) LPS base units 36-40 are measured simultaneously, the intersection of the three or more imaginary spheres reveals the location of the LPS mobile unit 14. Often, these spheres will overlap slightly instead of meeting at one point, so the LPS mobile unit 14 will yield a mathematically most-probable position (and often indicate the uncertainty).

The LPS mobile unit 14 transmits it position to the game console device 12 via signaling within the radio frequency band of 30 HZ to 3 GHz, the microwave frequency band of 3 GHz to 300 GHz, and/or the infrared (IR) frequency band of 300 GHz to 428 THz. The transceiver 32, which may include a direct conversion receiver and a direct conversion transmitter or a superheterodyne receiver and a superheterodyne transmitter, receives the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 as a high carrier frequency signal (e.g., a signal within the RF band, the microwave band, and/or the IR band). The transceiver 32 converts the high carrier frequency signal into a baseband signal. The transceiver 32 may also transmit a system reference clock to the LPS mobile unit 14 to facilitate its determination of position.

The processing module 30 processes the baseband signal to obtain the position of the LPS mobile unit 14. Such processing includes one or more of digital intermediate frequency to baseband conversion, time to frequency domain conversion, demodulation, constellation demapping, deinterleaving, depuncturing, decoding, and/or descrambling. Depending on the frequency of transmitting the LPS signals, the accuracy of the clocks, and the carrier frequency of the LPS signals, the accuracy of the LPS mobile unit's position may be within a few millimeters to about a meter. If the accuracy is the former, then this arrangement may also be used to track the motion of the LPS mobile unit 14. If the accuracy is the latter, then this arrangement may be used to determine the LPS mobile unit's position and another scheme would be used to track its motion (e.g., the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 is updated on a periodic basis (e.g., once every 10-30 milliseconds)).

The processing module 20 then associates the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 with a position of the video game player 16 and processes a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player to produce a video game rendering. The video game function may be any type of video game action involving input from and/or output to the mobile LPS unit, which is used by the player as a video game controller for the video game. For example, if the video game function corresponds to a video tennis lesson (e.g., a ball machine feeding balls), the game console device 12 tracks the motion of the LPS mobile unit 14 (e.g., a simulated tennis racket) and maps the motion with the feeding balls to emulate a real tennis lesson. The motion, which includes direction and velocity, enables the game console device 12 to determine how the tennis ball is being struck. Based on how it is being struck, the game console device 12 determines the ball's path and provides a video representation thereof. The processing module 20 then provides the video game rendering to the video display interface 34, which provides the rendering to a display (e.g., LCD, plasma, projector, etc.) for visual presentation to the player 16.

The local area connection module 35, which may be a wired or wireless network card (e.g., Ethernet, fiber-optics, wireless local area network (WLAN), etc.) provides a communication link (e.g., local area connection 37) to the plurality of LPS base units 36-40 for exchanging data therebetween. For example, the local area connection module 35 may transmit the system reference clock generated by the system clock module 39 (e.g., a phase locked loop, a GPS receiver clock, etc.) to the LPS base units 36-40.

As another example of the video gaming system 10, the LPS mobile unit 14 transmits an LPS signal to the plurality of LPS base units 36-40. Three or more of the LPS base units receives the LPS signal and determines distance to the LPS mobile unit 14 based on the received LPS signal. The LPS base units provide the distances to the game console device 12 via the local area connection 37.

The local area connection module 25 receives the distance messages and strips off any local area overhead information (e.g., headers for an Ethernet based protocol, WLAN based protocol, fiber-optics based protocol, etc.). The processing module 30 receives the distances and determines the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 within the gaming environment based on the distances. For instance, by knowing the position and the distance of an LPS base unit 36-40, the game console device 12 can determine the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 to be somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered on that LPS base unit and whose radius is the distance to it. When three or more (e.g., four) LPS base units 36-40 are measured simultaneously, the intersection of the three or more imaginary spheres reveals the location of the LPS mobile unit 14.

Depending on the frequency of transmitting the LPS signals, the accuracy of the clocks, and the carrier frequency of the LPS signals, the accuracy of the LPS mobile unit's position may be within a few millimeters to about a meter. If the accuracy is the former, then this arrangement may also be used to track the motion of the LPS mobile unit 14 (e.g., the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 is updated on a periodic basis (e.g., once every 10-30 milliseconds) to track its motion). If the accuracy is the latter, then this arrangement may be used to determine the LPS mobile unit's position and another scheme would be used to track its motion.

The processing module 20 then associates the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 with a position of the video game player 16 and processes a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player to produce a video game rendering. The video game function may be any type of video game action involving input from and/or output to the mobile LPS unit, which is used by the player as a video game controller for the video game. The processing module 20 then provides the video game rendering to the video display interface 34, which provides the rendering to a display (e.g., LCD, plasma, projector, etc.) for visual presentation to the player 16.

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system 10 that that includes a game console device 12, a first local positioning system (LPS) mobile unit 14, a first player 16, a second mobile unit 52, a second player 54, and a plurality of LPS base units 36-40 within a gaming environment.

As shown, the plurality of LPS base units is physically distributed and proximal to the gaming environment. The LPS base units 36-40 may transmit signals to and/or receive signals from the first and second LPS mobile units 14 and 52 to facilitate determining the position of each LPS mobile unit 14 and 52 within the gaming environment. For example, three or more of the LPS base units 36-40 transmit an LPS signal.

Each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 receives the LPS signals from the three or more LPS base units 36-40 to produce a plurality of received LPS signals. Each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 then determines the distance to each of the LPS base units that it received a signal from to produce a plurality of distances. Each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 then determines its position within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances.

Each of the LPS mobile units 14 transmits it position to the game console device 12 via signaling within the radio frequency band of 30 HZ to 3 GHz, the microwave frequency band of 3 GHz to 300 GHz, and/or the infrared (IR) frequency band of 300 GHz to 428 THz. The game console device 12 associates the position of each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 with a position of the first and second player 16 and 54, respectively. The game console device 12 then processes a video game function in accordance with the position of the first and second players.

As another example of the video gaming system 10, each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 transmits an LPS signal to the plurality of LPS base units 36-40. Three or more of the LPS base units receives the LPS signals and determines distance to each of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 based on the received LPS signals, respectively. The LPS base units provide the distances for each of the LPS mobile units to the game console device 12.

For each of the LPS mobile units, the game console device 12 determines position of the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances; associates the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player; and processes a video game function in accordance with the position of the video game player.

Depending on the frequency of transmitting the LPS signals, the accuracy of the clocks, and the carrier frequency of the LPS signals, the accuracy of the LPS mobile units' position may be within a few millimeters to about a meter. If the accuracy is the former, then this arrangement may also be used to track the motion of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 (e.g., the positions of the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 are updated on a periodic basis (e.g., once every 10-30 milliseconds) to track the motion). If the accuracy is the latter, then this arrangement may be used to determine the LPS mobile units 14 and 52 positions and another scheme would be used to track their motion.

FIG. 3 is a diagram of a method for determining position and/or motion tracking performed within the system 10. The method begins at step 60 where the game console device determines the gaming environment 22 (e.g., determining the properties of the localized physical area such as height, width, depth, objects in the physical area, etc.). The method then continues at step 62 where the game console device maps the gaming environment to a coordinate system (e.g., Cartesian coordinate system of FIGS. 11-13 or spherical system of FIGS. 14-16). The method continues at step 64 where the game console device determines position of the player and/or the LPS mobile unit within the gaming environment in accordance with the coordinate system.

The method continues at step 66 where the game console device tracks the motion of the player and/or the LPS mobile unit. In a system that includes two or more players, the game console device separately determines the players' position and separately tracks their motion. In a system where a player has two or more gaming objects (e.g., a wireless game controller, any object used or worn by the player to facilitate play of a video game such as a simulated sword, a simulated gun, a helmet, a vest, a hat, shoes, socks, pants, shorts, gloves, etc.) associated with an LPS mobile unit, the game console device separately determines the gaming objects' position and separately tracks their motion. In a system that includes multiple players and at least one player has multiple gaming objects associated with the LPS mobile unit, the game console device separately determines the players' position, separately tracks their motion, separately determines the gaming objects' position and separately tracks the gaming objects' motion. With respect to motion tracking, an object moving at 200 miles per hour (mph) moves 0.1 millimeters per millisecond; thus determining a new position every 10 milliseconds (mS) provides about 1 millimeter accuracy for objects moving at 200 mph. As such, the game console device may determine the new position of the player and/or LPS mobile unit every 10 mS and use the old and new positions to determine the motion of the player and/or LPS mobile unit.

The method continues at step 68 where the game console device receives a gaming response from the LPS mobile unit regarding a video game function from a gaming object. The method continues at step 70 where the game console device integrates the gaming response and the motion of the at least one of the player and the LPS mobile unit with the video game function. If the system includes multiple players and/or multiple gaming objects associated with an LPS mobile unit, the game console device 12 integrates their motion into the video game graphics being displayed. If the game console device receives multiple gaming responses, the game console device integrates them into the video game graphics being displayed.

FIG. 4 is a diagram of another method for determining position and/or motion tracking that begins at steps 80 and 82 by determining the relative position of the player and/or LPS mobile unit using two or more positioning techniques (e.g., the technique discussed with reference to FIG. 5 and the technique discussed with reference to FIG. 8.) The method continues at step 84 by combining the two or more positions to produce the initial position. Note that the two or more positioning techniques may be weighted based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, accuracy, distance, interference, availability, etc.

The method continues at steps 86 and 88 by determining the motion of the player and/or LPS mobile unit using two or more motion tracking techniques. Note that in many instances the same technique may be used for positioning as for motion tracking, where the motion tracking is done with greater resolution and at a greater rate than the positioning. The method continues at step 90 by combining the two motion tracking values to produce the current motion of the player and/or gaming object. Note that the two or more motion tracking techniques may be weighted based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, accuracy, availability, speed of movement, interference, distance, user preference, etc.

The method continues at step 92 by determining whether the position needs to be updated (e.g., change focus of motion tracking processing). If yes, the method repeats at steps 80 and 82. If not, the method repeats at steps 86 and 88.

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system 10 that includes the game console device 12, the LPS mobile unit 14, the player 16, and the plurality of LPS base units 36-40 within the gaming environment. Each of the plurality of LPS base units 36-40 includes a functional module 106-110 and an LPS transmitter 100-104. The LPS mobile unit 14 includes an LPS receiver 112, an LPS processing module 114, a gaming object input module 116, and an LPS transmitter 118. The game console device 12 is coupled to a monitor 128.

In this embodiment, the LPS base units have at least a dual purpose: transmit the LPS signal 120-124 and the function of the functional module 106-110. Each of the functional modules 106-110 may be one or more of an access point of a wireless local area network (WLAN), a local area network (LAN) device, a smoke detector, a security camera, a motion sensor, a light bulb, a speaker, an electrical outlet, and an electrical plug. In general, an LPS base unit may be any household or business component that is provided throughout a room, or portion of a room, that includes an LPS transmitter 100-104 (an embodiment of which will be discussed with reference to FIG. 6).

Each of the LPS transmitters 100-104 generates and transmits an LPS signal 120-124. In general, each of the LPS signals includes timing information (e.g., when the signal was transmitter with reference to a particular clock) and the identity of the LPS transmitter (which may include an identification code and position information within the gaming environment).

Within the LPS mobile unit 14, the LPS receiver section 112 receive the plurality of LPS signals 120-124 as high carrier frequency signals (e.g., signals within the radio frequency band of 30 HZ to 3 GHz, the microwave frequency band of 3 GHz to 300 GHz, and/or the infrared (IR) frequency band of 300 GHz to 428 THz). The LPS receiver section 112 converts the high carrier frequency signals into baseband signals.

For instance, the receiver section 112 may amplify the high carrier frequency signals to produce amplified high carrier frequency signals. The receiver section 112 may then mix in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) components of the amplified high carrier frequency signals with in-phase and quadrature components of first and second local oscillations, respectively, to produce mixed I signals and mixed Q signals. The mixed I and Q signals are combined to produce one or more inbound symbol streams (which may be converted to the digital domain to provide the baseband signals). Each inbound symbol stream may each include phase information (e.g., ±Δθ [phase shift] and/or θ(t) [phase modulation]) and/or frequency information (e.g., ±Δf [frequency shift] and/or f(t) [frequency modulation]). In addition to, or in the alternative, the LPS signals 120-124 may include amplitude information (e.g., ±ΔA [amplitude shift] and/or A(t) [amplitude modulation]). To recover the amplitude information, the receiver section 112 includes an amplitude detector such as an envelope detector, a low pass filter, etc.

The LPS processing module 114 (which may be one or more processing devices as defined with reference to processing module 30 of the game console device 12) interprets a corresponding one of the baseband signals to identify one of the LPS base units. The interpreting may include one or more of digital intermediate frequency to baseband conversion, time to frequency domain conversion, demodulation, constellation demapping, deinterleaving, depuncturing, decoding, and/or descrambling. The LPS processing module 114 then calculates a time delay of the corresponding one of the baseband signals and calculates the distance (e.g., d1, d2, d3) between the LPS mobile unit and the one of the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units based on the time delay.

The LPS processing module 114 then determines the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances. For instance, by knowing the position and the distance of an LPS base unit 36-40, the LPS processing module 114 can determine the location of the LPS mobile unit 14 to be somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered on that LPS base unit and whose radius is the distance to it. When three or more (e.g., four) LPS base units 36-40 are measured simultaneously, the intersection of the three or more imaginary spheres reveals the location of the LPS mobile unit 14.

The LPS transmitter 118 receives an outbound symbol stream from the LPS processing module 114, where the outbound symbol stream includes the position of the LPS mobile unit 14. The LPS transmitter 118 converts the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency signal and transmits the position 126 the second outbound high carrier frequency signal to the game console device 12.

The LPS transmitter 118 may convert the outbound symbol stream into the outbound high carrier frequency signal by mixing the outbound symbol stream with a local oscillation to produce an up-converted signal. One or more power amplifiers and/or power amplifier drivers amplifies the up-converted signal to produce an amplified up converted signal, which may be RF bandpass filtered to produce the outbound high carrier frequency signal. Alternatively, the LPS transmitter 118 may include an oscillator that produces an oscillation. The outbound symbol stream includes phase information (e.g., ±Δθ [phase shift] and/or θ(t) [phase modulation]) that adjusts the phase of the oscillation to produce a phase adjusted RF signal, which is transmitted as the outbound high carrier frequency signal. In addition, or in the alternative, the outbound symbol stream includes amplitude information (e.g., A(t) [amplitude modulation]), which is used to adjust the amplitude of the phase adjusted RF signal to produce the outbound high carrier frequency signal.

The gaming object input module 116 is coupled to receive a video game response input from one or more gaming objects (e.g., a wireless game controller, any object used or worn by the player to facilitate play of a video game such as a simulated sword, a simulated gun, a helmet, a vest, a hat, shoes, socks, pants, shorts, gloves, etc.) associated with the LPS mobile unit 14. The game response input relates to a video game function (e.g., push a button to cause the video game to feed a tennis ball, swinging of a video game tennis racket, etc.).

The LPS processing module 114 converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream. Such a conversion may include one or more of scrambling, encoding, puncturing, constellation mapping, modulation, interleaving, frequency to time domain conversion, and baseband to low intermediate frequency conversion. The LPS transmitter section 118 converts the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal and transmits the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to the game console device 12, wherein the signal includes the game response input.

The game console device 12 captures a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and the position 126 of the video game player with the video game function 130. The rendered video gaming is displayed on the monitor 128.

In an embodiment, the LPS base units 36-40 are access points of a WLAN that includes the LPS transmitters 100-104. The LPS base units 36-40 are positioned throughout a given area to provide a seamless WLAN for the given area (e.g., a house, an apartment building, an office building, etc.). In addition, each LPS base units 36-40 includes an accurate clock (e.g., an atomic clock) or is coupled to an accurate clock source to provide an accurate time standard for synchronization at any point in the physical area.

In operation, each LPS base units 36-40 transmits a spread spectrum signal (s1) containing a BPSK (Bi-Phase Switched keyed) signal in which 1's & 0's are represented by reversal of the phase of the carrier or a signal having some other format (e.g., FM, AM, QAM, QPSK, ASK, FSK, MSK). This message is transmitted at a specific frequency at a “chipping rate” of x bits per second (e.g., 50 bits per 10 millisecond or other bit rate). The signal may repeat every 10-30 millisecond (or longer duration) and it contains information regarding the entire LPS and information regarding the AP transmitting the signal. Alternatively, the signal may be a very narrow pulse (e.g., less than 1 nanosecond), repeated at a desired rate (e.g., 1-100 KHz).

FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS transmitter 100-104 of an LPS base unit 36-40 that includes an accurate clock circuit 140, a processing module 142, and a transmitter section 144. The processing module 142 may be one or more processing devices as previously defined with reference to processing module 30.

The accurate clock circuit 140, which may be an atomic clock, GPS receiver based clock, etc., generates a clock signal 146. The processing module 142 determines timing information regarding time of transmission of the LPS signal 120-124 based on the clock signal 146. The processing module 142 then generates a baseband signal 150 that includes a timing field 152 and an identity field 154. The timing field 152 contains the timing information 148 and the identify field 154 includes at least the identity 156 of the LPS base unit. In addition, the identity field may include the position of the LPS base unit within the gaming environment. The transmitter section 144 converts the baseband signal 150 into the LPS signal 120-124.

FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS mobile unit 14 that includes the LPS processing module 114, the gaming object input module 116, the LPS transmitter 118, and a plurality of LPS receivers 112. The plurality of LPS receivers 112 are physically distributed within and/or about the LPS mobile unit 14. Each LPS receiver 112 receives the plurality of LPS signals 120-124 as high carrier frequency signals from the LPS base units 36-40 and converts the high carrier frequency signals into baseband signals.

The LPS processing module 114 interprets a corresponding one of the baseband signals to identify one of the LPS base units. The LPS processing module 114 then calculates a time delay of the corresponding one of the baseband signals and calculates the distance between the LPS receiver and the one of the LPS base units based on the time delay. The LPS processing module 114 then determines the position of the LPS mobile unit based on the distances between the plurality of LPS receivers and the at least some of the plurality of LPS base units. For example, if the LPS mobile unit 14 is shaped liked a tennis racket, the LPS receivers 112 are distributed throughout the racket shaped unit such that the physical positioning and/or motion of the entire racket, or a substantial portion thereof, can be tracked at various points of the racket.

FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a video game system 10 that includes the game console device 12, the LPS mobile unit 14, the player 16, and the plurality of LPS base units 36-40 within the gaming environment. Each of the plurality of LPS base units 36-40 includes a functional module 106-110 and an LPS receiver 160-164. The LPS mobile unit 14 includes an LPS transmitter 166, an LPS processing module 168, and a gaming object input module 116. The game console device 12 is coupled to a monitor 128.

In this embodiment, the LPS base units have at least a dual purpose: receive the LPS signal 170-174 and the function of the functional module 106-110. Each of the functional modules 106-110 may be one or more of an access point of a wireless local area network (WLAN), a local area network (LAN) device, a smoke detector, a security camera, a motion sensor, a light bulb, a speaker, an electrical outlet, and an electrical plug. In general, an LPS base unit may be any household or business component that is provided throughout a room, or portion of a room, that includes an LPS receiver 160-164 (an embodiment of which will be discussed with reference to FIG. 9).

In operation, the LPS processing module 168, which may be one or more process devices as defined with reference to processing module 30, generates a baseband positioning signal. The baseband positioning signal includes timing information and identity of the LPS mobile unit 14. Alternatively, the baseband positioning signal is representative of a narrow high frequency pulse train signal. The LPS transmitter section 166 converts the baseband positioning signal into a high carrier frequency signal and transmits the high carrier frequency signal as the LPS signal 170.

The LPS receivers 160-164 of LPS base units 36-40 receive the LPS signal 170 and determine a distance to the LPS mobile unit based on the received LPS signal 170. The LPS base units 36-40 provide the respective distances to the game console device 12, which determines position of the LPS mobile unit 14 within the gaming environment based on the plurality of distances. The game console device 12 then associates the position of the LPS mobile unit with a position of the video game player and processes a video game function 130 in accordance with the position of the video game player.

In this embodiment, the gaming object input module 116 receives a video game response input from one or more gaming objects associated with the LPS mobile unit 14. The video game response input relates to the video game function 130. The LPS processing module 168 converts the video game response input into an outbound symbol stream. The LPS transmitter section 166 converts the outbound symbol stream into an outbound high carrier frequency response signal and transmit the outbound high carrier frequency response signal to the game console device 12. The game console device 12 retrieves a video game response from the outbound high carrier frequency response signal and processes the video game response and the position of the video game player with the video game function.

In an embodiment, the LPS base units 36-40 are access points within a WLAN that include the LPS receivers 160-164. The game console device 12 is coupled to the plurality of LPS base units 36-40, which are positioned throughout a given area to provide a seamless WLAN for the given area (e.g., a house, an apartment building, an office building, etc.). In addition, the game console device 12 is coupled to at least one wide area network (WAN) connection (e.g., DSL connection, cable modem, satellite connection, etc.). In this manner, the game console device may function as the bridge, or hub, for the WLAN to the outside world.

In operation, the LPS transmitter 166 transmits a narrow pulse (e.g., pulse width less than 1 nano second) at a desired rate (e.g., once every milli second to once every few seconds). The narrow pulse signal includes a time stamp of when it is transmitted.

The LPS base units 36-40 receive the narrow pulse signal and determine their respective distances to the LPS transmitter 166. In particular, an LPS base units 36-40 determines the distance to the LPS transmitter 166 based on the time stamp and the time at which the LPS base units 36-40 received the signal. Since the narrow pulse travels at the speed of light, the distance can be readily determined.

The plurality of distances between the LPS base units 36-40 and the LPS transmitter 166 are then processed to determine the position of the LPS transmitter 166 within the local physical area in accordance with the known positioning of the LPS base units 36-40.

The processing of the LPS base units 36-40 to transmitter 166 distances may be performed by a master one of the LPS base units 36-40, by the game console device 12, by a motion tracking processing module, and/or by an LPS computer coupled to the plurality of LPS base units 36-40. Depending on the frequency of transmitting the signal (s1), the accuracy of the LPS base units 36-40 clocks and the carrier frequency of the signal, the accuracy of the gaming object's position may be within a few millimeters to about a meter. If the accuracy is the former, then this arrangement may be used to determine the relative position and to track the motion of the player and/or gaming object. If the accuracy is the latter, then this arrangement may be used to determine the player's and/or gaming object's position and another scheme would be used to track their motion.

FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of an LPS receiver 160-164 of an LPS base unit 36-40. The LPS receiver 160-164 includes an accurate clock circuit 180, a processing module 182, and a receiver section 184. The processing module 182 may be one or more processing devices as previously defined with reference to processing module 30.

The receiver section 184 receives the LPS signal 170 as a high carrier frequency signal and converts the high carrier frequency signal into a baseband signal 186. The accurate clock circuit, which may be an atomic clock, a GPS receiver based clock, etc., generates a clock signal 188.

The processing module 182 processes the baseband signal 186 to determine transmission timing information. The processing module 182 then determines a time delay based on the transmission timing information and the clock signal 188. The processing module 182 then determines the distance to the LPS mobile unit 14 based on the time delay. The processing module 182 then determines the position of the LPS mobile unit 14 based on the distances.

FIG. 10 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of an LPS mobile unit 14 that includes the gaming object input module 116, the LPS processing module 168, and a plurality of the LPS transmitters 166. In this embodiment, the LPS processing module 168 generates baseband positioning signal (e.g., a narrow pulse low frequency signal). Each of the LPS transmitters 166 converts the baseband positioning signal into a high carrier frequency signal and transmits the high carrier frequency signal as a plurality of LPS signals 170.

The LPS base units receive the plurality of LPS signals 170 and determine a distance to each one of the plurality of LPS transmitters 166. The game console device 12, or other device, determines the position of each of the LPS transmitters 166 based on the distances to each. In this instance, if the LPS mobile unit 14 is shaped liked a tennis racket, the LPS transmitters 166 are distributed throughout the racket shaped unit such that the physical positioning and/or motion of the entire racket, or a substantial portion thereof, can be tracked at various points of the racket.

FIGS. 11-13 are diagrams of an embodiment of a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system 10. In these figures an x-y-z origin is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and the position and motion of the player 16 and/or the gaming object 14 is determined with respect to the origin (e.g., 0, 0, 0). For example, a point (e.g., x1, y1, z1) on the player is used to identify its position in the gaming environment and a point (e.g., x2, y2, z2) on the LPS mobile unit 14 is used to identify its position in the gaming environment. As the player and/or LPS mobile unit 14 moves, its new position is identified within the gaming environment and the relation between the old point and the new point is used to determine three-dimensional motion.

FIGS. 14-16 are diagrams of an embodiment of a spherical coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system 10. In these figures an origin is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and the position and motion of the player 16 and/or the LPS mobile unit 14 is determined with respect to the origin. For example, the position of the player may be represented as vector, or spherical coordinates, (ρ, φ, θ), where p≧0 and is the distance from the origin to a given point P; 0≦φ≦180° and is the angle between the positive z-axis and the line formed between the origin and P; and 0≦θ≧360° and is the angle between the positive x-axis and the line from the origin to P projected onto the xy-plane. In general, φ is referred to as the zenith, colatitude or polar angle, 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°). A point is plotted from its spherical coordinates, by going 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.

For example, a point (e.g., ρ1, φ1, θ1) on the player is used to identify its position in the gaming environment and a point (e.g., ρ2, φ2, θ2) on the LPS mobile unit 14 is used to identify its position in the gaming environment. As the player and/or gaming object move, its new position is identified within the gaming environment and the relation between the old point and the new point is used to determine three-dimensional motion. While FIGS. 11-16 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.

FIGS. 17-19 are diagrams of another embodiment of a coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system 10. In these figures an xyz origin is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and the initial position of a point being tracked on the player and/or LPS mobile unit 14 is determined based on its Cartesian coordinates with respect to the origin. As a point moves from one position (e.g., x0, y0, z0) to a new position (e.g., x1, y1, z1), the movement is tracked based on the two positions (e.g., Δx=x0−x1, Δy=y0−y1, Δz=z0−z1). Note that the player and the LPS mobile unit 14 may each have several points that are tracked and used to determine position and motion.

The positioning and motion tracking of the player (i.e., one or more points on the player) and/or LPS mobile unit 14 (i.e., one or more points on the LPS mobile unit 14) may be done with respect to the origin or with respect to each other. For instance, the LPS mobile unit's position and motion may be determined with reference to the origin and the position and motion of the player may be determined with reference to the position and motion of the gaming object. Alternatively, the player's position and motion may be determined with reference to the origin and the position motion of the LPS mobile unit 14 may be determined with reference to the player's potion and motion.

FIGS. 20-22 are diagrams of an embodiment of a spherical coordinate system of a localized physical area that may be used for a gaming system 10. In these figures an origin, or reference point, is selected to be somewhere in the localized physical area and the initial position of a point being tracked on the player and/or LPS mobile unit 14 is determined based on its spherical coordinates with respect to the origin. As a point moves from one position (e.g., ρ0, φ0, θ0) to a new position (e.g., ρ1, φ1, θ1), the movement is tracked based on the two positions (e.g., ΔV=V0−V1 or Δρ=ρ0−ρ1, Δφ=φ0−φ1, Δ00−θ1). Note that the player and the LPS mobile unit 14 may each have several points that are tracked and used to determine position and motion.

The positioning and motion tracking of the player (i.e., one or more points on the player) and/or LPS mobile unit 14 (i.e., one or more points on the LPS mobile unit 14) may be done with respect to the origin of the spherical coordinate system or with respect to each other. For instance, the LPS mobile unit's position and motion may be determined with reference to the origin and the position and motion of the player may be determined with reference to the position and motion of the LPS mobile unit 14. Alternatively, the player's position and motion may be determined with reference to the origin and the position motion of the LPS mobile unit 14 may be determined with reference to the player's potion and motion.

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.

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.