Title:
GAME CONTROLLING APPARATUS FOR PEDALING MOTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game controlling apparatus designed for using a pedaling (or winding) motion to control a video game. The game controlling apparatus preferably includes a platform element adapted to secure a game controller and at least a first handle and a second handle, each handle being capable of rotation about an axis of rotation relative to the platform element. The game controlling apparatus additionally may include an attachment mechanism adapted to secure the game controller to the platform. The first and second handle are preferably positioned on opposite sides of the platform element and on opposite ends of the platform element so that a pedaling motion while gripping the first and second handle will produce rotation of the game controller preferably about a centrally located point on the game controller.



Inventors:
Stevens, Andrew (San Francisco, CA, US)
Schox, Jeffrey (San Francisco, CA, US)
Hamady, Peter (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/238145
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
09/25/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOWARAH, GEORGE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHOX PC (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
We Claim:

1. A game controlling apparatus for using a pedaling motion with a video game, comprising: a platform element adapted to secure a game controller; and a first handle attached to the platform element and adapted to rotate about a first axis of rotation relative to the platform element, and a second handle attached to the platform element and adapted to rotate about a second axis of rotation relative to the platform element.

2. The device of claim 1 further comprising an attachment mechanism adapted to secure the game controller to the platform element.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the platform element is adapted to secure a game controller with motion-sensing capabilities.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the platform element is adapted to secure a Wii Remote controller for the Nintendo Wii game console.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the first and second axis of rotation are coplanar and not collinear.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the first and second controller are attached to the platform element on opposite surfaces and on opposite sides of the platform element.

7. The device of claim 5 further comprising a first resistance element adapted to resist the rotation of the first handle about the first axis of rotation, and a second resistance element adapted to resist the rotation of the second handle about the second axis of rotation.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein the first and second resistance elements have associated resistances, and the resistances are adjustable.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein the resistances are adjustable by a game console.

10. The device of claim 8, wherein the first and second resistance elements have a clockwise resistance and a counter-clockwise resistance, and wherein the clockwise resistances and the counter-clockwise resistances are separately adjustable.

11. The device of claim 1 wherein the platform element is adapted to secure a wired game controller and to substantially align the wire of the game controller with an axis of rotation.

12. The device of claim 1 further comprising a controller communication element adapted to exchange information between the device and the game controller.

13. The device of claim 12 further comprising electronic buttons connected to the communication element and adapted to signal to the game controller button events.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the controller communication element is an electrical connector that physically connects to the game controller.

15. An accessory for a motion-sensing game controller, in which the accessory is used to induce a continuous tumbling motion of the game controller and to provide exercise for a user, comprising: a platform element that provides structural support to the accessory and includes an attachment mechanism to constrain the game controller in a substantially central location on the platform element; and a first handle attached to the platform element and adapted to rotate about a first axis of rotation relative to the platform element; and a second handle attached to the platform element and adapted to rotate about a second axis of rotation relative to the platform element; wherein the first axis of rotation and the second axis of rotation are coplanar and not collinear such that the first handle and the second handle—when gripped by the user and moved in a cyclical motion—induce a continuous tumbling motion of the game controller.

16. The device of claim 15 further comprising a first resistance element adapted to resist the rotation of the first handle about the first axis of rotation and a second resistance element adapted to resist the rotation of the second handle about the second axis of rotation, wherein the first resistance element and the second resistance element cooperate such that—when the first handle and the second handle are gripped by the user and moved in a cyclical motion—the device provides exercise for the user.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/975,015, filed 25 Sep. 2007 and entitled “Game Controlling Apparatus for Pedaling Motion”, which is incorporated in its entirety by this reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to the video game electronics field, and more specifically to a new and useful game controller in the video game electronics field.

BACKGROUND

As shown by the recent success of the Nintendo Wii, there is a need for a game controller that simulates the experience of a “real-world” game through the capture and input of full body movements. Through gravity forces and aerodynamic drag, the Nintendo Wii creates a modest amount of exercise. Without additional resistance, however, game controllers such as the Nintendo Wiimote create the possibility of hyperextension of joints, which may cause injuries. Further, without additional resistance, which is found in the “real world”, the simulation of the “real world” games will reach a limit. Thus, there is a need in the game controller field to create a new and useful apparatus for controlling a game system. This invention provides such a new and useful apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a first variation of the preferred embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of a second variation of the preferred embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention is not intended to limit the invention to this preferred embodiment, but rather to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use this invention.

As shown in FIG. 1, a game controlling apparatus 100 of the preferred embodiment includes at least two handles 101 and a platform element 105. In one variation, the game controlling apparatus 100 may also include an attachment mechanism 107 for a game controller 109. The handles 101 preferably rotate relative to the platform element 105, but may alternatively be static relative to the platform element 105. The game controlling apparatus 100 is preferably designed to be used with a game system, such as the Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox 360, and/or the Nintendo Wii, but may be used as an input/output device with any suitable game system, including an embedded game system in the game controlling apparatus 100.

The platform element 105 functions to provide structural support for the apparatus and, in some ways, dictate the pedaling (or “kite-winding”) movement of the user with the apparatus. The handles 101 of the preferred embodiment function as a physical interface between the user and the game controlling apparatus. The handles 101 are preferably located on opposite surfaces and on opposite ends of the platform element 105. The handles 101 preferably include a particular texture or shape to assist a user in gripping the apparatus. The platform element 105 and the handles 101 are preferably made from injection molded plastic, but may alternatively be made from or coated with any suitable material, including metal, plastic, wood, rubber, and leather. The platform element 105 preferably allows the use of rumble and force feedback either directly from the game controller, or alternatively from the platform element 105 itself

The attachment mechanism 107 functions to contain or accept the game controller (or other input/output device) 109. The attachment mechanism 107 is preferably a housing, or a compartment or cavity that contains the game controller. The compartment or cavity may include tabs that snap into the game controller 109 to hold the game controller 109 firmly in place. The attachment mechanism 107 may, however, use any type of holding mechanism to keep the game controller in place, including molded snaps, Velcro, glue, straps, screws, or other fasteners. The attachment mechanism 107 preferably houses the game controller 109 so the pedaling motion produces a tumbling motion of the game controller 109 (the longest dimension of the game controller 109 remaining in a plane of rotation during motion), but the pedaling motion may alternatively produce a rolling motion, a variation in yaw, an off centered rotation, a complex kinematic motion, or any suitable motion of the game controller 109.

As shown in FIG. 2, the game controller 209 is preferably a Wii Remote (used with the Wii Console, both sold by sold by Nintendo of America Inc.) or any of the other controllers that are described in U.S. Publication No. 2007/0049374, U.S. Publication No. 2007/0060391, or U.S. Publication No. 2007/0060385, which are all incorporated in their entirety by this reference. As described in these three published applications, the Wii Remote includes motion-sensing technology, such as accelerometer electronics. The handle may alternatively contain or accept any suitable controller for any suitable gaming console.

The apparatus of the preferred embodiment also includes at least one resistance element 103 that functions to provide resistance to the rotation between the handle 101 and platform element 105. The resistance element 103 is preferably a racketing or gearing mechanism, but may alternatively be any simple device (even a “dirty” bearing) that would provide resistance. The resistance preferably provides a pedaling workout for the user, but may alternatively or additionally improve the feel of the operation of the apparatus. The resistance of the resistance element is preferably adjustable by the user, but may alternatively or additionally be adjustable by the gaming console. As an additional alternative, the resistance may be individually adjusted for clockwise rotation and counter clockwise rotation of the first and second handle 101. Yet another additional alternative may include direction dependent resistance to provide further tactile feedback and a deeper “more realistic” level of interaction.

As an alternative embodiment of the apparatus, the platform element preferably accommodates a wired game controller 109 (a game controller 109 that communicates via an electrical wire with a game console, second controller, or any suitable device). The platform element and the first or second handle preferably cooperate to reduce interference between the wire and the pedaling motion used with the apparatus. The wire is preferably positioned to exit the apparatus at a point along an axis of rotation such as the axis of rotation of a handle 101 or axis of rotation of the game controller 109. The wire is preferably threaded through the center of a handle 101, but may alternatively exit out of a stationary portion of the apparatus, connect to a rotatable wire connector, or use any suitable device to aid in the handling of a wired game controller.

As shown in FIG. 3, the apparatus of the preferred embodiment additionally may include a controller communication element 110 that functions to provide communication between the apparatus and a game consol via the game controller 109. The communication is preferably used to add buttons 111 to the apparatus and map them to a button of the game controller 109, but may alternatively be used for electrical inputs and outputs such as added sensors, speakers, control lines for resistance elements, vibrational motors, or any suitable device. The controller communication element 111 is preferably an electrical connector designed to pair with an electrical connector on the game controller 109 and communicate through electrical conduction, but may alternatively communicate by an IR transmitter/receiver, Bluetooth, radio frequency, or any suitable means of communication.

As a person skilled in the art will recognize from the previous detailed description and from the figures and claims, modifications and changes can be made to the preferred embodiments of the invention without departing from the scope of this invention defined in the following claims.