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Method and apparatus for portable exercise system with electronic targets

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Publication number
US20050167907A1
US20050167907A1 US10998262 US99826204A US2005167907A1 US 20050167907 A1 US20050167907 A1 US 20050167907A1 US 10998262 US10998262 US 10998262 US 99826204 A US99826204 A US 99826204A US 2005167907 A1 US2005167907 A1 US 2005167907A1
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Prior art keywords
target
player
targets
controller
racquet
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Abandoned
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US10998262
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Leland Curkendall
Matt Morrison
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Curkendall Leland D.
Matt Morrison
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0021Tracking a path or terminating locations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B63/00Targets or goals for ball games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0051Training appliances or apparatus for special sports not used, see subgroups and A63B69/00
    • A63B69/0053Apparatus generating random stimulus signals for reaction-time training involving a substantial physical effort
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0619Displays, user interfaces and indicating devices, specially adapted for sport equipment, e.g. display mounted on treadmills
    • A63B71/0669Score-keepers or score display devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B15/00Clubs for gymnastics or the like, e.g. for swinging exercises
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0021Tracking a path or terminating locations
    • A63B2024/0037Tracking a path or terminating locations on a target surface or at impact on the ground

Abstract

A portable game and exercise system with electronically-activated targets and a non-contact racquet which is brought into the proximity of the targets as the targets are activated. One or more players sets up a virtual court by positioning a number of targets, and sets up game parameters. Each target contains a radio receiver that allows a controller transmitter to activate it. An active target alerts the player with a visual and/or auditory signal, directing the player to different areas of the virtual court. When a player's racquet is brought within the proximity of the active target within the allotted time, the target designates a hit with a signal. A total score for the game is determined.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional patent application No. 60/525,426 filed Nov. 26, 2003.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The current invention is a portable game and exercise system with electronically-activated targets and a racquet which is brought into the proximity of the targets as the targets are activated.
  • [0004]
    2. Background
  • [0005]
    There is a need for an exercise system which provides an interesting game format. There is a need for a dynamic exercise system which is reconfigurable as the skill level of the user improves. There is a need for an exercise system which is low weight and compact so that the system is portable, such as for travel.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    The current invention, PeoplePong™, is a portable exercise system that provides exercise similar to court games such as racquetball, tennis and basketball without the requirement of a court or a ball. The system can also be used for races, obstacle courses or an electronic form of “Tag”. In one embodiment, the system directs the player through a series of moves using electronically-activated targets which are placed and activated according to a player's skill level and exercise objectives.
  • [0007]
    The system is designed to be carried easily by the player and can be set up quickly in a variety of venues such as a living room, hotel room, garage, gymnasium or outdoors. The system is configurable and flexible and is played in a real, 3-dimensional environment. The entire system fits into a carrying case smaller than a shoebox, and no computers, monitors, mats or pads are required. The system does not require a separate gaming device such as PlayStation™, GameCube™, or XBox™, and everything required to play and exercise is included with PeoplePong system.
  • [0008]
    In one embodiment of the invention, multiple targets are positioned at desired locations in a three-dimensional space so that a player is required to make beneficial muscular movements in order to move a hand-held wand or racquet from the vicinity of one target to the vicinity of another target. These muscular movements may be over a relatively large range, so that the player must move his feet to travel between targets, or may be over a relatively small range so that the player may stretch and rotate without moving his feet in order to place the wand in proximity to the targets.
  • [0009]
    The targets are then activated in a random or designated order by a controller so that the player's attention is directed from target to target. In one embodiment, the controller activates targets via a radio frequency (RF) transmitter. When a target has been activated, it will signal the player, such as with a light and an audio pilot tone. In one embodiment, when a target is activated, it will begin to emit an infrared (IR) signature. If the wand is placed in the vicinity of the target while the target is still active as dictated by the controller, the wand will detect the IR signal and tally the event as a successful “hit”. If the target has been deactivated before the wand can detect the IR signal, the system registers a target miss. In other embodiments, other proximity detection means or contact sensing are used. In one embodiment, the target indicates success or failure with both a visual and audible feedback for the operator. The player then directs the control wand to the next target as defined by the selected game. The score, such as the cumulative number of hits in the game or a percent of target hits may be indicated. In another embodiment, the time required to successfully complete the sequence of targets may be determined and displayed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 is an illustration of the placement of targets in a virtual court showing a plurality of targets, a player, a racquet with a controller.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2 is an illustration of the game control switches and display for a wand controller.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic of one embodiment of a target.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 4 is an illustration of the selectable set modes.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic of one embodiment of a racquet with a controller.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart for the court mode.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 7 is an illustration of the placement of targets in a virtual court showing a plurality of targets, a player, and a controller.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Non-Contact Racquet in Court Mode
  • [0017]
    In this embodiment, a controller in a hand held wand or racquet activates virtual targets which are placed in a space such as a room or outdoor area. The room or outdoor area serves as a virtual court. The player attempts to swing or otherwise position the racquet in the vicinity of targets as they are activated. The racquet detects targets which are within a detection range, and the controller logs such events as “hits” which are scored for the player. The system is configurable, such as described below and in the other embodiments.
  • [0000]
    System Layout
  • [0018]
    FIG. 1 is a side view of an exercise and game system illustrating the placement of targets in a virtual court showing a plurality of targets, a player, a racquet housing a controller. In this embodiment, a player 90 sets up a virtual court 100 by placing a number of targets such as 200, 201, 202, 203, and 204 around a room 95. The targets may be placed high or low, in front of, behind, or above the player, on one or more walls 96, the floor 97, the ceiling 98, etc. Each target contains a radio transceiver 220 (not shown) that allows a controller 300 to activate it. In this example, the controller 300 is located in the racquet 400. In other examples, the controller may be a separate unit, as a base station or worn by the player. An active target alerts the player with a visual and/or auditory signal, directing the player to different areas of the virtual court. In this example, when a target is activated, it lights up by turning red, and makes a sound so that the player knows to move toward that target with his or her racquet 400. The racket may be of any desired shape, including a simple wand or stick. If the player's racquet 400 comes within the proximity of the active target within the allotted time, a “hit” is registered. When it is “hit”, the target light changes color such as to a green light, and the target may play a sound to designate a hit. The controller activates targets one at a time, and also receives a signal back from the target when an active target has been hit. This allows the controller to tally up a score such as the percent or number of active targets hit by a player.
  • [0019]
    Targets are typically turned on by the controller randomly and for a player-selectable time period. If a player is of a high skill level, or if the targets are in close proximity to one another, the player should select a short duration for which targets remain active. If a player is less skilled, or if the targets are positioned far apart, the duration a target stays active should be lengthened by the player. If a target is not hit by the player in the allotted time, the target expires and the next target activates. Ideally, the player will be challenged to get to a target before it expires. As soon as a target is hit or expires, another target goes active, prompting the user to move from target to target as quickly as desirable.
  • [0020]
    In this embodiment, the player will not physically hit a target as he or she would with a real racquet and ball, so there may not be full racquet swings and follow-through. The players will typically need to pivot, twist and run in order to reach up and down, forward and back. This required movement may provide similar aerobic, stretching and hand-eye coordination as other games or exercise. This required movement can be established by a player to emphasize work on specific muscle groups. A player's progress can be monitored by recording game times or scores over several games, thereby encouraging the player to continue the exercise program. The court may be established indoors, so that the exercise may be continued in adverse weather. In this embodiment, the player may have a competitive gaming experience at the player's convenience without the necessity of scheduling a court and an opponent.
  • [0021]
    Additionally, as players become proficient they can set up target placement and timing in a manner that will allow them to swing forward and back to hit them, rather than just touching or poking at them.
  • [0022]
    In this embodiment, the system is composed of two main subsystems. A racquet or wand-like device may house the controller, and multiple target devices.
  • [0000]
    Racquet Controller
  • [0023]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic of one embodiment of a controller 300 which is provided in a racquet. In other embodiments, the controller may be a separate unit, or the control functions may be distributed over one or more targets. In this example, the controller includes a microprocessor 460 which executes custom embedded machine code, and a clock source 462 such as an oscillator for the microprocessor. The microprocessor may access a EEPROM memory 464 (not shown). The controller includes an LCD display 420 which presents the system parameters or options as described below. These system parameters can be set by the player through menu displays and manual switches such as elements 421, 422, 430, and 440 as described below. A power source 490, such as batteries or a electrical outlet plug is provided. In this example, the scoring feedback mechanism 480 comprises an IR detector 470 which provides target proximity detection. A RF transmitter 482 serves as an outgoing activation signal receiving unit. In one embodiment, the controller housing 405 (not shown) may be a stick, or a wand-like enclosure, approximately 6″ to 10″ long, 2″ wide and 1″ deep. Other sizes may be used. The microcontroller 460 typically executes custom embedded machine code such as a Microchip Tech. PIC18F258-I/SO. A memory 464 (not shown), such as an Atmel Semiconductor AT24C16N-10SI-2.7 16K EEPROM may be used. A transmitter 480 such as a Linx Technologies TXM-418-LC AM radio frequency device may be used. Other types of transmitters may be used. The detection device 470 may be infrared (IR) such as a Fairchild Semiconductor QSE157 I/R Logic detector, a “Hall Effect” sensor, or other detection device The display 420 may be a visual indicator such as Lumex LCM-SO 1602DTR/M LCD Module. An optional audio indicator such as a Soberton WST-1205S audio transducer may be used.
  • [0024]
    In this example, the command station racquet 400 is battery-powered. When the controller is turned on, it seeks targets that are within range and sets up the current system options. Then, all targets will do an extended flash/beep twice to indicate that the game is about to begin. Once the options are set, the player presses a “Game Start/Stop” switch 440 (not shown) on the racquet to begin play. When play is complete, the player presses the “Game Start/Stop” switch 440 again.
  • [0025]
    In this embodiment, the controller 300 is located within the racquet 400. This command station-equipped racquet transmits a radio signal to a target's radio receiver 220, turning on the target's first light 230 for an allotted period of time. Each target also contains an infrared (IR) emitter 240 that is powered on when the target is activated. The racquet contains an IR receiver 310 so that as the racquet gets within close proximity of the active target, it de-activates the target, records the target as a hit and activates the next target.
  • [0026]
    In this embodiment, the system uses RF activation from the control wand to the target with an IR feedback mechanism from the target to the control wand. The system can easily be implemented however with IR in both directions, RF in both directions or audio in both directions as well as a physical/mechanical feedback mechanism from the target or any combination of above or other mechanisms that fits a specific requirement that might preclude other control and feed back methods.
  • [0027]
    The controller may be incorporated into a player's racquet 400. Alternately, the controller may be a separate device. The controller-equipped racquet transmits a signal to a target's receiver.
  • [0000]
    Settings and Controls
  • [0028]
    Various settings and controls for game selection and difficulty may be set. FIG. 2 is an illustration of the game control switches and display for one embodiment of a wand or racquet controller. In this example, settings and controls are selected on the control wand racquet 400 with one or more up and down toggle switches or buttons which allow the available options to be displayed on an LCD display 420 and scrolled through by the player. In this example, the toggle switches or buttons include an On/Off switch 410 for turning the controller on or off; a scroll up 421 key and a scroll down 422 key for moving up and down through a selection menu; a select 430 key; and a game start/stop switch 440. Selection of any given option may be made with the “Select” switch 430. In one embodiment, the maximum menu depth is restricted to two-deep in order to simplify game setup. Once options are set, pressing the game “Start/Stop” switch 440 will begin the game initialization. Pressing the “Start/Stop” switch 440 at any time after a “start” will immediately terminate the game.
  • [0029]
    In one embodiment, whenever “Stop” is selected, either the percent hits or elapsed time, depending on the mode of play, is calculated to the last “hit”. In this manner, the player does not have to rush to hit the “Stop” button in order to get an accurate score.
  • [0030]
    The controller may be housed in a manner that it can be carried on or by the player, such as in the racquet, strapped to the player's arm; worn by the player such as a pager.
  • [0031]
    Targets may be temporarily attached targets to walls, ceiling, etc. with double-sticky tapes, Velcro, putty, magnets, suction cups, clamps, hooks or strings. For a permanent location, the targets can be screwed to the wall or wall bracket.
  • [0000]
    Targets
  • [0032]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic of one embodiment of a target. In this embodiment, the target 200 includes a power source 270 such as batteries; a microprocessor 210; an incoming activation signal receiving unit 280; LED indicators 230 and 232; an audio sounding device 250; a clock source 212 for the microprocessor, such as an oscillator; an ID selector 285; and a scoring feedback mechanism 288.
  • [0033]
    The targets may further include an RF receiver 220, an Infra Red emitting device 240 (not shown), and a main power switch 260 (not shown). In this example, each target is powered by batteries, such as 2-AA rechargeable NiMH, and is switched on when ready to play. When play is finished, the targets should be switched off. If the targets remain on for an extended period of time without use, they will go into sleep mode, thereby extending battery life.
  • [0034]
    In one embodiment, the target components include a cylindrical housing about 3 inches in diameter and about 1″ thick. The microprocessor 210 or microcontroller typically executes a custom embedded machine code such as the Microchip Technologies PIC16C505-04I/SL. A non-volatile memory 212 (not shown) such as an Atmel Semiconductor AT24C16N-10SI-2.7 16K EEPROM may be used. A radio frequency receiver such as Linx Technologies RXM-418-LC-S may be used for communication with the controller. The feedback device 288 may be of several possible types including infrared, such as a Fairchild Semiconductor 1N6266 I/R emitter; a magnetic coil; or an RF device. A visual indicator 230 such as Lumex SSL-LX5093SRC/C light-emitting diode may be used. The audio indicator such as a Soberton WST-1205S audio transducer may be used.
  • [0000]
    Mode Selection
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4 is an illustration of the selectable set modes from the controller display. Display 500 indicates that the controller is ready. Display 510 indicates a score for a game in progress or completed game. Display 530 shows the total number of targets that the controller will activate during a game session. Display 540 shows the mode such as court mode. The “>” symbol indicates that the display is scrollable for other game modes that may be selected including sequential mode 542, tag mode 544, and timed mode 546. Display 550 indicates a fixed target time. Display 552 represents an alternate mode for variable time for the target activation. Display 560 is a toggle for turning the sound on or off. Display 570 is to designate the racquet in multiple player mode.
  • [0000]
    Example of PeoplePong Racquet Controller Display Directions
  • [0000]
      • When the racquet is turned on, the racquet displays “READY”.
      • If the player desires to use the same settings as the last game played, s/he presses the “Start” button, the controller transmits the latest parameters to the targets and the game begins.
      • If, instead, the player desires to change the settings, the player presses the “Down” arrow to move through the menu and presses the “Select” key when the desired setting is displayed (current settings are marked with a “>”).
      • A player can page in either direction through the menu, including going to the last option by paging up from the first option.
      • If the “Select” key is pressed for an item that has a sub-menu item, the cursor moves to the sub-menu items.
      • Once the new settings are selected, the player presses the “Start” button to initialize the targets with the new settings and begin the game.
      • As soon as the first target is hit, the scoring begins—whether percentage, elapsed time or target ID's hit—and is displayed on the racquet.
      • The “score” is the percentage of targets hit out of those turned on, calculated up to the last target hit (so you don't have to “race” to stop the game to get an accurate score).
      • In “Timed Play Mode”, the “score” is the time accumulated from the first to the last target hit.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 6 is a flow chart for an embodiment of the court mode. At step 1000, a target 200 is activated by the controller 300. Each target has a unique ID, so that the target recognizes when the controller 300 has broadcast an activation signal for the target At step 1020 the target turns on its first light 230 for an allotted period of time. Each target also contains an emitter 240 that is powered on when the target is activated. The racquet contains a detector 280, such as an IR or RF detector, so that as the racquet gets within close proximity of the active target, at step 1030 the detector 280 sends a signal to the target microprocessor or micro controller 210 to de-activate the target. In other embodiments, the target may be “hit” by manual contact, so that proximity detection is not required. At step 1040 the controller records the target as a hit. At step 1050, the controller turns on the next target.
  • [0046]
    In Court Mode, targets may be turned on by the controller randomly and for a player-selectable time period. The random mode simulates a real game, where the player does not know where the targets will be. The player can also set the mode to “Variable Time Mode”, allowing targets to stay active for varying times, simulating slow and fast “returns”.
  • [0047]
    In one embodiment, each target has its own unique identification. The controller sends out a signal such as “Target ‘8’ GO ACTIVE”. All targets may receive the message but only Target “8” will respond and go active.
  • [0048]
    If a target is hit while active, it sends back a “hit” message. From the message received by the controller from the hit target, the controller can simply tally a “hit” for scoring purposes or note which target was hit. Other statistics, such as the percentage of hits on each target, may be maintained and displayed to the user.
  • [0049]
    In one embodiment, the controller has an RF transmitter and the target has an RF receiver. The controller receives a feedback from the IR “hit”. In other embodiments where the controller is a base station, then both the target and the controller need an RF transmitter and receiver, or transceivers, since the controller may not be in the proximity of the target to receive an IR signal.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Sequential Mode
  • [0050]
    Sequential Mode is similar to Court Mode, except that the targets will activate in a serial, sequential mode. The targets can still be placed anywhere, physically, but will activate in the same order, over and over, forcing the player through a pattern. In this mode, the player will typically monitor improvement in percent of hits to determine improvement over time.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Timed Mode
  • [0051]
    Timed Mode still allows for the placement of targets in any physical locations and, like Sequential Mode, turns targets on in a set order. However, instead of activating and deactivating after a certain period of time, the targets will stay on until “hit”, allowing the accumulated time to be tallied by the controller (racquet). This mode is best used for a race or obstacle course. Additionally, it enhances the Sequential Mode by giving the player a “total time” result when they finish a selected number of targets. For instance, the player may select to have 100 target activations, such as 4 targets in various combinations for a total of 25 times for each target. The player then monitors the length of time to hit all 100 target activations.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Tag Mode
  • [0052]
    In Tag Mode, targets are placed on the players so they can play an electronic game of tag. Targets will use LEDs to show whether a player is tagged or untagged by the player with the racquet. In this mode, targets are placed on the actual players such as in a mesh vest. One player has the controller and is “it”. The player has to try to “tag” the other players' targets. Each target's LED blinks until it is hit, then turns solid so that a player is clearly “tagged”. The controller could also tally the elapsed time of each target to determine the rank of each player's evasive skills.
  • [0053]
    In one embodiment, one or many players may participate in a game. Each player receives a target, say numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each target blinks until “hit” by a racquet. If desired, the player can review the length of time that passed from start until when each target was hit, on the controller by scrolling through that option such as: Target 1=1.50 minutes, Target 2=0.75 minutes, Target 3=2.35 minutes, Target 4=0.26 minutes.
  • [0054]
    In one embodiment, if there are multiple players, any of the racquets can be used to hit any active target. In this embodiment, a second player may “hit” a first player's active target.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Game Options
  • [0055]
    In one embodiment, the utilities and play options are selectable by the player from a racquet display:
      • Level of Difficulty (Target Duration Time or TDT)—The length of time a target stays active will depend on a player's skill or physical ability as well as how far apart the targets are placed. The time could vary from a fraction of a second to over a minute and may be variable as it is in real court games.
      • Court Mode—This mode turns targets on in a random pattern. It moves the player from target to target in an unpredictable manner, similar to a game of racquetball or tennis.
      • Sequential Mode—Sequential mode will activate targets in order, over and over until the game is stopped. In Sequential Mode, targets can be placed in a way to move the player through a predetermined pattern.
      • Timed Mode—This is a variation on the Sequential Mode. Targets are still activated in a sequence but instead of staying active for a set time period, each target stays active until “hit” and the cumulative (elapsed) time is recorded. This could be used to track the time it takes to move from point to point in a race or obstacle course or to record the time it takes to hit a set number of targets.
      • Tag Mode—In this mode, targets are placed on the actual players such as in a mesh vest. One player has the controller and is “it”. The player has to try to “tag” the other players' targets. Each target's LED blinks until it is hit, then turns solid so that a player is clearly “tagged”. The controller could also tally the elapsed time of each target to determine the rank of each player's evasive skills.
      • Variable Target Time—If a player elects to have the target duration time variable, some targets will stay on half as long (fast ball) as the selected TDT and some will stay on twice as long (hanging ball). For instance, if a player selects a TDT of two seconds, some targets will stay active for only one second and some will stay active for four seconds. So that a player knows what to expect, a faster and slower sound will be emitted from targets with activation times shorter or longer than the selected TDT.
      • Number of Targets—Players can let the targets operate until the “Stop Game” button is pressed, or select a set number of targets (50, 100, 200, etc.) and the game will run until a specific number of targets are activated.
      • Multiple Players—Additional racquets can be added to allow for multiple players. One racquet still acts as a controller and additional racquets simply tally their scores as they hit active targets. With this mode, a two- or more-player game of racquetball or tennis is simulated, with each player taking turns hitting targets. The player with the most hits wins.
      • Game Start/Stop—The racquet has a start/stop button that begins and ends play of any type. When play is ended, the percent of targets hit (or cumulative time) is calculated up to the last target actually hit (so that you don't have to rush to stop a game to keep from tallying non-hits).
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Game and System Uses
  • [0065]
    The overall purpose of the PeoplePong system is to provide a portable method for a player to get aerobic, callisthenic, competitive exercise while having fun, without constant access to a gym, tennis, or racquetball court. In fact, the product can be carried with the player almost anywhere.
  • [0066]
    The game has a competitive aspect, even for an individual—the player needs to get to the target before it expires and can try to attain or beat a score from earlier sessions. As the player's proficiency increases, he player adjusts the difficulty level by simply speeding up the TDT and/or by moving targets farther apart.
  • [0067]
    The game becomes even more competitive when more than one player is involved. Players can play individual games and compare scores or multiple racquets can be used during the same game, allowing two or more players to play at once (taking turns just like in a real court game). If more than one player is playing at once they can check the tally on their racquets at any time to determine (and compare) their scores.
  • [0068]
    If certain stretching or movement exercises are needed to work on a particular part of the body, the targets can be put in Sequential Mode and placed in a geometry that will move the player in a predetermined pattern. This mode could potentially be used to work a player (patient) through a prescribed Physical Therapy regimen.
  • [0069]
    For older or disabled players, the targets can be set in a position and at a pace that works for their needs. Even a person confined to a bed or chair can place the targets in close proximity and play with their upper body. Additionally, a person in a wheelchair could place the targets around a room or gym at the appropriate height and wheel around, hitting the active targets.
  • [0070]
    In the Timed Play Mode, any pattern could be set up to run players though a course, from something as simple as timing a “down-and-back” run, to an intricate obstacle course.
  • [0071]
    Tag Mode is like a simple, portable game of traditional tag that shows definitively that a player has been tagged and even shows how long the player evaded getting tagged.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Wired System
  • [0072]
    In the previous embodiments, the targets communicated wirelessly with the controller. In other embodiments, the targets may be wired to a controller.
  • [0073]
    In one wired embodiment, the signals are conveyed from the wand to the target and back via a single conductor with common return path utilizing a simple ON/OFF signal.
  • [0074]
    In another wired embodiment, the signals are conveyed from the wand to the target and back via multiple conductor hardwired connection utilizing a serial data communication protocol such as RS-232 or RS-485 or direct parallel data activation protocol.
  • [0075]
    In another wired embodiment, the signals are conveyed from the wand to the target and back via coaxial, twisted pair or generic control cable utilizing direct connect RF signaling with embedded data and clock such as Manchester encoding or simple NRZ protocol or data over power utilizing AC coupling of data on top of the power.
  • [0076]
    In another wired embodiment, the signals are conveyed from the wand to the target and back via utilization of 125 KHz control protocols sent over the AC Mains wiring or newer “Homelink” type protocols designed for use with networked computers but which is applicable in this embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Radio Frequency
  • [0077]
    In some embodiments, communication between a target and the controller may be by RF transmitted connection, contacted or non contact, using any regulatory acceptable RF transmission method.
  • [0078]
    One RF embodiment utilizes allowed radio spectrum transmission modes such as OOK, ASK, AM, PSK, FSK, FM, TDMA etc. with embedded data encoding such as Manchester coding, NRZ coding, Miller coding, etc.
  • [0079]
    Another RF embodiment utilizes both directional and omni-directional radiating antennas and radiation polarities such as horizontal, vertical, helical and circular.
  • [0080]
    Another RF embodiment utilizes standard transmission and reception technologies such as Linx technologies AM RF modules, Micrel Semiconductor MIC series of receivers and transmitters, BlueTooth wireless connectivity, WiFi connectivity, ZigBee connectivity, Wireless USB connectivity or proprietary RF protocol connectivity from companies such as Aerocomm communications or InfoClip, LLC.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Magnetic Coupled Connection
  • [0081]
    In some embodiments, communication between a target and the controller may be by magnetic coupled connection, contacted or non contact, using any regulatory acceptable induction method.
  • [0082]
    One RF embodiment utilizes allowed magnetic spectrum transmission modes such as OOK, ASK, AM, PSK, FSK, FM, TDMA, etc. with embedded data encoding such as Manchester coding, NRZ coding, Miller coding etc.
  • [0083]
    Another RF embodiment utilizes both directional and omni-directional coupling elements.
  • [0084]
    Another RF embodiment utilizes well-known practices in magnetic coupling and induction from such companies as Digital Angel, AllFlex Boulder and InfoClip, LLC.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Other Connection
  • [0085]
    In some embodiments, communication between a target and the controller may be other connections, contacted or non contact, utilizing the entire possible electromagnetic spectrum including but not limited to visible, Infra Red or Ultra Violet light using any regulatory acceptable transmission method.
  • [0086]
    Some embodiments may utilize readily available Infra Red or Visible light sources and detectors with any of the aforementioned modulation, data encoding schemes such as the Fairchild Semiconductor QT157 I/R detection device and the Fairchild 1N6266 I/R light emitting diode.
  • [0087]
    Some embodiments may utilize the use of light scattering, bending or concentration devises such as mirrors, light frequency sensitive filters, diffusers and light density filters to control the activation direction or detection range which can easily be incorporated in devise enclosures using ubiquitous manufacturing techniques and practices that would allow the generation of a contact switch or “Light curtain” along with the ability to direct and control the “light” intensity and direction and activation distance of not only the Controller/Target devise but the required mechanical interface distance as in the case of the “Light Curtain” which requires the breaking of a light beam as a “Scoring or Timing event”.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT Manual System
  • [0088]
    Referring to FIG. 7, the system may be implemented as a manual system where targets are wired to a base controller 300. The targets may include a sensitive button that tallies a hit when it's touched and communicates by the wired connection back to the controller. The controller may be housed in a stand-alone enclosure, either battery-operated or plugged into the wall.
  • [0089]
    In other embodiments, target proximity detection may be employed with a wired system.
  • [0090]
    In another embodiment, targets with sensitive buttons may be part of a wirelessly controlled system.
  • [0091]
    Target activation and hit confirmation can be accomplished through many means. Specific methods are described in the above and following embodiments. The current invention is not limited to those techniques, and other techniques and components will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

Claims (20)

1. A portable exercise system for at least one player, the system comprising
a plurality of electronically-activated targets which may be positioned in a three-dimensional space; and
controller, such that the controller activates a sequence of the targets which may include a repetition of one or more of the targets, such that for each target in the sequence,
the controller communicates with a target to cause the target to provide an indicator signal for a time interval,
the player attempts to hit a target by touching or coming within close proximity of the target within the time interval beginning at the time that the target provides the indicator signal,
the controller determines whether the target is hit during a portion of the time interval, and
a score is logged if the target is hit during a portion of the time interval.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the controller further comprises
an electric plug, such that the controller may be plugged into an electrical outlet for supplying power to the controller.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein
the controller communicates wirelessly with each target to cause the target to provide an indicator signal for a time interval.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the target further comprises
a magnetic device for determining contact.
5. A portable exercise system for at least one player, the system comprising
a plurality of electronically-activated targets which may be positioned in a three-dimensional space;
a racquet comprising a proximity detector for determining whether the racquet is within range of a target; and
a controller, such that the controller activates a sequence of the targets which may include a repetition of one or more of the targets, such that for each target in the sequence,
the controller communicates with a target to cause the target to provide an indicator signal for a time interval,
the player attempts to move the racquet to the proximity of the target within the time interval beginning at the time that the target provides the indicator signal,
the controller determines a target hit when the racquet is in the vicinity of the target during a portion of the time interval, and
the controller logs a score for the target hit.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein sequence of the targets is pre-specified by the player.
7. The system of claim 5 wherein sequence of the targets is selected randomly.
8. The system of claim 5 wherein the indicator signal is an audible signal.
9. The system of claim 5 wherein the indicator signal is a visible light.
10. The system of claim 5 wherein
the target further includes an Infra Red emitting device; and
the proximity detector of the racquet comprises an Infra Red detector.
11. The system of claim 5 wherein
there are two or more players; and
each player is scored independently.
12. The system of claim 5 wherein
the controller communicates with a first target to generate a first signal at a first time; and
the controller communicates with a second target to generate a second signal after the racquet has been brought to the vicinity of the first target, such that the pace of the game is determined by the speed of the player.
13. The system of claim 5 wherein the controller is located in the racquet.
14. The system of claim 5 wherein
the controller the controller records the elapsed and cumulative time for the target hits.
15. The system of claim 5 wherein the controller is located within one or more target.
16. The system of claim 5 wherein
game parameters may be set by a player with a user interface to the controller.
17. The system of claim 5 wherein
the controller communicates with a target to cause the target to provide an indicator signal for a time interval.
18. A method of conducting an exercise with a portable exercise system for at least one player, the method comprising
positioning a plurality of electronically-activated targets in a space;
providing the player with a racquet, such that the racquet detects if a target is within a specified range of a target; and
communicating from a controller to a sequence of the targets, such that for each target in the sequence, which may include a repetition of one or more of the targets
the controller communicates with a target to cause the target to provide an indicator signal for a time interval,
the player attempts to move the racquet to the proximity of the target within the time interval beginning at the time that the target provides the indicator signal,
the target determines whether the racquet is in the vicinity of the target during a portion of the time interval,
the target communicates with the controller to cause the controller to log a score if the racquet is in the vicinity of the target during a portion of the time interval.
19. The method of claim 18 further comprising
displaying a score to the player.
20. The method of claim 16 wherein
the controller activates targets in a random sequence.
US10998262 2003-11-26 2004-11-26 Method and apparatus for portable exercise system with electronic targets Abandoned US20050167907A1 (en)

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WO2017041141A1 (en) * 2015-09-11 2017-03-16 Velocity Sports Research Pty. Ltd. Remote activated sports device and system
KR101726167B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726166B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726168B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726165B1 (en) 2016-12-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
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KR101726165B1 (en) 2016-12-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726166B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726168B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness
KR101726167B1 (en) 2017-02-13 2017-04-12 (주) 티에스티시스포츠 Electronic targets assembly for fitness

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