US20120007808A1 - Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play - Google Patents

Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120007808A1
US20120007808A1 US12/806,986 US80698610A US2012007808A1 US 20120007808 A1 US20120007808 A1 US 20120007808A1 US 80698610 A US80698610 A US 80698610A US 2012007808 A1 US2012007808 A1 US 2012007808A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
touch
peripheral device
plurality
peripheral
peripheral devices
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/806,986
Inventor
Christopher W. Heatherly
Kenlip Ong
Armen Mkrtchyan
Jonathan Backer
Brian White
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Disney Enterprises Inc
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Disney Enterprises Inc
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Publication date
Priority to US39924910P priority Critical
Application filed by Disney Enterprises Inc filed Critical Disney Enterprises Inc
Priority to US12/806,986 priority patent/US20120007808A1/en
Assigned to DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC. reassignment DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ONG, KENLIP, HEATHERLY, CHRISTOPHER W., Mkrtchyan, Armen, Backer, Jonathan, WHITE, BRIAN
Priority claimed from US13/229,593 external-priority patent/US9274641B2/en
Publication of US20120007808A1 publication Critical patent/US20120007808A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/21Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types
    • A63F13/214Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types for locating contacts on a surface, e.g. floor mats or touch pads
    • A63F13/2145Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types for locating contacts on a surface, e.g. floor mats or touch pads the surface being also a display device, e.g. touch screens
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/40Processing input control signals of video game devices, e.g. signals generated by the player or derived from the environment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00643Electric board games; Electric features of board games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/041Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means
    • G06F3/0416Control or interface arrangements specially adapted for digitisers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/041Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means
    • G06F3/044Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means by capacitive means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0487Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] using specific features provided by the input device, e.g. functions controlled by the rotation of a mouse with dual sensing arrangements, or of the nature of the input device, e.g. tap gestures based on pressure sensed by a digitiser
    • G06F3/0488Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] using specific features provided by the input device, e.g. functions controlled by the rotation of a mouse with dual sensing arrangements, or of the nature of the input device, e.g. tap gestures based on pressure sensed by a digitiser using a touch-screen or digitiser, e.g. input of commands through traced gestures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2401Detail of input, input devices
    • A63F2009/2402Input by manual operation
    • A63F2009/241Touch screen
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1068Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being specially adapted to detect the point of contact of the player on a surface, e.g. floor mat, touch pad
    • A63F2300/1075Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being specially adapted to detect the point of contact of the player on a surface, e.g. floor mat, touch pad using a touch screen
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/048Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/04808Several contacts: gestures triggering a specific function, e.g. scrolling, zooming, right-click, when the user establishes several contacts with the surface simultaneously; e.g. using several fingers or a combination of fingers and pen

Abstract

There is provided a system and method for facilitating an interaction using first and second peripheral devices and related structures. Each of the first and second peripheral devices have a plurality of touch points for touching a touch surface of a touch-sensitive system. According to an exemplary embodiment, a method comprises detecting a plurality of contemporaneous touches on the touch surface of the touch-sensitive system. One of the first and second peripheral devices is identified based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of one of the first and second peripheral devices. In some embodiments, orientation of the one of the first and second peripheral devices can be determined based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of the one of the first and second peripheral devices.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/399,249, filed on Jul. 8, 2010, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to the field of gaming, and more particularly, to gaming using touch-sensitive surfaces.
  • 2. Background Art
  • Touch-sensitive devices, such as touch screen devices, are becoming increasingly prevalent in the marketplace. These touch-sensitive devices offer a touch-sensitive surface that can detect the presence and position of touch-based input opening up the possibility of new ways to interact with electronic devices. The popularity of recent touch screen devices, such as iPad from APPLE®, means that touch screen devices can be found among many family households. At the same time, physical toys remain a staple of kids, with collectible figures and objects serving as a bedrock for imaginative toy play in the form of interaction between the figures and objects as well as the larger environment.
  • In this context, kids are having increased exposure to touch screen devices making it desirable to provide new technologies, which can enhance the interactive experience with touch screen devices and their existing toys.
  • The conventional approach is to integrate toys with video games or other software running on a computer through establishing wired or wireless communications between a toy and the computer. However, adding a communication interface for the toys, such as bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio I/O interfaces, or proprietary wired connectors adds substantial costs and complexity to the toys.
  • Accordingly, there is a need to overcome the drawbacks and deficiencies in the art while providing interactive toys, which can be used with touch screen devices.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A system and method for providing interactive game pieces and/or toys using touch screen devices, substantially as shown in and/or described in connection with at least one of the figures, as set forth more completely in the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art after reviewing the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 a presents a diagram of a touch-sensitive system for facilitating an interaction using a first peripheral device and a second peripheral device, according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 1 b shows a touch-sensitive system for facilitating an interaction using a first peripheral device and a second peripheral device, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 2 a shows a bottom view of a peripheral device according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 2 b shows a bottom view of a peripheral device according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 3 a shows an isometric front view of a peripheral device, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 3 b shows an isometric back view of a peripheral device, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 4 shows a flowchart describing the steps, according to one embodiment of the present invention, by which a touch-sensitive system may facilitate an interaction using first and second peripheral devices.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present application is directed to a system and method of facilitating an interaction using first and second peripheral devices and related structures. The following description contains specific information pertaining to the implementation of the present invention. One skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention may be implemented in a manner different from that specifically discussed in the present application. Moreover, some of the specific details of the invention are not discussed in order not to obscure the invention. The specific details not described in the present application are within the knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art. The drawings in the present application and their accompanying detailed description are directed to merely exemplary embodiments of the invention. To maintain brevity, other embodiments of the invention, which use the principles of the present invention, are not specifically described in the present application and are not specifically illustrated by the present drawings.
  • FIG. 1 a presents a diagram of a touch-sensitive system for facilitating an interaction using a first peripheral device and a second peripheral device, according to one embodiment of the present invention. Diagram 100 of FIG. 1 a includes peripheral devices 102 and 104 and electronic device 106. Peripheral device 102 includes touch lead 108 and touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c. Peripheral device 104 includes touch lead 112 and touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c. Electronic device 106 includes touch surface 116, processor 118, speaker 152, and memory 120. Memory 120 includes executable code 122 and identifying data 130.
  • It should be noted that the embodiment shown in diagram 100 of FIG. 1 a is one specific embodiment and is simplified for clarity. In alternative embodiments, for example, peripheral devices 102 and 104 and electronic device 106 can include varying components and configurations. Also, in some embodiments more than two peripheral devices 102 and 104 may be used simultaneity, e.g. three, four or more. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 a, electronic device 106 comprises a touch screen device and touch surface 116 comprises a touch screen display. For example, FIG. 1 b, shows peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 (not shown in FIG. 1 a) on touch surface 116, which comprises a touch screen display of electronic device 106. FIG. 1 b shows touch surface 116 formed in the top surface of electronic device 106. However, in other embodiments, touch surface 116 can be connected externally to electronic device 106.
  • Peripheral devices 102 and 104 comprise, for example, interactive game pieces and/or toys where the touch-sensitive system of FIGS. 1 a and 1 b can facilitate an interaction using first peripheral device 102 and second peripheral device 104, and optionally other devices, such as peripheral device 150. The interaction can be facilitated by identifying a peripheral device provided over touch surface 116. The interaction can also be facilitated by determining the position and orientation of the peripheral devices relative to touch surface 116. In some embodiments, the interaction can be structured as a video game, for example, FIG. 1 b shows peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 representing digital characters in a video game running on electronic device 106. FIG. 1 b includes digital elements displayed as an image on touch surface 116, such as, lake 160, house 162, truck 164, car 166, road 168, horse 170, and grass 172. In various embodiments, electronic device 106 can run the video game based on any of the identity, position, and orientation of peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150. As such, peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 can interact with the digital elements displayed on touch surface 116.
  • In one example, the video game can be an electronic board game where touch surface 116 can display the game board and peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 can comprise game pieces. For example, in one embodiment, peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 can be chess pieces used with a chess board displayed on touch surface 116, where electronic device 106 can identify each chess piece and run a game of chess. Thus, electronic device 106 can, for example, identify peripheral device 102 as a black king and peripheral device 150 as a white king and provide a scoreboard or offer a suggested move displayed on touch surface 116 based on the identity and position of various chess pieces.
  • In the present embodiment, processor 118, speaker 152, memory 120, and touch surface 116 of electronic device 106 can communicate using bus 124. More particularly, processor 118, speaker 152, memory 120, and touch surface 116 can use bus 124 to facilitate an interaction using peripheral device 102 and another device, such as peripheral device 104. It will be appreciated that processor 118, speaker 152, memory 120, and touch surface 116 can be connected to one another using other means, for example, a plurality of dedicated lines, or a combination of buses and dedicated lines.
  • Processor 118, which can comprise, for example, a central processing unit (CPU), is configured to operate in accordance with executable code 122 stored in memory 120. Memory 120 can comprise random access memory (RAM) and executable code 122 can include a software program, for example, a video game, educational software, or other software, such that processor 118 operates in accordance with instructions in the software program. By operating in accordance with executable code 122, procesor 118 can facilitate an interaction using peripheral devices 102 and 104.
  • In electronic device 106, processor 118 can detect a plurality of contemporaneous touches on touch surface 116. Thus, touch surface 116 is capable of registering the presence and position of multiple touch-based inputs thereon. In one particular embodiment, touch surface 116 is a capacitive touch screen, which uses charge variation to sense touch-based input. Processor 118 can detect, for example, contemporaneous touches 126 shown in FIG. 1 a. Contemporaneous touches 126 include touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c and can be provided on touch surface 116 by peripheral device 102. More particularly, touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c can be provided by respective touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c, which can comprise conductive material. Processor 118 can also dectect contemporaneous touches 128. Contemporaneous touches 128 include touches 115 a, 115 b, and 115 c and can be provided on touch surface 116 by peripheral device 104. More particularly, touches 115 a, 115 b, and 115 c can be provided by respective touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c, which can comprise counductive material.
  • Processor 118 can also identify peripheral device 102 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to one of touch points of peripheral device 102 and touch points of peripheral device 104. In the present embodiment, for example, processor 118 can identify peripheral device 102 using identifying data 130, which can characterize touch points of peripheral device 102 and touch points of peripheral device 104. According to one embodiment, identifying data 130 in memory 120 can comprise distances between touch points of peripheral device 102 and distances between touch points of peripheral device 104, which will be further described with respect to FIGS. 2 a and 2 b.
  • Referring to FIG. 2 a, FIG. 2 a shows a bottom view of peripheral device 202 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Peripheral device 202, corresponding to peripheral device 102 in FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, includes base 240 and touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c, which correspond to touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c in FIG. 1 a. In one embodiment, processor 118 can identify peripheral device 202 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to one of two touch points of peripheral device 202 and two touch points of peripheral device 104, for example, touch points 210 b and 210 c of peripheral device 202 and touch points 114 b and 114 c of peripheral device 104. Thus, for example, in the embodiment described with respect to FIG. 2 a, touch point 210 a not required for identifying peripheral device 202.
  • Identifying data 130 can characterize the arrangement of touch points 210 b and 210 c of peripheral device 202 and touch points 114 b and 114 c of peripheral device 104.
  • As shown in FIG. 2 a, touch points 210 b and 210 c have a particular arrangement on base 240. For example, touch points 210 b and 210 c are separated by distance C. When touch points 210 b and 210 c provide touches 111 b and 111 c in contemporaneous touches 126 on touch surface 116, touches 111 b and 111 c will also be separated by distance C. Thus, according to one embodiment, distance C, between touch points 210 b and 210 c, can characterize the arrangement of touch points 210 b and 210 c. Thus, identifying data 130 in memory 120 can comprise distance C.
  • Similarly, identifying data 130 in memory 120 can comprise a distance between touch points 114 b and 114 c, which characterizes the arrangement of touch points 114 b and 114 c of peripheral device 104. The distance between touch points 114 b and 114 c can be different than distance C, such that processor 118 can distinguish between touch points 114 b and 114 c of peripheral device 104 and touch points 210 b and 210 c of peripheral device 202, and thus between peripheral devices 202 and 104. In one specific embodiment, the distance can vary from distance C by 1-2 millimeters. Thus, peripheral devices 202 and 104 can have different identities, which can be determined by processor 118.
  • While FIG. 2 a has been described with respect to processor 118 identifying one of the peripheral devices 202 and 104 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to two touch points of one of peripheral devices 202 and 104, in some embodiments, one of the peripheral devices 202 and 104 can be identified based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to more than two touch points of one of peripheral devices 102 and 104.
  • Referring to FIG. 2 b, FIG. 2 b shows a bottom view of peripheral device 202 according to one embodiment of the present invention. According to one embodiment, processor 118 can identify peripheral device 202 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to one of touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c of peripheral device 202 and touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c of peripheral device 104. Thus, identifying data 130 can characterize touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c of peripheral device 202 and touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c of peripheral device 104.
  • As shown in FIG. 2 b, touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c have a particular arrangement on base 240. For example, touch points 210 a and 210 c are separated by distance A, touch points 210 a and 210 b are separated by distance B, and touch points 210 b and 210 c are separated by distance C. When touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c provide touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c in contemporaneous touches 126 on touch surface 116, touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c will be separated by corresponding distances A, B, and C. Thus, according to one embodiment, distances between touch points 210 a, 210 b, 210 c can characterize the arrangement of touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c of peripheral device 202. Thus, identifying data 130 in memory 120 can comprise distances A, B, and C.
  • Similarly, identifying data 130 in memory 120 can comprise distances between touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c, which characterizes the arrangement of touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c of peripheral device 104. The distances can be provided such that processor 118 can distinguish between touch points 114 a, 114 b, and 114 c of peripheral device 104 and touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c of peripheral device 202, and thus between peripheral devices 202 and 104. Thus, peripheral devices 202 and 104 can have different identities, which can be determined by processor 118.
  • In the embodiment described with respect to FIG. 2 b, identifying data 130 comprises distances A, B, and C. However, in other embodiments identifying data 130 can comprise alternative or additional information, such that processor 118 can identify peripheral device 202. Other information can include, for example, angles between touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c and the area between touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c.
  • Furthermore, processor 118 can determine the orientation of peripheral device 202 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to touch points of peripheral device 102. For example, in the present embodiment, because identifying data 130 can characterize at least three touch points, for example, touch points 210 a, 210 b and 210 c, processor 118 can determine the orientation of peripheral device 202 with respect to touch surface 116. As a specific example, processor 118 can associate touch point 210 c with the back of peripheral device 202 and the midpoint of distance B with the front of peripheral device 202.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3 a and 3 b, FIGS. 3 a and 3 b respectively show isometric front and back views of peripheral device 302, according to one embodiment of the present invention, which can correspond to peripheral device 102 in FIGS. 1 a and 1 b and peripheral device 202 in FIGS. 2 a and 2 b. Peripheral device 302 includes base 340 and touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c, which can correspond respectively to base 240 and touch points 210 a, 210 b, and 210 c in FIGS. 2 a and 2 b. Peripheral device 302 further includes contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c on peripheral device 302.
  • In peripheral device 302, each of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c are configured to transfer at least one touch to touch surface 116 through any combination of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c, for example, by providing a grounding path when touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c are provided over touch surface 116. For example, when a user touches one of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c with a finger, the touch can be transferred through at least one of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c over touch surface 116. In one embodiment, touch lead 108 (not shown in FIGS. 3 a and 3 b), inside peripheral device 302, provides the grounding path between at least one of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c and at least one of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c.
  • It is preferred that touch lead 108 provides a grounding path between at least one of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c and at least two of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c. Thus, peripheral device 302 can expand, for example, one touch on peripheral device 302 to a plurality of contemporaneous touches on touch surface 116. By way of example, in the embodiment described with respect to FIG. 2 b, it is preferred that touch lead 108 provides a grounding path between at least one of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c and each of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c to provide a plurality of contemporaneous touches, such as contemporaneous touches 126, shown in FIG. 1 a.
  • Peripheral device 302 can further include touch switch 346 connected to a touch lead, such as touch lead 108, in addition to or instead of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c, which, when enabled, can provide touches on touch surface 116 through any combination of touch points 310 a, 310 b, and 310 c. Touch switch 346 can provide touches on touch surface 116 without requiring user contact with peripheral device 302, for example, by providing charge variation on touch surface 116 when enabled.
  • Peripheral device 302 can include additional touch leads similar to touch lead 108. As a particular example, in the embodiment described with respect to FIG. 2 a, touch lead 108 can provide a grounding path between, for example, contact regions 332 a and 332 c and touch points 310 b and 310 c to provide two contemporaneous touches on touch surface 116. At least one additional touch lead can be included in peripheral device 302, so that touch point 310 a can comprise a toggle point, which can provide a signal to electronic device 106 using touch 111 a. According to various embodiments, the signal can function by activating or deactivating at least one touch, such as touch 111 a from touch point 310 a. The toggle point may signal electronic device 106 by moving touch point 310 a closer or farther away from touch surface 116 or by connecting or disconnecting touch point 310 a with a grounding path to toggle touch 111 a. Furthermore, the toggle point may signal electronic device 106 by changing the identity of peripheral device 302 or by pulsing a touch on and off. It will be appreciated that multiple toggle points can be included in peripheral device 302 as groups of connected toggle points or each can provide a separate signal to electronic device 106.
  • In some embodiments, the toggle point can remain isolated from touch lead 108, for example, to provide a signal to electronic device 106 using touch 111 a separate from touches 111 b and 111 c. As a specific example, the additional touch lead can provide a grounding path between ,contact region 332 b and touch point 310 a. In this example, the toggle point can function as a button that a user can press by touching contact region 332 b, for example, to fire a gun or select a menu option in a video game or other software, which is displayed on touch surface 116.
  • In other embodiments, the toggle point can become connected to touch lead 108, to signal electronic device 106 as to a condition of peripheral device 302. For example, putting a laser or other accessory in Buzz Lightyear's hand may signal electronic device 106 by changing the identity of peripheral device 302 or send a pulsing signal or pulse to electronic device 106 using touch 111 a. The accessory may, for example, be attached to peripheral device 302 thereby shorting a conductive path to a touch lead, such as touch lead 108, or triggering a switch in peripheral device 302. In some embodiments the accessory can be another peripheral device, for example Buzz Lightyear could be put into his spaceship and electronic device 106 could run a space themed mini-game.
  • In further embodiments, peripheral device 302 may comprise a poseable or transformable figurine or action figure, where the toggle point signals to electronic device 106 that a different pose or transformation has occurred. As an example, electronic device 106 can be running a video game and peripheral device 302 can be a Buzz Lightyear Figurine, from Disney's Toy Story, holding a laser gun in his hand. When a user raises Buzz Lightyear's hand, touch point 310 a can toggle, thereby providing a signal to electronic device 106 as touch 111 a as described above. For example, a switch at the pivot point of Buzz Lightyear's arm could toggle touch point 310 a. Subsequently, electronic device 106 can run a mini-game, such as a shooting game responsive to the signal. The toggle point can then be used as a button so that a user can fire the laser gun in the mini-game by touching, for example, contact region 332 b. Alternatively, another toggle point could be used as the button.
  • Moving to FIG. 4, FIG. 4 shows a flowchart describing the steps, according to one embodiment of the present invention, by which a touch-sensitive system may facilitate an interaction using first and second peripheral devices. Certain details and features have been left out of flowchart 400 that are apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art. For example, a step may comprise one or more substeps or may involve specialized equipment or materials, as known in the art. While steps 410 through 450 indicated in flowchart 400 are sufficient to describe one embodiment of the present invention, other embodiments of the invention may utilize steps different from those shown in flowchart 400. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, step 440 can be optional. Furthermore, in some embodiments, step 450 can be performed after step 450.
  • Referring to step 410 of flowchart 400 in FIG. 4 and FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, step 410 of flowchart 400 comprises providing touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c of peripheral device 102 over touch surface 116 of electronic device 106. For example, a user can place peripheral device 102 on touch surface 116 such that touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c are over touch surface 116. As a specific example, as shown in FIG. 1 b, peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 can represent digital characters in a video game running on electronic device 106. Furthermore, electronic device 106 may have any of the identity, position, and orientation of peripheral devices 104 and 150 stored in memory 120 prior to step 410, which may have been determined by processor 118 using steps similar to those shown in flowchart 400. Alternatively, any of the identity, position, and orientation of peripheral devices 104 and 150 can be determined by processor 118 after step 410.
  • Referring to step 420 of flowchart 400 in FIG. 4 and FIGS. 1 a, 1 b, 3 a, and 3 b, step 420 of flowchart 400 comprises processor 118 detecting contemporaneous touches 126 on touch surface 116. For example, a user can touch at least one of contact regions 332 a, 332 b, and 332 c, such that touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c can provide contemporaneous touches 126 on touch surface 116. Alternatively, touch switch 346 can be enabled to provide contemporaneous touches 126 on touch surface 116.
  • Referring to step 430 of flowchart 400 in FIG. 4 and FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, step 430 of flowchart 400 comprises processor 118 identifying peripheral device 102 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c of peripheral device 102. For example, processor 118 can compare distances between touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c of contemporaneous touches 126 to distances between touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c of peripheral device 102 using identifying data 130 to identify peripheral device 102. As a specific example, processor 118 can identify peripheral device 102 as Woody, peripheral device 104 as Buzz Lightyear, and peripheral device 150 as Hamm from Disney's Toy Story.
  • Referring to step 440 of flowchart 400 in FIG. 4 and FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, step 440 of flowchart 400 comprises processor 118 optionally determining the orientation of peripheral device 102 based on contemporaneous touches 126 as compared to touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c of peripheral device 102. For example, processor 118 can compare distances between touches 111 a, 111 b, and 111 c of contemporaneous touches 126 to distances between touch points 110 a, 110 b, and 110 c of peripheral device 102 using identifying data 130 to determine the orientation of peripheral device 102 with respect to touch surface 116.
  • Referring to step 450 of flowchart 400 in FIG. 4 and FIGS. 1 a and 1 b, step 450 of flowchart 400 comprises processor 118 performing an interaction using peripheral device 102 and peripheral device 104. For example, processor 118 can implement a video game using peripheral devices 102 and 104 as game pieces. The interaction can utilize the identity of peripheral device 102. In some embodiments, for example, processor 118 can provide a feedback signal indicating that processor 118 has identified peripheral device 102. For example, processor 118 can provide a feedback signal such that speaker 152 produces an audible indicator after processor 118 has identified peripheral device 102. Also, in some embodiments the audible indicator can depend on the identity of peripheral device 102 with respect to other peripheral devices, such as peripheral device 104. As an example, peripheral device 102 could be identified as
  • Woody and the audible indicator could be in the voice of Woody saying, “Well, if it's a sheriff you need, you sure came to the right toy.” Furthermore, according to some embodiments, the audible indicator can be context sensitive, for example, based on the position of peripheral device 102 on touch surface 116, a state of the video game being running or any of the identity, position, and orientation of peripheral devices 104 and 150 stored in memory 120. For example, the audible indicator could be in the voice of Woody saying, “Howdy Buzz, what brings you around these parts?” based on the identity of peripheral device 104 as Buzz Lightyear.
  • Furthermore, the interaction can be based on any of the position and orientation of peripheral device 102 relative to touch surface 116. For example, in one embodiment processor 118 can facilitate an interaction using peripheral device 102 and 104 based on the position and orientation of peripheral device 102 with respect to peripheral device 104. As a specific example, processor 118 can determine that the front of peripheral device 102 is facing the front of and is adjacent to peripheral device 104 as shown in FIG. 1 b. Subsequently, using speaker 152, processor 118 can simulate a conversation between peripheral devices 102 and 104 based on the identities of peripheral devices 102 and 104. Similarly, processor 118 can determine that the front of peripheral device 102 is not facing the front of and is not adjacent to peripheral device 150 and can simulate a conversation between peripheral devices 102 and 150 using speaker 152.
  • An exemplary sequence will be described below with respect to the video game shown in FIG. 1 b. In the present example, peripheral device 102 can be Woody, peripheral device 104 can be Buzz Lightyear, and peripheral device 150 can be Hamm from Disney's Toy Story. Processor 118 could already have determined the identity, position, and orientation of peripheral devices 104 and 150, which can be stored in memory 120. Thus, electronic device 106 can track that peripheral device 150 has the identity of Hamm, is positioned close to the front of house 162, and is orientated with its front facing away from house 162 and towards lake 160. Furthermore, electronic device 106 can track that peripheral device 104 has the identity of Buzz Lightyear, is positioned near horse 170, and is facing away from horse 170.
  • A user could have recently provided peripheral device 102 over touch surface 116 in accordance with step 410. Subsequently, processor 118 can detect touch points from peripheral device 102 based on contemporaneous touches on touch surface 116 in accordance with step 420. Processor 118 can then identify peripheral device 102 as Woody in accordance with step 430. After peripheral device 102 is identified, Woody can say, “Well, if it's a sheriff you need, you sure came to the right toy” using speaker 152. Also, processor 118 can determine that peripheral device 102 is next to and facing the front of peripheral device 104 based on the orientation and position of each peripheral device, which is being tracked by electronic device 106. Based on this orientation and positioning, processor 118 can simulate a conversation between Buzz and Woody. For example, Buzz could say, “Hey Woody, warm day we are having isn't it?” using speaker 152. Then Woody could say, “Sure is Buzz, wish I had a way to cool down.”
  • Next, because processor 118 has determined that peripheral device 102 has the identity of Woody, that peripheral device 150 has the identity of Hamm, and that truck 164 is positioned between peripheral devices 150 and 102, peripheral device 150 (e.g.,
  • Hamm) could say using speaker 152, “Hey Woody! Buzz! Is that you? I didn't see you behind that truck. Would you like to cool down with a swim in my lake?” Based on the relative position of peripheral devices 104 and 150, electronic device 106 can determine that Hamm is far apart from Buzz and Woody and thus, using speaker 152, Buzz can say, “Hey Hamm! I didn't see you over there. Woody, I'm busy saving the planet, but you can go ahead . . . I just don't see how are you going to get all the way to Hamm's house?” Then, based on the orientation of peripheral device 102 and 104 being tracked by electronic device 106, processor 118 can determine that peripheral device 104 is facing away from and therefore cannot see horse 170 and furthermore that peripheral device 102 is facing and therefore can see horse 170. Based this information, Woody could say, “Buzz! I guess you didn't notice my horse Bullseye is right behind you. I'll hop on Bullseye and head over.” Based on the position of peripheral devices 102 and 104, tracked by electronic device 106, touch surface 116 can display an arrow from peripheral device 102 to horse 170, which goes around peripheral device 104, to indicate that the user should move peripheral device 102 over horse 170.
  • The user can then move peripheral device 102 toward horse 170 and because electronic device 106 is tracking that peripheral device 102 is positioned over grass 172 and has the identity of Woody, who is a cowboy, processor 118 can select the sound of cowboy boots walking on the grass to be played using speaker 152 as peripheral device 102 moves over touch surface 116. When processor 118 determines that peripheral device 102 is over horse 170, a mini-game can commence where horse 170 stays under peripheral device 102 as peripheral device 102 is moved by the user because peripheral device 102 is having its position tracked over touch surface 116 by electronic device 106. The mini-game can be for example, a traffic dodging game where horse 170 must cross road 168 while avoiding truck 164 and car 166. The sequence can incorporate various cinematics displayed on touch surface 116. For example, as the position of peripheral device 102 is moved by the user to near road 168, touch surface 116 can zoom in to display a more detailed traffic scene. Furthermore, based on processor 118 determining that peripheral device 106 is positioned over road 168, speaker 152 can play the sound of a horse walking on a road, as opposed to walking on a grassy surface when positioned over grass 172. The mini-game could end when processor 118 determines that peripheral device 102 and horse 170 are positioned near lake 160.
  • Thus, according to various embodiments, as set forth in FIGS. 1 a, 1 b, 2 a, 2 b, 3 a, 3 b, and 4, the present invention provides for interactive game pieces and/or toys, which can be used with touch screen devices. A touch-sensitive system can, for example, facilitate an interaction using peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 by determining the identity, position, and orientation of each peripheral device. The interaction can be structured as a video game, which can run based on any of the identity, position, and orientation of each peripheral device. Thus, embodiments of the present invention can provide a robust interactive experience. Furthermore, the interaction can utilize inexpensive touch-based input methods and shared electronic components, such as speaker 152, processor 118, memory 120, and touch surface 116 of electronic device 106. Thus, each of peripheral devices 102, 104, and 150 can be provided with reduced cost and complexity.
  • From the above description of the invention it is manifest that various techniques can be used for implementing the concepts of the present invention without departing from its scope. Moreover, while the invention has been described with specific reference to certain embodiments, a person of ordinary skills in the art would recognize that changes can be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. As such, the described embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. It should also be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described herein, but is capable of many rearrangements, modifications, and substitutions without departing from the scope of the invention.

Claims (21)

1-20. (canceled)
21. A method for identifying one or more of a plurality of peripheral devices including a first peripheral device and a second peripheral device using a touch-sensitive system having a processor and a touch surface, each of the first and second peripheral devices having a plurality of touch points for touching the touch surface of the touch-sensitive system, the method comprising:
detecting, using the processor, a plurality of contemporaneous touches on the touch surface of the touch-sensitive system; and
identifying, using the processor, one of the first and second peripheral devices based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of one of the first and second peripheral devices.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein identifying the one of the first and second peripheral devices is based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to one of two touch points of the first and second peripheral devices.
23. The method of claim 21, comprising determining the orientation of the one of the first and second peripheral devices based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of the one of the first and second peripheral devices.
24. The method of claim 21, comprising performing an interaction using the first and second peripheral devices.
25. The method of claim 24, wherein the interaction is based on the relative orientation of the first and second peripheral devices.
26. The method of claim 24, wherein the interaction is based on the identity of one of the first and second peripheral devices.
27. The method of claim 24, wherein the interaction is based on the position of the first peripheral device with respect to the second peripheral device.
28. A touch-sensitive system for identifying one or more of a plurality of peripheral devices including a first peripheral device and a second peripheral device, each of the first peripheral device and the second peripheral device having a plurality of touch points, the touch-sensitive system comprising:
a touch surface;
a processor, the processor being configured to:
detect a plurality of contemporaneous touches on the touch surface; and
identify one of the first peripheral device and second peripheral device based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of the one of the first peripheral device and second peripheral device.
29. The system of claim 28, wherein the processor is configured to identify the one of the first and second peripheral devices is based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to one of two touch points of the first and second peripheral devices.
30. The system of claim 28, wherein the processor is configured to determine the orientation of the one of the first and second peripheral devices based on the plurality of contemporaneous touches as compared to the plurality of touch points of the one of the first and second peripheral devices.
31. The system of claim 28, wherein the processor is configured to perform an interaction using the first and second peripheral devices.
32. The system of claim 31, wherein the interaction is based on the relative orientation of the first and second peripheral devices.
33. The system of claim 31, wherein the interaction is based on the identity of the identified one of the first and second peripheral devices.
34. The system of claim 31, wherein the interaction is based on the position of the first peripheral device with respect to the second peripheral device.
35. A peripheral device for use with a touch-sensitive system having a touch surface, the peripheral device comprising:
a plurality of touch points configured to contact the touch surface of the touch-sensitive system;
the plurality of touch points further configured to provide information to the touch-sensitive system for identifying the first peripheral device.
36. The peripheral device of claim 35, wherein the identifying distinguishes between the plurality of touch points of the peripheral device and a plurality of touch points of another peripheral device.
37. The peripheral device of claim 35, wherein the plurality of touch points are further configured to provide information to the touch-sensitive system for determining the orientation of the first peripheral device.
38. The peripheral device of claim 35, wherein the information provided to the touch-sensitive system comprises at least one distance between any of the plurality of touch points.
39. The peripheral device of claim 35, comprising a touch lead configured to provide a grounding path between at least one contact region and at least two of the plurality of touch points.
40. The peripheral device of claim 35, comprising a touch lead configured to provide a grounding path between a touch switch and at least one of the plurality of touch points.
US12/806,986 2010-07-08 2010-08-24 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play Abandoned US20120007808A1 (en)

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US12/806,986 US20120007808A1 (en) 2010-07-08 2010-08-24 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play
AU2011203122A AU2011203122B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-06-27 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play
CA2745235A CA2745235C (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-05 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play
CN201110192982.5A CN102371070B (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-06 Using the touch screen device for playing interactive games toy pieces
NZ593922A NZ593922A (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-06 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play
US13/135,538 US10293247B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-07 Physical pieces for interactive application using touch screen devices
EP11173200.4A EP2405330A3 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-08 Interactive game pieces using touch screen devices for toy play
US13/229,593 US9274641B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-09-09 Game pieces for use with touch screen devices and related methods
US14/996,160 US9895605B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2016-01-14 Game pieces for use with touch screen devices and related methods
US15/867,570 US10441877B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2018-01-10 Game pieces for use with touch screen devices and related methods

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US13/135,538 Continuation US10293247B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-07-07 Physical pieces for interactive application using touch screen devices
US13/229,593 Continuation-In-Part US9274641B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2011-09-09 Game pieces for use with touch screen devices and related methods

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