US 20020107059 A1
The present invention comprises, a host computer having at least members of Participating players of actually played game inputted thereto, an archive system having the past actual data of the players concerning the game stored therein, a graphic system for forming a graphic image for each of players, and a program for proceeding the game.
It also comprises steps of, forming graphic images of a player participating in the actually played game, reading out from the archive system the past data of the substitute player and adding the substitute player to the game, and displaying the player whose graphic 1.mage is formed and having his past data added thereto.
1. A method of proceeding a game by taking into other elements to an actual game characterized by comprising: a host computer having at least members of participating players of actually played game inputted thereinto; an archive system having stored therein past actual data of the players related with the game; a graphic system for forming a graphic image for each of players; and a program for progressing the play, and also comprising steps of: forming graphic images of players participating in the actually played game by use of said program; reading out from said archive system the past data of the substitute player and adding the player thereto; and displaying the player whose graphic image is formed and whose past data is added thereto, and enabling to predict the result of the game virtually played by the start of said program.
2. A method of proceeding a game by taking into other elements to an actual game characterized by comprising: a personal computer: actual broadcast images captured by the personal computer; an archive system having stored data of present and/or actually existed in the past; a real-time data input system of players or so while playing the game; a graphic system for forming graphic images of the proceeding game; and also comprising steps of: calling to the actual broadcast images a desired substitute player differing from the actual player in the image; forming a graphic image of said substitute player by use of said graphic system; reading out the past data of said substitute player from said archive system and add said player to the game; and displaying on said actually broadcast images the graphic image of the substitute player having the past data added thereto, so that immediately following the last step a result that is different from the actual broadcast images is displayed by use of the past data of the substitute player and the presently inputted real-time data.
3. A method of proceeding a game by taking into other elements to an actual game characterized in that the data shown in said claims 1 utilizes a communication line such as Internet.
4. A method of proceeding a game by taking into other elements to an actual game characterized in that the data shown in said claims 2 utilizes a communication line such as Internet.
 The present invention relates to improvements of a broadcast system using real-time sports data and method thereof, and more specifically relates to a system and method thereof for proceeding with a game by incorporating other elements to actual sport game images.
 As a matter of course, a game is broadcast as it is played, regardless of the game is baseball, golf or soccer.
 However, it will be more interesting if a viewer (fan) can predict the process of a game now starting with a high probability in advance, even in a time sequence as in the actual game, and watch the game while comparing his own prediction and the actual process of the game.
 Specifically, assume that a Japanese professional baseball game is broadcast on TV and a pitcher of the viewer's favorite team is being hit wildly by his counterparts. It is natural that the viewer would wish if they could have Mr. Randy Johnson as a relief pitcher, who is one the most excellent pitchers in the United States. This will be also the case with soccer or golf games, and viewers always dream of inviting excellent players to their favorite teams.
 In addition, how enjoyable it will be if a viewer himself could play a role of virtual manager of the team to have other actual excellent professional players under his control to manage at his will.
 It is the major object of the present invention to provide a system, which incorporates real time sport data and the method thereof, capable of predicting with high probability the progress and the result of a game by imitating game actually starting.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide system, which incorporates real time sport data and the method thereof, enabling desired players not belonging to the team to join the actual game during the progress of the game.
 Still other object of the present invention is to provide a system, which incorporates real time sport data and the method thereof, enabling one to fully take a position of a supervisor such as a manager of an actual game to have command of the team. Each of these objects intends to bring about tremendous interest to viewers.
 As the summary of the object of the present invention, it is intended to offer game character by making a viewer himself to participate in an actual game now playing or starting.
 Specifically, the present invention is characterized as below.
 Namely, it comprises: a host computer having inputted thereto at least members of players each participating in a game actually played; an archive system having stored therein the past actual, data of the players concerned with the game; a graphic system for forming a graphic image for each of players; and a program for progressing the game.
 It also comprises: a step of forming graphic images of a player to be participating in the actually played game by use of the program; a step of reading out from the archive system the past data of the substitute player and adding the player thereto; and a step of displaying the player whose graphic image is formed and whose past data is added thereto, and enabling to predict the result of the game virtually played by starting the program.
 Furthermore, it comprises: a personal computer; an archive system having actual broadcast images captured by the personal computer and actual data of present or past stored therein; an input system for real-time data of players or so during playing the game; a graphic system for forming graphic images of the real-time data and the play of the game; and comprising steps of: calling to the actual broadcast images a desired substitute player differing from the player of the game; forming a graphic image of the substitute player by use of the graphic system; reading out the past data of the substitute player and add the player thereto; displaying on the actually broadcast images the graphic image of the substitute player having the past data added thereto, such that immediately following the last step a result different from the actual broadcast images is displayed by use of the past data of the substitute player and the presently inputted real-time data.
 In addition, the above image broadcast system may be any one of BS digital, CS digital or surface digital broadcast. The data can use communication circuit such as Internet, and further, the data consist of real-time new data and existing data and transmitted in accordance with a schedule. However, it is possible to transmit a data of requested contents at an arbitrary timing by request and an image and a data related therewith can be simultaneously transmitted by linking then each other. It is also important that the link between the image and the related data should not be destroyed in the broadcast station by virtue of enabling to transmit and broadcast the image and related data real-time from the actual spot.
 Further, it is necessary that the receiving terminal of the data to have a capability equal to or exceeding that of a personal computer. It is so arranged that the receiver terminal can down road computer software, the transmitted data including still picture will not be diverted and, after the completion of a game, the data will be erased automatically or the existing data can be stored in the terminal.
 Further, it is also characterized in that the above graphic images can be, in addition to dynamic images, still images, and the actual broadcast images and the graphic images are displayed on two or more screens without being superimposed one another on a same display.
 The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and together with the general description given above and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a view illustrating the entire arrangement of the system of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a view illustrating the arrangement of a real-time data input system.
FIG. 3 is a flow chart showing the function of an embodiment of the first function.
FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing the function of an embodiment of the second function.
FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing the function of an embodiment of the third function.
FIG. 6 is a real-time input screen 1 of a baseball game. FIG. 7 is a real-time input screen 2 of the baseball game.
FIG. 8 is a real-time input screen 3 of the baseball game.
FIG. 9 is a real-time input screen 4 of the baseball game.
FIG. 10 is a real-time input screen 5 of the baseball game.
FIG. 11 is a real-time input screen 6 of the baseball game.
FIG. 12 is a real-time input screen 7 of the baseball, game.
FIG. 13 is a screen showing a pitching action of a pitcher in a baseball game.
FIG. 14 is a screen showing a pitching action of a pitcher and a screen showing the diamond in the baseball game.
FIG. 15 is a screen showing a pitching action of a pitcher and a screen showing the hitting state of the baseball game.
FIG. 16 is a broadcast screen showing an American football game.
FIG. 17 is a graphic screen showing the American football game.
FIG. 18 is a broadcast screen showing a football game between the defending team and challenging team.
FIG. 19 is a game screen 1 showing soccer game, which is actually proceeding.
FIG. 20 is a game screen 2 showing the soccer game, which is actually proceeding.
FIG. 21 is a graphic screen showing the soccer game, which is actually proceeding.
FIG. 22 is a game screen and a graphic screen showing an ice hockey game, which is actually proceeding.
FIG. 23 is a graphic screen showing a basketball game.
FIG. 24 is a graphic screen showing a sumo match.
FIG. 25 is a broadcast screen and a graphic screen showing a hoarse race.
FIG. 26 is a graphic screen of a game of go.
 First, in describing a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the basic system will be illustrated with reference to FIG. 1. In the figure, baseball game is taken as an example, and reference numerals respectively denotes, (1) the ground, (2) an ordinary camera for on the spot broadcasting for transmitting images and sounds to a viewer (Y), a PC (3) in this case, through a receiver (4) using ordinary communication line.
 In FIG. 2, (5) denotes a system of the present invention for collecting real-time data and utilizes a part of an invention proposed previously by the present inventor in Jpn. Pat. Appln. No. 7-171280 (corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 5769713).
 Namely, as shown in FIG. 2, in the present invention, reference symbols denote respectively, (A) a monitor display unit of a computer, (B) a PC (personal computer) as a storage unit for storing, controlling and processing the data inputted using the display unit.
 Also respectively denoted are, (C) a touch pen and, as shown in the figure, the touch pert (C) may be made to function on the PC (B) through the touch board (D) or directly on the monitor display unit (A), and (E) a real-time sever for transmitting the image signal from the personal computer (B) through ordinary communication line.
FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing the function of an embodiment of the first function, FIG. 4 is a flowchart showing the function of an embodiment of the second function, and FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing the function of an embodiment of the third function.
FIG. 6 is an initial screen (1) showing an example of the layout of the display unit (A), and the reference numerals denotes respectively, (11) a figure of diamond, (12) a strike zone displayed on the upper left portion, (13) a figure of a score board displayed above the figure of the diamond, (14) a display unit for counts of strike, ball and out and a character display unit (17) is placed below it, which displays several records of performances of batters.
 Further, on the left hand side of the display (A) , there are arranged a display unit (15) for showing the type of ball thrown by pitchers, a character display unit (18) for showing “ball” or “strike” in letters and a numeric display unit indicating figures of 0 to 9 for inputting values of speed of ball thrown by pitchers.
 The side of the actual input means will now be described with reference to FIG. 4. A person who inputs the baseball data or an embodiment of the present invention sits to face a monitor display unit (A) holding a touch pen (C) in his hand in a baseball field of while watching an ordinary TV screen.
 In FIG. 7, let a ball be held by a pitcher as shown by a symbol o on the figure of diamond (11). Note that it is preferable that the numerals shown in boxes denoting players to conform with the uniform numbers of the actual players on the fielding side excepting the one or the home base. Further, the display on the home base conforms to the uniform number of the batter, and the uniform numbers of respective batters are displayed on each of the first, second and third bases.
 Assume a pitcher throws a first ball and a batter lets the pitched ball go by, the position of pitched ball is shown on the figure of strike zone (12) using a touch pen (C) . Then, if the kind of the bail was “straight”, the letter “straight” on the kind of ball character display unit is clicked.
 As a result, the pitched position, the kind of the pitched ball, which is straight here, and the numeral “1” indicating the first ball are displayed on the figure (12) of the strike zone. At the same time, by clicking the letter “strike” on the strike and ball letter display unit, strike “S” is displayed among the displays of strike, ball, and out (14).
 In this manner, inputs are repeated and as shown in FIG. 8, a batter sent a three-base hit after count of three balls and two strikes. At the time, a straight line is drawn from the home base to the position where the ball has reached, by clicking the position of the reach of the ball on the figure of the diamond (11) , and by inputting the state of the return of the batted ball from the right position to the third base through the second base, straight line connecting between respective positions are drawn. As a result, as shown in FIG. 8, the runner who hit, that is the uniform number of the runner (in this case 44), is positioned on the third-base.
FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 show the case that a next batter (denoted by a symbol o on the home base) was struck out after count of two to two in the state having a runner on the third base. At this time, for convenience sake, three “S” lights are lit on the display unit indicating numbers of strikes, balls and outs (14).
FIG. 11 shows that next batter (displayed as 55 on the home base) has taken the position with one out, and FIG. 12 shows that the first ball was hit by knocking a grounder to the center right. At this time, a uniform number of 44 is displayed on the home base indicating that the runner has returned home from the third base. In this case, the handling of the hit ball is displayed by showing the fielding position in numerals in the column of relaying order. Further, in FIG. 12, it is shown as 9-3-2 indicating that the ball has been returned to catcher by way of right field and first base.
 In the figure, one point is recorded on the column of the first inning on the score board, and the batter (displayed as 44 on the home base) has returned home leaving the player of uniform number 55 who has made timely hit on the first base.
 In this manner, data is obtained in an actual baseball stadium, by executing the above operation by inputting every single action of the pitchers and batters and results thereof throughout until the end of the game.
 According to the present description, in FIG. 1, the presently running game is inputted as INPUT 1 and INPUT 2 in the figure by observing the game from the infield stand or outfield bleachers. In most cases, the input jobs are done by two or more people so that more accurate data can be secured by summarizing them.
 The data inputted is stored in a real-time server (E) through an ordinary communication line. Specifically, while the data is stored in the real-time server, since the data of currently running game is to be stored, at lest an old data and the past data older than that are stored in the server (F) of the archive data in FIG. 1.
 Note that in the figure, (G) denotes a graphic data server in which, in the case of professional baseball, the graphic figure of body shape of all player of the professional baseball teams are stored in advance, and a program is installed by which appropriate figures can be drawn by operation of viewers.
 (Embodiment 1)
 According to a first preferred embodiment which offers interests to viewers of the present invention, as soon as the names of opposing team members participating the baseball game was announced, it is possible to predict in advance the result of the game as if the game has been played actually.
 That is, the data of the competing teams and all the members thereof is read from the archive data server (F) wherein the archive data has been stored, and is superimposed on the graphic images of the players stored in the graphic data server (G).
 Then, the game is started and, in this case, a program for proceeding the baseball game under the conditions, each inputted in each occasion, has been installed in the PC (3) of the viewer.
 When a viewer clicks a “play ball” on an initial menu not shown, in most cases, an image like one shown in FIG. 13 is displayed. If the pitcher (a) of the game has fought with his presently facing batter (b) for many times in the past, the data summarizing the records of past games is made to be transmitted from the archive data server (F) . Thereby, it is possible to anticipate the result of the actual game since the game is carried out until the end of the game, such that the batter (b) is strong against inside straight balls and the batter (b) happens to hits a home run.
 In this case, by storing the anticipated data of the above game by an appropriate means and, as shown in FIG. 14, displaying the actually broadcast images of the game (21) along with the images of the anticipated data (20) so that these two are proceeded concurrently by viewer's operation at his discretion. As a result, it is possible to give more interests in viewing televised baseball games, than just simply watching the proceedings of the games.
 (Embodiment 2)
 Assume that the favorite team of a viewer is losing a baseball game by one point in the last half of the ninth inning with the bases full at two out, so that a game ending hit by the next batter will turn the tide in the game. It is only natural that he dreams of the presence of the world leading homerun hitter “Sammy Saucer” in this scene.
 Accordingly, the same graphic image in the graphic server (G) is read by attaching the same data of the archive server (F) and, as shown in FIG. 15, and have the graphic image of player Sammy Saucer (J) come up to bat.
 In this case, actual broadcast is run on the screen of the PC (3) of the viewer (Y) , and the batter (H) of the actual broadcast may be in the batter's box at the same time.
 Assume that the game was over in the actual broadcast by swing out of the batter (H) of a forkball controlled to the inside low. The ball of the pitcher (K) who has won the strike out was input at the moment of pitch by above described inputting staff and stored in a real-time server (E) through communication line. Accordingly, the ball pitched to Sammy Saucer (J) by the pitcher is lagged a little from the ball pitched in the actual broadcast.
 At this time, Sammy Saucer (J) who is strong at inside low forkball and having the data of the fact stored in the server (F) as archive data will hit the ball to swat, for example, a homer with bases full turning the tide in the game.
 Thereby, although the batter (H) in the actual broadcast is regretfully struck out, immediately following this, Sammy Saucer hits homer with the same ball to give final satisfaction to the viewer, by being true to his expectations and the fact that his favorite team has won the game as expected.
 In this manner, during the actual broadcast, it is possible to change entire players in such cases, as the game is boring, and run the game using the game program installed in the PC (3) . In this case, if the viewer himself serves as the manager of the team to input freely the data of players of other teams and, if possible, the data of the famous Japanese baseball animation heroes are stored into the server (F), whereto the above archive data has been stored, it will be possible to watch the game between the actual professional baseball players and the heroes of world of animation.
 (Embodiment 3)
 Although above descriptions have been made with regard to baseball games, the range of application of the present invention can be very wide.
 It is possible that such application to cover: individual sports such as golf, fencing, tennis and table tennis; group sports such as baseball, soccer, and basketball; grapple games such as sumo, wrestling, and boxing; sports coexisting with nature such as surfing, skiing, skating and swimming; sports having objective matters such as fishing and hunting; and entertainment such as go, chess, Japanese chess, dance and billiard.
 Although not to be described in detail, by watching that a player having uniform number of <83> has humbled a ball in an actual broadcast of an American football game shown in FIG. 16, it is possible to replace him with a known other player who is stored in the server (F) of archive data, and display his image on server (G) as shown in FIG. 17, by forming a graphic image of him using graphic data, so that let the player fight against the team in the actual broadcast, even if only temporarily.
 Furthermore, in the soccer game shown in FIG. 19 and FIG. 20 of the actual broadcast, a shoot shown in FIG. 20 was made following a dribble state of FIG. 19 to win a goal. In this case, the viewer in favor of the competing team could call the worldly known Mr. Defender (L) from the archive data of the server (F) as in FIG. 21 to arrest such shooting thereby enabling the viewer to reach a final satisfaction.
 Similarly, FIG. 22 is an image of an ice hockey game, which displays an actual broadcast image and a graphic virtual image side by side on a same single display.
 Upon watching the actual broadcast, a viewer finds that shoot made by a player of his side was blocked by the opponent keeper (N), and displays graphic images of both teams on the left side portion of the display screen as shown in the figure. Thereby, by arranging powerful players on his side and passing the ball from player (O) to player (P) of his side enabling the player to try the goal without being blocked by the opponent keeper (N) . By carrying out lest of the game as the viewer wants, he can feel deep interest and satisfaction.
FIG. 23 shows a basketball game wherein a player with “long arms” is prepared by use of graphic forming program of the server (G) in advance. In this manner, when the team of his side shows poor performance, he can display the “long armed” player on the screen and by directing balls to him to secure points so that he can realize full satisfaction.
FIG. 24 shows a sumo game wherein it is possible to set a fight between the currently renowned yokozuna “Musashimaru” and the famous old time wrestler “Tanikaze”. Furthermore, as shown in FIG. 25, it is possible to enter the famous race hoarse “Haiseiko” in an actual hoarse racing such as “Arimakinen” to compete with the presently fastest hoarse “Tiemuoperao”, and enjoy himself by winning a virtual high dividend of the pari-mutuel ticket.
 In addition, as shown in FIG. 26, it is possible to have a go game between “Hon-in-bou Shyusaku” of the Edo period and the viewer himself or one of the famous “go” players of the present time.
 Generally speaking, the advantage of the present invention is that it enables a watcher himself to participate in the sport or game actually proceeding, to let an excellent player of the past or present to play in the game, or run the actual game in line with free ideas of the watcher.