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Publication numberUS20050202878 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/075,346
Publication dateSep 15, 2005
Filing dateMar 8, 2005
Priority dateMar 9, 2004
Publication number075346, 11075346, US 2005/0202878 A1, US 2005/202878 A1, US 20050202878 A1, US 20050202878A1, US 2005202878 A1, US 2005202878A1, US-A1-20050202878, US-A1-2005202878, US2005/0202878A1, US2005/202878A1, US20050202878 A1, US20050202878A1, US2005202878 A1, US2005202878A1
InventorsChang-Hwan Hwang, Young Kim
Original AssigneeSamsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable communication apparatus having a game function
US 20050202878 A1
Abstract
A portable communication apparatus having a game function can be used in a speech mode or in a dedicated game mode according to rotation of a housing. The portable communication apparatus includes a first housing extending along a longitudinal direction; second and third housings positioned on both sides of the first housing while extending along the longitudinal direction and adapted to rotate about first and second hinge axes while facing both lateral surfaces of the first housing, respectively; and a center connection arm which is positioned on an end surface of the first housing, which provides the second hinge axis in the longitudinal direction, which extends along the second hinge axis, which is received in a reception space formed in the second housing to be held, and which connects the second housing to the first housing in such a manner that the second housing can rotate from the first housing in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.
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Claims(17)
1. A portable communication apparatus having a game function, comprising:
a first housing extending along a longitudinal direction;
second and third housings positioned on both sides of the first housing while extending along the longitudinal direction and adapted to rotate about first and second hinge axes while facing a lateral surface of the first housing; and
a center connection arm positioned on an end surface of the first housing and extending along the first hinge axis, the center connection arm being received in a reception space formed in the second housing, and connecting the second housing to the first housing in such a manner that the second housing can rotate in relation to the first housing in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.
2. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the third hinge axis extends along the longitudinal direction from the other end surface of the first housing and the third housing is connected to the other end surface of the first housing in such a manner that it can rotate from the first housing in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.
3. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the center connection arm has at least one button unit positioned on the upper and lower surfaces thereof.
4. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second housing has a reception space formed at a center of an end surface thereof to hold the center connection arm.
5. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the center connection arm has an inner space formed therein so that a flexible circuit can pass through to electrically connect the first and second housings.
6. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the center connection arm has a curved edge so that the second housing can rotate with respect to the first housing.
7. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second housing has a first key array made up of a number of keys and a microphone device positioned on the upper surface thereof and a second key array made up of a number of dedicated game keys positioned on the lower surface thereof.
8. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the third housing has a speaker device positioned on the upper surface thereof and a third key array made up of a number of dedicated game keys positioned on the lower surface thereof.
9. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first housing has a large LCD positioned on the upper surface thereof and a side key array made up of a number of keys positioned on an upper surface thereof.
10. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second housings are larger than the third housing and the second and third housings are positioned on left and right sides of the first housing, respectively.
11. The portable communication apparatus of claim 7, wherein the second key array comprises a four-way key and the dedicated game keys.
12. The portable communication apparatus of claim 8, wherein the third key array is made up of an array of a number of dedicated game keys.
13. The portable communication apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first key array and the microphone device of the second housing are positioned on the left side of the large LCD of the first housing and the speaker device of the third housing is positioned on the right side thereof side by side along the longitudinal direction in a speech mode and the second and third housings are rotated about the first and second hinge axes in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction in a game mode so that the second and third key arrays made up of dedicated game keys of the second and third housings are positioned side by side along the longitudinal direction.
14. A portable communication apparatus having a game function, comprising:
a first housing extending along a longitudinal direction;
a second housing coupled to an end of the first housing to rotate about a first hinge axis while facing a lateral surface of the first housing; and
a third housing coupled to the other end of the first housing to rotate about a second hinge axis while facing the other lateral surface of the first housing and adapted to be coaxially positioned side by side along the longitudinal direction of the first hinge axis.
15. The portable communication apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the second housing has a first key array made up of a number of keys and a microphone device positioned on the upper surface thereof and a second key array made up of a number of dedicated game keys positioned on the lower surface thereof.
16. The portable communication apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the third housing has a speaker device positioned on the upper surface thereof and a third key array made up of a number of dedicated game keys positioned on the lower surface thereof.
17. The portable communication apparatus function as claimed in claim 14, wherein the first housing has a large LCD positioned on the upper surface thereof and a side key array made up of a number of keys positioned on a lower surface thereof.
Description
PRIORITY

This application claims priority to an application entitled “Portable Communication Apparatus Having Game Function” filed with the US Patent Office on Mar. 9, 2004 and assigned U.S. Ser. No. 60/551,982 and an application entitled the same filed with Korean Intellectual Property Office on Jun. 17, 2004 and assigned Serial No. 2004-44908, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a portable communication apparatus having a game function, and more particularly to a portable communication apparatus having a game function so that it can be used in a speech mode or in a dedicated game mode according to the rotation of a housing.

2. Description of the Related Art

In general, “portable communication apparatus” refers to an electronic apparatus for wireless communication. A portable communication apparatus includes a Hand-Held Phone (HHP), a City phone (CT-2 cellular phone), a digital phone, a Personal Communication Services (PCS) phone, and a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and may be classified into various categories according to appearance, such as a bar-type portable communication apparatus, a flip-type portable communication apparatus, and a folder-type portable communication apparatus. The bar-type communication apparatus has a single housing shaped like a bar. The flip-type communication apparatus has a flip, or cover, rotatably coupled to a bar-shaped housing by a hinge device. The folder-type communication apparatus has a folder connected to a single bar-shaped housing by a hinge device in such a manner that the folder can be rotated to fold on, or unfold from, the housing.

To facilitate portability, designs of such portable communication apparatuses are not only compact, slim, and light, but also provide multimedia capability, having a wider variety of functions.

In particular, future portable communication apparatuses are expected to incorporate greater multi-functionality and be suitable for various multimedia or Internet environments. In addition, portable communication apparatuses are now commonly used by people of all ages and walks of life throughout the world, and are recognized by some people as a nearly indispensable commodity that must be carried all the time.

Conventional portable communication apparatuses as enumerated above are usually equipped with an antenna device, a data input/output device, and a data reception/transmission device. The data input device is usually made up of a keypad for data input by finger pressing operation. A touchpad or touch screen may also be used. The data output device for a display function generally includes an LCD.

Conventional portable communication apparatuses are also equipped with a camera lens for video communication, or to photograph a desired subject.

Recently, flip-type or folder-type portable communication apparatuses have become more popular. The flip-type or folder-type portable communication apparatuses have prevailed these days, because they have excellent sensitivity of sound and are easy to make in a compact and slim design.

A conventional folder-type portable communication apparatus includes a body with various keys and a microphone mounted thereon, a folder having an LCD and a speaker positioned thereon, and a hinge device for mechanically connecting the body to the folder and rotating the folder upward from the body. The hinge device may have a camera module housing positioned thereon in a predetermined position for video communication.

Conventional portable communication apparatuses, however, have a problem in that their keys on a 3×4 keypad structure, which have a small size and are not designed for games, are inconvenient to operate in a game mode. In other words, key operation of conventional portable communication apparatuses have poor response and accuracy in a game mode. This is because the keys of conventional portable communication apparatuses are used for both communication and games.

Specifically, conventional portable communication apparatuses have a number of keys arranged with a narrow spacing between them on a single housing in a small area. This degrades the accuracy of key operation. Since the keys are operated with one hand, furthermore, the ability to quickly press desired keys deteriorates.

Purchasing a separate game phone, however, is an economical burden to users.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made to solve the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a portable communication apparatus having a game function so that it can be in a speech mode or in a dedicated game mode according to the rotation of a housing for improved utility.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable communication apparatus having a game function so that it can be in a speech mode or in a dedicated game mode according to the rotation of a housing for convenient key operation.

In order to accomplish these objects, there is provided a portable communication apparatus having a game function including a first housing extending along a longitudinal direction; second and third housings positioned on both sides of the first housing while extending along the longitudinal direction and adapted to rotate about first and second hinge axes while facing both lateral surfaces of the first housing, respectively; and a center connection arm which is positioned on an end surface of the first housing, which provides the first hinge axis in the longitudinal direction, which extends along the first hinge axis, which is received in a reception space formed in the second housing to be held, and which connects the second housing to the first housing in such a manner that the second housing can rotate from the first housing in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.

The portable communication apparatus includes a first housing, a second housing rotatably connected to a first side of the first housing; and a third housing rotatably connected to a second side of the first housing. The second housing and the third housing have an upper keypad and a lower keypad disposed on their upper and lower surfaces, respectively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing first, second, and third housings of a portable communication apparatus having a game function, when used in a speech mode, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the portable communication apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a portable communication apparatus, when its second and third housings are rotated about first and second hinge axes, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a portable communication apparatus, after its second and third housings are rotated about first and second hinge axes, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the portable communication apparatus shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a portable communication apparatus, when its second and third housings are rotated in the opposite direction about first and second hinge axes, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a portable communication apparatus from below, after its second and third housings are rotated in the opposite direction about first and second hinge axes, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Hereinafter, a preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the following description of the present invention, a detailed description of known functions and configurations incorporated herein is omitted to avoid making the subject matter of the present invention unclear.

As shown in FIGS. 1 to 7, a portable communication apparatus 10 having a game function includes first 20, second 30, and third 40 housings. The first housing 20 is rotatably positioned between the second and third housings 30 and 40. The second housing 30 is positioned adjacent to a side of the first housing 20 while extending along the longitudinal direction thereof and is adapted to rotate about a first hinge axis A1. The third housing 40 is positioned adjacent to the other side of the first housing 20 while extending along the longitudinal direction thereof and is adapted to rotate about a second hinge axis A2. The first housing 20 has a center connection arm 21 formed on an end surface thereof, which provides the first hinge axis A1 in the longitudinal direction. The center connection arm 21 is received in a reception space 33 formed in the second housing 30 and connects the second housing 30 to the first housing 20 in such a manner that the second housing 30 can rotate in relation to the first housing 20 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axes A1 and A2.

The operation of the portable communication apparatus having according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, configured as above, will now be described in more detail with reference to FIGS. 1 to 7.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the portable communication apparatus 10 having a game function includes first 20, second 30, and third 40 housings.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first housing 20 extends along the longitudinal direction of the apparatus 10. The second and third housings 30 and 40 are positioned on both sides of the first housing 20 while extending along the longitudinal direction and are adapted to rotate about the first and second hinge axes A1 and A2.

When the user wants to use the portable communication apparatus 10 in a speech mode as shown in FIG. 1, the second housing 30 is rotated about the first hinge axis A1 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction as shown in FIG. 6.

The first housing 20 has a center connection arm 21 formed on an end surface thereof, which extends along the first hinge axis A1 as shown in FIG. 6. The center connection arm 21 allows rotation of the second housing 30 in relation to the first housing 20 about the second hinge axis A2.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, the center connection arm 21 is rotatably received in the reception space 33 formed at the center of the second housing 30 to rotatably attach the first housing 20 to the second housing 30. The second housing 30 has a first key array 31 with a number of keys 31 a positioned on the upper surface thereof as shown in FIG. 2, which is exposed as the second housing 30 rotates. The third housing 40 is rotated about the second hinge axis A2 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction as shown in FIG. 6. The third housing 40 has a speaker device 41 positioned on the upper surface thereof as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, which is exposed as the third housing 40 rotates.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first key array 31 and the microphone device 32 are positioned on the left side of the first housing 20 and the LCD 22. The speaker device 41 of the third housing 40 is positioned on the right side of the first housing 20. The key array 31, microphone 32, LCD 22 and speaker 44 are all positioned side-by-side. In this state, the user can use the portable communication apparatus 10 in a speech mode for voice communication.

As shown in FIG. 7, a second key array 34 made up of dedicated game keys 34 a positioned on the rear surface of the second housing 30 and a third key array 42 made up of dedicated game keys 42 a on the rear surface of the third housing 40 are arranged side by side as well.

When the user wants to use the portable communication apparatus 10 in a game mode, the second housing 30 is rotated about the first hinge axis A1 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The second key array 34, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, is exposed as the second housing 30 rotates about the first hinge axis A1.

The third housing 40 is rotated about the second hinge axis A2 as shown in FIG. 3. The third housing 40 has a third key array 42 made up of a number of dedicated game keys 42 a positioned on the lower surface thereof as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, which is exposed as the third housing 40 rotates about the second hinge axis A2.

As shown in FIG. 5, the second key array 34 is positioned on the left side of the first housing 20 and the large LCD 22 The third key array 42 is positioned on the right side of the first housing 20. The second key array 34, LCD 22 and third key array 42 are positioned side-by-side.

Preferably, the second key array 34 has a four-way key and a number of dedicated game keys 34 a as shown in FIG. 5. The user can use the dedicated game keys 34 a and 42 a of the second and third key arrays 34 and 42 in the game mode.

As shown in FIG. 3, the center connection arm 21 has a curved edge for easy rotation of the second housing 30. The center connection arm 21 preferably has an inner space (not shown) formed therein so that a flexible circuit (not shown) can pass through to electrically connect the first and second housings.

As mentioned above, the portable communication apparatus having a game function according to the present invention can operate in a speech mode for voice communication or in a dedicated game mode to play games according to the rotation of a housing for convenient key operation.

While the invention has been shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

For example, the present invention can be applied to all kinds of portable communication apparatuses.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8698754 *Mar 1, 2010Apr 15, 2014Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Keypad for electronic device and manufacturing method thereof
US20100245253 *Mar 1, 2010Sep 30, 2010Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Keypad for electronic device and manufacturing method thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/43
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F13/12, A63F2300/406, A63F13/06, A63F2300/1043
European ClassificationA63F13/12, A63F13/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 31, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HWANG, CHANG-HWAN;KIM, YOUNG S.;REEL/FRAME:016609/0631
Effective date: 20050425