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Publication numberUS20080293491 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/126,199
Publication dateNov 27, 2008
Filing dateMay 23, 2008
Priority dateMay 25, 2007
Publication number12126199, 126199, US 2008/0293491 A1, US 2008/293491 A1, US 20080293491 A1, US 20080293491A1, US 2008293491 A1, US 2008293491A1, US-A1-20080293491, US-A1-2008293491, US2008/0293491A1, US2008/293491A1, US20080293491 A1, US20080293491A1, US2008293491 A1, US2008293491A1
InventorsTung-Ke Wu, Hua-Ming Wu
Original AssigneeAsustek Computer Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game Controller
US 20080293491 A1
Abstract
A game controller connected to a game device is provided. The game controller includes a holding portion and a device for sensing physiological status. The holding portion is used for allowing the user to hold the game controller. The device for sensing physiological status is disposed at the holding portion. When the user holds the game controller, the physiological reaction data of the user is measured.
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Claims(13)
1. A game controller connected to a game device for a user operating the game device, the game controller comprising:
a holding portion; and
a device for sensing physiological status disposed on the holding portion, the device for sensing physiological status is capable of measuring physiological reaction data of the user.
2. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the game controller further comprises a casing and a plurality of keys disposed at the surface of the casing, and a control signal is generated when the user presses one or any combination of the keys.
3. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the device for sensing physiological status is an electrocardio sensing device having at least two electrodes and embedded at the outside surface of the holding portion.
4. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the physiological reaction data measured by the device for sensing physiological status is a body temperature data.
5. The game controller according to claim 4, wherein the material of the electrodes is a conductive rubber, a stainless steel or a silver/sliver chloride reference electrode.
6. The game controller according to claim 4, wherein the game controller has two holding portions for allowing the user to hold the game controller by the two hands, and the two electrodes are disposed at the two holding portions, respectively.
7. The game controller according to claim 6, wherein the game controller is a handheld joystick or a steering wheel.
8. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the device for sensing physiological status is a far infrared sensing device.
9. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the game controller has a holding portion for allowing the user to hold the game controller by one hand, and the device for sensing physiological status has a left hand sensor and a right hand sensor disposed at the left and right lateral surfaces of the holding portion.
10. The game controller according to claim 1, wherein the game controller is a single hand operated joystick or a mouse specially used for games.
11. The game controller according to claim 2, wherein the game controller further has at least a processing chip and a signal transmitting device, the chip is used for converting the control signal and the physiological reaction signal captured by the device for sensing physiological status to the digital data, and then the digital data is transmitted to the game device by the signal transmitting device.
12. The game controller according to claim 11, the transmitting mode of the signal transmitting device is a wired transmission mode and is one of a USB transmission mode, a PS/2 interface transmission mode and an IEEE 1394 interface transmission mode.
13. The game controller according to claim 11, wherein the transmitting mode of the signal transmitting device is a wireless transmission mode and is one of a RF transmission mode, an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) transmission mode and an infrared transmission mode.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a game controller and, more particular, to a game controller with a device for sensing physiological status.

2. Description of the Related Art

The game market well develops nowadays. Software or hardware manufacturers develops new game devices (such as the television game, the computer game device, handheld game device and so on), and new game software is cooperated with the new game devices to meet the need of the consumer. For the early game form, a player sits in front of a screen to play the game by a keyboard or a joystick.

Nowadays, for instant exercise amount monitoring or instant heartbeat monitoring, a device for sensing heartbeat is additionally disposed and is cooperated with a common sport equipment. As shown in FIG. 1A, taking the US application whose US publication number is U.S. Pat. No. 5,362,069 as an example, the application discloses a device 1 which is composed of a television game and a sport equipment. The sport equipment 10 of the device 1 may be a sport bicycle. When a user bicycles, the television screen may display an image showing a virtual person is climbing at rocks. Thus, the exercise and the entertainment are combined. The device 1 may adjust the using parameters (such as the run rate) of the whole sport equipment 10 by monitoring the exercise amount condition of the user 11. The device 1 has a first sensor 12 for collecting the signals (such as the pedal speed) of the output end of the sport equipment 10 and a second sensor 13 for collecting the exercise amount information (such as the heartbeat rate) of the user 11. The signals collected by the first sensor 12 and the second sensor 13 are transmitted to a processor 15 by an interface 14, and they are transmitted to the television controller 16 after they are converted by the processor 15 to adjust the difficulty degree to avoid overlarge exercise amount.

According to the conventional technology, the exercise amount or heartbeat sensing device 13 (the second sensor) may be a chip sensor attached to a lobe, a sensor fixed at the chest or the heartbeat sensor with other forms. The sensing device is independent of the whole game device. As shown in FIG. 1B showing another conventional technology, the heartbeat sensor 2 is fixed at the chest of the user to monitor the change of the heartbeat rate of the user in exercising.

Therefore, the sport equipment cooperated with the heartbeat sensing device may be applied to the hot game software and hardware, although it has not been seen now. However, when a user exercises strenuously, as shown in FIG. 1B, the heartbeat sensing device attached, clipped or fixed at the user in other manner is easy to be slipped off or be debyted from the original position. Thus, the measured heartbeat loses the fidelity, and the condition of the user cannot be shown instantly and actually. If the detachable heartbeat sensing device is detached, it may interfere with the process of the game. For the user, he should attach or clip the measuring sensor at one portion of the body before the game, it is inconvenient and uncomfortable.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a game controller connected to a game device to allow a user controlling the game device to execute different game software.

The game controller includes a holding portion and a device for sensing physiological status. The holding portion is used for allowing a user to hold the game controller. The device for sensing physiological status is disposed at the holding portion. When a user holds the game controller, the physiological reaction data of the user is measured.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a block diagram showing a conventional sport equipment combined with a television game device;

FIG. 1B is a schematic diagram showing the conventional sport equipment combined with the television game device;

FIG. 2A is a schematic diagram showing the appearance of a handheld game controller of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2B is a schematic diagram showing a game steering wheel of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing a single hand operated game controller of an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing an image of a game program cooperated with one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 2A is a schematic diagram showing the appearance of the game controller 3 of the first embodiment of the invention. The game controller 3 is a handheld joystick and it is connected to a game device to allow a user to operate the game device and play games.

As shown in FIG. 2A, components of the joystick 3 include a holding portion 31 and a device for sensing physiological status 32. The holding portion 31 is used for allowing a user to hold the joystick 3. The device for sensing physiological status 32 is disposed at the holding portion 31. When a user holds the joystick 3, the device for sensing physiological status 32 measures the physiological reaction data of the user through the palm of the user or the body portion contacting the holding portion 31.

The device for sensing physiological status 32 may be an electrocardio monitoring device, and it is usually embedded at the outside surface of the holding portion and has a first electrode 32 a and the second electrode 32 b, as shown in FIG. 2A. In a preferred embodiment, the first electrode 32 a is a positive electrode or a negative electrode, and the second electrode 32 b is a negative electrode or a positive electrode corresponding to the first electrode 32 a. The material of the first electrode 32 a and the second electrode 32 b of the device for sensing physiological status 32 may be a conductive rubber, a stainless steel or a silver/silver chloride reference electrode. Preferably, when the electrocardio signals are measured, a reference electrode contacting the leg may be added, or a conductive blanket contacting the feet may be disposed at the ground.

The information which is measured is not limited to electrocardio information, it also may be palm holding force information or body temperature information.

The joystick 3 of the embodiment of the invention further has a casing 33 and a plurality of keys disposed at the surface of the casing. The keys are, for example, the directional key 34 a, action key 34 b, acknowledgement key 34 c, cancel key 34 d and so on. The keys form the operating area 34 of the joystick 3. The user may press the keys 34 a, 34 b, 34 c and 34 d in the operating area to generate the control signals.

In addition, at least a processing chip 35 and a signal transmitting device 36 may be disposed in the casing 33 of the joystick 3. The processing chip 35 is used for converting the control signals and the physiological reaction signals captured by the device for sensing physiological status 32 to the digital data by the analogy/digital conversion. The signal transmitting device 36 transmits the data processed by the chip 35 to the game device.

In a preferred embodiment, the transmitting mode of the signal transmitting device 36 is the wired transmission by a universal serial bus (USB), a PS/2 interface or an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 1394 interface, which is not limited. The transmitting mode of the signal transmitting device 36 also may be the wireless transmission by the Bluetooth, the radio frequency (RF), the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) or the infrared.

The operating mode among the two kinds of signals (the control signal and the physiological reaction signal), the processing chip 35 and the signal transmitting device 36 may be one of modes described hereinbelow. First, both of the two kinds of signals are processed by a single chip 35 and are transmitted to the game device by a single signal transmitting device 36. Second, two kinds of signals are processed by different chips 35 and are transmitted to the game device by the single signal transmitting device 36. Third, two kinds of signals are processed by different chips 35 and are transmitted to the game device by different signal transmitting devices 36. The operating mode is not limited by the above modes.

The structure, relative disposing relationships and functions of the components of the joystick 33 of the embodiment of the invention are clear. The using mode and the related application of the joystick 3 assembled by the components are described hereinbelow.

As shown in FIG. 2A, the joystick 3 has two holding portions 31 for allowing the user to hold by the hands. The first electrode 32 a and the second electrode 32 b of the device for sensing physiological status 32 are disposed at the outside surface of the two holding portions 31, respectively. Therefore, when the user holds the joystick 3 by the hands, the electrocardio status information such as the electrocardio or the body temperature of the user may be measured by the device for sensing physiological status 32 by the palm or other body portion contacting the holding portions 31.

According to an embodiment of FIG. 2B, the game controller also may be a game steering wheel 4 cooperated with a racing car game program, as shown in FIG. 1B. The steering wheel 4 also has two holding portions 41 for allowing a user to hold by hands. The first electrode 42 a and the second electrode 42 b of the device for sensing physiological status are disposed at the outside surface of the two holding portions 41. In addition, the steering wheel 4 also has a casing 43, a plurality of keys 44 disposed at the casing 43 and a signal transmitting device (not shown), the functions and the relative disposing manner thereof are the same with that of the embodiment of FIG. 2A, and therefore, they are not described for concise purpose.

The steering wheel 4 also has at least a processing chip 45 disposed in the casing of the central shaft of the steering wheel 4. The disposing mode is not limited, and the processing chip 45 also may be disposed in the holding portion 41.

According to the above description, when a user holds the steering wheel 4 by the hands, the physiological status information such as the electrocardio or body temperature of the user is measured by the device for sensing physiological status 42 by the palm or other body portion contacting the holding portion 41.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing the appearance of a game controller 5 of the second embodiment of the invention. The game controller 5 is a single hand operated joystick with a holding portion 51 for allowing a user to hold by one hand. The left hand sensor 52 a and the right hand sensor 52 b of the device for sensing physiological status 52 are disposed at the left and right lateral surfaces of the holding portion 51 for allowing a user to hold by the left hand or the right hand. The single hand operated joystick 5 also has a casing 53, a plurality of keys 54 disposed on the casing 53, at least a processing chip 55 and a signal transmitting device 56. The functions and the relative disposing manner thereof are the same with the embodiment of the FIG. 2A. In the second embodiment, the device for sensing physiological status 52 may be a far infrared sensing device to detect the tiny change of the far infrared caused by the flowing blood in the blood capillary affected by each heartbeat.

To sum up, both of the first embodiment and the second embodiment of the invention utilizes the device for sensing physiological status cooperated with the game controller and solves the problem of the conventional technology. Furthermore, the game controller of the embodiment of the invention is combined with a game device, and the game device further may be combined with a display device such as a television or a projector. When a user operates the game controller to execute different game program, the physiological information such as the electrocardio or the body temperature of the user may be measured by the device for sensing physiological status instantly. Afterward, after the processing chip in the game controller converts the physiological information to the digital data by the A/D program, the digital data is transmitted to the game device by the signal transmitting device. At last, the game device displays the collected physiological information on the display device, as shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing a display image 7 of a display device cooperated with an embodiment of the invention. Besides the game score 71 originally displayed in the display image 7, the collected electrocardio information 72 also may be displayed at the display device by the game device. However, the data that may be displayed is not limited to be the electrocardio information 72. A user may set some parameters (such as age, estimated exercise amount, the upper limitation of the heartbeat value, the upper and lower limitation of the blood pressure and so on) by the host, and the measured physiological information is converted to be the exercise amount condition 73 displayed on the display image 7. Thus, the user may avoid the strenuous sports, or the exercise amount condition 73 also may be used as the index of training, exercise amount or the calorie consumption.

The game device may be set to cooperate with the physiological condition of the user to adjust the difficulty degree of the game and even to end the game when the health condition of the user is not suitable for the present game (such as when the electrocardio signals are abnormal) or when the user plays for a overlong time. In a preferred embodiment, taking a combat game program as example, when the device for sensing physiological status measures that the heartbeat of a user is too fast, and the value exceeds the upper limitation set for the user, the game device may correspondingly decrease the fighting force of the opponent after it receives the data transmitted from the game controller.

The above display device is not limited to the device used by the user playing the game, it also may be a display device provided at other position. For example, if the display device is a television in the room of parents, the parents may view the physiological condition of the child playing the game.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, the disclosure is not for limiting the scope of the invention. Persons having ordinary skill in the art may make various modifications and changes without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, the scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred embodiments described above.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7532116 *Mar 12, 2008May 12, 2009Broadcom CorporationWireless human interface device with integrated temperature sensor
US8145298 *Oct 17, 2008Mar 27, 2012Asustek Computer Inc.Electronic input device with piezoelectric sensor
US8562436 *Jul 15, 2010Oct 22, 2013Sony Computer Entertainment Europe LimitedUser interface and method of user interaction
US20120178529 *Jul 15, 2010Jul 12, 2012Sony Computer Entertainment Europe LimitedUser Interface and Method of User Interaction
WO2010105034A2 *Mar 11, 2010Sep 16, 2010Corventis, Inc.Physiological monitoring for electronic gaming
WO2011007177A1Jul 15, 2010Jan 20, 2011Sony Computer Entertainment Europe LimitedUser interface and method of user interaction
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/37
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2300/1012, A63F13/06
European ClassificationA63F13/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 16, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ASUSTEK COMPUTER INC., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WU, TUNG-KE;WU, HUA-MING;REEL/FRAME:021242/0469
Effective date: 20080704