US 3508751 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 28, 1970 B. c. MEYER ETAL ELECTRONIC SEARCHING GAME Filed Feb. 19, 1968 INVENTORS 54/27 0/1 0. MEYER NORMA/V X64445? MAfiV/A/ Z 644 55 BY )Z -w b.
ATTO NEV United States Patent O 3,508,751 ELECTRONIC SEARCHING GAME Burton C. Meyer, Norman Kramer, and Marvin I. Glass, Chicago, Ill., assignors to Marvin Glass & Associates, Chicago, 111., a partnership Filed Feb. 19, 1968, Ser. No. 706,374 Int. Cl. A63f 9/02 US. Cl. 273-101.1 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hand-held unit projects a beam of light and has a photocell, oscillator and speaker arranged in a circuit, so as to emit a succession of beeps when the light of the beam is reflected from a light reflective object and received by the photocell. The frequency of the sounds varies with the reflection characteristics of the object. Each of the players wears an apron having one or more surface portions which are highly reflective, and the player who is it is blindfolded and required to search the darkened room by means of the light and to identify one of the other players by the pattern of beeps that he hears in the speaker.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is essentially an electronic version of the familiar hide-and-seek game and provides novel apparatus for use by a blindfolded player in searching for the other players.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Game apparatus comprising a portable housing adapted to be held in a players hand, a battery in said housing, light means in said housing connected with said battery and operative to emit a beam of light from the housing, a circuit arrangement within said housing including a photocell adjacent said light means and aimed at a position along the beam of light produced by said means, an oscillator, a speaker, said circuit arrangement being operative to produce intermittent sounds in response to the impingement of light on said photocell, and means separate from said housing including a light reflective surface, whereby the movement of the beam of light through a path including said light reflective surface produces a distinct variation in the sounds produced by said circuit arrangement as said beam moves into line with said light reflective surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a combined spot light and sensing device embodying the invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged vertical cross section of the device shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective of an apron having reflecting spots; and
FIGURE 4 is a diagram of the electronic circuit used in the unit of FIGURE 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As seen in the drawings, there is provided a spot light unit, generally designated as 10, to be manipulated by one of the players, and a plurality of aprons 12, one for each of the players. Each of the aprons 12 presents a substantial area 14 of a dark color, which is substantially non-reflective in character, and one or more spots 16 and 18 which are of a light color and highly reflective, preferably of a material such as Scotchlite which reflects light in the direction of its source. The spots on each apron, if more than one, are arranged in a pattern "ice and differ from the pattern of the spots on every other apron. Each apron is provided with a strap 20 or other suitable means to hold it in place on a player, preferably supporting the apron around the players neck.
Spot light 10 comprises a body or housing having a head portion 22 and a handle section 24 in which are contained flashlight cells 26 and 28. The housing is preferably formed of two halves of insulating plastic or the like and arranged to open in any suitable manner, as through a wall of handle 24, to allow replacement of batteries 26 and 28. A conductive spring clip 30 makes contact with the bottom of cell 28 and yieldingly presses it and cell 26 upwardly, as seen in FIGURE 2, so as to press a terminal 32 on the upper cell into contact with a conductive spring strip 34. Strip 34 is supported on a shelf 36 carried on a partition 38 forming a part of head portion 22. Strip 34 has an up-turned portion pressed by reason of its resiliency against a terminal 40 of a lamp bulb 41 carried in a parabolic reflector 42. A conductive spring strip 44 is in contact with the other terminal of lamp 41 and projects downwardly in the direction of handle section 24 in a position to form a switch element spaced from a switch contact element 46 fixed in head portion 22. A trigger-like member 48, positioned adjacent to handle section 24 and pivoted on a fulcrum pin 50, has a finger 52 positioned to engage a lower portion of strip 44 to press strip 44 against contact 46. A wire 54 connects contact 46 to spring clip 30 to complete the circuit so that lamp 41 will light when trigger 48 is pressed. The resilience of strip 44 moves it away from contact 46 and restores trigger 48 to its former position when released by the player. Reflector 42 is preferably of a parabolic type which concentrates the light from lamp 41 in a narrow well-defined beam sufiiciently accurate to illuminate the spots 16 and 18 independently of each other at a substantial distance, as within the confines of an ordinary room.
A photocell 56 is positioned preferably close to reflec tor 42 and is aimed to intersect the beam from lamp 41 at a predetermined distance from the source, so as to receive light from the latter when reflected from an object within an ordinary room. Photocell 56 is connected by Wires 58 and 60 with an oscillator unit generally designated as 62 and located in head portion 22. A lead 78 connected to battery contact 34 extends into oscillator 62, where it is connected with a transistor 66 and also to a resistor 68 which in turn is connected with photocell 56 by above mentioned wire 58. Wire 60 from photocell 56 connects to a transistor 70 and also to a capacitor 72. Transistor 66 has a lead 74 connected to a loud speaker 76 supported on a circular portion and abutting a partition 38, and head portion 22 has a plurality of openings 77 through which the sound of speaker 76 may be heard. Transistor 70 has a lead 64 connecting to switch element 44 to complete a second circuit from cells 26 and 28 through switch elements 44 and 46 and oscillator 62. A lead 80 connects lead 64 to speaker 76, the whole being a circuit which, when contact is established between strip 44 and contact 46, will emit from loud speaker 76 a series of sounds, tones or beeps whenever a sufficient amount of light falls upon photocell 56.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the photocell 56 is of the cadimum selenide type and the cell proper is installed within the tube or housing 57 a substantial distance rearwardly of the front opening, so as to respond essentially only to a point source of light. As indicated previously, the photocell is aimed to intersect the axis of the relatively narrow beam from light 41 at a distance convenient for use in an ordinary room, a distance of about five feet being preferred. Consequently, with the fast response time of the cell and the placement of the cell in tube 57 for sensitive response, there is provided a device which offers rapid detection of differences in the light reflective qualities of objects illuminated by the light 41.
With reference particularly to FIGURE 4 which shows the electronic circuit used in the device 10, it is to be noted that transistors 66 and 70 are so arranged as to form a simple direct-coupled oscillator. When the switch 44- is closed, base current flows through resistor 68 and photocell 56 into transistor 70. The collector current of transistor 70 is the base current of transistor 66 and the resulting collector current of transistor 66 divides between the speaker 76 and the feedback path 72, 56, 68. The feedback current adds to the base current of transistor 70 and the resulting regeneration saturates transistor 66. causing the speaker 76 to emit a loud click. The speaker click ceases when the current decay falls to a value which no longer keeps transistor 66 saturated. As transistor 66 comes out of saturation, the voltage change is fed back to the base of transistor 70 and causes a regeneration which rapidly turns off both transistors. The charge on capacitor 72 is such that the base of transistor 70 is made negative. The capacitor 72 begins to charge toward the battery 26, 28 through photocell 56 and resistor 68. When the base voltage reaches the base to emitter on voltage of transistor 70, the latter begins to conduct and starts a new cycle.
Thus it is seen that the clicks emitted by speaker 76 are controlled by the values of resistor 68 and photocell 56. The only variable is the resistance of photocell 56, as determined by the amount of light impinging on the photocell from the reflected light of lamp 41 as it is focused on a surface, such as the target areas 16, 18. Consequently, the more light that is reflected on the photocell the greater is the frequency of the sounds emitted by the speaker 76.
In the operation of the device a player in a darkened room grasps handle portion 24, having first been blindfolded, presses trigger 48 which turns on lamps 41 and oscillator 62, and then proceeds to search the room for other players who are wearing aprons as .12, it being remembered that each of the latter has a different pattern of spots 16 and 18. The usual objects in the room will ordinarily not reflect suflicient light to activate photocell 56 or will only produce a relatively slow frequency of sounds from speaker 76. But if the beam from lamp 41 and reflector 42 happens to hit one of the highly reflective spots on an apron 12, enough light will be reflected to activate photocell 56 and loud speaker 76 will emit a series of sounds. If now the device is manipulated to sweep the other patterns, for example side-by-side rather than vertically. A considerable degree of skill is required on the part of the player, since he must not only sweep the beam slowly and carefully enough to be able to recognize the sounds and the arrangement of the reflecting spots, but he must also remember the number of spots on the apron worn by each of the other players. For young players the game could be simplified by requiring the operator to recognize only the number of spots, and not the individual players.
The invention has been described in connection with a specific device, but it will be apparent that variations or modifications of the disclosed structure might be made without departing from the principles of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Game apparatus comprising a portable housing adapted to be held in a players hand, a battery in said housing, light means in said housing connected with said battery and operative to emit a beam of light from the housing, a circuit arrangement Within said housing including a photocell adjacent said light means and focused at a position along the beam of light produced by said means, an oscillator, and a speaker, said circuit arrangement being operative to produce intermittent sounds in response to the impingment of light on said photocell, and means separate from said housing including an apron worn by another player and having a light reflective surface, whereby the movement of the beam of light through a path including said light reflective surface on said apron produces a distinct variation in the sounds produced by said circuit arrangement as said beam moves into focus with said light reflective surface.
2. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of a plurality of players has one of said aprons with each apron having a distinctive arrangement of reflective spots so as to make it possible to identify the various players.
3. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said circuit arrangement and light means are controlled by a single off-on switch on said housing.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,024,568 3/1962 Barnett 46232 3,064,390 11/1962 Barnes 46232 3,150,461 9/1964 Grist.
3,240,924 3/1966 Darby 273-101.l X 3,257,741 6/1966 Cameron et a1. 27310l.1 X
OTHER REFERENCES Electronics, c. R. Hurtig, Feb. 1, 1957. pp. 162 163.
ANTON O. 'OECHSLE, Primary Examiner M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.