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(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,717,569 Bi
Gruhl et al. (45) Date of Patent: Apr. 6,2004
(54) CONTROL DEVICE WITH ENHANCED CONTROL ASPECTS AND METHOD FOR PROGRAMMING SAME
(75) Inventors: Robert E. Gruhl, Seattle, WA (US);
Thomas W. Brooks, Seattle, WA (US);
Melissa S. Jacobson, Seattle, WA (US);
Allen M. Han, Kirkland, WA (US);
Drew C. Bamford, Seattle, WA (US);
Damon V. Danieli, Clyde Hill, WA
(73) Assignee: Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/515,370
(22) Filed: Feb. 29, 2000
(51) Int. C I. G09G 5/08
(52) U.S. CI 345/157; 345/172; 463/37
(58) Field of Search 345/156, 157,
345/158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 167, 168, 169, 172, 732; 74/471 XY; 273/148 B;
463/36, 37, 38; 331/1 M
5,949,325 A 9/1999 Devolpi
5,959,556 A 9/1999 Shrader et al.
6,002,351 A 12/1999 Takeda et al.
6,213,880 Bl * 4/2001 Sim 463/37
6,256,011 Bl * 7/2001 Culver 345/157
6,282,798 Bl * 9/2001 Yeh et al 33/1 M
6,317,141 Bl * 11/2001 Pavley et al 345/732
6,323,844 Bl * 11/2001 Yeh et al 345/166
6,326,948 Bl * 12/2001 Kobachi et al 345/157
Logitech CyberMan 2 Digital Game Controller User's Manual (pp. 1-8, English section), Logitech Inc., 1997. Logitech CyberMan, The Logitech "Cyberman", picture from http://www.ideo.com/studies/logicyb.htm, (date unknown, but prior to filing of application).
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—-Xiao Wu
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.
A control device that combines a movable pod, that is sized to comfortably support a user's hand, with control buttons that are easily commanded by the user's fingers and thumb without interfering with pod movement, thereby allowing the user to quickly, simultaneously, and intuitively, command multiple aspects of a user application software, such as a game. Preferably, the pod is movable simultaneously in three different directions: forward-and-backward, side-toside; and axially about an axis. The device also uses the distance the pod is displaced from a neutral position as an additional control parameter for commanding the application software. In addition, control commands associated with the control buttons and movement of the pod may be programmed by the user either "on the fly" or by using a graphical user interface. Also, the device provides feedback to the user regarding the programmed status of each button and available pod movement.
25 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets