Apple may be planning gaming accessories
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple may be planning gaming accessories

A new patent (number 20010081505) at the US Patent & Trademark Office indicates that Apple is planning gaming accessories. The patent is for circuits, methods, and apparatus that provide user interfaces for playing games on portable electronic devices.

One example provides a game accessory having input controls for playing video, audio, and other types of games. The game accessory can have input controls, such as buttons, joysticks, and D-pads. Another example provides a game accessory having a thumb pad or keyboard. Other possible features include microphones, cameras and camera lenses, speakers, a second screen, rumble, and motion detection.

The game accessory may have a recess sized to fit the portable electronic device. Inserts or removable adapters can be used to fit portable electronic devices having different sizes. The portable electronic device can be held in the accessory using sliding covers, clips, or other engaging members. In other examples, the accessory can communicate with another accessory for head-to-head game play. The accessory may include circuitry for power, identification, and authorization. The inventors are Brett Gregory Alten and Sanjay Sadanand Gadkari.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Portable electronic devices have become ubiquitous over the past several years. It is now common for people to grab their portable media player, cell phone, laptop, and other such devices on the way out the door in the morning. The reasons for this popularity include the ever-increasing amount of functionality that Apple Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., is packing into their lines of iPods, iPhones, and related devices.

"This functionality includes the original reason for their proliferation: music playback. But these devices have moved far beyond that, adding other types of media playback and other functionality. Recording has been added; some of these devices can now take pictures. Connectivity has been added; users can surf the web and navigate their way around an unfamiliar town. These devices have been a boon to the workplace as well, allowing people to read documents and read and send email messages. Of particular importance here, games can be played on them.

"While the functionality of these devices has increased, their size has decreased. To achieve this size reduction, the user interface to these devices has been made very efficient. For example, some devices feature a front surface that is nearly filled with a touchscreen. The touchscreen provides almost the entirety of the user interface; it is used to display images and it is used to receive tactile command and data inputs from a user. That is, the device displays an image, the user touches, drags, taps, or otherwise touches the touchscreen, and the device interprets the touches as commands or data input. Other devices include a clickwheel that can be used to receive these tactile commands.

"Unfortunately, while playing games can be fun on these portable electronic devices, it can also be somewhat awkward, particularly on a portable electronic device having a touchscreen. The same screen used for viewing an avatar's activities is used to control the avatar. This arrangement causes the user's fingers block the action. Thus, while these portable electronic devices include a highly efficient interface, when playing games it is often desirable to have a more specialized user interface.

"Accordingly, embodiments of the present invention provide circuits, methods, and apparatus that provide user interfaces for playing games with portable electronic devices. These user interfaces can improve a user's experience with these portable electronic devices while playing games.

"An exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides an accessory having input controls for playing video, audio, and other types of games. In one embodiment of the present invention, a portable electronic device physically attaches to the accessory. The accessory can have input controls, such as buttons, joysticks, and directional pads (D-pads). In this way, the screen on the portable electronic device only functions as a screen. The user's fingers stay off the screen and thus do not block the user's view when playing a game.

"Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides an accessory for playing audio based games. These games may provide a response that is audio based and does not use a video screen. These games may be of particular use when a user should not be visually distracted. Voice commands may used to play the game, or inputs may be received using input controls such as buttons, joysticks, or D-pads.

"Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides game accessories having other features. These features can include cameras and camera lenses. The accessory can include a second screen, which may be a touch or conventional screen. To enhance game playing and other applications, rumble (circuits and mechanical mechanism to vibrate the accessory) and motion detection circuitry can be included. In some embodiments, the portable electronic device can be or can include a phone function. In order to allow use of the phone while the portable electronic device is in a game accessory, among other reasons, the accessory can include a microphone and speaker.

"In various embodiments of the present invention, the portable electronic device can be a media player with a touchscreen, clickwheel, or other input device. The portable electronic device can physically attach to, be physically received by, or mount to an accessory. For example, the accessory may have a recess sized to fit the portable electronic device. Inserts or removable adapters can be used to fit portable electronic devices having different sizes. Also, since game play can become a bit dynamic under certain situations, the portable electronic device can be held in the accessory using sliding covers, clips, such as elastomeric clips, or other engaging members.

"In a specific embodiment of the present invention, a receptacle on the portable electronic device is mated with an insert on an accessory. The portable electronic device can then be rotated into place. When in place, the portable electronic device can be flush with a surface of the accessory. The connection between the receptacle and the insert thus forms a connection for transferring power and data between the portable electronic device and the accessory. In other embodiments of the present invention, data may be transferred between the portable electronic device and the accessory wirelessly. In still other embodiments of the present invention, reactive coupling may be used to transfer data and power between a game accessory and a portable electronic device. The reactive coupling may be inductive or capacitive.

"In various embodiments of the present invention, a portable electronic device and a game accessory can wirelessly communicate with other devices. For example, a portable electronic device and accessory can communicate with another portable electronic device and accessory for head-to-head game play. This communication can be either direct or indirect, as through the Internet. In these and other situations, further communication can be had with a television, monitor, home theater, or other such device. For example, some information can be displayed on the portable electronic device. Other information can be displayed on a television. This allows some information to be displayed privately to a user, while other information is displayed to the user and the user's opponent. In other embodiments, communication can be between a portable electronic device and an accessory and a home stereo or home theater.

"In various embodiments of the present invention, a game accessory includes circuitry for providing identification information. This information may pertain to the capabilities of the accessory. For example, the accessory may inform the portable electronic device that it has a second screen, speakers, or other functionality. The accessory may include further circuitry for receiving information from the portable electronic device. For example, the accessory may inform the accessory that it has a certain sized screen, video capability, or other functionality.

"In various embodiments of the present invention, a game accessory includes circuitry for providing authentication. That is, the portable electronic device may ensure that an accessory is authentic before beginning or continuing to operate with the accessory. The accessory may also include a battery, which may be chargeable. The accessory may include power circuitry for receiving power from an external supply. In various embodiments of the present invention, the accessory can be powered by a battery located in the portable electronic device.

"Also, these portable electronic devices can be used for text-based applications, for example, to view, create, and edit documents, and to send and receive email messages. Data, such as text and commands, can be input using a touchscreen, but some users may find they cannot enter information as fast as they can with a regular or laptop computer. Accordingly, another exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides an accessory having a dedicated alphanumeric entry device. "This device can be a thumb pad, small keyboard, or other such interface. For example, a key pad where one or more keys correspond to a number and one or more letters can be used, where a letter is selected from the one or more letters by pressing the key one or more times. In other embodiments, the keyboard can be arranged to act as a remote control for one or more other electronic devices, such as televisions, home theaters, and the like.

"In various embodiments of the present invention, the processing, computing, and related functions needed for gaming, text entry, recording, and other tasks may be performed by either the portable electronic device or the accessory. Alternately, both the portable electronic device and the accessory can share one or more of these tasks. For example, a game program may operate on a processor located on either a portable electronic device, such as a portable media player, or on an accessory. Alternately, a game program may operate partially on each device.

"Various embodiments of the present invention may incorporate one or more of these and the other features described herein. A better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention may be gained by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings."

 
AAPL
$112.65
Apple Inc.
+3.24
MSFT
$47.52
Microsoft Corpora
+1.78
GOOG
$511.10
Google Inc.
+6.21

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2014 13.2 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2014 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). After Effects CS6 is still available... Read more
Command-C 1.1.7 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Tidy Up 4.0.2 - Find duplicate files and...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more
Typinator 6.3 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
GraphicConverter 9.5 - Graphics editor w...
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0.1 - The ultimate med...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
QuickBooks 2015 16.0.2.1422 R3 - Financi...
Save 20% on QuickBooks Pro for Mac today through this special discount link QuickBooks Pro 2013 helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track... Read more
Remotix 3.0.6 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features: Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The Hit List — Simply Powerful Tasks, To...
The Hit List — Simply Powerful Tasks, To-Dos, Projects, & Reminders 2.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $9.99, Version: 2.0 (iTunes) Description: >> LAUNCH SPECIAL: The Hit List 2 for iPhone is ONLY $9.99... | Read more »
Mahjong Journey Review
Mahjong Journey Review By Jennifer Allen on December 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY MATCHINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Aimed at the more laid back gamer, Mahjong Journey isn’t for everyone, but those looking for some... | Read more »
Emoji Type - custom keyboard with predic...
Emoji Type - custom keyboard with predictive emojis 0.4.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $.99, Version: 0.4.0 (iTunes) Description: Emoji Type is custom keyboard for iOS 8 that auto suggests emojis as you type. ABOUT... | Read more »
Game of the Year 2014 – 148Apps Staff Pi...
The end of 2014 is almost here, which can only mean one thing. Okay it can mean a lot of things, but in this specific context it means Game of the Year lists! Which is why the 148Apps staff have all picked their favorites from the past year. And why... | Read more »
UponPixels Review
UponPixels Review By Jennifer Allen on December 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CREATIVE TYPOGRAPHYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Add cool typography and objects to your photos with the easy to use UponPixels.   | Read more »
The Vikings are Coming! CastleStorm’s Ne...
The Vikings are Coming! CastleStorm’s New Update Adds a Survival Mode Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Duet Display (Productivity)
Duet Display 0.3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $9.99, Version: 0.3.3 (iTunes) Description: Duet Display allows you to use your iPad or iPhone as an extra display. Developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers,... | Read more »
Dragon Quest III Review
Dragon Quest III Review By Jennifer Allen on December 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DATED BUT NOT WITHOUT MERITUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A walk down memory lane isn’t foolproof for Dragon Quest III, but it has its... | Read more »
8 KEMCO JRPGs Are Just $0.99 in Celebrat...
8 KEMCO JRPGs Are Just $0.99 in Celebration of the Holidays Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] KEMCO has announc | Read more »
Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War Review
Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War Review By Jennifer Allen on December 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FUN BUT PUSHYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War could be great fun, but its plethora of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more
KMI MIDI K-Board Great Gift for Amateur &...
The K-Board is a MIDI Nano keyboard for music creation for iPad, Android, And computers; the easiest way to make music with iPads & Android tablets, and Mac, Windows, or Linux computers. Ultra-... Read more
Amazon offers 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook P...
 Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP. Stock is limited, so act now if you’re interested. Read more
Holiday sales continue: MacBook Pros for up t...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sale: Mac minis available for up to $...
 B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off... Read more
Google Search App For iOS Gets A Major Makeov...
Google has given iOS users an early Christmas present with a substantial update of it’s not-very-often-upgraded Google Search app. Google Search has been my go-to tool for Web searches since it was... Read more
ShopKeep Apple Pay And Chip Card Reader Avail...
ShopKeep, a cloud-based technology provider to more than 10,000 small business owners to manage retail shops and restaurants with iPads, has released its new Apple Pay and chip card reader. This... Read more
Holiday sale! 27-inch 5K iMac for $2299, save...
 B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.