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
$531.70
Apple Inc.
+0.53
MSFT
$39.99
Microsoft Corpora
+0.05
GOOG
$534.81
Google Inc.
+6.19

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Viber 4.1.0 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Apple iOS 7.1.1 - The latest version of...
The latest version of iOS can be downloaded through iTunes. Apple iOS 7 brings an all-new design and all-new features. Simplicity Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is... Read more
1Password 4.3 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Lens Blur 1.3.0 - True out-of-focus boke...
Let Lens Blur transform your existing photo into true SLR-quality out-of-focus bokeh effect! Everyone needs a gorgeous personalized background for a social profile, blog, Web/UI design, presentation... Read more
VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers t...
Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers the Same Social Networking TV Fun, Plus a New Look Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Bandai Namco Unveils Upcoming Slate of M...
At their recent Global Gamers’ Day event, Bandai Namco was largely focused on their console and PC offerings for the upcoming year. However mobile still had a small presence, with some upcoming titles revealed by the company – though few were in a... | Read more »
The Story Behind Grammar Girl’s Grammar...
Learning is so much more rewarding when it’s also fun. That’s part of the reason why recent educational app, Grammar Pop HD, garnered such a positive review from us last week. The brainchild of Mignon Fogarty, otherwise known as Grammar Girl, we... | Read more »
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY POWERFULiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Video editing while on the move has never been so convenient.   | Read more »
Taste Savant Review
Taste Savant Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TASTY RECOMMENDATIONSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad In need of some new restaurant recommendations? This app will be ideal,... | Read more »
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds Mor...
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds More Than Just Sheep to the Liquid Physics Puzzler Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY FARMINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad FarmVille is bigger and brighter than ever before, but don’t expect it to sway you... | Read more »
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update,...
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update, adds Perk System and more Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Strongarm Universal Mount Hardware Revie...
Made by: Viatek Price: $14.99 for 2 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars | Read more »
Boxer Review
Boxer Review By Campbell Bird on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: KO YOUR INBOXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Turn your inbox into a task list or tune it to your own needs with this highly customizable, user friendly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Updated iPad Price Trackers
We’ve updated our iPad Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers. Using a mobile device? We’ve also updated... Read more
Everything You Wanted To Know And Probably Mo...
Macworld UK’s Lou Hattersley takes a look inside Apple’s A7 System On Chip (SoC) , noting that its processor module is much more powerful than other smartphone chipsets. He notes that the A7 was a... Read more
Mavericks Now Runs Half Of Internet Connected...
Computerworld’s Greg Keizer reports that half of all Macs that went online in March were running OS X Mavericks with Version 10.9 accounting for the largest adoption percentage of any individual OS X... Read more
WinZip Mac 3 Simplifies Cloud Sharing And Pri...
WinZip has announced WinZip Mac 3, a new file sharing app that makes it simple to manage, protect and share files across email and the cloud. With direct support for Dropbox and Google Drive,... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini, Apple refurbished, available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2.5GHz Mac minis available for $509, $90 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple refurbished, avail...
The Apple Store continues to offer Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/500GB HD) for $999 which is $200 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
15-inch MacBook Pros (refurbished) available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished October 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1699, with models up to $400 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping... Read more
$100 off cellular iPad minis plus free $20 gi...
Best Buy is discounting cellular iPad minis with Retina Displays by $100 on their online store for a limited time. They’ll also throw in a free $20 Best Buy gift card. Choose free shipping or free... Read more
Updated Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Apple refurbished MacBook Airs available for...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 MacBook Airs available for up to $200 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.