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."

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 12.8 - Reference management and...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.6 - Play Apple Music and...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.4 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.1.5587 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more
CrossOver 16.2 - Run Windows apps on you...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.0.0.185 - Access...
Adobe Creative Cloud costs $19.99/month for a single app, or $49.99/month for the entire suite. Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.2 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
Bookends 12.8 - Reference management and...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.0.0.185 - Access...
Adobe Creative Cloud costs $19.99/month for a single app, or $49.99/month for the entire suite. Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.4 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more

The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Deals, deals, deals. We're all about a good bargain here on 148Apps, and luckily this was another fine week in App Store discounts. There's a big board game sale happening right now, and a few fine indies are still discounted through the weekend.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It's been quite the week, but now that all of that business is out of the way, it's time to hunker down with some of the excellent games that were released over the past few days. There's a fair few to help you relax in your down time or if you're... | Read more »
Orphan Black: The Game (Games)
Orphan Black: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dive into a dark and twisted puzzle-adventure that retells the pivotal events of Orphan Black. | Read more »
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

2.6GHz Mac mini on sale for $559, $140 off MS...
Guitar Center has the 2.6GHz Mac mini (MGEN2LL/A) on sale for $559 including free shipping. Their price is $140 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
SSD Speeder RAM Disk SSD Life Extender App Fo...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced they are making their SSD Speeder app for macOS publicly available for purchase on their website. SSD Speeder is a RAM disk utility that prevents... Read more
iPhone Scores Highest Overall in Smartphone D...
Customer satisfaction is much higher among smartphone owners who use their device to operate other connected home services such as smart thermostats and smart appliances, according to the J.D. Power... Read more
Swipe CRM Free Photo-Centric CRM Sales DEal C...
Swipe CRM LLC has introduced Swipe CRM: Visual Sales 1.0 for iPad, an app for creating, managing, and sharing visually stunning sales deals. Swipe CRM is targeted to small-and-medium creative... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.