Thursday, September 14, 2006

Patent battle ahead

Novel types of game UIs are just about to hit the market but there is already things happeningn at patenting.

United States Patent 5516105 (assigned to Exergame):
'A video game user interface device that allows the user to play standard video games using realistic arm, leg and body movements which relate to the various activities portrayed in the video game being played. The device is sensitive to acceleration and outputs a signal to the video game controller when an acceleration is detected. '

This is not the description of Wii controller or EyeToy and related. But it surely sounds and looks pretty close to Nunchuk controller (Nintendo Wii):
'The Nunchuk controller and the accelerometer carries the burden of movement, freeing you to aim and fire using a more natural motion with the Wii Remote. You can make your quarterback elusive with the Nunchuk controller while you look for an open receiver to throw to using the Wii Remote.'

Also Sony tries to patent a game system to view a rodlike controller on a two-dimensional camera image and map its position in 3D space. The title of the patent specifically notes that the process is intended to let users control the action in a game. Technologies like this have been devised before, but they've required multiple cameras to work. It is not the guestion of innovation but ownership.

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