U.S. Patent no. 10,279,254: Controller having visually trackable object for interfacing with a gaming system

Issued May 7, 2019, to Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Priority Date October 26, 2005

U.S. Patent No. 10,279,254 (the ‘254 Patent) relates to a game controller. The ‘254 Patent focuses on tracking the location of a game controller in a field of play, and specifically to tracking the location and the movement of a game controller which includes a ball attachment. The invention states that it can be implemented in a variety of ways. A computer determines a location of the field of play and then locates the ball section of the controller. The computer establishes the geometric shape of the field of play encompassing the area of the ball attachment and the surrounding area. This location is then stored in memory in the computer which is then used in conjunction with the game’s action. The controller features a geometric shape and an accelerometer or gyroscope. A variety of potential controller configurations are proposed in the drawings of which the above is an example.

Methods, systems and computer programs for determining the location in a field of play of a game controller are provided. A ball section is attached to the game controller to locate the controller using visual information. The method obtains an image of the field of play where the game controller is present, and then finds pixels in the image associated with the ball section. The method further establishes an area encompassing the found pixels and determines a geometric shape based on the area associated with the ball. The location of the controller is calculated based on the geometric shape, with the center of the geometric shape indicating the horizontal and vertical location of the controller, and the size of the geometric shape determining the depth of the controller within the field of play. The location is stored in memory, which is used to drive an action by the computer.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A video game controller for wireless interfacing with a computing system, the video game controller comprising: an elongated body in a form of a handle, the elongated body having a first end and a second end; an object disposed at the second end of the elongated body, the second end being opposite to the first end along a longest dimension of the elongated body, the object having a shape for visual recognition; a light source exposed in the object, wherein the object is defined to be illuminated when the light source is active; buttons disposed between the first end and the second end of the elongated body; an inertial sensor disposed within the elongated body; and one or more circuits disposed in the elongated body, the one or more circuits defined to be in communication with the light source, the buttons, the inertial sensor, and an antenna, the antenna provided for wireless communication to and from the computing system.