U.S. Patent No. 10,471,303: Training Instrument and input device
Issued November 12, 2019, to Nintendo Co. Ltd
Filed: April 14, 2017 (claiming priority to October 16, 2014)
U.S. Patent No. 10,471,303 (the ‘303 patent) relates to a training instrument for exercise, with sensors that detect force. The ‘303 patent details a training instrument, game controller, with a main body having two gripping portions opposite to each other. There is a space between the two gripping points and a coupling portion joined to the grips.
There is a load sensor which detects the load applied to the instrument, which is communicated with by a communication circuit in an electromechanical connector, connectable to the training instrument. The load sensor repeatedly detects and transmits the load (both the load of pushing the grips together and pulling them apart) for an ongoing communication of load amount. The information communicated can then be presented to a user via the external terminal which executes an application presenting information related to the training method to a user. The training instrument also may have an internal sensor for detecting posture and motion of the main body, a gyro sensor for orientation, and an acceleration sensor. The ‘303 patent also includes a power buttons and a battery, and is usable as a video game controller.
The ‘303 patent may be familiar as the Ring-Con controller for the Nintendo Switch game, Ring Fit Adventure.
Like Wii Fit, Ring Fit Adventure is a Nintendo game that hopes to help players exercise. Also like Wii Fit, the game was sold out everywhere for the first few months after launch, possibly more dramatically thanks to the pandemic. Ultimately, the ‘303 patent seems like a fun way to get some exercise in at home.
A non-limiting example training instrument comprises a hollow main body formed of an aluminum alloy. The main body is constituted by two gripping portions opposite to each other with a space therebetween and a coupling portion coupling the two gripping portions. A load sensor is arranged in the coupling portion inside the main body. The load sensor is a load cell, a strain gauge affixed to an interior of the main body, and a part of the main body to which the strain gauge is affixed functions as a strain body. Therefore, if a user applies a force so as to bring the two gripping portions close to each other or a force so as to move the two gripping portions away from each other, a load thereof is detected by the load sensor.
- A training instrument, comprising: a main body having two gripping portions opposite to each other with a space therebetween and a coupling portion that is non-movably joined to each of the two gripping portions and couples the two gripping portions; a load sensor configured to detect a load applied to the main body; and an electromechanical connector via which a communication circuit that is configured to wirelessly transmit a detected value of the load sensor corrected using a stored correction value is connectable to the training instrument.