U.S. Patent No. 9,266,022: System to pause a game console whenever an object enters an exclusion zone
Issued February 23, 2016, to David Paul Pasqualone
Priority Date August 21, 2012
U.S. Patent No. 9,266,022 (the ‘022 Patent) describes a method to pause a game due to the player physically entering into a danger zone. Motion control video games often require players to move physically. Physically moving can become a problem when the player does not realize where he/she is in relation to other objects, like the television. It is possible that a player does not realize he/she has moved closer to the television due to being intensely focused on the game. The ‘022 describes a method to warn players before crashing into the television by creating several exclusion zones using a console’s motion sensors. The first zone is a warning zone, so when a player enters into it, a warning is displayed telling the player he/she is getting too close. If the player ignores the warning and enters the second zone, the system pauses the game. The game will resume after a set amount of time or if the player manually resumes.
A system for use in an interactive gaming console system wherein the gaming console system uses a sensor monitor to detect player actions, wherein either the sensor monitor’s motion and proximity sensors or dedicated motion and proximity sensors detect whenever an object enters an exclusion zone, which is the area wherein the object is too close to the sensor monitor. If an object is detected within the exclusion zone, then the game being played by the gaming system is paused at the point of played and resumed after a set or settable time delay or after a manual resume command is issued by user in the usual way. A warning zone can also be defined just beyond the exclusion zone so that a warning signal of appropriate type can be issued to warn a player that the player is approaching the exclusion zone allowing the player to back away from the exclusion zone.
1. An interactive gaming system, for use by at least one player, the interactive gaming system comprising: a gaming control unit running a software routine that runs a game and displays the game being run on an output device, the software routine capable of being paused at a point within the game, and thereafter resumed from the point; a forward direction looking sensor monitor determines motion of an object and a proximity of the object from the sensor monitor in the forward direction, the sensor monitor in communication with the gaming control unit such that the gaming control unit receives input signals gathered from the sensor monitor and uses the input signals to control the software routine such that if the sensor monitor senses that a moving object is in the forward direction and is closer to the sensor monitor than a first threshold distance, the gaming control unit issues a threshold pause and pauses the software routine and wherein the gaming control unit issues a perceptible warning if the sensor monitor senses that a moving object is in the forward direction and at a proximity distance greater than the first threshold distance and less than a second threshold distance; and wherein the first threshold distance is variable and wherein the gaming control unit automatically resumes running of the software routine after a set amount of time has elapsed and the sensor monitor no longer determines that a moving object is closer to the sensor monitor than the first threshold distance in the forward direction and wherein the gaming control unit has an accumulator that calculates the number of times the threshold is exceeded during a set time interval and if the number of times calculates exceeds a threshold number, the software routine pauses the software routine until a set code is communicated to the gaming control unit.