Enhancing Electronic Game Experience
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jun-30
The essence of the invention is adding additional media -- dynamic light configuration, temperature, wind, etc., -- for game immersion, similar to 3D surround audio, using the existing light sources, air conditioning system, and any other controllable system in the room in which the game is played.
Game systems can produce quite impressive sound effects, and a lot of attention has been paid to surround effects attainable using home speaker systems. However, other aspects of the game experience do not usually get the same attention from game developers.
There are systems that let you control the lights in the room programmatically using a central control unit, e.g., by clapping your hands (an audio signal) or a central control panel, or theoretically (or maybe even not theoretically) by calling a number, or sending an SMS message - it's simple logic to implement.
In our context, controlling the lights during a video game could enrich the game experience by having the video game box know where the lights in a room are,
what their maximum illumination is,
and have a device that plugs to the light control and receives a signal from the video game box to control the lights. If there is more than one light source in the room, even better, as controlling these sources can create more elaborate effects, for example, dim one light and increase the other in order to create a sense of motion. For example, The Wii game console can theoretically communicate with the light controlling units via Bluetooth or any other format.
The idea of enriching the game experience shouldn't be limited to light sources only.
An air conditioner can change the temperature of the room,
when necessary during the game,
experience and participant immersion.
In summary: controlling light levels isn't novel (
even dimmers that respond to audio commands or clapping of hands). Using lights to create effects isn't novel either.
Anyone who has been to a play or a concert has
seen this. We think that the combination, in the home gaming context, and applying algorithms to adjust the desired effects to the specific lighting configuration in a room, is novel. We note that the idea can be extended to include other electronic home systems, such as air conditioning for controlling the environmental temperature.
Home automation using a Wii console has already been demonstrated. See http://
However, this demonstration shows direct manipulation of home appliances (lights, TV, etc.),
whereas our disclosure suggest indirect manipulation,
on the fly by the console, and one that is a side-effect aimed in enhancing the game experience, and not the main object of manipulation as in this case.
US Patent application US20070257530
is a product
that also aims to enhance the gaming experience. However, as described, the light control, there is "and a lighting controller for controlling the lighting based on the vibration feedback signal. " and not based on preconceived scene light configuration and ad-hoc light configuration in a room.
We propose to incorporate illumination control features in game consoles, that:
Can be configured to know where existing light sources placed, and what