Patents Examined by Sheila Clayton
  • Patent number: 6443733
    Abstract: Enhanced realism of a real-time simulator having multiple computer-controlled units results from making the units capable of reacting to only those other units that each of them can be aware of because of their spatial relationships to the unit. Awareness is based upon probabilities; it can persist after a relationship changes; and it can be influenced by a unit's designation of a target. Each unit selects a target based upon a score incorporating multiple aspects of its tactical situation, and can change targets when the situation changes. A unit selects a strategy in response to which of a set of tactical configurations exist between the unit and its target; the strategy can change short of completion when the configuration changes. A plan produces guidance commands from the high-level strategy. The guidance commands are converted into control settings for guiding the subject unit using a physics engine for simulating the physical dynamics of the unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Jeremy D. Stone
  • Patent number: 6409603
    Abstract: A game apparatus requiring certain operations of a player within a time limit which displays a first window (W1) for a period of time within a first time limit (TM1), displays a second window (W2) for a period of time within a second time limit (TM2) separate from the first time limit (TM1), and displays at least once the aforementioned first window (W1) during the second time limit (TM2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Akira Nishino, Toru Ohara, Shuntaro Tanaka, Yuichi Matsuoka
  • Patent number: 6409514
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for managing training activities are disclosed. In one embodiment, the invention is a method including scheduling the worker for a selected class in response to user input, tracking an available class the worker might attend; electronically determining whether the available class is the selected class; querying the worker about attending the available class if the available class is the selected class; receiving the worker's reply to the query; and enrolling the worker in the available class responsive to the reply. In another embodiment, the invention is a method including tracking a worker's training information; tracking information regarding a class available for the worker to attend; comparing the training information with the available class information; and automatically electronically contacting the worker regarding attending the available class responsive to the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey A. Bull
  • Patent number: 6398644
    Abstract: A virtual matrix comprised of a plurality of grid elements is provided, on which a hidden pattern, comprised of a plurality of matrix entries, is randomly placed. A player views a gaming matrix having a plurality of visible positions, each visible position corresponding to one of the grid elements. The player chooses at least one of the plurality of visible positions on the gaming matrix, after which the game displays the corresponding grid element of the virtual matrix on the gaming matrix. Based on the correct number of guesses matching the pattern location, the player is awarded and a media presentation signals the player's success. If the player guesses incorrectly, a second media presentation signals the incorrect guess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Mikohn Gaming Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth Allan Perrie, Olaf Vancura
  • Patent number: 6350128
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for analyzing reading skills comprised of recording and digitizing sound waves generated by a subject's voice in response to a series of stimuli. The sound waves are decomposed into sequences of articulation and pause periods. The articulation and pause periods are determined by first scanning the generated sound waves and identifying locatians among the sound waves where the sound amplitude raises above or drops bellow a given value. The reading ability of the subject is profiled by analyzing the series of pause and/or articulation periods. The method allows for the diagnosis of reading deficiencies. Based on the diagnosed deficiencies in the subject's reading skills, drill exercises are proposed and rounds of testing and drill exercising are repeated until the diagnosed reading deficiencies are corrected. The method is particularly suitable for use in conjunction with computerized equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Inventor: Graham Neuhaus
  • Patent number: 6343987
    Abstract: In an image processing device composed such that it can display a prescribed object whilst changing the shape of the object. Furthermore, the image processing device includes a first memory for recording information for first polygons which form the object; a second memory for recording information for second polygons that form the object and are linked to the first polygons; and when the shape of the object is changed, the shapes of the second polygons are changed such that no gaps are produced between the first polygons and the second polygons. Using computer graphics in a video game it is possible to achieve a more realistic object representation, wherein joint regions move in a natural manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Yoshifusa Hayama, Kazunori O, Seiichi Yamagata, Shinobu Hayashi, Shigenobu Nakamura, Kazuko Noguchi, Makio Kida, Takeharu Tanimura, Tadahiro Kawamura, Yuichiro Mine, Hideki Tanaka, Naohiro Warama
  • Patent number: 6334815
    Abstract: A game system utilizes a first game machine and a second game machine. The backup data obtained through playing a first game on the first game machine is memorized in a first game cartridge. The first game cartridge is attached to an extension adapter, and the extension adapter is in turn mounted on a controller for the second game machine. Accordingly, the backup data of the first game machine is taken into the second game machine. The second game machine is attached with a second game cartridge. The second machine executes a second game by processing the backup data according to a second game program set up in the second game cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shigeru Miyamoto, Takao Shimizu, Satoshi Nishiumi, Kazuo Koshima
  • Patent number: 6328650
    Abstract: The objective of this invention is to provide a game controller capable of using synchronizing signals to obtain accurate coordinates of an indicated position. Cables (22) and (24) transfer a video signal from a video output terminal of a main game machine unit and a control signal to a controller terminal. An HV separator (150) separates vertical and horizontal synchronizing signals from the video signal. Light from an aimed-at position is detected by a photosensor (154) provided within a gun (20), and a position computation section (162) obtains the coordinates of the aimed-at position, based on a detection pulse at that point and synchronizing signals from the HV separator (150). The cable (22) is connected to the cable (24) within a connector (36) so that a video signal and control signals are transferred by the cable (24). The video output terminal is connected to a video input terminal and a second game controller by using a connector (30) having male and female terminals (32) and (34).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Namco Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Fukawa, Masatoshi Takai
  • Patent number: 6312334
    Abstract: A method of playing a video wagering game is disclosed. The method includes at least a first and second segment, the method comprising the steps of: placing a wager to participate in a video wagering game; playing the first segment of the video wagering game; continuing play of the first segment until at least one predetermined condition has been met; assigning a payout based on at least one predetermined winning outcome of the first segment; playing the second segment of the video wagering game when the at least one predetermined condition has been met; wherein at least a portion of said payout of the first segment is used as a wager in a second segment video wagering game in which a visually different screen format is used in play of a different game in the play of the second segment; and after play of the second segment video wagering game, a second segment payout is assigned based on at least a predetermined outcome of play of the second segment video wagering game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Inventor: Mark L. Yoseloff
  • Patent number: 6287193
    Abstract: This invention relates generally to electronic and electromechanical games having a visual display in which the user can obtain feedback on his or her performance during, or after, play, play a game stored in memory, and/or interact with a virtual pet or other character and, more particularly, to a hand-held game apparatus comprising a rotatable body rotating about an axis of rotation incorporating a display coupled to the apparatus for displaying graphics and textual images, a controller coupled to the apparatus for receiving, processing, and outputting data, graphics, and textual images to the display, memory coupled to, and accessible by, the controller for storing information relating to the electronic game, a sensor coupled to the controller for receiving information related to the use of the electronic game and for transmitting the information to the controller, and one or more user inputs for inputting commands to the electronic game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Inventors: Steven F. Rehkemper, Jeffrey G. Rehkemper, Dennis J. O'Patka, Ronald L. Black, Michael M. Kass
  • Patent number: 6273726
    Abstract: An audio-visual work and method of its creation which work has writings placed on the pictures of the work so that as each word or other utterance is heard a writing to be associated with the hearing is coordinated with seeing of the writing such that the future presentation of either the utterance or the writing shall evoke the other in the mind of the original viewer-listener. Each word will when appropriate appear in a legible perspective adjacent to the mouth of the utterer. The work can be displayed linearly or under computer control of the viewer/listener along with additional educational materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: ReadSpeak, Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Kirksey, Kyle S. Morris
  • Patent number: 6251012
    Abstract: The game system comprises an image display device; an operation input device issuing a signal corresponding to an operation of a player; a mode select device for selecting one mode between a breeding mode in which a breeding game is prepared and a competition mode in which a competition game is prepared; a breeding game control device for controlling a progress of the breeding game, and a competition game control device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Konami Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Atsushi Horigami, Riichiro Kawahara, Mariko Koyama, Kenhei Gu, Atsushi Otani, Hidehiro Hirata, Makoto Yabe, Kazuhiko Kobari
  • Patent number: 6251011
    Abstract: A shooting video game machine comprising a mock gun having a trigger, a monitor which presents flying characters and characters other than flying characters to form a game playing display while causing a bullet to travel in a predetermined direction in synchronization of the pulling of the trigger, and a controller module comprising a game controller and a graphic controller. The graphic controller comprises a graphic processor, a character control block, a bullet control block, a hit determining block, and a proximity determining block. The hit determining block determines whether the bullet hits each of the characters, and the proximity determining block determines whether the bullet hits the proximity area of each flying character, when the hit determining block determines that the bullet hits none of the characters. When the hit determining block determines that the bullet hits a character, a strike display is presented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Konami Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Atsushi Yamazaki
  • Patent number: 6251015
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention provides a game unit controller for controlling a game unit in a manner that simulates the feel of a bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, jet ski, or the like. The game unit controller includes a base with a clamp coupled thereto for securing the base to a peripheral edge of a table. Also included is a pivoting unit movably coupled to the base for generating control signals upon movement thereof. A handlebar assembly is coupled to the pivoting unit for being gripped by a user and moving the pivoting unit, thereby effecting the generation of the control signals which in turn control the associated game unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: John R. Caprai
  • Patent number: 6227974
    Abstract: A gaming method for use with an interactive game which is played at a player unit having an interface device which is coupled to a television and to at least one communication network. The method includes displaying, via the interface device, the interactive game on the television, capturing a picture of a player, transferring the picture of the player to a headend, processing the picture of the player to create an avatar of the player, electronically assimilating the avatar into the interactive game, and enabling the player to interactively play the interactive game by controlling the avatar via the at least one communication network. In another preferred embodiment, a gaming method is provided for use with an interactive game in which, at a first player unit, a first interface device is coupled to a first television and to a communication network, and at a second player unit, a second interface device is coupled to a second television and to the communication network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: NDS Limited
    Inventors: Amir Eilat, Arnold Zucker
  • Patent number: 6220964
    Abstract: A game system utilizes a first game machine and a second game machine. The backup data obtained through playing a first game on the first game machine is memorized in a first game cartridge. The first game cartridge is attached to an extension adapter, and the extension adapter is in turn mounted on a controller for the second game machine. Accordingly, the backup data of the first game machine is taken into the second game machine. The second game machine is attached with a second game cartridge. The second machine executes a second game by processing the backup data according to a second game program set up in the second game cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shigeru Miyamoto, Takao Shimizu, Satoshi Nishiumi, Kazuo Koshima
  • Patent number: 6213878
    Abstract: Although difficult game stages may not be cleared by unskilled players, by making the stages easy to be cleared, the degree of difficulty of the game would be lowered and the amusement of the game would be reduced. The present invention comprises: a storing device 102 capable of storing the number of certain marks displayed in an virtual space and which are in the player's hand, as well as displaying the position of such marks; a processing circuit 10 for advancing the respective steps of game control in sequence by referring to the operation signals supplied from an input device 2b, the number of marks in hand and positions thereof stored in the storing device, and for outputting displaying image data related thereto; a displaying circuit 11 for displaying a displaying image including the segment and marks on the basis of displaying image data supplied from the processing circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Akio Setsumasa, Akira Nishino, Yusuke Yoshida, Takeshi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 6210272
    Abstract: A multi-player interactive electronic game for health education encourages inter-player communication about a health condition by correlating the players' progress. Each player manages the health of a game construct such as a game character or body region. Correlating the player's game progress is achieved through: common scoring; conditioning a player's passage to higher levels on the health management success of all players; and shared game resources, including game resources representing devices or supplies used in the care of the health condition. Applications include children' health education related to diseases such as diabetes and asthma, as well as health habits such as dental hygiene, and tobacco, alcohol and drug use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: Health Hero Network, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Brown
  • Patent number: 6186895
    Abstract: An intelligent casino chip system. At least one gaming table is provided with at least one discrete player area. Each player area has a discrete betting area. Two classes of intermingled gaming chips are accepted in a stack in the discrete betting area. The gaming chip of the first class, comprising the primary wager, has a first transponder containing at least value information. The gaming chip of the second class, comprising the secondary wager, has a second transponder containing value and class information. A transceiver system located on the gaming table within the vicinity of the betting area is used to receive value signals from the first transponder and transponder value and class signals from the second transponder. These signals are conveyed to a computer system that then determines a primary wager value of the primary wager based on the value signals from the first transponder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Mikohn Gaming Corporation
    Inventor: Terrance W. Oliver
  • Patent number: 6179618
    Abstract: Enhanced realism of a real-time simulator having multiple computer-controlled units results from making the units capable of reacting to only those other units that each of them can be aware of because of their spatial relationships to the unit. Awareness is based upon probabilities; it can persist after a relationship changes; and it can be influenced by a unit's designation of a target. Each unit selects a target based upon a score incorporating multiple aspects of its tactical situation, and can change targets when the situation changes. A unit selects a strategy in response to which of a set of tactical configurations exist between the unit and its target; the strategy can change short of completion when the configuration changes. A plan produces guidance commands from the high-level strategy. The guidance commands are converted into control settings for guiding the subject unit using a physics engine for simulating the physical dynamics of the unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Jeremy D. Stone