Patents by Inventor Aaron Schmitz

Aaron Schmitz has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10737172
    Abstract: A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis, a force sensor configured to determine an actuation force applied to the user-actuatable trigger, and a force-feedback motor operatively coupled to the user-actuatable trigger. The force-feedback motor is configured to activate based on a force-feedback signal and adjust a user-perceived state of the user-actuatable trigger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Jonathan Shea Robinson
  • Patent number: 10732727
    Abstract: Examples are disclosed that relate to handheld input devices having pressable user input mechanisms configured to move in a manner that adapts to different hands. One disclosed example provides a handheld input device comprising a body configured to be held by a hand such that one or more fingers of the hand are curved at least partially toward a palm of the hand, a pressable user input mechanism positioned on the body at such a location as to be in contact with a palm-side surface of a finger when the handheld input device is held, and a hinge coupling between the body and the pressable user input mechanism, the hinge coupling comprising an axis of rotation that varies based upon a characteristic of force applied to the pressable user input mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan Shea Robinson, Aaron Schmitz, Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Andrew McKinley Schroeder
  • Patent number: 10663016
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and devices are provided for an electrostatic rotary clutch. The clutch comprises electrically-conductive housing plates fixed into position in grooves within a housing of the clutch. The clutch also comprises rotor plates that are fixed onto a shaft. The shaft is positioned within the housing such that each rotor plate is adjacently positioned next to each housing plate, thereby forming a plurality of electrically-conductive plate pairs. To produce a torque resistance on the shaft, a voltage differential is applied between the housing and rotor plates, which causes an electrostatic adhesion between the housing and rotor plate in each electrically-conductive plate pair. Alternatively, the housing and rotor plates are not fixed into position, enabling a greater number of housing and rotor plates within the housing and increasing the torque resistance produced on the shaft when applying the voltage differential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Jonathan Shea Robinson
  • Publication number: 20200139230
    Abstract: User input devices, such as gaming controllers, are provided herein. In one example, a system includes a movement calibration system configured to determine qualification zones that qualify peak excursions in movement data associated with manipulation of a control mechanism in one or more axes. The movement calibration system is configured to establish updates to the qualification zones based on changes in the movement data, where the updates bias drift of the qualification zones outward in the one or more axes. The movement calibration system is configured to determine calibrated movement data based at least on the updates to the qualification zones. The calibrated movement data can be provided for use in controlling one or more user interface elements with the control mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 7, 2020
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Inventors: Ross Anthony Nelson, Aaron Schmitz, Curtis F. McClive
  • Patent number: 10561935
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises a tiltable post operable to output a control signal based on its position, with the post comprising external threads and a post anchor feature. An adjustable tensioning mechanism is configured to modify a tilt tension of the post. A cap comprises a cylindrical stem that defines a cavity. A base is moveable with the post and comprises a first cylindrical portion extending into the cavity, and a second cylindrical portion comprising internal threads and a base anchor feature. The internal threads mate with the external threads of the post to fasten the post to the base, and the base anchor feature abuts the post anchor feature to prevent displacement of the base toward the proximal end of the post.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin John Tiffany, Benjamin Michael Finney, Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 10556174
    Abstract: User input devices, such as gaming controllers, are provided herein. In one example, a user input device includes a control mechanism configured to receive user manipulation in one or more axes. The user input device includes a movement calibration system that monitors movement data representative of user manipulation of a control mechanism, and determines calibrated movement data based at least in part on a movement space normalized using at least qualification zones that qualify peak excursions of the control mechanism in one or more axes. Responsive to the movement data, the movement calibration system establishes updates to the qualification zones that bias drift of the qualification zones outward in the one or more axes, and provides the calibrated movement data for use in controlling one or more user interface elements with the control mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Ross Anthony Nelson, Aaron Schmitz, Curtis F. McClive
  • Publication number: 20200035428
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and computer program products are provided for a user input device, such as a game controller, that includes a finger-pressable (“tactile”) switch. The switch is adjustable to change the amount of force used to actuate the switch. In an example implementation, a tactile switch comprises a housing, a button interposer, a dome switch, and an adjustment mechanism. A user or other entity may press the button interposer. The dome switch is contained in the housing, and is actuated by the button interposer being pressed. The adjustment mechanism is contained at least partially in the housing, and is configured to enable an amount of force used to press the button interposer to actuate the dome switch to be adjusted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 3, 2019
    Publication date: January 30, 2020
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20190344170
    Abstract: A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a rack gear, a return spring operatively intermediate the user-actuatable trigger and the rack gear, a force-feedback motor and a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis. The return spring is configured to forward bias the user-actuatable trigger toward an extended posture. The force-feedback motor is configured to drive the rack gear based on a force-feedback signal and thereby adjust a spring force applied by the return spring to the user-actuatable trigger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2019
    Publication date: November 14, 2019
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron SCHMITZ, Gabriel Michael Rask GASSOWAY
  • Patent number: 10475606
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and computer program products are provided for a user input device, such as a game controller, that includes a finger-pressable (“tactile”) switch. The switch is adjustable to change the amount of force used to actuate the switch. In an example implementation, a tactile switch comprises a housing, a button interposer, a dome switch, and an adjustment mechanism. A user or other entity may press the button interposer. The dome switch is contained in the housing, and is actuated by the button interposer being pressed. The adjustment mechanism is contained at least partially in the housing, and is configured to enable an amount of force used to press the button interposer to actuate the dome switch to be adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 10427035
    Abstract: A game controller includes a trigger-activation sensor, a sensor-activation feature, and a trigger-retention feature. The sensor-activation feature is moveable relative to the trigger-activation sensor. The trigger-activation sensor outputs a control signal based on a relative position of the sensor-activation feature and the trigger-activation sensor. The trigger-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected removable trigger accessory to the game controller. The selected removable trigger accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured removable trigger accessories removably affixable to the game controller. The selected removable trigger accessory is configured to change the relative position of the sensor-activation feature and the trigger-activation sensor based on finger manipulation of the selected removable trigger accessory when the selected removable trigger accessory is removably affixed to the game controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Jonathan Shea Robinson, Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway
  • Patent number: 10384123
    Abstract: A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a rack gear, a return spring operatively intermediate the user-actuatable trigger and the rack gear, a force-feedback motor and a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis. The return spring is configured to forward bias the user-actuatable trigger toward an extended posture. The force-feedback motor is configured to drive the rack gear based on a force-feedback signal and thereby adjust a spring force applied by the return spring to the user-actuatable trigger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway
  • Publication number: 20190176031
    Abstract: A paddle accessory includes a blade, a sensor-activation feature extending from the blade, and a mounting interface spaced apart from the sensor-activation feature. The blade is sized and shaped for manual manipulation by a finger. The mounting interface is configured to selectively mate with a pivot of a game controller to removably affix the paddle accessory to the game controller. The paddle accessory is configured to rotate relative to the pivot to translate a touch force applied to the blade into an actuation force applied by the sensor-activation feature to a paddle-actuatable sensor interior an aperture of the game controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2019
    Publication date: June 13, 2019
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Aaron Schmitz, Jason Victor Tsai, Christopher H. Kujawski
  • Patent number: 10315107
    Abstract: A user input device is provided that includes a button-based control mechanism. The button-based control mechanism includes a button, the button including a user-depressible button top and a button stem, and a button depression guide disposed within an internal cavity of the user input device that engages with the button stem to cause the button to move from a default position and along a substantially arc-shaped path when pressure is applied to the button top. The substantially arc-shaped path may be around an axis of rotation that is external to the user input device. The button-based control mechanism further includes a button biasing mechanism disposed within the internal cavity that returns the button to the default position when the pressure is removed from the button top and at least one sensor that detects actuation of the button responsive to the movement of the button away from the default position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Gabriel M. R. Gassoway, Andrew McKinley Schroeder, Jonathan Shea Robinson
  • Publication number: 20190126143
    Abstract: A game controller includes an electronic input sensor and a button-retention feature. The button-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected button accessory to the game controller through a magnetic attraction between the button-retention feature and the selected button accessory. The selected button accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured button accessories removably affixable to the game controller. The selected button accessory is configured to translate a touch applied to the selected button accessory to an actuation of the electronic input sensor when the selected button accessory is affixed to the game controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20190126142
    Abstract: A game controller includes an electronic input sensor and a mounting platform. The mounting platform includes an accessory-retention feature and a sensor-activation feature. The accessory-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected removable controller accessory to the mounting platform. The selected removable controller accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured removable controller accessories removably affixable to the mounting platform. The mounting platform is configured to move from a default posture to an activation posture responsive to finger manipulation of the selected removable controller accessory when the selected removable controller accessory is affixed to the mounting platform. The sensor-activation feature interfaces with the electronic input sensor to generate an activate control signal in the activation posture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Kenneth Jasinski, Joshua Weiher
  • Publication number: 20190118088
    Abstract: User input devices, such as gaming controllers, are provided herein. In one example, a user input device includes a control mechanism configured to receive user manipulation in one or more axes. The user input device includes a movement calibration system that monitors movement data representative of user manipulation of a control mechanism, and determines calibrated movement data based at least in part on a movement space normalized using at least qualification zones that qualify peak excursions of the control mechanism in one or more axes. Responsive to the movement data, the movement calibration system establishes updates to the qualification zones that bias drift of the qualification zones outward in the one or more axes, and provides the calibrated movement data for use in controlling one or more user interface elements with the control mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2017
    Publication date: April 25, 2019
    Inventors: Ross Anthony Nelson, Aaron Schmitz, Curtis F. McClive
  • Publication number: 20190107157
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and devices are provided for an electrostatic rotary clutch. The clutch comprises electrically-conductive housing plates fixed into position in grooves within a housing of the clutch. The clutch also comprises rotor plates that are fixed onto a shaft. The shaft is positioned within the housing such that each rotor plate is adjacently positioned next to each housing plate, thereby forming a plurality of electrically-conductive plate pairs. To produce a torque resistance on the shaft, a voltage differential is applied between the housing and rotor plates, which causes an electrostatic adhesion between the housing and rotor plate in each electrically-conductive plate pair. Alternatively, the housing and rotor plates are not fixed into position, enabling a greater number of housing and rotor plates within the housing and increasing the torque resistance produced on the shaft when applying the voltage differential.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2017
    Publication date: April 11, 2019
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Jonathan Shea Robinson
  • Patent number: 10238963
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a stem that defines a first cavity. A base is moveable with the tiltable post and comprises a portion extending into the first cavity. The portion defines a second cavity and comprises a protuberance projecting into the second cavity. An adjustment body within the second cavity comprises a recessed slot and a contacting surface at a distal end. The slot is configured to engage the protuberance to adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20190083883
    Abstract: A game controller includes a grip, one or more finger-actuatable controls on the grip, and a rim located on the grip. The rim defines an aperture. The game controller further includes a paddle-actuatable sensor accessible through the aperture and a pivot spaced apart from the aperture. The pivot is configured to removably affix a selected paddle accessory to the game controller and to translate a touch applied to the selected paddle accessory outside of the aperture to an actuation of the paddle-actuatable sensor inside the aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Publication date: March 21, 2019
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Aaron Schmitz, Jason Victor Tsai, Christopher H. Kujawski
  • Patent number: 10232254
    Abstract: A game controller includes a grip, one or more finger-actuatable controls on the grip, and a rim located on the grip. The rim defines an aperture. The game controller further includes a paddle-actuatable sensor accessible through the aperture and a pivot spaced apart from the aperture. The pivot is configured to removably affix a selected paddle accessory to the game controller and to translate a touch applied to the selected paddle accessory outside of the aperture to an actuation of the paddle-actuatable sensor inside the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Aaron Schmitz, Jason Victor Tsai, Christopher H. Kujawski