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Intel Patents Gaming System With "Safety Features"

By - Source: USPTO | B 13 comments

Game systems that rely on gesture recognition for data input carry a potential for a player to unintentionally collide with surrounding objects.

We have grown accustomed to such scenarios since Nintendo decide to attach wristbands to its Wii Remotes and overeager Kinect players.

Intel has an idea to prevent objects from being damaged and players from being hurt. The company was just granted a patent that envisions proximity sensors to be built into game consoles that would trigger an alert or a game to be interrupted when a player may be too close to an object. From the patent:

"The gaming console may use the images of the full body movement and the images of the surrounding objects to determine if the user is close to the surrounding objects, which may cause collision with the surrounding objects. If the user is close to the surrounding objects, the gaming console may generate alert signals that may avoid or minimize the probability of collision of the user with the surrounding objects."

The patent was filed somewhat late, in March 2011, but was granted quickly in December 2012. The patent consists of hardware and software claims, where the hardware covers:

- a first set of sensors [that] continuously capture the first images of the body movement of the player
- a first set of sensors [includes] a camera to capture the first images of the body movement of the player
- a first set of sensors [that includes] a depth sensor to capture depth value of the first images of the body movement of the player
- a second set of sensors [that captures] the second images of the objects surrounding the player at regular intervals of time
- a first processor to determine proximity values based on a plurality of first position values and a plurality of second position values
- a first processor [to] generate an alert signal and pause signal if the proximity values are within the threshold values
- a second processor coupled to the first processor, wherein the second processor is to pause the game in response to receiving the pause signal

It would be unreasonable to conclude that Intel is suddenly interested in the video game console business. However, if we remember that Intel's core business intent is to sell more micro chips every year, then such patents make complete sense for the company.


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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    virtualban , December 26, 2012 9:11 AM
    So I can sue the companies when their technology fails instead of relying on common sense and self control.
  • 20 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 26, 2012 9:32 AM
    Sorry grandma is wasn't my fault that i punched you in the face, my console said i wasn't too close to anything!
  • 12 Hide
    bennaye , December 26, 2012 10:11 AM
    ...for when common sense just isn't good enough anymore
Other Comments
    Display all 13 comments.
  • 23 Hide
    virtualban , December 26, 2012 9:11 AM
    So I can sue the companies when their technology fails instead of relying on common sense and self control.
  • 7 Hide
    memadmax , December 26, 2012 9:13 AM
    lolololololololol!!!
  • 9 Hide
    noob2222 , December 26, 2012 9:18 AM
    looks like a lawsuit "waiting" to happen.
  • 20 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 26, 2012 9:32 AM
    Sorry grandma is wasn't my fault that i punched you in the face, my console said i wasn't too close to anything!
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , December 26, 2012 9:59 AM
    just tie one end of a rope around the player's waist and tie the other end of the rope to the dinner table. sensors can only warn. physical restraints will do better. cheers
  • 12 Hide
    bennaye , December 26, 2012 10:11 AM
    ...for when common sense just isn't good enough anymore
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , December 26, 2012 10:39 AM
    The perfect add on for folks who drive self parking cars :-)
  • 3 Hide
    spentshells , December 26, 2012 12:07 PM
    virtualbanSo I can sue the companies when their technology fails instead of relying on common sense and self control.


    Brilliant
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , December 26, 2012 12:15 PM
    Using "two sets of sensors" (artificial vision) to reconstruct a real-world scene in virtual 3D is something that has been done over 10 years ago. Seems like Intel has essentially patented the idea of using something similar to predict potential collision hazards.

    I can see why Intel would be interested in that: major CPU hog. Processing HD stereo-3D in real-time for spatial analysis and collision avoidance with high enough precision to finely control games and applications using air-gestures would use most of current CPUs' time. While Kinect proves the general concept, its motion detection is much too coarse and laggy for fine control.
  • 3 Hide
    dauntekong , December 26, 2012 1:20 PM
    So in other words..... be very very still...... dont move an inch....
  • 0 Hide
    jonjonjon , December 26, 2012 5:40 PM
    did intel actually implement and test this or did they just patent some dumb idea?
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , December 26, 2012 10:20 PM
    jonjonjondid intel actually implement and test this or did they just patent some dumb idea?

    I wouldn't say it is a 'dumb' patent but it is a relatively obvious one if you consider that Kinect already has most of what is required to implement it.

    I chuck it up the alley of defensive patents where Intel patents this possible killer-app to prevent someone else from killing it and ruining one of Intel's best future opportunities for pushing higher-throughput CPU/GPGPU.
  • 2 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 27, 2012 4:53 AM
    In other news, the dumbing down of American people continues... I swear we are heading for Idiocracy.