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Title:
ACTIVE SPORTING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/172351
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A ball for a sporting event is provided that includes an outer layer, an inner layer and a circuit coupled to the outer layer or the inner layer.

Inventors:
HAROON, Alvi, I. (16000 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 500 NDallas, TX, 75248, US)
Application Number:
US2016/028663
Publication Date:
October 27, 2016
Filing Date:
April 21, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PROVA GROUP, INC. (16000 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 500 NDallas, TX, TX, US)
International Classes:
A63B43/00; A63B41/00; A63B41/02
Foreign References:
US8506430B22013-08-13
US20140200103A12014-07-17
EP2472288A12012-07-04
US5755634A1998-05-26
US20090314423A12009-12-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROURK, Christopher, J. et al. (Jackson Walker L.L.P, 2323 Ross Avenue Suite 60, Dallas TX, 75201, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A ball for a sporting event, comprising:

an outer layer;

an inner layer; and

a circuit coupled to the outer layer or the inner layer.

2. The ball of claim 1 wherein the circuit is located between seams in the outer layer and an air hole in the outer layer .

3. The ball of claim 1 wherein the outer layer comprises : an outer leather layer; and

an inner cloth layer. . The ball of claim 3 wherein the circuit is coupled to the inner cloth layer.

5. The ball of claim 1 wherein the circuit further comprises a circuit component suspended within the ball.

6. The ball of claim 1 wherein the circuit further comprises an antenna coupled to the circuit, wherein the circuit is configured to receive data from and to transmit data to the antenna .

7. The ball of claim 1 further comprising:

two or more tethers; and

wherein the circuit further comprises a circuit component suspended within the ball and coupled to the tethers.

8. The ball of claim 1 further comprising a location monitor system configured to determine a location of the ball using a signal received from the circuit.

9. The ball of claim 1 further comprising a pressure monitor system configured to determine a pressure of the ball using a signal received from the circuit.

10. The ball of claim 1 further comprising:

a location monitor system configured to determine a location of the ball using a signal received from the circuit; and

a pressure monitor system configured to determine a pressure of the ball using a signal received from the circuit.

11. The ball of claim 10 further comprising an indicator configured to generate an indication if the location is outside of an authorized location and if a pressure is outside of authorized pressure range.

12. A method of monitoring an active sporting device comprising:

generating a first signal as a function of the active sporting device;

transmitting the first signal towards a location associated with the active sporting device;

receiving a second signal from the active sporting device; and

storing the signal in a device profile.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising: obtaining location data associated with the active sporting device ; and

storing the location data in the device profile.

14. The method of claim 12 further comprising:

obtaining pressure data associated with the active sporting device; and

storing the pressure data in the device profile.

15. The method of claim 12 further comprising:

obtaining location data associated with the active sporting device;

calculating whether the location data is within a permitted location; and

generating an alert if the location data is not within the permitted location.

16. The method of claim 12 further comprising:

obtaining pressure data associated with the active sporting device ;

calculating whether the pressure data is within a permitted pressure range; and

generating an alert if the pressure data is not within the permitted pressure range.

17. The method of claim 12 wherein receiving the second signal from the active sporting device comprises:

extracting energy from the first signal; and

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal.

18. The method of claim 12 wherein receiving the second signal from the active sporting device comprises: extracting energy from the first signal;

using the extracted energy to generate data; and

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal encoded with the data.

19. The method of claim 12 wherein receiving the second signal from the active sporting device comprises:

extracting energy from the first signal;

using the extracted energy to measure data; and

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal encoded with the measured data.

20. In a ball for a sporting event that has an outer layer, an inner layer, a circuit coupled to the outer layer or the inner layer, wherein the circuit is located between seams in the outer layer and an air hole in the outer layer, wherein the outer layer comprises an outer leather layer and an inner cloth layer, wherein the circuit is coupled to the inner cloth layer, wherein the circuit further comprises a circuit component suspended within the ball, wherein the circuit further comprises an antenna coupled to the circuit, wherein the circuit is configured to receive data from and to transmit data to the antenna, two or more tethers, wherein the circuit further comprises a circuit component suspended within the ball and coupled to the tethers, a location monitor system configured to determine a location of the ball using a signal received from the circuit, a pressure monitor system configured to determine a pressure of the ball using a signal received from the circuit, and an indicator configured to generate an indication if the location is outside of an authorized location and if a pressure is outside of authorized pressure range, a method comprising: generating a first signal as a function of the active sporting device;

transmitting the first signal towards a location associated with the active sporting device;

receiving a second signal from the active sporting device; storing the signal in a device profile;

obtaining location data associated with the active sporting device ;

storing the location data in the device profile;

obtaining pressure data associated with the active sporting device ;

storing the pressure data in the device profile; obtaining location data associated with the active sporting device ;

calculating whether the location data is within a permitted location;

generating an alert if the location data is not within the permitted location;

obtaining pressure data associated with the active sporting device ;

calculating whether the pressure data is within a permitted pressure range;

generating an alert if the pressure data is not within the permitted pressure range;

extracting energy from the first signal;

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal; extracting energy from the first signal;

using the extracted energy to generate data;

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal encoded with the data;

extracting energy from the first signal; using the extracted energy to measure data; and

using the extracted energy to generate the second signal encoded with the measured data.

Description:
ACTIVE SPORTING DEVICE

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/150,741, filed April 21, 2015, which is hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes as if set forth herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to sporting devices, and more specifically to an active sporting device with an operating device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Sporting equipment is generally passive, and does not contain any devices that are capable of operation. While tagging of sporting equipment for identification has been used, such tagging is typically limited to sporting equipment that does not see harsh environments, such as jerseys, helmets and other equipment .

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] A ball for a sporting event is provided that includes an outer layer, an inner layer and a circuit coupled to the outer layer or the inner layer.

[0005] Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, and in which:

[0007] FIGURE 1 is a diagram of a ball with an embedded device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0008] FIGURE 2 is a diagram of a ball with a suspended device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0009] FIGURE 3 is a diagram of sporting equipment with an embedded device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0010] FIGURE 4 is a diagram of sporting equipment with an embedded device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0011] FIGURE 5 is a diagram of sporting equipment with an embedded device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0012] FIGURE 6 is a diagram of sporting equipment with an embedded device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure; and [0013] FIGURE 7 is a diagram of a ruggedized near field communications chip in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] In the description that follows, like parts are marked throughout the specification and drawings with the same reference numerals. The drawing figures might not be to scale and certain components can be shown in generalized or schematic form and identified by commercial designations in the interest of clarity and conciseness.

[0015] FIGURE 1 is a diagram of a ball 100 with an embedded device 108, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Ball 100 can be a football, rugby ball, soccer ball or other suitable sporting equipment .

[0016] Ball 100 includes air space 102 and seams 104, which are generally real or simulated stitching that is used to provide structural support, ornamental value or for other purposes. Typically, the stitching can be used by players to grip ball 100, or as a reference for other purposes, such as to place opposite of the point on the ball which a kicker will use as a point of impact.

[0017] Ball 100 also includes air hole 106, which is coupled to a valve (not shown) , and which is used to inflate ball 100 to a desired pressure. Located midway between seams 104 and air hole 106 is circuit 108. The distance between seams 104 and air hole 106 must be sufficient to avoid creating stresses on circuit 108. In one exemplary embodiment, circuit 108 can be placed underneath one or more outer layers of ball 100, such as to provide protection against damage caused by use of ball 100 in a game. In another exemplary embodiment, circuit 108 can be an antenna that is used to convey radio frequency signals from outside of ball 100 to a circuit that is located within ball 100. If ball 100 does not utilize seams 104, then a logo or other indicator can be used to indicate the location of circuit 108, such as to allow players to avoid damaging circuit 108.

[0018] Monitoring system 110 is used to monitor circuit 108. In one exemplary embodiment, monitoring system 110 can include a near field communications monitoring system that interfaces with circuit 108 over a radio frequency communications media 118 from a distance of less than 10 centimeters, a far field monitoring system that interfaces with circuit 108 over a radio frequency communications media 118 from a distance of more than 1 meter, over an infrared communications media using an infrared monitoring system, over an audio communications media using an audio data monitoring system, an amplitude modulation monitoring system, a frequency modulation monitoring system, a spread spectrum monitoring system or other suitable monitoring systems . In another exemplary embodiment, monitoring system 110 can encode a first frequency component of communications media 118 on a second carrier frequency of communications media 118 that is associated with circuit 108, where the first frequency component is used to provide incoming energy to an internal circuit that generates an outgoing signal that is encoded and transmitted using the second carrier frequency. In this exemplary embodiment, an outer antenna can be used to receive the second carrier frequency signal and additional signal processing components can be used to extract the first frequency component to provide it to the internal circuit. Monitoring system 110 can be implemented using a cellular telephone, a cellular telephone with an adjunct signal encoder or other suitable devices .

[0019] Monitoring system 110 includes pressure monitor 112, location monitor 114 and device profile 116, each of which can be implemented in hardware or a suitable combination of hardware and software, and which can be one or more software systems operating on a handheld communications device or other suitable special purpose processors.

[0020] As used herein, "hardware" can include a combination of discrete components, an integrated circuit, an application- specific integrated circuit, a field programmable gate array, or other suitable hardware. As used herein, "software" can include one or more objects, agents, threads, lines of code, subroutines, separate software applications, two or more lines of code or other suitable software structures operating in two or more software applications, on one or more processors (where a processor includes a microcomputer or other suitable controller, memory devices, input-output devices, displays, data input devices such as a keyboard or a mouse, peripherals such as printers and speakers, associated drivers, control cards, power sources, network devices, docking station devices, or other suitable devices operating under control of software systems in conjunction with the processor or other devices) , or other suitable software structures. In one exemplary embodiment, software can include one or more lines of code or other suitable software structures operating in a general purpose software application, such as an operating system, and one or more lines of code or other suitable software structures operating in a specific purpose software application. As used herein, the term "couple" and its cognate terms, such as "couples" and "coupled," can include a physical connection (such as a copper conductor) , a virtual connection (such as through randomly assigned memory locations of a data memory device) , a logical connection (such as through logical gates of a semiconducting device) , other suitable connections, or a suitable combination of such connections .

[0021] Pressure monitor 112 receives encoded pressure data from circuit 108 through communications media 118, and extracts the encoded pressure data for generating a user display. In one exemplary embodiment, pressure monitor 112 can generate an alarm or other indication if the pressure is lower or higher than a predetermined range .

[0022] Location monitor 114 receives encoded location data from circuit 108 through communications media 118, and extracts the encoded location data for generating a user display. In one exemplary embodiment, location monitor 114 can determine a distance to circuit 108 based on a response time of a transmitted signal, can calculate a triangulated location from a plurality of antennae in separate locations to determine a location, or can use other suitable processes to determine a location of circuit 108. In one exemplary embodiment, location monitor 114 can generate an alarm or other indication if the location is outside of a predetermined range.

[0023] Device profile 116 stores profile data for circuit 108. In one exemplary embodiment, circuit 108 can include a unique identifier that is used to uniquely identify ball 100, and device profile 116 can be used to associate predetermined data into a single location or record, in order to reduce the data storage and transmission requirements associated with obtaining and maintaining the profile data. In one exemplary embodiment, ball 100 can be used in a sporting event that has associated audio data, video data, text data, image data and other suitable data, such as television broadcast, pre-game shows, post-game shows, news commentaries, player interviews and similar data. These different types of data are generated by different data sources, under different licensing regimes, and can be difficult to readily identify, locate and obtain rights to. Device profile 116 is used to locate and store different data records associated with the use of ball 100 in the sporting event, such as by negotiating a license with the different content sources and by storing and maintaining license data associated with each different data record, by storing unique or hard to find data records or in other suitable manners . The profile data for circuit 108 thus can include 1) a plurality of different data record types, 2) a plurality of different data records of each type, 3) digital rights management data for each different record to allow the record to be accessed, 4) address data for a location where each of the data records can be found in an associated external data storage system, 5) unique or hard to find data records that are not available from other data sources and other suitable data, all contained in a single data record that substantially reduces the time required to locate such data records, the data storage associated with accessing such data records, the processor time required to access such data records and other suitable technical improvements .

[0024] In operation, placement of circuit 108 between seams 104 and air hole 106 provides additional protection to circuit 108, because seams 104 and air hole 106 provide structural protection to circuit 108. In addition, a kicker may avoid kicking ball 100 between seams 104 and air hole 106, such that placement of circuit 108 between seams 104 and air hole 106 results in circuit 108 being exposed to less stress.

[0025] FIGURE 2 is a diagram of a ball 200 with a suspended device 108 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Ball 202 includes circuit 204 of device 108, internal antenna/interface 206, leads 208, external antenna 210, internal bladder 214 and external shell 212.

[0026] Internal bladder 214 is used to contain pressurized air or other gases, such as for a football, a soccer ball, a rugby ball or other suitable balls. Leads 208 are inserted through a valve or other suitable devices that are disposed on internal bladder 214, to allow electrical signals to be transmitted through internal bladder 214.

[0027] External antenna 210 is disposed outside of air space 202, such as between internal bladder 214 and external shell 212 as shown, or in other suitable manners. In one exemplary embodiment, external antenna 210 can receive radio frequency energy and can transmit the received radio frequency energy through leads 208 to internal antenna/interface 206, and can receive radio frequency energy from internal antenna/interface 206 for transmission to an external receiver. In this exemplary embodiment, leads 208 can be conductors, a wave guide or other suitable devices for conveying radio frequency or other energy. Internal antenna/interface 206 can transmit and receive radio frequency energy to circuit 204, which can be a radio frequency identifier circuit, a near field communications device circuit or other suitable circuits, such as a circuit that is configured to receive radio frequency energy at a first frequency and to generate a radio frequency signal using reflected energy, harvested energy or in other suitable manners. Circuit 204 can include kinetic energy devices, piezoelectric pressure transducers, differential pressure transducers (using an internal sealed chamber) , location circuits (such as global positioning system devices) or other suitable devices. Circuit 204 is held in position by tethers 216 and 218 or in other suitable manners, so as to be insulated from shocks that would otherwise be imparted to circuit 204 if it was disposed on or between internal bladder 214 and/or external shell 212.

[0028] In operation, ball 200 provides additional protection to circuit 204 than ball 100 provides to circuit 108, because circuit 204 is secured away from the contact surfaces of ball 200 and does not receive a significant transmitted shock. Circuit 204 can also be encased in a protective cover, and can be of heavier construction without affecting the balance of ball 200.

[0029] FIGURE 3 is a diagram of sporting equipment 300 with an embedded device 304 in accordance with an exemplary- embodiment of the present disclosure. Embedded device 304 can be a circuit, an antenna or other suitable devices. Embedded device 304 is located between a first outer layer 302 and a second outer layer 306, such as in a football, where first outer layer 302 is made from leather and second outer layer 306 is made from cloth that is bonded to the leather. In this exemplary embodiment, the cloth provides structural support to the leather, which can stretch out of shape. Inner layer 308 can be a rubber bladder that is used to hold compressed air or other suitable gases in an inner chamber 310. In this exemplary embodiment, embedded device 304 can be secured to second outer layer 306, so as to prevent stresses from being induced in embedded device 304. Likewise, the architecture shown in FIGURE

3 can also represent a baseball, where first outer layer 302 is a leather cover and second outer layer 306 is an outer winding core, inner layer 308 is an inner winding core and inner chamber 310 is a rubber core. In this exemplary embodiment, moving the location of embedded device 304 closer to inner chamber 310 can provide greater protection against damage caused by impact from a bat, but can also result in difficulty in reading embedded device 304, where embedded device 304 is a radio frequency identification tag, a near field communications radio frequency tag or other suitable radio frequency responsive devices.

[0030] FIGURE 4 is a diagram of sporting equipment 400 with an embedded 1 device 404 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Embedded device 404 can be a circuit, an antenna or other suitable devices. Embedded device

404 is located between an outer layer 402 and an inner layer 406, such as in a soccer ball or basketball, where outer layer 402 is made from rubber and inner layer 406 is also made from rubber. In this exemplary embodiment, embedded device 404 can be secured to either outer layer 402 or inner layer 406.

[0031] FIGURE 5 is a diagram of sporting equipment 500 with an embedded device 506 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Embedded device 506 can be a circuit, an antenna or other suitable devices. Embedded device 506 is located between an outer layer 502 and a first inner layer 504, where a second inner layer 508 or additional inner layers may be present.

[0032] FIGURE 6 is a diagram of sporting equipment 600 with an embedded device 610 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Embedded device 610 is contained within one or more outer layers 604 through 608, and antenna 602 is disposed outside of one or more outer layers 604 through 608, and is coupled to embedded device 610 by conductor 612. In this exemplary embodiment, embedded device 610 can be positioned within a gas chamber, a solid core, an air core or other suitable locations, and can communicate with antenna 602 through conductor 610, which can be one or more wire conductors, a wave guide or other suitable conductors. Embedded device 610 thus has improved protection from dynamic stresses, without an associated loss in communications. Antenna 602 can be placed outside of outer layer 604, between outer layer 604 and outer layer 606 or in other suitable locations, depending on the design of antenna 602 and the stresses that could be experienced by antenna 602.

[0033] FIGURE 7 is a diagram of a ruggedized near field communications chip 700 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. Chip 700 includes 10 mil clear matt polyester layer 702, which is secured to near field communications tag 704, which can be a Circus NFC Ntag 213 available from Smartrac N.V. of Amsterdam, the Netherlands or other suitable devices, and which can be oriented * face downwards. Layer 706 can be a 15 mil very high bond adhesive or other suitable layers, with an aperture that aligns with near field communications tag 704 to reduce stresses on near field communications tag 704. Layer 708 can be a 15 mil clear polyester layer, and layer 710 can be a U798 adhesive available from Scapa Group of Manchester U.K. or other suitable materials. Ruggedized near field communications chip 700 is configured to withstand impact and temperature extremes .

[0034] It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments are merely examples of possible implementations. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above- described embodiments without departing from the principles of the present disclosure. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and protected by the following claims .