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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GAME-PLAYING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/126961
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a game -playing device, comprising: - a game -playing lane configured to guide a physical game -playing object thereover; - a sensor unit configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of the physical game- playing object; - a processing unit configured to determine the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object and convert this into a virtual behaviour of a virtual game -playing object which is associated with the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object, and which is further configured to generate image signals corresponding to the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object; and - a screen arranged at the game -playing lane and configured to show thereon in a virtual game -playing environment the image signals of the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object.

Inventors:
VISSCHER, Hendrikus Johannes (Bavelselaan 404, 4834 TK Breda, 4834 TK, NL)
Application Number:
NL2017/050029
Publication Date:
July 27, 2017
Filing Date:
January 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BCE B.V. (De Wetering 31, Oosterhout, 4906 CT, 4906 CT, NL)
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B24/00; A63D1/00; A63D3/00; A63D5/04; G07F17/32; G09B19/00; A63F7/02; A63F9/24; A63F13/65; A63F13/812
Foreign References:
US20090280916A12009-11-12
US20040242292A12004-12-02
US20100279804A12010-11-04
US5171013A1992-12-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAAN, Raimond Johannes Gerardus (Bezuidenhoutseweg 57, 2594 AC Den Haag, 2594 AC, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Game -playing device, comprising:

- a game -playing lane configured to guide a physical game -playing object thereover; - a sensor unit configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of the physical game- playing object;

- a processing unit configured to determine the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object and convert this into a virtual behaviour of a virtual game -playing object which is associated with the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object, and which is further configured to generate image signals corresponding to the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object; and

- a screen arranged at the game -playing lane and configured to show thereon in a virtual game -playing environment the image signals of the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object.

2. Game -playing device according to claim 1 , wherein the game -playing device can be switched off and the screen can be displaced to a position in which the screen allows a player an unobstructed view of an exit side of the game -playing lane. 3. Game -playing device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the physical game, for instance bowling, is a different game than the virtual game, for instance shuffleboard.

4. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein a player area having a different height level relative to the game -playing lane is provided at a longitudinal outer end of the game -playing lane, and wherein the height level between the player area and the entry side of the game -playing lane is adjustable.

5. Game -playing device according to claim 3, wherein the player area is provided with a height adjustment and/or wherein the game -playing lane is provided with a height adjustment.

6. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the game- playing device comprises two game -playing lanes which are arranged mutually adjacently, and wherein the sensor unit is configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of a physical game- playing object on at least two adjacent game -playing lanes.

7. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the sensor unit comprises at least one camera directed at the game -playing lane.

8. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the sensor unit comprises at least one video camera.

9. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the game- playing lane has an entry side lying opposite the exit side in the longitudinal direction, and wherein the screen is arranged on or close to the entry side.

10. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the screen is arranged directly above the game -playing lane.

11. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the screen obstructs a player's view of the exit side of the game -playing lane at least for the greater part.

12. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the virtual game -playing environment shown on the screen functions as aiming aid for the player. 13. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein an intermediate space in the range of 1.1 - 5 and more preferably 1.1 - 2 times the height of the physical game -playing object is provided between a lower edge of the screen and the game -playing lane. 14. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein an intermediate space in the range of 25 - 50 centimetres and more preferably 25 - 40 centimetres is provided between a lower edge of the screen and the game -playing lane.

15. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the physical game -playing object comprises a ball and the game -playing device is further provided with a ball conveyor.

16. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims, wherein the game- playing lane is less than 15 m long, and preferably less than 10 m long.

17. Game -playing device according to any of the foregoing claims 1-15, wherein the game -playing lane is a bowling lane and the physical game -playing object is a bowling ball.

Description:
Game-playing device

The invention relates to a game -playing device, comprising a game -playing lane configured to guide a physical game -playing object thereover.

In addition to bowling and skittles being competitive sports in some countries, such sports are also widely played recreationally. Bowling in particular is available in many recreational forms, such as bowling in the dark, which is popular with young people, wherein a spectacular game -playing environment is created with neon lighting. Elderly people also enjoy types of game such as bowling, although the physical condition of elderly people sometimes impedes their ability to lift the relatively heavy bowling balls.

A further drawback of conventional types of game such as bowling and skittles is that special bowling lanes and skittles lanes are necessary, which are generally arranged permanently in a building. Because (recreational) pursuit of such sports is seasonal, bowling and skittles lanes are sometimes used relatively infrequently during low season. During high season however, it will sometimes conversely be desired to be able to construct a plurality of lanes, which is often not possible due to the immovable nature of bowling and skittles lanes.

There is a need for new and alternative recreational types of game which preferably appeal to a wide audience, and ideally to both young and elderly people. It is particularly advantageous if such new and alternative types of game can be deployed in flexible manner, so that periodic and site-specific demand for these types of game can be met.

The American patent application US-A1-2009/280916 is recognized as prior art.

The invention now has for its object to provide a game -playing device of the above described type, wherein the stated drawbacks do not occur, or at least do so to lesser extent.

Said object is achieved according to the invention with a game -playing device, comprising: - a game -playing lane configured to guide a physical game -playing object thereover;

- a sensor unit configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of the physical game- playing object;

- a processing unit configured to determine the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object and convert this into a virtual behaviour of a virtual game -playing object which is associated with the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game -playing object, and which is further configured to generate image signals corresponding to the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object; and

- a screen arranged at the game -playing lane and configured to show thereon in a virtual game -playing environment the image signals of the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object. It is noted for the sake of completeness that a screen according to the invention can be any screen for showing visual images, this including a television or monitor, but also screens onto which visual images are projected. Projection screens with front or rear projection are expressly included.

Although a sensor unit which is configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of the physical game -playing object can in principle also be a pressure sensor arranged on or in the game- playing lane, according to a preferred embodiment the sensor unit comprises at least one camera directed at the game -playing lane. Because cameras do not form part of the game -playing lane, an existing game -playing lane such as a bowling lane can be converted into a game -playing device according to the invention later in simple manner.

If according to a further preferred embodiment the sensor unit of the game -playing device comprises at least one video camera, possible spin of the physical game -playing object can also be registered in addition to the speed and/or the trajectory thereof. This gives the game-playing device additional game options.

According to a preferred embodiment, the game -playing lane has an entry side and an exit side in the longitudinal direction, wherein the screen is arranged on or close to the entry side. The screen can here be arranged wholly or partially adjacently of the game -playing lane, or even be integrated therewith.

According to a further preferred embodiment, the screen is arranged directly above the game -playing lane, which creates additional options. The virtual game -playing environment shown on the screen can thus function as aiming aid for the player.

According to a further preferred embodiment, particularly when the screen functions as aiming aid, the screen is preferably arranged directly above the game -playing lane in the usual direction of aim of a player. In that case the screen obstructs a player's view of the exit side of the game -playing lane at least for the greater part. The exit side is the normal point of aim, i.e. the location where the pins are arranged in a sports such as bowling.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the game -playing device can be switched off and the screen can be displaced to a position in which the screen allows a player an

unobstructed view of the exit side of the game -playing lane. This makes it possible for a conventional bowling lane to be used alternately for playing a type of game with the game -playing device according to the invention and for bowling. The game -playing device is hereby particularly suitable to be retrofitted on an existing bowling lane, wherein the conventional bowling lane is preserved for conventional bowling and the new virtual options are added as an alternative game. It is even possible to envisage the sensor unit of the game -playing device in that case being used to register a speed and/or trajectory of a bowling ball, whereby game data which are interesting for training purposes can be obtained. If desired, these data are shown on the screen, which is now for instance situated adjacently of the game -playing lane.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, an intermediate space in the range of 1.1 - 5 and more preferably 1.1 - 2 times the height of the physical game -playing object is provided between a lower edge of the screen and the game -playing lane.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, an intermediate space in the range of 25 - 50 centimetres and more preferably 25 - 40 centimetres is provided between a lower edge of the screen and the game -playing lane.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the game -playing device, the physical game differs from the virtual game. This means that the physical game, for instance bowling, is a different game than the virtual game, for instance shuffleboard. A single game -playing device can thus offer a wide variety of types of game which can be fully adapted to the intended audience. A ball as physical game -playing object can thus be converted into a virtual game -playing object having a different form, such as a disc. When a user rolls a ball over the game -playing lane, this ball can be shown after conversion as a puck of a virtual shuffleboard game. A number of variants of virtual types of game can be applied, such as a virtual pinball machine.

It is also possible to envisage a ball as physical game -playing object likewise having a round form in the virtual world, but representing for instance the head of the player in question. This is because in the virtual world a non-round form can also behave as a round object.

The same type of game can moreover be presented differently for children than for adults or elderly people, and the degree of difficulty can also be adjusted. It is thus even possible to envisage a family consisting of two adults and two children assigning a first degree of difficulty to the adult players and imposing a second degree of difficulty, which differs from the first degree of difficulty, on the children. Similarly to the handicap system in golf, players of different skill levels can play each other, the chances of winning being fairly divided here.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the physical game -playing object comprises a ball and the game -playing device is further provided with a ball conveyor. This ball conveyor can transport a ball from the exit side in longitudinal direction of the game -playing lane to the entry side of the game-playing lane, whereby the player is presented once again with a thrown game -playing object.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, a player area having a different height level relative to the game -playing lane is provided at a longitudinal outer end of the game -playing lane. If the game -playing lane is situated at a higher level than the player area, a player can remain substantially upright to introduce a physical game -playing object. This is very advantageous, particularly for elderly people and players with back problems, because the game -playing device according to the invention offers these people a physical game wherein the physical load for the back can be limited. The game -playing device can therefore also be used by players for whom a sport such as bowling is too physically straining.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the height level between the player area and the entry side of the game -playing lane is adjustable. It is particularly advantageous if the player area and the game -playing lane can be brought to the same height level. The player area can in that case form an approach as is usual in bowling lanes.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the player area is provided with a height adjustment and/or the game -playing lane is provided with a height adjustment.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the game -playing lane is less than 15 m long, and preferably less than 10 m long. Although the game -playing lane is required to have some length in order to register a speed and/or trajectory of the physical object, the type of game can take a relatively compact form. Compared to conventional bowling lanes, which can be about 20 metres long, a much larger number of game -playing devices according to the invention can be placed on the same floor area. In addition, the compact dimensions are advantageous for transport and storage, which is a great advantage for a game -playing device which can also be placed somewhere periodically.

It is of course possible to envisage the game -playing device being arranged as replacement of or as addition to a current bowling lane. According to yet another preferred embodiment, the game -playing lane is therefore a bowling lane and the physical game -playing object is a bowling ball.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the game -playing device comprises two game -playing lanes which are arranged mutually adjacently and wherein the sensor unit is configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of a physical game -playing object on at least two adjacent game -playing lanes. The speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game-playing object can then be converted in one or more than one processing unit into a virtual behaviour of a virtual game -playing object which is associated with the speed and/or the trajectory of the physical game- playing object. Image signals generated by the processing unit and corresponding to the virtual behaviour of the virtual game -playing object are then shown on screens arranged at individual and preferably at the two mutually adjacent game -playing lanes. With this set-up a limited number of sensor units suffices. It is likely that a single processing unit will in many cases suffice in practice because a physical game -playing object is generally not played simultaneously on adjacent game- playing lanes.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention are further elucidated in the following description with reference to the drawing, in which:

Figure 1 shows a game -playing device according to a first preferred embodiment of the invention; and Figure 2 shows a game -playing device according to a second preferred embodiment of the invention.

The game -playing device 1 shown in figure 1 comprises a game -playing lane 2 configured to guide a physical game -playing object 14 thereover, which in the shown embodiment is a ball 16 but is not necessarily limited thereto in the context of the invention.

A sensor unit 20 is provided which is configured to register a speed and/or a trajectory of physical game -playing object 14. In the shown embodiment sensor unit 20 is a single video camera 22, which has the advantage that it can also register a possible spin of ball 16. Sensor unit 20 of the invention can alternatively be embodied as a plurality of photo cameras (not shown) or even as a pressure sensor (not shown) arranged on the game -playing lane.

Data about the speed and/or trajectory of physical game-playing object 14 registered by sensor unit 20 are processed by processing unit 26 and finally converted into a virtual behaviour of a virtual game -playing object 38 which is associated with the speed and/or the trajectory of physical game -playing object 14. The processing unit further generates image signals which correspond to the virtual behaviour of virtual game -playing object 38. These image signals are then shown on a screen 30 which is arranged at game -playing lane 2 and is configured to show thereon in a virtual game -playing environment 36 the image signals of the virtual behaviour of virtual game -playing object 38.

It is noted that processing unit 26 is shown in the figures as a separate unit for the sake of clarity, but can if desired be integrated with sensor unit 20 or screen 30. Processing unit 26 can thus comprise a mathematical algorithm installed on a smart TV, wherein the computing power of the processor of the smart TV is used.

In figure 1 the physical game, wherein a ball 16 is thrown as physical game -playing object 14, differs from the virtual game. This is because a puck 38 of a virtual shuffleboard game is shown in the virtual game -playing environment 36 on screen 30. Player 42 is playing shuffleboard virtually, but throws a ball 16, which is transported from an exit side 10 of game -playing lane 2 back to entry side 8 of game -playing lane 2 using a per se known ball conveyor 12.

In the shown embodiment screen 30 is arranged directly above game -playing lane 2, whereby the virtual game -playing environment 36 shown on screen 30 can also function as aiming aid for player 42. Screen 30 therefore obstructs the view of a player 42 of the exit side 10 of game- playing lane 2 for the greater part.

An intermediate space in the range of 1.1 - 5 and more preferably 1.1 - 2 times the height of physical game -playing object 14 is provided between a lower edge 32 of screen 30 and game- playing lane 2 so that physical game -playing object 14 is prevented from hitting screen 30. When bowling balls are used as physical game -playing object 14, an intermediate space in the range of 25 - 50 centimetres and more preferably 25 - 40 centimetres can in practice be provided between lower edge 32 of screen 30 and game -playing lane 2.

In the embodiment shown in figure 1 a player area 6 having a different height level relative to game -playing lane 2 is provided at entry side 8 of game -playing lane 2. Player 42 can remain substantially upright to introduce a physical game -playing object 14, whereby the physical load for the back of player 42 can be limited. Game -playing device 1 can therefore also be used by players

42 for whom a sport such as bowling would be too physically straining.

As shown in figure 1 , game -playing lane 2 of game -playing device 1 can have a limited length of even less than 10 metres, resulting in a compact game -playing device 1 which can be transported to a location in relatively simple manner and there be played on, optionally temporarily, by players 42.

Because game -playing device 1 according to the invention has a game -playing lane 2, just as conventional bowling lanes do, game -playing device 1 can if desired be arranged as replacement of or as addition to an already existing bowling lane, as shown in figure 2. The game -playing lane of the bowling lane then functions as game -playing lane 2 of game -playing device 1, and a sensor unit 20, processing unit 26 and screen 30 are further provided. Screen 30 is here also arranged directly above game -playing lane 2, whereby the virtual game -playing environment 36 shown on screen 30 functions as aiming aid for player 42. Screen 30 therefore obstructs the view of a player

42 of the exit side 10 of game -playing lane 2 for the greater part, and the bowling pins thereby lose their function. Bowling pins 18 have therefore been raised in figure 2. Ball conveyor 12 of the bowling lane is used to transport back a (bowling) ball 16 thrown as physical game -playing object

14.

Although it shows preferred embodiments of the invention, the above described embodiments are intended solely for the purpose of illustrating the present invention and not to limit the scope of the invention in any way. When measures in the claims are followed by reference numerals, such reference numerals serve only to contribute toward understanding of the claims, but are in no way limitative of the scope of protection. It is particularly noted that the skilled person can combine technical measures of the different embodiments. The rights described are defined by the following claims, within the scope of which many modifications can be envisaged.