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Title:
INPUT APPARATUS FOR A GAMES CONSOLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/229466
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The invention provides an improved controller (110) for a games console. The invention is a games controller (110) that is intended to be held by a user in both hands in the same manner as a conventional controller (1). The controller of the invention (110) may comprise a plurality of controls (101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107A, 107B, 107C, 108, 109) on the front and top of the controller (110). The controller of the present invention (10) is advantageous as it additionally comprises at least one additional controls (120, 122 located on the side walls of the controller (110) in a position to be operated by the index fingers of a user (12).

Inventors:
IRONMONGER, Duncan (3970 Johhs Creek Ct, Suite 325Suwanee, Georgia, GA30024, US)
JEFFREY, Carl (68 Fairview Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 2EH, GL52 2EH, GB)
PARKER, Michael (56 Charlton Park Drive, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7RX, GL53 7RX, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/051585
Publication Date:
December 20, 2018
Filing Date:
June 11, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
IRONBURG INVENTIONS LIMITED (10 Market Place, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9LP, BA9 9LP, GB)
International Classes:
A63F13/24
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RULE, John (Coulson & Rule, 13 Whitehall RoadRugby, Warwickshire CV21 3AE, CV21 3AE, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller in a position operable by an intermediate portion of the user's index finger.

2. An input apparatus according to claim 1 wherein at least one additional control comprises a switch mechanism disposed in an interior of the outer case.

3. An input apparatus according to claim 2 wherein at least one additional control comprises an actuator pivotally mounted in cradle disposed within the interior of the outer case.

4. An input apparatus according to claim 3 wherein at least one additional control comprises a trunnion mounted in the cradle, the cradle comprising a first portion provided by a portion of the outer case and a second portion provided by a chassis member.

5. An input apparatus according to claim 4 wherein at least one additional control comprises at least one limb coupling the trunnion to a body portion.

6. An input apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the body portion extends through an opening in the outer case.

7. An input apparatus according to claim 6 wherein a cover is mounted to the body portion and wherein at least a portion of the cover extends through the opening in the outer case.

8. An input apparatus according to claim 1 wherein at least one additional control comprises a sensor mounted to said one of the opposing side walls of the controller.

9. An input apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the at least one additional control is disposed proximate the at least one control located on the top of the controller.

10. An input apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the input apparatus is a hand held controller for a games console and further comprises:

a plurality of controls located on a front face and top face of the controller;

the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller.

1 1 . An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller, the at least one additional control being disposed proximate at least one control located on the top of the controller.

12. A hand held controller for video games console comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller, the at least one additional control being disposed proximate at least one control located on the top of the controller.

13. An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber, the chamber comprising an electrical connector for coupling to an electrical device mountable in the chamber, wherein the chamber is provided in a handle on the controller.

14. An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel detachably mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber, the chamber comprising a removable haptic feedback module.

15. An input apparatus according to claim 14 wherein the controller comprise a first handle and a second handle, and a first chamber is provided in the first handle and a second chamber is provided in the second chamber, each of the first and second chambers comprising a removable haptic feedback module.

16. An input apparatus according to claim 14 wherein the removable haptic feedback module is mounted in a housing, and comprises at least one first electrical contact in electrical communication with at least one second electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber.

17. An input apparatus according to claim 14 comprising a back panel mounted to the chassis member.

18. An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a first handle module detachably mounted to a chassis member, the first handle module comprising at least one chamber having electrical device disposed therein, first handle module comprises a fastening mechanism for mounting first handle module to the chassis member.

19. An input apparatus according to claim 18 wherein the first handle module comprises haptic feedback device.

20. An input apparatus according to claim 18 wherein the first handle module is in electrical communication with one or more electrical components mounted to the chassis member.

21 . An input apparatus according to claim 18 wherein the controller comprises a second handle module detachably mounted to a chassis member, the second handle module comprising at least one chamber having electronic device disposed therein, second handle module comprises a fastening mechanism for mounting second handle module to the chassis member.

22. An input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel detachably mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber, the chamber comprising a removable module, the module comprising a housing, having at least one second electrical contact in electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

23. An input apparatus according to claim 18 wherein the controller comprise a first handle and a second handle, and a first chamber is provided in the first handle and a second chamber is provided in the second chamber, each of the first and second chambers comprising a removable module.

24. A removable handle module for use with an input apparatus for a computer comprising: an outer case having a front face and a top face;

a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller;

a chassis member having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber; and

wherein the removable handle module comprises:

a housing; and

an electrical device mounted in the housing, wherein the housing comprises at least one second electrical contact for electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

25. A removable haptic feedback module for use with an input apparatus for a computer comprising:

an outer case having a front face and a top face;

a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller;

a chassis member comprising at least one chamber having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber; and

a front panel detachably mounted to the chassis member;

wherein the removable haptic feedback module comprises:

a housing; and

a haptic feedback device mounted in the housing,

wherein the housing comprises at least one second electrical contact for electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

Description:
INPUT APPARATUS FOR A GAMES CONSOLE

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an input apparatus for a computer, such as, but not limited to, a games console, more particularly, but not exclusively the invention relates to, a hand held controller for a games console.

BACKGROUND

Controllers for most current games consoles are generally intended to be held and operated by the user holding the controller in both hands, such controllers are sometime referred to as "gamepads". A conventional controller will generally comprise a hard outer case with a plurality of controls mounted about the controller. Typically the controls include buttons, analogue control sticks, bumpers and triggers and are provided upon the front or the top of the controller. An object of the present invention is to provide a controller having at least one additional control mounted to the controller. It is desirable that the controller is ergonomic, that a user can comfortably operate the control. It is also desirable that the additional control is readily accessible.

The present invention seeks to overcome or at least mitigate the problems of the prior art.

SUMMARY

A first aspect of the present disclosure provides an input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller in a position operable by an intermediate portion of the user's index finger. Optionally, at least one additional control comprises a switch mechanism disposed in an interior of the outer case.

Optionally, at least one additional control comprises an actuator pivotally mounted in cradle disposed within the interior of the outer case. Optionally, at least one additional control comprises a trunnion mounted in the cradle, the cradle comprising a first portion provided by a portion of the outer case and a second portion provided by a chassis member.

Optionally, at least one additional control comprises at least one limb coupling the trunnion to a body portion.

Optionally, the body portion extends through an opening in the outer case.

Optionally, a cover is mounted to the body portion and wherein at least a portion of the cover extends through the opening in the outer case.

Optionally, at least one additional control comprises a sensor mounted to said one of the opposing side walls of the controller.

Optionally, the at least one additional control is disposed proximate the at least one control located on the top of the controller. Optionally, the input apparatus is a hand held controller for a games console and further comprises:

a plurality of controls located on a front face and top face of the controller;

the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller.

A second aspect of the present disclosure provides an input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller, the at least one additional control being disposed proximate at least one control located on the top of the controller. A third aspect of the present disclosure provides a hand held controller for video games console comprising an outer case having a front face, a top face and opposing side walls, the apparatus comprising at least one control located on the top face of the controller, the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate the at least one control located on the top of the controller; the controller further comprises at least one additional control located on at least one of the opposing side walls of the controller, the at least one additional control being disposed proximate at least one control located on the top of the controller.

A fourth aspect of the present disclosure provides an input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber, the chamber comprising an electrical connector for coupling to an electrical device mountable in the chamber, wherein the chamber is provided in a handle on the controller.

A fifth aspect of the present disclosure provides input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel detachably mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber, the chamber comprising a removable haptic feedback module. Optionally, the controller comprise a first handle and a second handle, and a first chamber is provided in the first handle and a second chamber is provided in the second chamber, each of the first and second chambers comprising a removable haptic feedback module. Optionally, the removable haptic feedback module is mounted in a housing, and comprises at least one first electrical contact in electrical communication with at least one second electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber. Optionally, the input apparatus comprises a back panel mounted to the chassis member.

A sixth aspect of the present disclosure provides an input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a front panel detachably mounted to a chassis member, the chassis member comprising at least one chamber having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber, the chamber comprising a removable module, the module comprising a housing, having at least one second electrical contact in electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

Optionally, the controller comprises a first handle and a second handle, and a first chamber is provided in the first handle and a second chamber is provided in the second chamber, each of the first and second chambers comprising a removable module.

A seventh aspect of the present disclosure provides a removable haptic feedback module for use with an input apparatus for a computer comprising:

an outer case having a front face and a top face;

a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller;

a chassis member comprising at least one chamber having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber; and

a front panel detachably mounted to the chassis member;

wherein the removable haptic feedback module comprises:

a housing; and

a haptic feedback device mounted in the housing, wherein the housing comprises at least one second electrical contact for electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

An eighth aspect of the present disclosure provides an input apparatus for a computer comprising an outer case having a front face and a top face and having a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller wherein the controller comprises a first handle module detachably mounted to a chassis member, the first handle module comprising at least one chamber having electrical device disposed therein, first handle module comprises a fastening mechanism for mounting first handle module to the chassis member.

Optionally, the first handle module comprises haptic feedback device.

Optionally, the first handle module is in electrical communication with one or more electrical components mounted to the chassis member.

Optionally, the controller comprises a second handle module detachably mounted to a chassis member, the second handle module comprising at least one chamber having electronic device disposed therein, second handle module comprises a fastening mechanism for mounting second handle module to the chassis member.

A ninth aspect of the present disclosure provides a removable handle module for use with an input apparatus for a computer comprising:

an outer case having a front face and a top face;

a plurality of controls located on the front face and the top face of the controller; the controller being shaped to be held in both hands of a user such that the user's thumbs are positioned to operate controls located on the front of the controller and the user's index fingers are positioned to operate controls located on the top of the controller;

a chassis member having at least one first electrical contact mounted in a wall of the chamber; and

wherein the removable handle module comprises:

a housing; and an electrical device mounted in the housing,

wherein the housing comprises at least one second electrical contact for electrical communication with at least one first electrical contact.

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the specific embodiments illustrated in the drawings and discussed below.

Within the scope of this application it is envisaged and intended that the various aspects, embodiments, examples, features and alternatives set out in the preceding paragraphs, in the claims and/or in the following description and drawings may be taken independently or in any combination thereof. For example, features described in connection with one embodiment are applicable to all embodiments unless there is incompatibility of features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 A is a schematic illustration of the front of an input apparatus for a games console controller according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

Figure 1 B is a plan view from below of the rear of the input apparatus of Figure 1 A, the apparatus comprising additional controls mounted thereto;

Figure 1 C is a schematic illustration of an input apparatus for a games console controller being held by a user;

Figure 2A is a perspective view from above of the front of an input apparatus of Figure 1A; Figure 2B is an alternative perspective view the input apparatus of Figure 1 A;

Figures 3A and 3B are first and second side views respectively of the input apparatus shown in Figures 1 A and 1 B;

Figure 4 is a top view top of the input apparatus of Figure 1 A;

Figures 5 to 7 are exploded perspective views of the input apparatus shown in Figures 1 A and 1 B in which a number of components such as, but not limited to, front and back case panels have been removed for illustrative purposes ;

Figure 8 a plan view of a back case panel of the input apparatus of Figure 1 A showing an interior thereof;

Figure 9A is a perspective view of the back case panel of Figure 8;

Figure 9B and 10 are a perspective views of a portion of the back case panel of Figure 8; Figure 10A is an top view of the rear panel of the input apparatus of Figure 1 B in which the additional controls have been removed to illustrate channels;

Figure 10B is an enlarged view of a portion of the top view of Figure 10A; and

Figure 1 1 is an exploded perspective view of an input apparatus for a games console controller according to another embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Detailed descriptions of specific embodiments of an input apparatus, a controller, an additional control component and a method are disclosed herein. It will be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely examples of the way in which certain aspects of the invention can be implemented and do not represent an exhaustive list of all of the ways the invention may be embodied. As used herein, the word "exemplary" is used expansively to refer to embodiments that serve as illustrations, specimens, models, or patterns. Indeed, it will be understood that the input apparatus, the controller, the additional control component and the method described herein may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The Figures are not necessarily to scale and some features may be exaggerated or minimised to show details of particular components. Well- known components, materials or methods are not necessarily described in great detail in order to avoid obscuring the present disclosure. Any specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the invention

Referring to Figure 1A there is shown a plan view from above of the front of an input apparatus 1 10 for a use with a computer. The input apparatus 1 10 illustrated takes the form of a controller 1 10 or game pad 1 10 for use with a video games console or similar. In other embodiments the input apparatus 10 may take the form of a handheld games console or other mobile device such as but not limited to a smartphone, tablet computer, phablet or the input apparatus 1 10 may be an accessory device (such as, but not limited to, a sleeve or case) for use with such a mobile device. The apparatus or controller 1 10 comprises an outer case or shell 1 14. The case 1 14 may comprise one or more panels fitted together and or mounted to a chassis member. The case 1 14 may comprise a front body panel 1 14F and a rear body panel 1 14B (see Figure 1 B). The outer case 1 14 comprises a void in which electronic components (such as, but not limited to, switches 138 and/or sensors, see Figure 5) are located. The apparatus or controller 1 10 comprises a plurality of controls which are mounted to the front F and to the top T of the controller 1 10. As used herein the term "front" refers to an upper surface of the controller 1 10 when in normal use held in both hands, whilst the term "top" refers to a leading edge of the controller 1 10 which typically faces away from a user when held in both hands. A rear or back R of the controller opposes the "front" and typically will form a lower surface, whilst the term "bottom" B refers to a trailing edge of the controller 1 10 which typically faces towards the user when held in both hands. The controller 1 10 comprises a plurality of buttons which when activated initiate a specific action or control function. The controller 1 10 comprises at least one omnidirectional control stick or button which is operable to provide directional input.

Specifically, in the illustrated example shown, the controller 1 10 comprises first, left, and second, right, analogue control sticks, also known as thumb sticks 102, 103. The first left 102 and second right 103 thumb sticks normally control movement and are intended to be operated by the user's left and right thumbs respectively. Left and right thumb sticks 102, 103 are mounted to the front face F of the controller 1 10. The left thumb stick 102 is located in a forward (or upper i.e. nearer the top T of the controller 1 10) left region of the front face F; and right thumb stick 103 is located in a rearward (or lower i.e. nearer the bottom B of the controller 1 10) right region of the front face F. There are four buttons 104, located on a forward (or upper i.e. nearer the top T of the controller 1 10) right portion of the front face F of the controller 1 10. The four buttons 104 normally control additional actions and are intended to be operated by the user's right thumb. There is a direction pad 105 located on the rearward (or lower) left portion of the front face F of the controller 1 10. The direction pad 105 is intended to be operated by the user's left thumb, typically either as an alternative to the left thumb stick 102 or to provide additional action controls. A left shoulder button or bumper 108 and a right shoulder button or bumper 109 are located on the top face T of the controller 1 10. A left trigger 106 and a right trigger 101 are also located on the top face T of the controller 10 (see Figure 1 B). The left and right triggers 106, 101 are typically operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right bumpers 8, 9 may also be operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right triggers 106, 101 may be analogue in nature, or may comprise a plurality of discrete digital states, that is to say the input control may be dependent upon the degree of depression or displacement of the trigger body. The controller 1 1 0 may comprise one or more additional input buttons 1 07A, 1 07B, 1 07C, the buttons 1 07A, 1 07B, 1 07C may take the form of one or more digital or analogue buttons, or may be in the form of a touch pad or touch screen. In order to operate any of the buttons 1 04 a user will normally remove their right thumb from the right thumb stick 1 03 so as to depress one or more of the buttons 1 04. Switching between the right thumb stick 1 03 and the buttons 1 04 takes time since the user's thumb must traverse the distance therebetween. This may also cause a loss of, or reduction in, control in some games because the user has to relinquish control over the right thumb stick 1 03 in order to control the buttons 1 04. This may be a particular problem in games where the right thumb stick 1 03 is used for aiming. A similar problem may arise in games where the direction pad 1 05 provides additional actions and the user has to remove their left thumb from the left thumb stick 102 in order to operate the direction pad 1 05. The controller 1 1 0 may comprise one or more additional controls 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D mounted to the rear R or back of the apparatus 1 1 0, where the rear R or back face is opposite the top face F (the face F to which the buttons 1 04, left and right thumb sticks 102, 1 03 and direction pad 1 05 are mounted). In the illustrated apparatus 1 0, the apparatus comprises four additional controls 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D. In other embodiments, more or fewer additional controls 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D may be provided. The additional controls 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D, also referred to herein as paddle levers. Each may comprise an elongate member, that is to say the member comprises a first end and a second end the distance between the first and second ends is greater than a width of the member. The member may be bent, twisted or folded in one or more directions. The paddle levers 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D may be orientated such that at least a portion of the member is substantially parallel with respect to one of a first and second handle portions H 1 , H2 of the controller 1 10. The members are each positioned to be operable by the middle, ring or little fingers of a user. These are the fingers normally used to grasp first and second handle portion H1 , H2 which thus brings them into proximity with the rear face R of the controller 1 10.

In order to operate the controls mounted upon the top T of the controller 1 1 0 a user will normally wrap their index fingers about the side edges or walls E1 , E2 of the controller case 1 14, as shown in Figure 1 C. In Figure 1 C the index finger D1 , D3 are bent or crooked about forward or leading corners of the controller 1 10.

The user can operate either the left shoulder button 108 or left trigger 106 with the index finger D2 of their left hand and can operate either the right shoulder button 109 or right trigger 101 with the index finger D2 of their right hand (see Figure 1 C).

The user may place the pad of the end of their index fingers on the controls on the top of the controller 1 10. When doing so the user index fingers may leave a gap G between side walls E1 , E2 of the controller case 1 14 and the adjacent index finger D1 , D2.

The present disclosure provide an actuator or additional control 120, 122 upon at least one of the side walls E1 , E2 of the controller case 1 14 proximate the top or leading edge T of the controller 1 10. The additional controls 120, 122 may be disposed in an upper region of the side walls E1 , E2 of the controller case 1 14m that is to say proximate the front F of the controller 1 10. The additional controls 120, 122 are disposed in the crook of a respective one of the index fingers D1 , D2, the additional controls 120, 122 may at least partially fill the gaps G.

The additional control 120, 122 are arranged to be operated by a user engaging or pressing the control with one of the phalanges of the index finger D1 , D2, preferably the user's proximal phalanx or rather the fleshy part thereabout.

In some embodiments, the additional control 120, 122 may be operated by the middle phalanx of the index finger D1 , D2. This may be more common when the users hand is smaller in size.

In this way the additional controls 120, 122 are operable by an intermediate portion of the user's index finger, wherein the intermediate portion is disposed between the finger pad or end of the finger and the metacarpophalangeal joint. In contrast to the shoulder buttons 108,109 and the triggers 101 ,106 which are operated by bending the index finger D1 , D2, the additional controls 120, 122 may be operated by a straightening action of the index finger D1 , D2. In this way the user's proximal phalanx is brought towards the additional control 120, 122 so as to activate the control 120, 122. In this way the user may operate the additional controls 120, 122 when their index finger D1 , D2 is at rest upon or aligned with the shoulder button 108, 109 or 122 or when their index finger D1 , D2 is at rest upon or aligned with the triggers 101 , 106. The user may operate the additional controls 120, 122 without altering the alignment of their index finger with whichever of the front controls, shoulder button or trigger, that their index finger is poised over.

The additional control 120 may replicate the function operated by either the left shoulder button 108 or left trigger 106. The additional control 120 may replicate the function of one of the controls disposed on the front of the controller 1 10 for example, but not limited to, buttons 104.

The additional control 122 may replicate the function operated by either the right shoulder button 109 or right trigger 101 . The additional control 122 may replicate the function of one of the controls disposed on the front of the controller 1 10 for example, but not limited to, buttons 104.

Alternatively, the additional controls 120, 122 may control a new command functions.

In some embodiments, activation of one of the additional controls 120, 122 may change the command function or operation initiated by one of the other controls provided on the controller. When said one of the additional controls 120, 122 is in a first, "on" state the other control when actuated may initiated a first command function, whereas when said one of the additional controls 120, 122 is in a second, "off" state the other control when actuated may initiated a second, different, command function.

Figure 5 to 10 show further views of the additional controls 120, 122 and a mounting structure. The additional controls are substantially similar in construction albeit mirror images of each other.

Figure 5 and 6 are exploded views of the second additional control 122. Figure 7 is a perspective view of a partially assembled first addition control 120.

The additional controls comprise a main body 132 and a pin or shaft forming a trunnion 140. The trunnion 140 is coupled to the main body 132 by at least one limb 134, 136. The illustrated embodiment comprises a pair of limbs. The limbs 134, 136 are mounted to opposing ends of the trunnion 140 and to a base of the man body 132.

The limbs 134, 136 are crooked or nonlinear. The limbs 134, 136 may be arcuate or substantially "L" shaped. In this way the trunnion 140 is offset from the main body 132 in a vertical direction and in a horizontal direction. The vertical direction is a first direction which extends between the front F and the back B of the controller 1 10, irrespective of the actual orientation of the controller 1 10. The horizontal direction is a second direction which extends between side walls E1 , E2 of the controller 1 10, irrespective of the actual orientation of the controller 1 10.

The controller 1 10 comprises a chassis 146 to which the triggers 101 , 106 are mounted. A circuit board 144 is mounted to the chassis 142. The circuit board 144 comprises a plurality of electrical or electronic components mounted thereto.

A first switch 138 is mounted to the circuit board 144, the additional control 122 is arranged to activate the first switch 138 to initiate a command function associated therewith. The first switch is mounted orthogonally to the circuit board 144. In one embodiment a right angle Tact Switch may be employed.

The chassis 146 comprises a first or upper portion 142 of a cradle in which the trunnion 140 is mounted. The back case panel 1 14B comprises a second or base portion 152 of the cradle, see Figures 8 to 10.

The cradle is arranged to be disposed below the switch 138. That is to say the switch 138 and cradle are disposed on opposing sides of the circuit board 144.

The main body 132 may comprise a protuberance or projection 145 arranged to interact with an actuator of the switch 138. The additional control 122 may comprise a cover 130 mounted to the main body 132. The cover 130 may be mounted to the main body by a clip or fastening mechanism 147/149 such as but not limited to a latch mechanism comprising a latch 149 and a receiver 147. In other embodiments other fastening mechanism may be employed.

Providing a cover 130 readily allows one or more characteristics of the external portion of the addition control 120, 122 to be customised such as, but not limited to, the shape, size, colour, appearance, material or texture. In an assembled condition the trunnion is at rest in the base portion 152 of the cradle provided by the back case panel 1 14B. The upper portion 142 of the cradle provided by the chassis 146 is disposed over the trunnion 140 so as to retain the trunnion in the cradle.

The base portion of the cradle 152 may be provided by at least one support 152A, 152B, 152C extending from an internal surface of the back case panel 1 14B into the interior of the back case panel 1 14B.

The base portion of the cradle 152 may be provided by a recess 153 provided in a side or base wall of the back case panel 1 14B.

In an alternative embodiment the switch mechanism 138 and control actuator 120, 122 may be replaced with a sensor mounted on the side walls E1 , E2 of the controller 1 10 in same the location as the control actuators 120, 122. The sensor may take the form of a capacitive or resistive touch pad. In other embodiments it may be an optical sensor. The sensor may be arranged to be substantially flush with the outer surface of the controller side walls. This may reduce the likelihood of accidental activation of the additional control 120, 122. The sensor may be activated by bringing the users finger into close proximity of touching contact with the sensor.

Referring now to Figure 1 1 , there is shown an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure. The alternative embodiment shares many common features with the first embodiment and therefore only the differences from the embodiment illustrated in Figures 1 A to 10 will be described in any greater detail. Figure 1 1 illustrates an exploded view from above of an alternative input apparatus or controller 1 10 for a use with a computer. The controller 1 10 comprises first, left, and second, right, analogue control sticks, also known as thumb sticks 102, 103, which normally control movement and are intended to be operated by the user's left and right thumbs respectively, left and right thumb sticks are mounted to the front face of the controller 1 10, the left thumb stick is located in rearward (or lower -nearer the bottom face of the controller 1 10) left region of the front face and right thumb stick is located in forward (or upper -nearer the top face of the controller 1 10) right region of the front face. There are four buttons 104, located on a forward (or upper -nearer the top face of the controller 1 10) left portion of the front face of the controller 10, which normally control additional actions and are intended to be operated by the user's left thumb. There is a direction pad 105 located on the rearward (or lower) right portion of the front face of the controller 1 10. The direction pad 105 is intended to be operated by the user's right thumb, typically either as an alternative to the right thumb stick 103 or to provide additional actions. A left shoulder button or bumper and a right shoulder button or bumper are located on the top face of the controller 1 10. A left trigger and a right trigger are also located on the top face of the controller 1 10. The left and right triggers are typically operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right bumpers may also be operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right triggers may analogue in nature, or may comprise a plurality of discrete digital states, that is to say the input control is dependent upon the degree of depression or displacement of the trigger body.

The controller comprises at least one paddle lever control 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 D mounted to the back of the controller 1 10 substantially as described with reference to the embodiment of Figures 1 A to 10. The controller comprises at least one additional index finger control 122 mounted to the side walls of the controller 1 10 substantially as described with reference to the embodiment of Figures 1A to 10.

The controller 1 10 comprises a chassis or frame member 1 14C to which a front case panel 1 14F and rear case panel 1 14b are mounted.

The frame member 1 14C comprises a first chamber C1 arranged to be disposed in the first handle portion H1 of the controller 1 10. The frame member 1 14C comprises a second chamber C2 arranged to be disposed in the second handle portion H2 of the controller 1 10.

The first chamber C1 and second chamber C2 are substantially the same in construction and will be described by reference to the second chamber C2. The second chamber C2 defines at least in part a void V for receiving a removable module 160 in the form of a haptic feedback module. The haptic feedback module may take the form of a rumble or vibration module. In some embodiments the vibration module comprises an electric motor having an eccentric weight mounted to a drive shaft. Rotation of the motor causes the user to experience vibrations as the eccentric weight is moved.

The removable module 160 comprises a housing comprising a base 163 having bottom wall, opposed side walls and opposed end walls defining an interior I and a lid 161 forming a top wall. The lid is mounted to the base 163 by a fastening mechanism such as, but not limited to, a latch mechanism 164.

The vibration module is mounted in the interior of the housing. The removable module 160 comprises at least one first electrical contact for electrical communication with at least one second electrical contact provided in the first or second chamber C1 , C2. The at least one first electrical contact may be formed by one or more pins or spring contacts passing though apertures in the housing. Each of the at least one first electrical contacts may be resiliently biased to maintain electrical engagement with one of the at least one second electrical contacts.

The controller 1 10 may comprise a securing mechanism for holding the haptic feedback module 160 in the respective one of the first and second chambers C1 , C2. The securing mechanism may be mechanical such as releasable catch or may be magnetic in nature. In alternative embodiments the securing mechanism may be omitted the removable haptic feedback module 160 may employ a friction or interference fit in the respective one first and second chambers C1 , C2.

A finger recess 168 may be provided to facilitate removal of the haptic feedback modules 160 from the frame member 1 14C. In order to removal of the haptic feedback modules 160 the front case panel 1 14F may be detachably mounted to the frame member 1 14C. In other embodiments it is envisaged the first and second chambers C1 , C2 may be employed as storage compartments for example for holding interchangeable component parts of the controller 1 10 such as, but not limited to, a thumbstick stalk or actuator, a D-pad actuator, a paddle lever. In still other embodiments the first and second chambers C1 , C2 may be employed to provide one or more additional electronic devices for example, but not limited to an additional or supplementary battery, wireless communication device, sensors such as but not limited to accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS sensor, audio speakers, microphones. In alternative embodiments, it is envisaged that the back case panel 1 14B may be detachable and the first and second chambers C1 , C2 may be accessed by removal of at least a part of the back case panel 1 14B.

In other embodiments the controller 1 10 may comprise access panels provided on at least one of the front, back or sides of the controller which are removable from the controller 1 10 so as to enable a user to access the first and second chambers C1 , C2.

In other embodiments the housing of the removable module Referring now to Figures 12 and 13, there is shown an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure. In the further alternative illustrated embodiments like numerals have, where possible, been used to denote like parts, albeit with the addition of the prefix "1000" and so on to indicate that these features belong to the third embodiment. The alternative embodiment shares many common features with the first and second embodiments and therefore only the differences from the embodiment illustrated in Figures 1 A to 1 1 will be described in any greater detail.

Figures 12 and 13 illustrate a plan views from above of an alternative input apparatus or controller 1 1 10 for a use with a computer. The controller 1 1 10 comprises a plurality of controls mounted thereto. The plurality of controls include a first, left, and a second, right, analogue control sticks, also known as thumb sticks 1 102, 1 103, which normally control movement and are intended to be operated by the user's left and right thumbs respectively, left and right thumb sticks are mounted to the front face of the controller 1 1 10. There are four buttons 1 104, located on the top face of the controller 1 1 10, which normally control additional actions and are intended to be operated by the user's left thumb. There is a direction pad 1 105 located on the front face of the controller 1 1 10. The direction pad 1 105 is intended to be operated by the user's right thumb, typically either as an alternative to the right thumb stick 1 103 or to provide additional actions. A left shoulder button or bumper and a right shoulder button or bumper are located on the top face of the controller 1 1 10. A left trigger and a right trigger are also located on the top face of the controller 1 1 10. The left and right triggers are typically operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right bumpers may also be operated by a user's index fingers. The left and right triggers may analogue in nature, or may comprise a plurality of discrete digital states, that is to say the input control is dependent upon the degree of depression or displacement of the trigger body. The controller comprises at least one paddle lever control 1 1 1 1 A, 1 1 1 1 B, 1 1 1 1 C, 1 1 1 1 D mounted to the back of the controller 1 1 10.

The controller comprises at least one additional index finger control 1 120, 1 122 mounted to the side walls of the controller 1 1 10 substantially as described with reference to the embodiment of Figures 1 A to 10.

The controller 1 1 10 comprises a chassis or frame member 1 1 14M to which a first, right, handle module DH1 and a second left handle module DH2 are detachably mounted. The plurality of controls are mounted to chassis member 1 1 14M.

The first handle module DH1 comprises a first chamber or interior. The second handle module DH2 comprises a second chamber or interior.

The first chamber C1 and second chamber C2 each define at least in part a void V for receiving an electronic device. The electronic device provides an additional or supplementary feature to the controller for example but not limited to a removable haptic feedback module. The haptic feedback module may take the form of a rumble or vibration module. In some embodiments the vibration module comprises an electric motor having an eccentric weight mounted to a drive shaft. Rotation of the motor causes the user to experience vibrations as the eccentric weight is moved.

The first and second handle modules DH1 , DH2 each comprise a fastening mechanism 170, in the illustrated embodiment the fastening mechanism takes the form of a clip or latch mechanism, in other embodiments other mechanisms may be employed such as, but not limited to screw thread such as screws or bolts, bayonet fitting, magnets, The first and second handle modules DH1 , DH2 each comprise an electrical connector 172 such that the electronic device disposed therein is in electrical communication with electrical component disposed in, or mounted to, the frame member 1 1 14M. The electrical connector 172 mates or couples with a complementary connector (not shown) mounted to the frame member 1 1 14M.

A release mechanism (not shown) may be provided to release the first and second handle modules DH1 , DH2 from the frame member 1 1 14M.

A finger recess may be provided to facilitate removal of first and second handle modules DH1 , DH2 from the frame member 1 1 14M.

In embodiments of the disclosure the first and second handle modules DH1 , DH2 may be employed to provide one or more additional features for example, but not limited to an additional or supplementary battery, wireless communication device, sensors such as but not limited to accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS sensor, audio speakers, microphones, wireless charging module. It can be appreciated that various changes may be made within the scope of the present invention. For example, the size and shape of the paddles may be adjusted to accommodate controllers of differing size or shape.

In some embodiments the microswitches may be replaced with a magnetic switch or sensor, for example a reed switch or hall sensor; the paddles may comprise a magnet arranged so as to activate the magnetic switch or sensor when the paddle is depressed by a user. It is envisaged that in such embodiments the magnetic switch or sensor is mounted inside the controller behind the back panel and that there will be no requirement to provide apertures through the back panel in order that the paddles can physically contact the microswitches. Further it is envisaged that the user may be provided with feedback to indicate that the switch has been activated. The feedback may be aural or haptic, for example, such as an audible click.

It is envisaged that the controllers may be coupled to a games console or computer by a wired connection or by a wireless connection device. It is also envisaged that the controller may be constructed as a shell or caddy into which a handheld electronic device such as, but not limited to, a mobile telephone (smartphone) or tablet computer is inserted, the caddy comprising control actuators, thumb sticks and/or buttons (which are coupled to the electronic device either wirelessly or via physical or wired connection) for interaction with or control of the electronic device.

It will be recognised that as used herein, directional references such as "top", "bottom", "front", "back", "end", "side", "inner", "outer", "upper" and "lower" do not limit the respective features to such orientation, but merely serve to distinguish these features from one another.