Excerpt from the patent specification:
Other physical input devices can be used. One particularly attractive choice is that of a gesture interface suitable for input of hand signals. In this function, a gesture interface 1101 depicted in FIG. 11A captures positional and motion data as input by the hand of a user 1102. Example hand gestures for use with the gesture interface input apparatus appear in FIG. 11B (a “peace sign”) and FIG. 11C (a “hang loose” sign). FIG. 11D depicts the process for inputting a physical input pattern via gesture interface: a first gesture is made 1121, another is made 1122, and, if the desired input pattern calls for additional gestures 1123, these gestures are made 1122.
Like the wand, the gesture interface is particularly attractive as an input device because hand gestures are treated as a crucial component of spell-casting in many fantasy literature and game settings.
FIG. 12 depicts a method of integrating speech input patterns and physical input patterns. If the integration pattern begins with verbal input 1201, a verbal input pattern, such as “Abracadabra” or other verbal incantation as shown in FIG. 12, is input 1203 into the computer. Then, if the integration pattern has not yet been finished 1204 and the next input required in a desired integration pattern is nonverbal 1205, then an appropriate physical input pattern is input 1202. The process continues according to depicted steps until completion.
FIG. 13 depicts a set of abstract logical relationships between a single user/player and multiple games that he or she can play; multiple characters he or she can play within the context of a specific game; multiple spells that a specific character can cast; multiple spell effects associated with a specific spell; an integration pattern associated with the specific spell; and verbal and physical input patterns associated with the specific integration pattern.
FIG. 14 depicts an example of the abstract relationships depicted in FIG. 13, wherein a particular user plays a particular game using a particular character to cast a particular spell that is associated with a particular integration pattern, in which is combined a particular verbal input pattern and physical input pattern; casting of the spell produces particular spell effects in the game context.
FIG. 15 depicts an additional hand gesture (“thumbs-up”) for use with a gesture interface physical input apparatus.
Although not necessary, it may be useful to include a “reset word” function for use in verbal input patterns. When the reset word is spoken, the user has a predetermined period of time within which to perform physical and speech input. After this time period has expired, extraneous input–accidental spoken words or movements of the wand, for instance–will be ignored until the reset word is spoken again.
FIGS. 16 and 17 depict two possible timelines applicable when the reset word function is used. When the reset word function is used as it is in FIG. 16, the entire speech input pattern and physical input pattern must be input by the user prior to the ending of a predetermined period of time after speaking of the reset word; this period of time is called a “spell-casting window”. In FIG. 17, the last input pattern, whether physical or verbal, in a desired integration pattern must be begun before the end of the spell-casting window but need not be completed prior to that time.