Patent application title: Vibrating Gaming Vest
Cecil Sessions (Miami Beach, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63F924FI
Class name: Amusement devices: games including means for processing electronic data (e.g., computer/video game, etc.) accessory
Publication date: 2012-07-26
Patent application number: 20120190460
A video game console accessory providing a vest with sensory feedback
rumblers at various positions on a vest. The game console may now provide
sensory feedback to the game player by coordinating what occurs visually
in the game with a physical sensation experienced by the game player. The
rumblers are positioned against the gamer's torso to provide dynamic
sensations to increase realism experienced during game play. Each rumbler
is independently controlled. An optional feature is the availability of
various skins to alter the appearance of the device and to match a
particular theme of the game played.
1. A video game accessory comprising a vest, a plurality of rumblers and
a controller assembly; Said vest has a front panel dimensioned to
substantially cover the front of a human torso and a rear panel
dimensioned to substantially cover the back of a human torso; Said front
panel and said rear panel are joined by a plurality of straps that
effectively form a vest that is wearable by a human; Said front panel and
said rear panel each has a first surface and a second surface; Said
plurality of rumblers are affixed in predetermined locations to the first
surfaces of each the front panel and rear panel; Said controller assembly
is affixed to said vest; Said controller further comprising a power
supply and a processor; Said processor interfaces with a video game
console and receives an input from said game console; Said input is
comprised of discrete instruction to activate any of the individual
2. A video game accessory as disclosed in claim 1 further characterized in that said power supply is either a rechargeable battery pack or a replaceable battery.
3. A video game accessory as disclosed in claim 1 further characterized in that said second surface of said front panel has a means to accept and ornamental themed skin.
4. A video game accessory as disclosed in claim 1 further characterized in that are between four and ten rumblers are affixed in predetermined locations to the first surfaces of each the front panel and rear panel.
5. A video game accessory as disclosed in claim 1 further characterized in that said front panel and said rear panel are constructed of either a rigid plastic or a semi-rigid plastic.
6. A video game accessory as disclosed in claim 1 further characterized in that said input from said game console is comprised of a wireless signal received by said controller assembly.
 This is a continuation in part of application bearing Ser. No.
12/925,952 filed on 4 Nov. 2010 by the same inventor is hereby
incorporated in its entirety by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to video game console accessories, and more particularly, to a video game enhancement vest that interacts with a video game to deliver tactile sensation to the torso of the player.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Several designs for video game controller have been designed in the past. None of them, however, includes force feedback device that the gamer wears on his torso that provides force feedback stimuli to any one of or a plurality of discrete predetermined locations on the gamer thereby increasing interactivity and an enhanced user experience.
 Applicant believes that the closest prior art reference corresponds to a variety of commercially available force feedback controllers, such as the Dual Shock® produced the Sony® corporation. However, it differs from the present invention because the Dual Shock device only provides a single tactile sensation feedback point at the handheld controller.
 In contrast, the present invention provides a multiplicity of individual tactile sensation feedback points that the wearer can experience. Each tactile sensation point, essentially a rumbler device, is independently controlled and can be felt at differing predetermined locations about the torso of the player. Further, by embodying the device in a wearable vest various ornamental schemes can be applied to the device to allow the theme of the game to coordinate with the appearance of the device.
 Other patents describing the closest subject matter provide for a number of more or less complicated features that fail to solve the problem in an efficient and economical way. None of these patents suggest the novel features of the present invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is one of the main objects of the present invention to provide a device that works in conjunction with existing game consoles and controllers to provide additional sensory feedback devices integrated into a player wearable vest.
 It is another object of this invention to provide a device that increases the realism experienced by gamers by more closely matching the visual experience of game play with actual physical sensations experienced by the player.
 It is still another object of the present invention to provide a device that can readily accept alternate ornamental elements to more closely match the theme of the game with the appearance of the device.
 It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a device that is inexpensive to manufacture and maintain while retaining its effectiveness.
 Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 With the above and other related objects in view, the invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
 FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of a variation of the device as it might be worn by a player.
 FIG. 2 shows a plan view of a version of the device exposing the interior of a vest.
 FIG. 3 illustrates perspective cross section of a rumbler assembly.
 FIG. 4 is a representation of perspective cross section of a controller assembly.
 FIG. 5 is a flow chart of an example of a logic sequence performed by an embodiment of a controller assembly.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Referring now to the drawings, where the present invention is generally referred to with numeral 10, it can be observed that it basically includes a front panel 12, a shoulder 14, a lower strap 16, an upper strap 18, a collar 20, a rear panel 22, a fastener 24, a buckle 26, a controller 28, a series of wires 30 and a multiplicity of rumblers 32.
 FIG. 1 shows a variation of the device as it might be worn by a person (shown in broken lines). For reference only and not to be construed as elements of the invention is a shirt "T" and a belt "B". The terms "user", "player", "gamer" and "person" are all to be read interchangeably to refer to a wearer of the device 10.
 In typical use, the device 10 is worn similar to a vest garment that rests over the left and right shoulders of the user at the shoulders 14. The front panel 12 covers a portion of the user's chest and the rear panel 22 covers a portion of the user's back. A pair of upper straps 18 and a pair of lower straps 16 secure the sides of the device about the user's torso in a comfortable yet secure manner.
 The collar 20, between the shoulders 14, provide an aperture for the player's head to pass through. Buckles 26 are optionally present on both of the shoulders 14 to allow for some adjustability of the device so that a wide range of differently sized players can comfortably wear the device. The device including the buckles 26 is essentially a one-size-fits-all dimensioned device.
 In an alternate embodiment the buckles may be absent in a custom or semi-custom fit device. The device may come in a variety of pre-selected sizes such as small, medium or large. Alternately, a custom fit device may be desired for more active video games or for a more sophisticated or professional gamer.
 FIG. 2 displays an example of the interior of the device. Twelve rumblers 32 can be seen positioned at predetermined positions on the front panel 12 and rear panel 22. Other configurations of rumblers 32 may also be effective, such as four in a square on each the front panel 12 and rear panel 22. Other effective variations could also include from single to dozens of rumblers 32 on either or both the front panel 12 and/or rear panel 22. The type of video game, the sophistication of the gamer or other factors may tend to favor more or less rumblers 32 being present on a given device.
 To adjust the size and fit of the device, as well to facilitate donning and removal, the front panel 12 and rear panel 22 each have a pair of upper straps 18 and lower straps 16. In a preferred variation, each of said upper straps 18 and lower straps 16 is affixed at one end to the respective front panel 12 or rear panel 22 and at the other end has a fastener 24. One embodiment of the fasteners 24 may be a hook and loop type. Alternated may equally effectively include ties, buttons, belt buckles, magnets, snaps or other available means.
 In a preferred embodiment, each of the rumblers 32 is connected to the controller 28 by a harness 48 in turn connected to a series of wires 32. The controller 28 receives input from the gaming console corresponding to the action of the game and sends a discrete signal to a specific rumbler 32. The harness 48 is connected to, and can therefore actuate, any specific rumbler 32 when a command is issued by the game console to do so. It is anticipated that games played on the console may have to be specifically programmed to integrate and function well with the vibrating vest to provide the additional realism.
 For example, during a first person shooter game played on the game console it is often an object of the game to shoot targets while being subject to return fire. The present invention increases the game's realism by harmlessly vibrating the player in the specific part of the torso where he has been shot. In other words, if a player is shot in the left lower side of the back in the virtual game play then the player will feel the rumbler sensation in the left lower side of their back. Similarly, if while playing a boxing simulation game, a strike can be felt by the player where his opponent has scored that hit, whether it happens on the front, back, left or right side of the player.
 FIG. 3 shows a cross section of an example of a rumbler assembly 34 that includes, inter alia, a weight 36, a case 38, leads 40, a motor 42 and an axle 44. In a preferred embodiment a plurality of rumbler assemblies 34 are affixed to the interior sides of the front panel 12 and rear panel 22 at predetermined locations. Generally, the rumbler assembly 34 vibrate when a signal or current is delivered to the motor 42 from the leads 40. The leads 40 are in turn connected to the controller assembly 46 via the harness 48 and wires 30. The vibration of the rumbler assembly 34 is caused when the axle 44 of the motor 42 spins the weight 36 rapidly. The weight 36 is asymmetrically balanced on the axle 44 resulting in vibrations. The vibrations can then be felt by the gamer.
 FIG. 4 is a cross section of an example of a controller assembly 46 further comprised of, inter alia, a harness 48, a switch 50, a port 52, a power supply 54 and a processor 56. Generally, the processor 56 interacts with the game console by receiving a discrete signal from the game console either wirelessly or via a cable (not depicted). If connected by a cable the port 52 may accept one end of the cable and the game console is connected to the other. The processor 56 is powered by a power supply 54 that may be comprised of, for example, rechargeable or conventional dry cell batteries. If connected to the game console by a cable, the processor 56 may be powered via the cable.
 In typical use, a gamer turns on the controller assembly 46 by means of a switch 50 when preparing to play a game. During game play the game console is now able to send a discrete signal to the processor 56 which in turn sends a signal to activate a specific rumbler assembly 34 via the harness 48 and wires 30. Optionally, the power supply 54 may then be recharged when a cable (not shown) connects the controller assembly 46 to the game console through the port 52.
 Port 52 is configured to interface with a pre-selected type of cable interface such as a universal serial bus (USB), mini-USB, firewire, serial cable, parallel cable or any other such commonly available cable style that may be or become available. It should be noted that a hard wired connection via a cable into the port 52 is not always required. Optionally, the controller assembly 46 may communicate with or receive input from the console by other wireless means or protocols such as, for example, Bluetooth, infrared (IR) signals, radio frequency (RF) signals, wireless network (Wi-Fi) or any other suitable means that may be available or may become available as the state of the art.
 FIG. 5 is an example of the logic process that the controller assembly 46 may cycle through when at step 60 the user turns the device on. In this example, switch 50 turns on the controller assembly 46. Other means to turn on the controller assembly 46 may be available and may include, inter alia, receiving a signal from the game console, picking up the vibrating vest or uncoupling the vibrating vest from a power supply battery charger.
 Once initialized, the processor 56 verifies that there is sufficient power available in the power supply 54 at step 62. If there is insufficient power, as shown in step 64, the processor 56 safely shuts down. Optionally, a light signal and/or an audible signal indicates to the player that the controller assembly 46 cannot be used because of insufficient power available. The user can then recharge the power supply 54 or if the power supply 54 is comprised of disposable batteries then they can be replaced to immediately use the vibrating vest.
 If the power supply 54 contains sufficient energy, such as shown in step 66 then the processor 56 sends a handshake signal to the game console to continue to the initiation procedure. If the game console is ready to communicate with the processor 56 then it responds to the processor 56, as shown in step 68, to complete the initiation process.
 At step 70 the vibrating vest is ready to be used to play a game on the game console. During game play the game console sends discrete signals to the processor 56 which in turn signals one or more specific rumblers 32 to activate and vibrate. The player then feels the vibrating rumbler 32 to experience the game on an enhanced level at step 72.
 An optional variation of the vibrating vest further includes a rigid or semi-rigid vest plate that generally forms a front panel 12 and rear panel 22 of the vest. The various rumblers are affixed to the front panel 12 and rear panel 22 respectively. Materials such as plastics or leather, among others, have been contemplated to be suitable materials for construction of the front panel 12 and rear panel 22. In other variations the front panel 12 and rear panel 22 are constructed of a more flexible fabric which may increase the comfort of the user.
 In a preferred variation of the invention the front panel 12 and/or the rear panel 22 are adapted to receive a decorative skin or other attachments. These may include, for example, professional or collegiate sport team logos or simulated uniforms for appropriate sport simulation games or military uniforms for military style games. Any of a wide variety of ornamentation that corresponds to the theme of the game being played may equally be used in conjunction with the invention.
 In an example of a practical application of the device, the user dons a vibrating vest and turns it on by selecting the power button of the controller assembly 46 after inserting a game program into the game console. The controller assembly 46 then verifies that it is proper communication with the game console and is ready for play. The player may use a traditional style controller to play the game as intended. The difference arises in that the game can now commutate back to the player by activating any of the distinct rumblers 32 which are in turn experienced by the player as a gentle vibration on the specific part of the body where the particular rumbler 34 is located.
 Following this example further, if playing a boxing sport simulation game, the player may now be able to feel a mild sensation from the rumbler to 32 to simulate a punch to the upper left front torso or a hit to the back as appropriate. Alternatively, in a first person shooter military style game the player may be able to feel a gentle vibration from a specific rumbler 32 at approximately the same location on the player's torso if contacted by return fire as experienced in the game.
 Depending on the sensation that the game is trying to simulate, one or more of the rumblers may be specifically activated. In another example, if the game played is a flight simulator, all of the rumblers 32 could optionally be activated simultaneously if the aircraft does not successfully land in the game.
 An important variation of the device may be described as a video game accessory comprising a vest, a plurality of rumblers and a controller assembly. Said vest has a front panel dimensioned to substantially cover the front of a human torso and a rear panel dimensioned to substantially cover the back of a human torso. Said front panel and said rear panel are joined by a plurality of straps that effectively form a vest that is wearable by a human. Said front panel and said rear panel each has a first surface and a second surface. Said plurality of rumblers are affixed in predetermined locations to the first surfaces of each the front panel and rear panel spaced apart sufficiently so that the wearer can experience each rumbler independently. Said controller assembly is affixed to said vest. Said controller further comprising a power supply and a processor. Said processor interfaces with a video game console and receives an input from said game console. Said input is comprised of discrete instruction to activate any of the individual rumblers independently.
 Options can be characterized in that (1) said power supply is either a rechargeable battery pack or a replaceable battery; (2) said second surface of said front panel has a means to accept and ornamental themed skin; (3) that are between four and ten rumblers are affixed in predetermined locations to the first surfaces of each the front panel and rear panel; (4) said front panel and said rear panel are constructed of either a rigid plastic or a semi-rigid plastic; or (5) said input from said game console is comprised of a wireless signal received by said controller assembly.
 The foregoing description conveys the best understanding of the objectives and advantages of the present invention. Different embodiments may be made of the inventive concept of this invention. It is to be understood that all matter disclosed herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
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