News Column

Patent Issued for Video Eyewear for Smart Phone Games

July 2, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Gassel, John (Mansfield, MA); Parkinson, Christopher (Richland, WA); Choi, Hong (Sharon, MA), filed on January 10, 2011, was published online on June 17, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8754931 is assigned to Kopin Corporation (Westborough, MA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Smart phones are becoming ubiquitous. The well known iPhone.TM., sold by Apple Inc. of Cupertino Calif. ('Apple'), has especially changed the paradigm of how smart phones are used. Now the smart phone is much more than a telephone--it has become an extra-portable computer/web browser and game player. Many applications have been written to support smart phones. As of October 2010, Apples' App Store had more than 300,000 applications available and the list continues to grow rapidly.

"The game application is the most dominant application category, with more than 70% of all the available applications for the iPhone. Some of these games utilize the built-in accelerometer in the iPhone, which provides an additional way to provide input to a game. However, there are issues with the quality of game play on smart phones as compared to game play on other platforms. The display size is small, moving the smart phone to use the accelerometer changes the screen viewing position, and smart phone display technology does not support 3-dimensional (3D) viewing on the device's screen.

"Head-mounted displays (HMD) and other types of video eyewear provide the experience of a large picture in a small form factor. Most smart phones allow their video signal to be routed to an external high-quality digital output port that in turn is designed to connect to an external video device such as a high definition (HD) television. The HMD can take this high-quality video as its primary input and direct it to a binocular display. In the usual and simplest configuration, the same output video generated for the smart phone screen is displayed identically on both the left- and right-eye screens of the binocular HMD. This arrangement provides a 2-dimensional video experience to the wearer of the HMD.

"With the wider availability of 3-dimensional (3D) televisions and movies, 3D games are becoming a natural extension of 2-dimensional (2D) games. HMDs are also ideal for providing 3D pictures and images to a viewer because they can show a slightly different image to each eye to provide depth perception. The combination of an HMD and smart phone can provide a very appealing 3D game experience. However, games developed to date for smart phones are not designed to take advantage of the features offered by HMDs or other video eyewear."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The following improvements to the connections, arrangement, software programming and interaction between a smart phone and an HMD can make game applications more enjoyable by taking full advantage of the features that HMDs or other video eyewear offer. 1. In a first implementation, the signal from an accelerometer and/or a touch screen in a smart phone is used only for certain control of the game, such as to steer a racing car or a plane or to move a game persona character within a virtual space. The main scene for the game is displayed in the HMD or video eyewear connected to the smart phone. 2. In a further implementation, one or more inputs from the HMD/eyewear such as a head tracker or camera, are connected to the smart phone either via a wire or wirelessly such as via WiFi or Bluetooth. The head tracking and/or camera inputs are used as an input to the game, such as to pan/zoom or change the viewpoint of the user. 3. In a still further implementation, the HMD also can have an integrated processor to make it a 'smart' HMD. The game can take advantage of the processing power in the smart HMD, to implement functions such as side-by-side video processing to provide 3D video to the user."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Gassel, John; Parkinson, Christopher; Choi, Hong. Video Eyewear for Smart Phone Games. U.S. Patent Number 8754931, filed January 10, 2011, and published online on June 17, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Kopin Corporation.

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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