Philips has a super interesting patent floating around from late last year. It involves a game with a throwable monitor, tossed like a ball, that can be tracked in real space. And it sounds pretty neat.


An external sensor tracks the ball's trajectory as it travels through the room—information that feeds the virtual world in the game scenario, which is played out on the monitor. Coupled with the display's ultrasound tracking from each subject, you can imagine some neat interactive game possibilities that beat the hell out of catch.

For instance, maybe virtual rings would appear on the screen, requiring a perfectly angled toss. Philips' patent gives us a few more details on what they have in mind.


The present invention description describes what kind of system technology is then required for gaming with such a display, and which types of novel games can be played (merely from a technical perspective, the exact gaming scenarios are of course for game developers to create)...Having such a moveable display means that it can participate in a game as a kind of extra actor/character, in addition to the human players. A game controller (which may e.g. reside in a home computer and be the rules of a bought game software program running on the computer's processor) generates the different actions to happen for each time moment of a playing game scenario. E.g. the character must display some behavior. In Fig. 1 the character is a dragon, which because of what happened previously in the game is angry. This will be shown with "angry dragon" pictures on the moveable display selected from a memory storing all dragon pictures (or generated real-time from computer graphics rules). When the trajectory mapping unit 105 realizes that the girl 198 has thrown the dragon into the air, it will coordinate the showing on the display of consecutive pictures showing the dragon flapping its wings for consecutive positions on its parabolic trajectory. When it comes near to the boy 199, the display will show pictures of the dragon character breathing fire (a further actuator producing smoke could in this particular game also be incorporated into the display for enhanced effect, if cost and security considerations favor this), indicating that the boy has to perform some action (shoot it, hit it with a bat) or loose points. Of course typically a loudspeaker will be included, so that what is realizable for video will also be realizable for audio (the dragon will roar when approaching the boy).

Dragons? Awesome. [patent via technabob]