Public filed or issued patents on which I was either sole or primary inventor include:
Smart device controlled toy
I’ve been playing with reuse of mobile phones for many years. Such great capabilities, why throw away such a reliable, seeing, hearing, thinking programmable computing platform when we upgrade? Perfect target for robotics. Tried to interest Mattel in the opportunity area while I was there, and did some toy ideation around using the screen itself as the i/o mechanism between a low cost robotic base and the mobile device. Rigado LLC developed a clever speed control algorithm for the prototype. I built speech recognition, facial aniomation and face tracking/eye contact into the thing and it was really nice! From patent filing: “A toy is controlled by a smart device with wireless communication network connection capability, a display screen and programmed to generate optical control signals transmitted through the screen. The toy includes a main body, a control circuit, a holder configured to receive and releasably hold the smart device, and an optical signal receiver supported facing the display screen of the smart device in the holder and operably connected with the control circuit. The control circuit responds to optical control signals transmitted through the screen and detected by the optical signal receiver to control at least one operation of the toy.”
Identifiable Object and a System for Identifying an Object by an Electronic Device
This supplemental filing follows US8358286B2 below, and describes in greater detail my inventions behind Mattel’s Apptivity line of screen toys. It captures the basics of my method of pattern tracking (although there is much more magic in the software). I’m proud to have, between the two filings, all of my earliest invention prototypes rendered, including an ice-skating figure, a toy car doing burnouts on a virtual parking lot, a magic key which opens a door in an app, an airplane flying over a virtual landscape, toy emergency vehicles which can stop virtual traffic with real flashers, and WWE figures on a virtual ring.
Toy Figurine with Internal Lighting Effect
A collection of low cost ways to make magical animation effects in light-up figures using negative-mode LCD masks, including dithering for differing brightness in different areas, and more goodies. This work came out of a push to make a lower-cost version for kids, of the adult-collector targeted Green Lantern Deluxe Animated Figure.
Toy With Locating Feature
An interesting technique for “hide and seek” play patterns, where light energy is in unique code patterns, with a different power level for each code, allowing a “seeker” toy to provide “hotter” and “colder” feedback to a kid. Invented for the Electronic Search And Rescue Buzz Lightyear playset. I invented the alien finder game, and the electronics, and sold the idea into the brand, and it became a product.
Electronic Device and the Input and Output of Data
A broad filing covering many interactions between mobile devices and toys and/or accessories. Many innovations may yet emerge from this work. The first big one was Apptivity line of screen toys. Also see US20120194457A1 above.
Multidirectional Switch and Toy Including a Multidirectional Switch
An extremely low-cost acceleration switch detecting multiple types of motion with a single assembly. Originally designed for a line of toy gloves called Tough Talkers which have two motions. If you make a punching gesture, they make slap sounds. If you make the signature move of the wrestler, they speak a phrase in his voice. For example, when you wear the John Cena glove and wave your hand in front of your face, they say “You can’t see me!” Kids really enjoyed them.