(Topic ID: 144545)

Stern Patent - moving tilt to an accelerometer?


By northvibe

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by T-800
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    #1 5 years ago

    So I was just browsing around....and found this Patent from Stern

    https://www.google.com/patents/US20140265113?dq=inassignee:%22Stern+Pinball,+Inc.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAmoVChMI_vD-rtCayQIVwSsmCh0E-gsJ

    Publication date Sep 18, 2014
    Filing date Mar 12, 2013

    "Operation of an amusement game device is controlled in part by using an accelerometer positioned with a game cabinet of the amusement game device. The accelerometer is first used to establish a reference idle position for the amusement game device. During game play of the amusement game device, it is then determined if a force applied to the amusement game device as sensed by the accelerometer exceeds a threshold that is set relative to the reference idle position for the amusement game device. When it is determined that a force applied to the amusement game device as sensed by the accelerometer during play of the amusement game device exceeds the threshold that is set relative to the reference idle position for the amusement game device, play of the amusement game device is caused to be inhibited in whole or in part."

    I'm curious on a couple parts.

    Is an accelerometer built into spike?
    If they replace the tilt bob w/ a accelerometer. How do people feel about that?
    Now that they can actually get an accurate reading of the games slope, tilt, etc, this could be helpful to having the online tournaments and scores.

    #2 5 years ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    Now that they can actually get an accurate reading of the games slope, tilt, etc, this could be helpful to having the online tournaments and scores.

    The playfield could still be unlevel with the head board, but putting an electronic leveling device under the playfield with a software routine would be great.

    If you were under the machine adjusting the feet and the game was reading aloud the pitch and level - that would be great.

    Those accelerometer chips are .40 in quantity.

    #3 5 years ago

    Reminds me I should patent obvious adaptations of technology like this. Some stuff is so obvious don't even think about it.

    In fact, this doesn't even cover what you guys just came up with as that isn't a accelerometer function (to help you level) by a gyroscope function. quick to the patent office!

    Plus of this is also software settings for loose/tight tilt.

    #4 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Those accelerometer chips are .40 in quantity.

    And a tilt bob assembly costs them .45, that's the only reason they'd change. Sounds like it might go the way of the knocker coil.

    #5 5 years ago

    "A patent for a claimed invention may not be obtained, notwithstanding that the claimed invention is not identically disclosed as set forth in section 102, if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains."

    USPTO incompetence raises it's ugly head once again. People have been using accelerometers in their virtual cabs for years, and there's one built into the P3-ROC...

    #6 5 years ago

    I have read before that coin pusher machines use an accelerometer in their alarm circuit.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from ecurtz:

    USPTO incompetence raises it's ugly head once again. People have been using accelerometers in their virtual cabs for years, and there's one built into the P3-ROC...

    I guess you did not notice that this is a presently rejected patent application, not an issued patent.

    #8 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Those accelerometer chips are .40 in quantity.

    Wow, that is a pretty good price. The ones we use are closer to 8k.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    If you were under the machine adjusting the feet and the game was reading aloud the pitch and level - that would be great.

    Left 0.3 too high... Rear 1.1 too low. Left 0.1 too high... Rear 0.4 too low. Left and right OK... Rear 0.4 too high. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

    #10 5 years ago

    It's rejected because it's not novel by any means. Gerry at Multimorphic was first to file on this one, and if I'm not mistaken, that patent was rejected as well.

    Probably a good thing Stern didn't get the patent. Could you imagine how much extra they'd charge for it?

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    I guess you did not notice that this is a presently rejected patent application, not an issued patent.

    I did not. Where is that indicated in the linked document?

    #12 5 years ago

    Though in the grand scheme of things, if the accelerometer (or plural if there's one for each axis of tilt movement) replaces the tilt bob, the end effect is probably minimal.

    My only gripe is that the plumb bob is a dynamic system, so successive nudges can amplify or dampen the bob at any given time based on the speed and direction of the bob at that precise moment. I'm 99.8% sure Stern wouldn't develop a dynamic system bob program into the game taking into account the game's weight, fundamental frequencies, and certain bob settings to virtualize a bob's movement. So basically it's now just replaced with a single threshhold value not to be exceeded which could be mastered by the pro player... whereas now if a hard nudge is used, there's a risk that a successive nudge could catch the bob moving in the same direction and cause a tilt.

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    I guess you did not notice that this is a presently rejected patent application, not an issued patent.

    Actually, I don't see a disposition yet for this one. Where did you see it as rejected?

    Jaz

    #14 5 years ago

    Seems to be still working its way through, search on:
    http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair

    Look at the "image file wrapper" you can see all of the documents.

    If you have prior art, send it to the examiner and the prosecuting attorney.

    If you look at
    06-12-2015 CTNF Non-Final Rejection

    you'll see he cites Gerry's application.

    Subsequent documents from Stern argue that their invention is distinguished from his . . . and so the game goes.

    #15 5 years ago

    It may mean nothing.. my company applies for a lot of patents. Not that were going to make it. Just to stop the competition ftom making it..

    #16 5 years ago

    I think it's great. The one thing I hate about tilt bobs is that they keep swinging long after you nudged a little. Then why you apply just a small bump in the same direction at just the wrong moment, the pin tilts.

    With the chip, you can set the sensitivity adjustment with a simple setting, and you have a clear and definite threshold of what is too hard. It sounds way better and fairer.

    #17 5 years ago

    Does spike have the accelerometer? has someone confirmed?

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    If you were under the machine adjusting the feet and the game was reading aloud the pitch and level - that would be great.

    You can already get a talking pin leveller app: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinguy-pinball-machine-leveling-app

    #19 5 years ago

    I came up with this idea 20 years ago and the guys at WMS told me it was too expensive. I guess with the rise of iPhones, these are cheap enough now to make it worthwhile.

    My original idea was self-leveling playfields, but also to be used as the tilt sensor.

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from ecurtz:

    I did not. Where is that indicated in the linked document?

    It probably is not but the link also does not list a patent.

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Left 0.3 too high... Rear 1.1 too low. Left 0.1 too high... Rear 0.4 too low. Left and right OK

    This what the pinguy iPhone app does. You just tell it what pitch you want. Plus it lets you learn about a machine so you can then do it with the glass on the next time. Very nice when under the machine to hear it telling you what the issue is.

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Left 0.3 too high... Rear 1.1 too low. Left 0.1 too high... Rear 0.4 too low. Left and right OK... Rear 0.4 too high. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

    @10:00

    The entire seminar is a good watch. I'd recommend starting at the beginning of the playlist.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkSL70wzyYHOuzb0QG3tup1YynhD8TCXb

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #23 5 years ago

    Great if it's integrated to help with levelling, but not a fan for gameplay. The tilt bob is an integral part of the physicality of pinball.

    Replacing the knocker sucks, but it doesn't affect gameplay. The tilt bob does.

    Same could be said for eliminating drop targets and spinners - there's a way to simulate what they do, but in doing so you change the experience completely by doing so.

    I actually think instead of eliminating the tilt bob, it should be visible.

    #24 5 years ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    Replacing the knocker sucks, but it doesn't affect gameplay. The tilt bob does.
    Same could be said for eliminating drop targets and spinners - there's a way to simulate what they do, but in doing so you change the experience completely by doing so.

    Eh? Drop targets and spinners are physical entities with which the ball interacts. A tilt bob is something you don't feel and wouldn't even know if it existed without looking inside the cab. Any simulation that "changes the experience completely" would be a pretty poorly implemented simulation.

    Further, we could even provide multiple settings:
    1) Tilt-bob simulation mode
    2) Alternate tilt functionality (maybe eliminate 'settle' time or something)

    On the P3, when combined with the dynamic playfield graphics, we can do so much more with nudge detection. Stay tuned.

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #25 5 years ago

    Those chips were in UltraPins nearly 10 years ago.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from ecurtz:

    USPTO incompetence raises it's ugly head once again. People have been using accelerometers in their virtual cabs for years, and there's one built into the P3-ROC...

    The linked document is a published patent application, not a granted patent. I see this get confused quite a bit. Sounds like it has been rejected from comments above.

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from gstellenberg:

    On the P3, when combined with the dynamic playfield graphics, we can do so much more with nudge detection.

    Sure, this is a different thing - would be great to see what you guys can do with another input device. But on a stock standard Stern pinball machine, I think replacing the Tilt-bob is just detracts from the player experience.

    Having said that, on a for an operator on a commercial location with lots of casual players who dont really care about nudging etc, a virtual tilt-bob would be a great benefit.

    -1
    #28 5 years ago

    What they need to do is get rid of tilt warnings altogether and go back to tilt ends game. What a ridiculous idea that was.

    #29 5 years ago
    Quoted from jwwhite15:

    Wow, that is a pretty good price. The ones we use are closer to 8k.

    How about the one you use in your cell phone every day?

    I'm glad that thing is not 8k....

    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    How about the one you use in your cell phone every day?
    I'm glad that thing is not 8k....

    And in all these $40 toy drones, I'm surprised they can make a profit when the accelerometer is 8k.

    #31 5 years ago

    The precision and signal processing in one of those $8K ones is a bit different than the $0.40 ones . For an application like tilt detection, both would work well . On something aeronautical, you might want to consider the $8K one.

    Of course, in a few more years given the advancements in MEMS technology, the $8K one will be $0.40 and the next version of the $8K one will be unbelievable.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from megadeth2600:

    For an application like tilt detection, both would work well . On something aeronautical, you might want to consider the $8K one.

    Shit, now you tell me........

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    It probably is not but the link also does not list a patent.

    Exactly - it is nothing more than a patent application that has been published. Anyone can file a patent application. Hell you could file a patent application on a round wheel like object and still get it published. Odds of it getting actually getting granted is a whole 'nother aspect. The even bigger kicker is that two different companies can get patents granted that actually infringe on each other and prevent both companies from actually practicing... Either way, if you go to the USPTO and search for the related published patent you can see what actions have been taken which would show whether they are pending approval, rejected, and how many times it's been rejected.

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