Electronic variable stroke device and system for remote control and

Electronic variable stroke device and system for remote control and
US007438681B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Kobashikawa et al.
(54)
(76)
(45) Date of Patent:
ELECTRONIC VARIABLE STROKE DEVICE
6,422,993 B1
AND SYSTEM FOR REMOTE CONTROL AND
6,592,516 B2 *
7/2003
INTERACTIVE PLAY
6,632,185 B2 *
10/2003
Inventors: Alvin Y- Kobashikawa’ 99421 Poaha
6,695,770 B1 *
Oct. 21, 2008
7/2002 Hudson
Chen ........................ .. 601/101
2/2004 Choy et al. ................. .. 600/38
Pl., Aiea, HI (US) 96701; Rita E.
7,510,031
2/2004 WaIltZ
IWakaWa, 311 Ohua Ave., #604D,
7,104,950 B2 *
9/2006 Levy ......................... .. 600/38
2003/0036678 A1 *
2/2003 Abbassi ..................... .. 600/38
Honolulu, HI (Us) 96815
(*)
Notice:
(21)
Appl- N05 10/6871729
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
_
(22) F1led:
Sinulator Web Site, “Cam Networks and Performers”, “Product
Information”, 2003, published at www.sinulate.com.
Oct. 16, 2003
(65)
(Continued)
Prior Publication Data
Us 2004/0082831 A1
Primary ExamineriSamuel G Gilbert
(74) Attorney, Agent, or FirmiLeighton K. Chong
Apr‘ 29’ 2004
(60)
Related US. Application Data
Provisional application No. 60/419,554, ?led on Oct.
17, 2002.
(51)
Int- Cl-
(57)
ABSTRACT
An electronic reciprocation device has a base containing a
motor-driven screw shaft, an uPP er body having the screw
A61F 5/00
(52)
(58)
US 7,438,681 B2
(200601)
shaft extending longitudinally therein, and a traveler engaged
US. Cl. ...................................................... .. 600/38
Field of Classi?cation Search ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ 60O/38*41,
Withthe Screw Shaft to drive the upperbody in positioning and
reciprocating motion. A remote control unit can be used for
_ _
600/595; 128/897> 898’ 904’ 905
See apphcanon ?le for Complete Search hlstory'
comfortable operation of the device. A network connection
unit is provided to connect the user’s device to an external
(56)
1,516,717
3,216,225
3,873,985
5,676,637
5,984,880
6,028,531
6,190,307
6,251,066
6,368,268
References Cited
service website on the lntemet or other networks. The user’s
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
device may be adapted as a male or female sex toy, and can
exchange control signals on the Internet with one or more
A
A
A
A
A
A
B1
B1
B1
11/1924
11/1965
3/1975
10/1997
11/1999
2/2000
2/2001
6/2001
4/2002
other users operating complementary sex toys. The lntemet
Coleman
68/233
service can host interactive sessions with other users, groups
Altmayer .................. .. 343/714
of users, and even non-participating spectators. 1t preferably
Artigas ..................... ..
Lee
Lander
Wanderlich
Tsai
Pack
Sandvick
has a 3-tier structure of an administrator tier, hosted services
tier, and af?liated play host tier for expansive offerings of
interactive services to its users.
29 Claims, 8 Drawing Sheets
US 7,438,681 B2
Page 2
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Monaghan, C., “Plug Me In, Turn Me On”, LA Weekly, Cyber Fea
ture, Jun. 11-17, 1999.
Hassex, Inc., “Method and Device for Interactive Virtual Control of
Safe Sex Plus, “SSP Adapter”, product decription, 1999, printed from
Sexual Aids Using Digital Computer Networks”, May 2003, pub
WWW.safesexplus.com/pages/SSPiConverterhtrn.
lished at hassexinc.com.
Safe Sex Plus, “The Internet Never Feft So Good”, 1999, printed
“The Love Machine”, from Future Sex Magazine, San Francisco,
CA, 1992.
from wwwsafesexpluscom.
* cited by examiner
US. Patent
Oct. 21, 2008
Sheet 1 of8
US 7,438,681 B2
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US 7,438,681 B2
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Sheet 5 of8
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-- Register
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Sheet 6 of8
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US 7,438,681 B2
US. Patent
Oct. 21, 2008
Sheet 7 of8
US 7,438,681 B2
1ST TIER
Customer
Warranty/
Warranty/
Registration
Registration
Information
Server
Customer
Information
Administrative
Customer 38?,
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2ND
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US. Patent
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20
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Figure 11
Sheet 8 of8
US 7,438,681 B2
US 7,438,681 B2
1
2
ELECTRONIC VARIABLE STROKE DEVICE
AND SYSTEM FOR REMOTE CONTROL AND
INTERACTIVE PLAY
stimulation to a person remotely. For example, US. Pat. No.
6,368,268 to Sandvick discloses a system for interactive vir
tual control of sexual aids on a netWork in Which one or more
users are connected by their computers to a Web site and can
This US. Patent Application claims the priority ?ling date
enter control inputs on an input device connected to their
computers Which are transmitted as control signals to a
remote device of another user While transmitting a video
image to be seen on the computer display of the remote user.
of US. Provisional Application No. 60/419,554 ?led on Oct.
17, 2002, by the same inventors, entitled “Electronic Variable
Stroke Device”.
US. Pat. No. 5,984,880 to Lander similarly discloses an
interactive remote control system in Which input on a haptic
TECHNICAL FIELD
or force-feedback input device connected to one user’s com
This invention relates to an improved device for sexual or
puter results in control signals being transmitted to a remote
stimulation device connected to another user’s computer.
massage stimulation, and particularly one Which is electroni
cally controlled for variable stroke operation and Which may
be used advantageously in a system for remote control and
interactive play on the Internet.
HoWever, such systems require the user(s) to enter control
input and/or be imaged on a video camera While seated or
positioned near their computer and display, Which may not
provide a suf?ciently convenient or relaxing environment for
the intended purpose of sending or receiving sexual stimula
tion.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
There has previously been provided a great variety of
20
sexual stimulation devices, sexual aids and other adult nov
elty toys. The Well-knoWn female vibrator has had the same
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
basic con?guration for a long time, namely, a ?xed elongated
outer shell to Which vibrations are imparted by a battery
poWered motor contained in the interior of the device. The
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to
25
vibrator can be used for sexual stimulation as Well as massage
to the muscles and tissues of the body for the bene?ts of
relaxation and pleasure, as Well as to enhance the physiologi
and is also capable of remote control aWay from a user’s
computer desk, as Well as interactive virtual control by a
cal or psychological Well being of people With certain limi
tations or disabilities. Other claimed bene?ts include the pre
30
vention of transmitted diseases, and maintaining marital
harmony.
HoWever, the prior devices have limited variability in
motion. They typically have a ?xed outer shape that only
vibrates and cannot provide longitudinal stroke motion. Some
35
40
in opposite rotational directions, an upper portion extending
longitudinally from the base portion, Wherein the rotary
driven screW shaft has a length extending longitudinally into
the upper portion and is provided With screW threading
shaft to provide longitudinal vibrations. US. Pat. No. 6,190,
45
the device, but also does not provide longitudinal stroke
motion. US. Pat. No. 4,722,327 to Harvey and US. Pat. No.
5,076,261 to Black disclose female sex therapeutic devices
that produce horiZontal stroke motions, hoWever, these are
obtained by cumbersome eccentric disk and yoke folloWer
arrangements contained in a bulky motor-drive housing.
the body for relaxation and pleasure, as Well as physiological
or psychological Well being.
In accordance With the present invention, an electronic
variable stroke device comprises a base portion containing a
motor and poWer source for rotating a screW shaft alternately
a massage vibrator With a croWn cam connector in the output
307 to Tsai discloses an eccentric vibratory device Which
produces transverse oscillation constrained to the diameter of
netWork connection, While maintaining a convenient and
relaxing environment for sending or receiving stimulation. It
is a particular object of the invention to provide such an
electronic variable stroke device Which can be used for sexual
stimulation as Well as massage to the muscles and tissues of
prior devices have provided limited longitudinal reciproca
tion but not a longitudinal stroke motion. For example, in US.
Pat. No. 751,031 to WantZ, a massage vibrator has a rotary
shaft and cam folloWer arrangement for producing pounding
(longitudinal) movements or rubbing (rotary) movements of a
massager end. US. Pat. No. 1,516,717 to Coleman discloses
provide an electronically-controlled, variable stroke recipro
cating device that is multi-functional and compact, yet has
extensive variability of stroke motions and operating modes,
50
thereon, and a screW-thread traveler or folloWer engaged With
the screW shaft threading in order to drive a member consti
tuting a part of the upper body in reciprocating longitudinal
motion.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the electronic
variable stroke device is provided With electronic controls
Which control rotation of the screW shaft to vary the length,
Thus, the prior stimulation or massage devices have not pro
extent, speed, and frequency of the upper body member’s
reciprocating longitudinal motion. The electronic controls
vided horiZontal stroke motion Which is obtained With a com
can include stored motion programs for operating the device
pact form factor and Which can provide Wide variability in
stroke motion.
The prior devices also have limited user controls and ?xed
in different modes of reciprocating longitudinal motions. The
or limited variability of use. Many are designed as larger
con?guration of the motor and poWer source positioned in the
base portion in-line With the upper body, screW shaft and
folloWer provides a compact design and generates loW-im
electromechanical devices that are cumbersome to use and
pact reaction forces, as Well as alloWs the device to be com
operate and are further constrained by attached Wires. Smaller
hand-held devices have used electronic controls to reduce the
siZe of the device, hoWever, they are not designed to handle
substantial reaction forces. Physical reaction forces must be
absorbed by the support provided by the user as Well as the
device itself, thereby limiting the effectiveness of the device’ s
output motions.
Recent proposals have attempted to link the control of a sex
toy device to a computer connected to a netWork to provide
55
fortably manipulated or positioned by a user.
60
The electronic variable stroke device can have the upper
body together With an annulus may form a surrounding bulge
similar in shape to the head of a penis for use as a female sex
toy. A male sex toy version can employ the screW thread and
folloWer arrangement for longitudinally stroking a male penis
65
member With variable pressure elements. The device may
also be adapted for use in simulating hydraulic or poWered
motions in other types of toys. The remote controller unit may
US 7,438,681 B2
3
4
also be used as a remote motion controller for other products
in the radio -controlled hobby industry, or as a game controller
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 shoWs a cross-sectional vieW of an electronic vari
able stroke device adapted as a female toy device in accor
in the game systems industry.
The preferred embodiment can also be operated With a
hand-held remote controller unit Which can operate the elec
dance With the present invention.
FIG. 2a shoWs an example of a circuit board layout for
control of the device, and FIGS. 2b-2d illustrate control sig
nals generated for the longitudinal stroke motion of the
device.
tronic variable stroke device by Wireless (or Wired if desired)
transmission of control signals. The remote controller unit
can also be used to store various motion programs for oper
ating the electronic variable stroke device in various modes. A
FIG. 3 is an illustration of an ergonomic remote controller
unit for remote control of the device.
FIG. 4 shoWs a block diagram of an Internet connection
unit for connecting the electronic variable stroke device to the
Internet.
control circuit may be provided on an IC board in the base
portion of the device and/or in the remote controller unit
having an EPROM in Which different motion programs are
stored and selected according to user preference. The remote
controller unit can also include a link by Wireless (or Wired if
FIG. 5 is an illustration of use of the remote controller unit
desired) transmission of control signals from and/or to the
user’s computer to doWnload and/or upload device control
signals and/or complete motion programs. The use of the
for the Internet connection unit.
FIG. 6a shoWs a cross-sectional vieW of the electronic
variable stroke device adapted as a male toy device.
hand-held remote controller unit alloWs the user to variably
and selectively control the operation of the electronic variable
stroke device, While maintaining a convenient and relaxing
environment for sending or receiving stimulation.
The electronic variable stroke device of the present inven
20
FIG. 7 illustrates an application connecting male and
female toy devices for interactive virtual control through an
Internet connection.
FIG. 8 illustrates a multi-user example of male and female
toy devices connected through an Internet connection.
tion enables a user to have stimulation applied by virtual or
remote control over the Internet or other netWorks.A netWork
FIG. 9 illustrates optional connection of a video camera
connection unit is provided as a multi-function platform from
Which transmission of signals betWeen devices and the con
trol of associated TV display, audio, and camera devices are
directed. The user device or devices can receive control sig
nals or doWnloaded motion programs through an Internet
connection to a Web site or to another remote user Who has
been granted remote access to the ?rst user’s session. This
Would enable tWo or more users in respective remote loca
tions to engage in remote interactive stimulation via Internet
and display screen With the interactive virtual control system.
FIG. 10 illustrates a method to implement an Intemet
based system for remote interactive play using the electronic
30
variable stroke device.
FIGS. 11 and 12 shoW cross-sectional vieWs of other
embodiments for the electronic variable stroke device.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
35
Female Toy Device
for relaxation and pleasure at the user’s convenience, for
physiological or psychological Well being of persons With
physical limitations or disabilities, avoidance of unWanted
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shoWn a preferred embodiment
of an electronic variable stroke device adapted as a female toy
dating, prevention of transmitted diseases, maintaining mari
tal harmony for couples apart, etc.
FIG. 6b shoWs a cross-section of a male sex toy device With
a variable pressure mechanism.
40
device 5 (also referred to shorthand as “FT”) constructed and
operated in accordance With the principles of the present
Other associated devices such as a video camera, micro
invention. The main components of the electronic variable
stroke mechanism consist of a base portion 35, an upper body
phone, headphones, and audio/visual components may be
used With the electronic variable stroke device of the present
invention. Other stimulation devices such as vibrators, heat
portion 10, a rotary screW shaft 20, a traveler or folloWer 25
engaged With the threads of the screW shaft 20, an electric
ing elements, and expansion devices may be used in conjunc
motor 40 located in the base portion 35 for driving the screW
tion With the electronic variable stroke device, and their cor
responding functions can also be included in the controls of
the remote controller unit and the device control to enhance
the desired effects.
The electronic variable stroke device may also be adapted
to poWer reciprocation movement to supplant the common
shaft in alternate rotational directions, and an electronic con
trol circuit 41.
The screW shaft 20 may be made of metal, hard plastic, or
50
may be suitable that the screW shaft be made of softer material
to accommodate the curvature of the embodiment. The screW
“hydraulic arm” in toys, or as a motion feedback device, or as
a servo control mechanism. The remote controller unit and
interactive virtual control system via Internet may also be
adapted to other interactive or remote control environments,
such as interactive learning systems for children and adults,
interactive gaming, interactive adult toys, interactive home
care, health, and physical therapy, and interactive systems for
the home building, maintenance, or security industries. Other
applications for the Intemet-based system for multi-user
interaction include remote game-playing and virtual video
pitch Will be determined by the amount of torque produced by
55
tion of the invention having reference to the appended draW
1ngs.
the motor and the desired reciprocating speed. Traveler 25 can
be constructed of metal, hard plastic, or other suitable mate
rial that is compatible With the screW to minimiZe Wear char
acteristics such as friction and binding.
60
conferencing.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present
invention Will be explained in the folloWing detailed descrip
some other suitable material. In some variations of the device
having a slight curvature to simulate the shape of a penis, it
65
The upper body 10 is constructed from an appropriate
material such as plastic for rigidity as Well as ?exibility. It
may be desirable for the material to yield slightly in order to
maintain a realistic feel While retaining structural integrity for
smooth operation. In the FT version, the upper body is cov
ered by a ?exible elastic covering 15, and the traveler 25 is
coupled to a ring 30 With a surrounding bulging shape simu
lating the shape of the head of a penis. When the screW shaft
20 is driven in alternate rotational directions, the traveler 25
US 7,438,681 B2
5
6
moves the bulging ring 30 in longitudinally reciprocating
motion under the covering 15, simulating the thrusting
set stored in EPROM 47 is fed to the motor controller circuit
45 to carry out the corresponding motor operations. If remote
motion of the head of a penis. The upper body 10 has elon
control operation is selected at sWitch 60, the control circuit
49 passes motor control operations to the transmitter/receiver
gated guide slot(s) (not shoWn) so that the traveler 25 is
constrained to longitudinal movements. Other guide ele
ments to constrain the traveler motion may include guide rods
and keyWays. The upper body 10 may also assume an appro
circuit 43 for remote motor control.
A serial or USB connector 85 and/or communications
priate curvature for comfort and positioning.
The covering 15 is constructed from appropriate non-tonic
material for tensile strength, ?exibility, texture, and durabil
external connection to a computer or other communications
(Wired or Wireless) port 86 may optionally be provided for
device. As noted above, applications programs may be doWn
loaded to the circuit board 41 to be stored on EPROM 47 for
user selection and use. It may also be used for transmission of
control signals from a remote control unit Which the user can
ity. The texturing for the cover may include relevant undula
tions and convolutions of various siZes, shapes, and patterns
such as bumps and dimples. The ring 30 is constructed With an
operate manually apart from the device. Alternatively, they
appropriate siZe, shape, and material. The material is selected
may be used to either control the device directly from a
for to provide the covering 15 With a soft feel and to minimiZe
friction and Wear. Ring 30 may be an asymmetric shape other
than as shoWn, and may also include various degrees of tex
turing. The example of ring 30 shoWn is not to be construed as
limiting in the present invention.
The base portion 35 is constructed from appropriate mate
rial such as plastic for strength and rigidity. Since it also
computer (connected via serial/USB port or communications
port 86) using keyboard, mouse, touchpad, or other input
devices, or to create or modify user-speci?c time series sig
nals transmitted to the device. The time series signals may be
20
ming by softWare Would alloW the user to tailor the program
to suit individual preferences and save the program ?les for
functions as a handle for the user as Well as a container for the
drive components, other ergonomic considerations may
apply as layout logistics alloW. For example, the shape may be
slightly curved for ease of operation Without affecting perfor
generated through computer softWare to produce control sig
nals for controlling real-time position and speed. Program
later use. A poWer source may also be combined With the
communications cable that Will enable the device to be oper
mance and sacri?cing component space. The base portion 35
is shoWn having the motor 40 arranged in line With the circuit
ated Without batteries alloWing the device to be lighter and
more maneuverable. A poWer jack 70 is also provided for
recharging the battery or to provide an external poWer source
board 41, a battery 50 as a poWer source, and a battery cover
as an option to battery poWer.
55. A start/ stop button 57 is provided on the outside of base
portion 35. A motion control sWitch 60 may also be provided
25
FIGS. 2b-2d illustrate control signals generated for con
30
trolling the motor driving the longitudinal stroke motion of
the device. For example, in FIG. 2b, the thrust traveler
engaged With the rotating screW shaft may be driven to recip
rocate along the longitudinal axis at a desired speed, speci?
35
upWard and a faster movement doWnWard (as shoWn).
Another variation is shoWn in FIG. 20, in Which the traveler is
for adjusting the length, speed, and/or frequency of the lon
gitudinal stroke motion. The base portion may have insulating
material on its interior Walls to insulate the heat of the motor
40 and also to reduce noise for a quieter operation. The base
portion 35 can also be used to mount an attached device 98 in
cally, at a speed Which is varied to have a sloWer movement
proximity to the upper body, such as a vibrator (for clitoral
stimulation), miniature camera, or microphone. The camera
may also be placed at the tip of the upper body behind a
transparent WindoW in the ?exible covering so that the liquid
imperrneable seal of the upper body is not compromised.
driven to move to the top of the stroke and then oscillate With
short thrusting movements, or these oscillations may cascade
doWnWard. The short thrusting movements may also be pro
40
FIG. 2a shoWs an example of a circuit board 41 for control
of the electronic variable stroke device. The circuit board 41
includes a signal transmitter/receiver circuit 43, EPROM 47,
IC control circuit 49, and motor controller circuit 45. External
leads are provided to the motor 40 and any attached device 98,
such as a vibrator, camera, or microphone. The receiving end
of the transmitter/receiver circuit 43 can alloW doWnloading
of programming instructions and remote control operations,
While the transmitting end of the circuit may be used for
transmitting feedback signals, such as monitoring the status
more concentrated stimulation, or any desired variations in
betWeen. There are many other possible variations that may
45
Remote Control
50
55
tion adds the freedom of Wireless control and also multi-user
control of the devices in accordance With the present inven
tion. The remote control unit can be held in the user’s hand
apart from the positioning of the electronic variable stroke
device, for ergonomic, intuitive operations.
FIG. 3 shoWs an illustration of an embodiment of a remote
60
that are built-in as motion programs (stored in EPROM 47) or
those de?ned by the user. The EPROM may be used to tem
porarily store user sessions activated by an event-recording
button (or sWitch) 48. This option is available When the user
desires to store manually selected stroke and speed move
As previously described, the FT may also be operated by an
optional ergonomic remote control unit for Wired or Wireless
operations. The remote control unit With a Wireless connec
also connected to the IC control circuit 49 and can be used as
a selector for motion control, program selection, remote
controlled operation, and/or poWer-off functions. As a pro
gram selector, it can sWitch betWeen programming routines
be produced by varying the position and duration of the
signals.
of the device, i.e. on/ off indicator, battery status, malfunction
ing circuits, and other useful information.
The Start/ Stop button 57 is connected to the IC control
circuit 49 and alloWs the user to manually control the device
for extra safety so that the user is able to stop the traveler
stroke motion at anytime and to re-start it. The sWitch 60 is
vided in the beginning of the stroke and then may proceed to
a longer stroke, as shoWn in FIG. 2d. The strokes may be long
and sloW for massaging effects, or may be short and fast for
control unit 101 With multi-control and programming means.
The remote unit features “thumbWheel” ergonomic controls
for stroke position 161 and speed 163 Which operate to trans
mit corresponding control signals to the device through a
control and transmitter circuit (not shoWn). A tactile position
indicator 162 (such as a slide knob or roW of vibratable
65
elements) may be incorporated in conjunction With a tactile
ments and is not used With built-in programs. When a pro
speed indicator 164 such that the user has some indication (or
gram is selected by sWitch 60, the corresponding instruction
‘feel’) of the movements being generated at the receiving end
US 7,438,681 B2
7
8
of the device. For example, When the Remote Controller
increases the length of the stroke of the device for the user, the
nications port 250 may be Wireless or infrared corresponding
to the port 86 on the PT. The i-conn includes a transmitter/
receiver circuit 220, Which may include an antenna 223 for
Wireless transmission, and a main control circuit 230. It may
also be used to provide poWer to the FT or other device via a
user can feel the difference in the stroke length on the hand
held unit via the tactile position indicator. In both cases, the
slide position or vibrating element can be felt beneath the
covering of the handheld unit on the palms of the operator
While operating the unit. Although FIG. 3 shoWs the tactile
indicators on one side of the controller, they may also be
placed on the other side, opposite sides, or on the back edge of
the controller. Other indicators may also be provided in con
junction With this unit such as LEDs for visual information.
The remote control unit may also support pre-programmed
functions that may be selected using a program selection
sWitch 120 (shoWn in FIG. 3 With three selection sWitches).
Instead of using only one EPROM on the device, additional or
interchangeable EPROMs may also be used on the remote
control unit for expandability and/or as neWer programming
communications cable. This latter option is implemented in
cases Where relatively high device poWer consumption is
expected or it is desired to operate the device Without the
added Weight of a battery to make it lighter and more maneu
verable.
The i-conn may also provide a means of enabling program
selection, sWitching, and recording user preferences. An
onboard EPROM 233 may be used for storing prepro
grammed or user de?ned instructions. Another function of the
EPROM is to record the sound or time series signals of PT
operations during a session for later use or for incorporation
in a user-de?ned program ?le. The recorded signals may be
applications become available. Programs may be entered into
the remote control by doWnloading from an associated com
puter using port 185 (serial or USB), or communications port
20
186 (Wired or Wireless or infrared). A record button 154 for
recording sound (by controlling an associated recording
25
user sessions is initiated by the user using the record button 48
on the FT (see FIG. 1), or the record button 154 on the remote
controller 101. A plug-in EPROM may be used for the i-conn
EPROM 233 as a means for future expansion, or neW pro
Ware. The remote control unit may instead have a built-in
grams, or for other applications such as programming vibra
speaker and microphone for on-board handling of sound. The
unit may also support the use of a headset using the headset
jack 144. Instead of constructing a neW handheld unit, the
functions of the remote control unit may alternatively be
programmed into a PDA or other Wireless handheld device
that supports the processing and transmission of device con
saved ?le may be modi?ed on the computer through a soft
Ware program that enables time series control signals to be
edited, altered, combined With sound, etc. The recording of
device or by controlling a microphone mounted on the device
and transmitting the sound signals to an associated computer
for playback and/or for programming an event along With the
accompanying time series control signals via computer soft
transferred later to the computer for ?le storage and archiving
and/or to be retrieved later for future loading and playback. A
tor actions, operating expansion mechanisms, and engaging
30
trol signals, sound, and feedback indicators and information.
35
other devices.
Besides using stored or edited programs to control FT
motions during a user session, the i-conn permits the FT to be
controlled by programs doWnloaded from a site over the
Internet and/or to be controlled directly in real-time by
another user Who has been granted private access to the ?rst
user’ s session. When an Internet connection is used, pro gram
Internet Connection Unit
ming and control of the device is accomplished through the
use of port 251 connected to the computer’s corresponding
The electronic variable stroke device of the present inven
serial or USB port. The Internet access alloWs programs to be
tion enables a user to have highly realistic sex or massage
stimulation electronically or remotely controlled in an ergo
40
nomic fashion so as to maintain a convenient and relaxing
environment for sending and/or receiving stimulation. The
device is thus readily adaptable to remote control over the
Internet or other netWorks. The possibility of remote stimu
lation by Internet, for example, opens many opportunities for
45
neW and desirable modes of remote, interactive sex or other
uploaded from and doWnloaded to the FT’s EPROM and may
also alloW motion signals to be sent to and received from the
PT.
The i-conn can also coordinate video camera, audio, and
TV display control in conjunction With a user session. For
example, the i-conn can include a video camera 212 With a
pan and tilt mechanism 214 and Zoom control circuit 218,
contained Within a housing 210 in the i-conn chassis. The
i-conn camera may also feature lighting and or light enhance
forms of virtual stimulation for relaxation and pleasure at the
user’s convenience or in accordance With their individual
notions or fantasies, as Well as to enhance the physiological or
Which the functions and various uses of one or more associ
ment including night vision. Although FIG. 4 shoWs the cam
era mounted toWards the top of the i-conn unit, it may also be
placed at a separate or external location for better vieWing
angle and connected to the i-conn. The i-conn may also sup
port a built-in microphone(s) 261 and a speaker system 265.
It also has a TV or display output port 256 to output video
signals to a television set, display monitor, or projector, and a
connector 258 for video camera signal input. The i-conn may
ated sex toys may be directed. In a basic mode, the i-conn is
also have a connection port 295 for a headset and/or 3-D
provided as an interface betWeen an electronic variable stroke
glasses (or a special i-conn head gear may be supplied With an
integrated 3-D display and headset). PoWer for the i-conn is
provided by a built-in ac/dc adapter 280. The i-conn unit may
psychological Well being of people With physical limitations
50
or disabilities, avoidance of unWanted dating, prevention of
transmitted diseases, maintaining marital harmony for
couples apart, etc.
As shoWn in FIG. 4, an Internet connection unit (or
“i-conn”) 201 is provided as a multi-function platform from
55
device (e.g., the FT) and an associated computer Which has
Internet connectivity through a modem or a netWork interface
60
card (NIC) for Internet access through dialup telephone lines,
cable, DSL, LAN, VPN, satellite, Wi-Fi Wireless connectiv
be mounted on a stand or tripod using a mount attachment
290. In this manner, a user during a session can Watch their
oWn images and hear their oWn sounds on the TV display and
ity, etc. The i-conn unit has a device communications port 250
providing a connection for information exchange With the FT,
and a computer communications port 251 (such as a serial or
USB port or Wireless communications port) to the associated
computer With the Internet connection. The device commu
sound system, or mutually enjoy another user’s session to
65
Which the ?rst user is connected via Internet, or play back a
programmed or recorded session at the user’s selection from
stored memory.
US 7,438,681 B2
10
9
Male Toy Device
A biometric card reader may also be installed in the i-conn
for monitoring user access to authorized persons, or in a
membership cards, credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, etc.
The i-conn may be provided With full processing capability
As another aspect of the present invention, a male toy
device (referred to as “MT”) may be provided as a counterpart
device to the female toy device so that couples may share a
and an Internet connection method to supplant the need for an
unique form of private interaction. As shoWn in FIG. 6a, the
associated computer. As a fully functional unit, the i-conn can
MT includes a housing 410, an inner liner 420, an array of
commercial setting may include a payment card reader for
conductive rings including left halves 434 and right halves
be sold to individuals at retail or to commercial establish
ments as a stand-alone model that is plug-compatible With
435, a main control circuit 440, a ?uid cavity 455, a pressure
adjusting screW 460, and a pressure cup 465. The housing 410
standard types of video cameras and TV monitors. It may also
be con?gured to include functions for standard games for
is constructed from appropriate materials to provide it With
structure and ?exibility Without compromising performance.
multi-use as a game console as Well. Direct Internet access
Design of the housing exterior may include ergonomic con
can be enabled using a router and communications card for
port 251. With a direct Internet connection, the stand-alone
i-conn becomes the main processing center betWeen the FT or
siderations Whenever possible Without affecting perfor
mance. The inner liner 420 is constructed from suitable self
lubricating, easily cleanable materials appropriate for its
other device and a Website on the Internet or With another
remote user on the Internet Who has been granted access to the
?rst user’s session (to be discussed beloW in more detail).
20
I-Conn Remote Controller
The i-conn unit is intended to be a transparent, plug-and
play type of device Which enables remote or virtual control
signals to be exchanged via Internet and associated audio, TV
25
quasi-pivotable (due to the ?exibility of the material of the
ponents. HoWever, for a limited set of basically audio/visual
functions, a remote controller 301 as shoWn in FIG. 5 may be
remote controller has camera controls for tilt 311 and 313 (2
directions), pan 321 and 323, and Zoom 331 and 333. The
camera tilt, pan, and Zoom features may also incorporate
30
35
pre-set functions such that toggling betWeen the settings may
be employed during the sessions to enhance the user’s expe
rience. The camera Zoom may be optical or digital. Special
lighting features for dim lighting conditions may be built into
the camera, and controlled using the light control sWitch 338.
40
fade control for left and right speakers. When implementing
optional microphones (such as on the PT) the sounds may be
45
The i-conn may support tWo (or more) camera ports for
multiple camera usage. For added versatility, the i-conn may
also provide tWo (or more) Internet connections as Well as
control signal channels With sWitching capability such that
the frequencies of the toys/controls may be changed to dif
50
end.
In operation, as a male member is inserted in the device, the
inner liner 420 is expanded radially outWard, and the corre
of the halves 434 and 435 and in doing so establish a position
55
signal. The control circuit 440 receives the position signal and
calculates the time betWeen the previous position signal to
output corresponding speed and position signals. These tWo
signals are then transmitted by Wire (or Wireless) to the
i-conn. When these signals are received by the PT, the speed
signal is used to set the motor speed and the position signal is
used to set the voltage polarity of the motor. Designated ring
The remote controller 301 can also control a split-screen or
picture-in-picture (PiP) function for the TV display using a
split-screen toggle sWitch 345. This sWitch becomes active
When tWo camera signals are received. For example, the user
of the FT may receive a camera signal from that user’s i-conn
pairs may also serve to establish synchroniZation betWeen
tWo toys over an Internet connection. For example, the ?rst
and last signals may serve as position markers to coincide
camera and another signal from a camera of a remote user sent
via Internet. Another option that may be implemented by the
user is to have tWo cameras setup in that user’s session for
user.
the ?rst ring (or the ?rst feW rings) having a thicker dimen
sion. The spacing betWeen the rings may be evenly spaced
throughout the longitudinal length, or the spacing may be
closer at the beginning and gradually increase toWards the
are forced to break their electrical contact at the contact point
ing the frequencies.
vieWing different positions of the user, or to receive tWo
camera signals for different vieWing positions from a remote
sary to expand the rings by altering the ring dimensions (i.e.,
the expansion forces increase With increasing dimensions).
sponding ring halves 434 and 435 along the longitudinal axis
ferent channels. For example, 2 people may Want to share the
experience of interacting together With one or more other
partners (a host or hostess). In another example, the user(s)
may be able to sWitch betWeen interacting partners by sWitch
inner liner) While the other ends are in electrical contact. One
array of semi-circular rings is connected electrically so as to
have a common potential While each of the complimentary
semi-circular rings has an electrical connection to the control
circuit 440. The rings 430 may also be made from a one-piece
non-conductive material With a break in the ring. Flexible
conductive materials may then be fastened to the rings so that
they are in electrical contact at the break in the ring and the
contacts are broken as the rings are expanded radially out
Ward. This design may be used to regulate the forces neces
For example, the device may be constructed such that the
thickness of the rings may decrease as the rings progress
inWard along the inner liner. Another example may be to have
The remote controller can also have a volume control and a
mixed With a fader control to enhance either signal.
and strains of use. The rings are formed from tWo semi
circular or semi-elliptical halves 434 and 435, to form the ring
structure. At one end of the ring pair, the proximal ends are
display, and video camera components to be interconnected
Without the user needing to attend to each of the many com
used by the user to conveniently and ergonomically control
the i-conn functions. The signals from the controller 301 may
be transmitted by Wire or Wireless operation to the i-conn. The
application. There are many materials such as latex, silicon,
or other compounds such as “cyber-skin”. The inner Working
surface may also be textured suitable to its application.
The array of rings 430 may be imbedded Within the inner
liner or may be placed about the outer surface of inner liner.
The properties of the rings are such that it is a conductive
material and of the correct dimension such as to apply pres
sure radially inWard and retain ?exibility under the stresses
65
With the beginning and ending of a stroke.
A similar method can be achieved for detecting linear
transverse motion by using transducers, a linear potentiom
eter, or an array of magnetic sWitches. Another method may
US 7,438,681 B2
11
12
be the use of infrared sensors to detect longitudinal motion
relationships or intermittent job-related separations. Refer
such that beam interruption by the user initiates a signal to be
ring to FIG. 7, users Will ?rst register on a Website (indicated
by “Website Server”) accessed on the Internet. A user must
generated.
FIG. 611 also shoWs a mechanism for varying the pressure
on the inner liner to increase radial pressure. The housing 41 0
is threaded at its distal end to accept an adjusting screW 460.
The screW rests against a cup 465 at the other end. In opera
tion, as the screW 460 is turned inWard into the body, the cup
log in and successfully register a valid identity, payment
method, user name and passWord. After the system con?rms
the user’s name and passWord, the user may enter the user
names of desired partners in the user’s personal address book
or select from a list of other users interested in meeting
465 exerts pressure on the ?uid cavity thereby increasing the
partners online. The application program running on the Web
pressure on the inner liner 420. Turning the screW in the
opposite direction then releases pressure on the inner liner.
site Server ?rst validates that the user and selected partner
authoriZe or consent to the virtual interaction (by permission
This provides a responsive feeling of pressure stimulation
matching or by obtaining actual email consents), then sets up
around the male member. When the male member is moved
a virtual “Play Room” Which the partners Will use.
The virtual Play Room serves to establish an encoding
method for each partner, initiate a virtual session, then
back from the device, the ring halves reestablish contact, and
the pressure response is released. The MT may be ?lled With
?uid Within the cavity 455 formed by the outer surface of the
inner liner and the inner surface of the housing. The ?uid may
be of medical grade silicon, or saline solution, or air that may
be held in ?exible containers (such as plastic bags). Other
substances that are light-Weight and someWhat incompress
ible, such as plastic beads, may also be used.
A more cost effective method for applying radial pressure
to the inner liner may be to eliminate the ?uid cavity 455 and
have an adjustment to the inner liner 420 as shoWn in FIG. 6b.
The closed end of the inner liner 420 is attached to the adjust
receive, encode, and transmit control signals and associated
audio/visual signals from the MT or FT and i-conn of one
partner to the other. For example, signals generated by the
20
25
ing screW 460 (as in the embodiment previously described)
that is threaded into the housing 410. The operation is such
that a tension force is applied by the movement of the screW
460 to the inner liner along its longitudinal axis. The amount
of radial de?ection of the inner liner is controlled by the
amount of tension applied to the inner liner. Other means to
increase or decrease the pressure on the inner liner may be
sponding response in terms of longitudinal position and speed
of the thrusting member as dictated by the signals from the
MT. In this manner, the partners can enjoy an interactive
session of virtual stimulation in the privacy and safety of their
30
oWn rooms. During the MT/FT interactions, both users can
receive audio and video feedback transmitted from the other
to their i-conns and connected audio systems and TV dis
plays. Using their remote controller units and i-conn remotes,
incorporated. For example, the ?uid may be compressed by
altering the dimensions of the housing, or With a mechanism
to alter the cavity volume.
motions of the MT are directed Wirelessly or by Wire to the
male i-conn. The male i-conn then transfers the signals over
the Internet via the Play Room to the female i-conn of the FT
user, Which Will then transmit the received signals to the FT
either by Wire or Wirelessly. The FT then produces the corre
both users are also in control of their sound and video (camera
35
pan, tilt, and Zoom controls) concurrently Within the session.
The users may use the screen toggle for multiple vieWs,
Pressure sensors may also be placed at the entrance to the
inner liner to the MT in order to enhance activity perception
sWitching vieWs, and other personal vieWing preferences. As
to the female user, such as through sound feedback or sending
With the video, the audio signals may be toggled back and
forth betWeen the microphone to the user or to sound from the
a signal for greater thrusting speed or depth of the thrusting
member of the FT. For example, a strain gauge or a burdon
40
tube may be placed at the vestibule of the MT. The signals
generated by the MT may be transmitted by Wire or Wireless
to an i-conn unit on the male. partner’s side, Which sends the
signals via Internet to the female partner’s PT. The signals are
used to correspondingly control the device or mechanism to
represent or simulate the corresponding action in the PT. The
main control circuit of the MT may also support a camera and
or microphone. For example, the camera may be mounted at
the end of the inner liner, or on the external surface of the MT.
45
Camera lighting may be controlled via lighting control on the
audio/video controller of the male i-conn unit. A microphone
50
In a second embodiment of an Intemet-based interaction
system, one or more users Will be able to establish group
sessions on the Internet for any desired one of a plurality of
hosted applications by interaction With a host or hostess and/
or other participating users. In the system of the present
invention, a unique 3-tiered service structure is established to
on the MT may be placed at the open end of the inner liner or
may possibly be mounted together With the external camera.
Interaction by Virtual or Remote Control over the
Internet
other user at their option. The session may be terminated by
either user’s indication, or by the expiration of a prede?ned
term for the Play Room. One orboth user’s accounts may then
be billed for the use of the Play Room.
55
handle the required functions of the overall system, including,
notably, registration, validation of users’ identities and pay
ment capabilities, offering a plurality of hosted applications,
selecting a hosted application and participants for a group
session, managing the group session, closing the group ses
sion, and handling billings for the group session. In prior
Internet systems, group applications such as chat sites and
TGP sites may be single-tiered (direct hosting of application)
The above described components of the present invention
enable users to have mutual stimulation applied remotely and
interactively to each other over the Internet. The folloWing
describes certain preferred embodiments for an Intemet-en
abled interactive system. HoWever, it is to be understood that
other types of Internet-enabled systems may be developed
given the disclosed principles of the invention.
In a ?rst embodiment, mutual partners Will be able to
establish their oWn Internet connection to interact With one
another. Couples may prefer this method for long-distance
or may incorporate a double-tiered structure. In a double
tiered structure, an a?iliated application may be privately
60
oWned and operated under the rules and regulations governed
by an upper level host application (or Host site). This indi
vidualiZed open structure leaves the industry reliant upon
other businesses for support services such as age veri?cation
systems, credit card veri?cation and processing systems, and
65
directories to direct traf?c to Websites. The structure also
enables the common practice of selling IP addresses of users
from one company to another. The present 3-tiered structure
US 7,438,681 B2
13
14
seeks to obviate these disadvantages While facilitating easy
expansion of many and diverse hosted applications and the
validate the registration of the user by con?rming the cus
tomer information With the Warranty/Registration site.
The second tier of the 3-tier system is the Host tier in Which
potential audience of users.
As illustrated in FIG. 8, an Internet host server is used to
provide users ofFTs and MTs a common access point to make
any number of entities can host a type of user community or
cluster of user interests. The third tier is the Af?liated Play
Host (APH) tier in Which any number of other entities may
offer a particular interactive service or group service. A Host
can host a number ofAPHs and/or can provide search, revieW,
and commentary services on APHs Within its community of
interests and links to af?liatedAPHs. When the customer logs
contact With other FT and MT users. The preferred embodi
ment comprises a system of establishing the business in a
3-tier vertical integration that Will be labeled Administrator,
Host, and Af?liate Play Host (APH). With a 3-tiered system,
the business structure is self-contained and need not rely on
outside support business services such as age veri?cation,
into a Host or APH Website, the user name and passWord,
payment processing, and Website directories. Each Host and
APH may be individually oWned and operated, or there may
be many oWners, partners, and operators. With the expansion
of possibilities foruse in various types of group sessions, each
along With the Host and/ or APH codes, are transmitted to the
Administrator server. The Ho st and APH may keep records on
user names and passWords, hoWever, the user name and cus
tomer name may be different for anonymity. The Host and
APH codes identify Which Host and APH are requested for
access by the customer, and also contain information on the
agreed upon fees to be divided betWeen Host and APH. After
user location may be equipped for full video imaging and a
compelling screen display for group sessions. This is illus
trated in FIG. 9 in Which the user’s television 257 and cam
corder 259 are connected to the user’ s i-conn 201 at the user’ s
location.
20
Referring to FIG. 10, the 3-tier system’s Administrator
(Administrative Server) is an entity that Wholly controls the
tion site may be commonly oWned or af?liated so that the
exchange of customer information does not violate customer
?nancial transactions of the customers as Well as the ?nancial
distribution to its netWork of Hosts (Host Server) and APHs
(APH Server). The Administrative tier provides a solution for
the tWo main problems in the industry. The ?rst is the di?i
culty in verifying customer identity as a valid cardholder, and
the second is the high incidence of credit card chargebacks
due to lack of a veri?cation system. The chargebacks may
occur due to identity theft or customer fraud. In particular,
25
privacy expectations or industry-standard policies. The
30
Administrator server can verify credit card information by
subscribing to ?nancial veri?cation systems, such as Credi
Card National Bank or Visa/MasterCard interchange. Upon
veri?cation of customer age, identi?cation, and/or credit card
approval, the Administrator server then sends a veri?cation
(authorization) code to the Host or APH Which is then trans
mitted to the customer in order to enable the i-conn to be
enabled for a requested session.
The Administrator may integrate related businesses to
this system provides anonymity for the customer as the
Administrator solely secures and protects the con?dential
customer data. End user (customer) satisfaction and trust is
dependent on a method of transacting payment and personal
information securely and discretely and/ or anonymously. As
the Administrator solely maintains and controls the custom
35
er’s pro?le, it is able to collect data that can be utiliZed for
transaction instruments, such as a private label credit card or
a smart card With biometrics, can be integrated With a busi
ness in toy sales or application services in order to facilitate
40
Administrator controls, manages, receives, processes, and
distributes the funds generated Within the system. To accom
plish this, the Administrator may establish a bill payment
policy With its bank to “pay” multiple accounts. Customer
payments can be deposited in the Administrator’s checking
45
account to be later distributed to the hosts’ and APHs’ check
ing accounts according to the agreed upon revenue split. The
Administrator and Hosts Will have an agreed upon percentage
or rate split and the Hosts Will have a similar agreement With
their APHs.
50
veri?cation of the person doing the transaction and the
account of the cardholder. By encoding the BIOS With the
con?dential information, it further alloWs for decreased risk
of identity theft. This structure alloWs Hosts and APHs to
operate Within a consistent and reliable environment for the
sale of toys and related services.
In the preferred embodiment, the Administrator may be
vertically integrated under one organization to operate an
Internet service for Hosts and APHs providing direct access
and quality control of bandWidths, connection speeds, acces
sibility and availability. This system should provide a com
petitive advantage and alloW for groWth opportunities in other
One solution to the problem of verifying customer identity
and age and payment authenticity is shoWn in FIG. 10 in
Which a Warranty/Registration site (server) is used to register
all users Who have purchased an i-conn for Internet connec
increase ef?ciency (enhance productivity), and promote
groWth. For example, the business of implementing ?nancial
marketing and promotion, research and other bene?ts. As this
customer information is stored in a centraliZed database,
Administrator risk is reduced thereby assuring revenue to the
entire system of Hosts, APHs, and other merchants. The
receiving the transmission, the Administrator server queries
the Warranty/ Registration server for the requested customer
information to verify age, identi?cation, and/or payment
method. The Administrator site and the Warranty/Registra
areas of interest. The Administrator may also establish a
private label credit card or smart card With security measures
such as a biometric reader for ?ngerprint, thumbprint, retina
55
or iris, voice capture, etc., as a means to more accurately
tion of their MT or FT With the Internet group application. An
i-conn is required for a user to operate their MT or FT inter
verify the customer against the stored biometric ?le in the
Administrator database. A smart card may be read by the
actively With others. As part of the i-conn purchase transac
tion, a user Will be required to register their i-conn purchase
i-conn’s built-in biometric reader, and that identi?cation can
be matched to the biometric ?le that may be secured With the
Warranty card information. The biometric cards should
increase the accuracy rate of identifying cardholders as Well
as eliminating the need for cardholder to remember a PIN
With the Warranty/Registration site. The Warranty/Registra
60
tion server thus keeps a database of customer records in Which
each user has made a substantial purchase, has validated a
payment method (by Which the customers age in excess of
number. The procedure of scanning the biometric for the
juvenile threshold may be establsihed), and has provided
some form of identi?cation (including perhaps an i-conn
serial or certi?cate number). If the user desires to register for
Internet hosted group applications, the Administrator can
65
stored biometric ?le may be setup at the card issuer’s loca
tion. The biometric ?les may also be used in conjunction With
customer Warranty or registration information for added
security. This feature also enables the i-conn to be a standal
US 7,438,681 B2
15
16
one model as previously discussed. The smart card holds the
receiver circuits and frequencies. The i-conn may have a
selection switch to select the number of channels or in the
cardholder’s personal data and account reference informa
tion. The EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable
case of wired devices, the selection is made by simply plug
Read-Only Memory) storage on the card of an electronic
purse in which money is able to be repeatedly loaded and
spent onto the smart card for the duration of the card. Smart
cards can be issued in various forms: use as a debit card
ging into connectors. The number of devices that the i-conn
can manage may be limited by cost, bandwidth, and limita
tions to the number of ?oating frames that can be placed on
the display. The FT (or MT) devices may need to differentiate
(works as a check in which customer’s account is debited for
these frequencies. The FT (or MT) devices may be sold with
sale. The debit can take place immediately at time of sale);
certain frequencies, or the frequencies may be selected on the
e-cash or e-purse (works as a prepaid card) or a credit card.
Smart cards may be restored with new amounts of funds after
device. A professional model of the i-conn may be developed
for APHs with the addition of more channels to the i-conn
circuit with a means to switch channels, and to accommodate
multiple users for both FT and MT.
reaching a Zero balance. In addition, the private label and
smart cardholders of the system may also be eligible to utiliZe
the ISP Service.
The primary function of the Host is to promote its user
communities and market the APHs. Hosts provide manage
The participant users have the option of switching between
cameras and with multiple frames on their display. Cameras
may be provided by the APH at the physical PlaySite and may
be positioned according to the operator’s preference. The
ment, operational, technical, and other business support.
Another function is to broadcast (unicast or multicast) live
audio/video streams to spectator(s) generating additional rev
enue. Hosts can encrypt the streams to prevent copying. The
Host may also record the audio/video interaction which may
users may then be able to control the pan, tilt, and Zoom on
20
their respective cameras to view the APH and the PlaySite.
For suitable public events, an APH may also broadcast the
interactions to nonparticipating spectators who just want to
be purchased by the spectator(s). The purchased recorded
observe the interactions with feedback through an MT or FT.
event may then be downloaded into a ?le to the spectator or
Non-participating spectators may log-in to a spectators’ gal
may be available on disk format. The host website requires
customer veri?cation to gain entry into the website which
may include a user or login name, and password. For the
purpose of anonymity, the customer may enter a user (login)
name of choice. The host website may provide photos to
enable customers to easily view and select an APH and may
also display information on the availability of the APH, for
example, Available and Online, Busy and Online, or O?line.
25
authoriZation must be received from a customer if the cus
tomer screen is part of the broadcast. The session may be
streamed live on a secured and encrypted connection to the
30
The primary function of the Af?liate PlayHosts (APH) is to
provide quality entertainment services and customer interac
tions at the PlaySite. The PlaySite may be an actual physical
location where an APH server is located to manage interac
The spectators may also be offered control over cameras
provided by the APH (similar to the participant user). The
35
spectators may then be able to control the pan, tilt, and Zoom
on their respective browsers to view the APH and the Play
Site. The spectators may be allowed access to all or some of
the end user or customer. The APH may consist of one or more
40
toys and controls to one or more online customers. As part of
their services, an APH should provide the proper atmosphere
to all of their customers, both online and present locally.
Props and costumes may be offered locally or presented
online according to the theme of the APH. For example, an
Host for broadcasting. The spectators will be unable to copy
or save the broadcasting due to the encryption. Spectators will
be able to download special software for viewing purposes.
tions of online customers with local customers attending at
the physical location. The APHs are a very critical part of the
system structure as they provide the human interaction with
entities providing interactive services using the FT and MT
lery provided by a Host website. A short preview of a real
time interactive session may be provided before the specta
tors commit to viewing the offered sessions. Mutual
45
the camera video images at the discretion of the APH. The
spectators may also use camera switching to view different
angles and digital Zoom control to Zoom on the video images.
The control for the camera may be by keyboard, mouse, or
other control unit to be purchased.
For a typical transaction, the customer must provide their
registered password to gain entry into a Host website and may
browse through some sample selections before selecting an
APH PlaySite may be decorated as a theme environment with
APH. This password may be used in lieu of age veri?cation as
props such as a bed, bathtub, shower, etc. The PlaySite may
have one or more PlayRooms, each of which may be hosting
a different group session. With wireless connectivity, the
APH server may also be located outdoors to provide the
this has been previously veri?ed by the Administrator via
50
access to the warranty information of the registered i-conn.
When the customer selects an APH, the connection is trans
ferred to that APH along with the user name and password.
proper atmosphere as desired such as at a poolside, or in a
The customer may then browse through the APH PlaySite and
secluded backyard, or beach, forest, etc. Some background
interact with lounge hosts or other customers. The customer
may request a transaction that requires a credit card (or pay
scenery may also be projected onto a screen (walls, ceiling,
ment) veri?cation process. During the veri?cation process,
etc.) to provide the proper ambiance.
Online customers may connect to the APH server directly
or via the Host website. Customers may also select a time and
date to interact with an APH PlaySite. A login and password
is required to enter the online PlaySite. After the online cus
tomer selects an APH, a live real-time encrypted audio/video
stream is exchanged, and the online customer and APH can
interact directly on a personal level utiliZing the FT or MT toy
55
payment information. The Administrative server may verify
the customer information by comparing customer informa
tion previously stored on the database of the Warranty/Reg
60
istration site or may use a ?nancial veri?cation service. The
Administrator then sends an authorization code back to the
APH and the service connection can be activated. The cus
tomer is then transferred back to the APH connection.
or control. Af?liates may offer services for PT users, MT
users, or both to accommodate single or multiple users. There
may be many combinations of single users such as, FT to MT,
FT to FT, etc. AnAPH may provide services to accommodate
2 (or more) users as shown in FIG. 8. For this type of appli
cation, the i-conn may be enhanced to add more transmitter/
the customer is temporarily routed on a secured connection to
the Administrator server to ?ll in the credit card or other
65
When the customer and APH begin a session (via secured
and encrypted connection), either the Administrator or Host
server begins polling the connection. The polling is used to
determine the interaction time in order to calculate per minute
US 7,438,681 B2
17
18
rates. An alternate method to polling may be to have a termi
Other Types of Group Sessions
nation signal generated by the APH server to mark the end of
the transaction (EOT), and this signal is then forwarded to the
The above-described system of conducting virtual interac
tive group sessions using an interaction device at the remote
user’s location can also be applied to videoconferencing.
Administrator server. At the conclusion of the session or the
termination of the connection (Which may be terminated at
any time by either the customer orAPH), the polling server or
EOT signals the end of the connection. After receiving a
termination signal, the Administrator Server may then com
pute the billing of the customer and may then transfer the
allocated funds to the accounts of the respective Hosts, APH,
and Administrator. The customer may also verify the service
Conventional videoconferencing only displays split-screen
images and sounds; for 3 or more people in real-life confer
ence rooms in separate locations, the system becomes ine?i
cient. In the present system, a “virtual conference room” can
be established by an APH in Which the video images of the
participants are pasted in respective positions or on respective
avatars positioned in the virtual conference room. The remote
time and charges.
i-conn can strip the image of each person from their back
ground and only the image of the person Will be used for
In one typical application example, the customer may be
using the i-conn With the optional TV and Webcam port, and
transmission. This Will reduce bandWidth to improve the per
the AP host may have its i-conn connected to one or more
formance of the interactive conferencing. The need for split
Webcams With a CRT or LCD display at the PlaySite. At the
APH physical PlaySite, the AP host/hostess may have a suit
able environment With lighting controls With the cameras
strategically placed. The interactive session may begin With
screen displays of 3 or more images Will be eliminated and
20
hostess Will have their interaction vieWed Within a virtual
playroom. This system Will make it possible to have even an
APH Host invited to be present With otherAPHs in the virtual
light conversation perhaps setting the mood, adjusting the
camera angle, setting the volume control, and lighting. The
attention of the participants may then begin to focus on oper
ating the FT or MT according to mutual comfort levels. Dur
ing this time, the user may be operating the camera controls
playroom. This feature may be accomplished through visual
25
such as pan, tilt, and Zoom, as Well as sWitching to the differ
ent APH cameras. Since the participants connected through
the PlaySite can see and hear each other, visual as Well as
audio commands may be exchanged. With each verbal com
mand or visual signal, the appropriate control for the toy may
be initiated. If contraction/expansion devices are incorpo
30
images may then be streamed to customers and spectators.
35
tion may also be recorded by the Host or APH and made
This expands the possibilities for virtual group interactions
With different APH person(s) Who can provide enhanced the
matic, fantasy, or scenic content.
Another variation is to have customers interact With ani
mated characters in a virtual playroom. Using motion capture
and rendering technology, an APH can convert AP host
available for pay-per-vieW by other customers or non-partici
pating spectators. In some cases, the customer(s) or
spectator(s) may Want a recording as a memorabilia, or gift.
The purchased recorded event may then be doWnloaded into
effects such as chroma keying (aka “blue/ green screen com
positing” as used in the movie/television industry). The
invited “guest” APH person(s) can interact in front of a blue
screen. The Web camera images of the guest APH person(s)
may then be streamed to the APH site that is hosting the
virtual playroom interaction. The images of the guest AP
person(s) may then be combined With other guest AP
person(s) along With the host AP person(s). The combined
rated into the toy, then other control Words or actions may be
used.
As additional model for revenue-generation, the interac
replaced by the virtual conference room.
Another embodiment is to provide a “virtual playroom”
(similar to virtual videoconferencing) in Which an AP host/
40
actions (motion capture) and superimpose an animated char
a ?le to the customer or may be available on disk format. An
acter image onto the movements (rendering) Which the cus
advantage to a CD is that the performers may be able to
autograph or personalize the CD or packaging to create extra
value. Customers may strive for a collection of CDs from
different performers. Personal items of memorabilia of the
tomer then vieWs as a seamless animated character. Custom
performers may also be available for customer purchase. For
spectator recordings, control signals may not be included
With the a/v signals hoWever, for customer recordings, the
control signals may be included With the a/v signals.
While the above-described example is a one-to-one appli
ers may also have access to motion capture and rendering
technology to create their oWn animated characters, Which
45
also provides them With anonymity for broadcasting to public
spectators. This system may also offer some APHs to special
iZe in interactions With celebrities such as ?lm and television
personalities, musicians, politicians, and athletes.
50
Other Toy Embodiments
cation Where one customer is interacting With one AP Host/
Hostess, it is equally applicable to a group application Where
any number of customers (users), AP hosts/hostesses, FT,
MT, FT controls, and MT controls may be signed on. As is
typical of the adult entertainment industry, there may be thou
sands of sites covering every conceivable theme, fantasy, or
FIG. 11 shoWs another preferred embodiment of the female
toy device. In this embodiment, the traveler and upper body
have been combined to form an integral member 10 Which is
55
subject area. Customers can choose any type of playroom to
re?ect a desired theme, scene, location, or scenery. For
example, playsites may be created around scenes from a
movie or novel, period in history, futuristic scene, etc. Cos
reciprocation movements. It can also be made from a ?exible
or stretchable material to expand and contract Without bind
60
tumes, hairstyles, and jeWelry may be provided to re?ect
different cultures and historical scenes. The customer may
also choose the type of hosts/hostesses by theirperformances,
by user preference, or by their spoken language or accents.
Other props to support the theme or ambiance may also be
included such as furniture, lighting, extra cameras, or other
special effects.
engaged With the threading of the screW shaft 20 for longitu
dinal reciprocation movements relative to the base portion. A
covering 17 is shoWn With elastic folds to compensate for the
65
ing; and therefore, eliminate the folds in the covering.
FIG. 12 shoWs another embodiment adapted for poWering
reciprocation movements in other types of toys or game
devices. In this case the traveler and the upper body have been
combined to form oscillating traveler member 12 engaged
With the screW shaft 20 Which slides in telescoping fashion in
the base portion 37. The traveler member 12 and base portion
37 have rings or joints on their distal ends for connecting
US 7,438,681 B2
19
20
between the toy parts to be engaged in reciprocation move
ment. A control circuit may provide a simple timed control
signal applying voltage directly to the motor 40. This embodi
ment may be useful to replace the “hydraulics” commonly
a base portion containing a motor and poWer source for
used in toys or other devices With a more precise, variably
controllable device. The movement of the traveler can be
registered as signals to the circuit for use in feedback and
portion, Wherein the rotary-driven screW shaft has a
ergonomic control systems. Relative movement betWeen the
a screW-thread traveler or folloWer positioned Within the
upper and loWer bodies Will result in a voltage at the motor
upper portion and engaged With the screW shaft thread
ing in order to drive a member constituting a part of the
rotating a screW shaft alternately in opposite rotational
directions,
an upper portion extending longitudinally from the base
length extending longitudinally into the upper portion
and is provided With screW threading thereon,
terminals that can be interpreted by the circuit and applied for
corrective or adjustment movements by discrete voltages
upper body in reciprocating longitudinal motion, and
applied to the motor. In a similar fashion, the device can be
used as servo mechanism using the motor, screW, traveler and
electronic controls provided in said base portion for con
trolling rotation of the screW shaft to vary one or more of
control circuit for precise control of continuous degrees of
the length, extent speed, and frequency of the upper
variable motion.
In summary, the electronic variable stroke device enables a
Wherein said electronic controls include a memory for
body member’s reciprocating longitudinal motion,
user to enjoy stimulation by remote or virtual control to
storing motion programs therein for operating the device
address physiological and psychological needs of individuals
in different programmed modes of reciprocating longi
for total Well being. This device overcomes the restrictions of
the reciprocating motion of other current devices having
equivalent objectives. The user has the ?exibility to operate
the device from the ergonomic remote, for easier and intuitive
20
ceiver for sending and receiving control signals for operating
use of the controls or for added operational variability. The
remote control unit is also capable of connecting to the Inter
net or other Wireless communication devices to program the
the device to and from an external source.
4. An electronic variable stroke device comprising:
25
device for broader operations and future options, and to
directions,
an upper portion extending longitudinally from the base
portion, Wherein the rotary-driven screW shaft has a
30
a screW-thread traveler or folloWer positioned Within the
35
trolling rotation of the screW shaft to vary one or more of
40
body member’s reciprocating longitudinal motion, and
including a transmitter/receiver for sending and receiv
ing control signals for operating the device to and from
an external source,
Wherein said electronic controls include a memory for
a base portion containing a motor and poWer source for
45
directions,
storing motion programs for programmed operation of
the device sent from an external source.
5. An electronic variable stroke device according to claim
3, Wherein said electronic controls include a memory for
an upper portion extending longitudinally from the base
portion and having a ?exible cover layer connected to a
proximal end of said base portion and extending around
a tip end of the upper portion, Wherein the rotary-driven
upper body in reciprocating longitudinal motion, and
the length, extent, speed, and frequency of the upper
The invention claimed is:
1. An electronic variable stroke device comprising:
rotating a screW shaft alternately in opposite rotational
upper portion and engaged With the screW shaft thread
ing in order to drive a member constituting a part of the
electronic controls provided in said base portion for con
tions may be devised given the above description of the prin
ciples of the invention. It is intended that all such modi?ca
tions and variations be considered as Within the spirit and
scope of this invention, as de?ned in the folloWing claims.
length extending longitudinally into the upper portion
and is provided With screW threading thereon,
and personalized form. Long-distance personal yet safe and
disease-free contact With loved ones, neW partners, and fan
tasy partners can be achieved.
It is to be understood that many modi?cations and varia
a base portion containing a motor and poWer source for
rotating a screW shaft alternately in opposite rotational
receive relayed operating signals from a corresponding
device to provide the appropriate actions or responses. The
system enhances the sense of touch stimulation through
audio, video, and mechaniZed feedback and response. Inter
action via touch and related feedback control can raise the
level of communication betWeen individuals to an intimate
tudinal motions.
3. An electronic variable stroke device according to claim
2, Wherein said electronic controls include a transmitter/re
storing motion programs derived from the user’s manual
50
operation of the device, said transmitter/receiver being used
screW shaft has a length extending longitudinally into
the upper portion to said tip end thereof and is provided
With screW threading thereon, and
to send a stored motion program from the user’s manual
operation of the device to an external source.
a screw-thread traveler or follower having a bulging con
tour projecting against the ?exible cover layer so as to
create a bulging contour on an external side of the cover
a base portion containing a motor and poWer source for
6. An electronic variable stroke device comprising:
55
rotating a screW shaft alternately in opposite rotational
directions,
layer, said screW-threaded folloWer being positioned
an upper portion extending longitudinally from the base
Within the upper portion and engaged With the screW
shaft threading in order to drive the bulging contour
formed on the external side of the cover layer in recip
portion, Wherein the rotary-driven screW shaft has a
length extending longitudinally into the upper portion
60
rocating longitudinal motion;
upper portion and engaged With the screW shaft thread
ing in order to drive a member constituting a part of the
and further comprising electronic controls provided in said
base portion for controlling rotation of the screW shaft to
upper body in reciprocating longitudinal motion,
vary the length, speed, and frequency of the bulging
contour on the external side of the cover layer in vari
able-stroke reciprocating longitudinal motions.
2. An electronic variable stroke device comprising:
and is provided With screW threading thereon, and
a screW-thread traveler or folloWer positioned Within the
65
Which is adapted as a female toy, Wherein said upper body
is formed With an outer covering and a bulging annulus
member coupled to said traveler Which is driven in lon
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