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Nintendo and Panasonic file patents for Light Devices that help you relax and/or wake up (QOL)

Oct 25, 2017
355
#1


On February 24, 2018, Panasonic Corporation and Nintendo Co., Ltd. filed for two patent applications in the United States via the United States Patent and Trademark Office, claiming the benefit of priority of Japanese Patent Application Numbers 2017-038709 and 2017-038828 filed on March 01, 2017. They concern devices that help the user either relax or wake up. The applications are:

  • Appl. No. 15/904,326, LIGHT EMISSION CONTROL DEVICE, ELECTRONIC DEVICE, AND CONTROL METHOD
  • Appl. No. 15/904321, LIGHTING APPARATUS, LUMINAIRE, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS

The applications were published on September 06, 2018. As there are two similar applications here I will go over them briefly and not as extensively as in previous patent threads. Remember, as always, that a patent is not proof of a product or service being in development.

LIGHT EMISSION CONTROL DEVICE, ELECTRONIC DEVICE, AND CONTROL METHOD

Abstract
A light emission control device includes a light emission controller which controls a light emitter and performs normal control and wake-up control, the normal control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light having a color temperature and luminance according to an instruction of a user, the wake-up control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light at increasing luminance over time to wake up the user who is sleeping. The maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the wake-up control is greater than the maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the normal control.
Claims (excerpt)

1. A light emission control device comprising: a light emission controller which controls a light emitter and performs normal control and wake-up control, the normal control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light having a color temperature and luminance according to an instruction of a user, the wake-up control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light at increasing luminance over time to wake up the user who is sleeping, wherein maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the wake-up control is greater than maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the normal control.
Description

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a light emission control device capable of performing light emission control (wake-up control) for waking up a sleeping user, and an electronic device including the light emission control device.

2. Description of the Related Art

[0003] Conventionally, illumination apparatuses (luminaires) including light-emitting elements such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been used for various purposes. For example, Patent Literature (PTL) 1 (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2011-92271) discloses an illumination apparatus which assists a sleeping user to wake up by emitting light onto the sleeping user.

SUMMARY

[0004] An illumination apparatus for assisting a person to wake up as described above is required to have a function of effectively waking up a user.

[0005] The present disclosure provides a light emission control device and an electronic device which are capable of effectively waking up a user.

[0006] A light emission control device according to one aspect of the present disclosure includes a light emission controller which controls a light emitter and performs normal control and wake-up control, the normal control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light having a color temperature and luminance according to an instruction of a user, the wake-up control being control for causing the light emitter to emit light at increasing luminance over time to wake up the user who is sleeping. The maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the wake-up control is greater than the maximum luminance of light emitted by the light emitter in the normal control.

[0007] An electronic device according to one aspect of the present disclosure includes the light emission control device and a case which houses the light emission control device.

[0008] A light emission control device and an electronic device of the present disclosure make it possible to stabilize luminance and a color temperature of a light emitter in normal control and effectively wake up a user by wake-up control.
Drawings

Most of the drawings are graphics and diagrams so I will only provide the more interesting one, being the following which is a block diagram illustrating a functional configuration of the illumination system (according to Embodiment 1).



LIGHTING APPARATUS, LUMINAIRE, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS

Abstract
A lighting apparatus includes: an illuminator including a light source which emits illumination light; a lighting controller which controls the illuminator; and a receiver which receives, from a control apparatus, a control command signal generated based on at least one of user information and environmental information in order to control the illumination light of the illuminator, wherein the control command signal received by the receiver includes one or more parameters including, as an element, at least one of a brightness of the illumination light of the illuminator, a color temperature of the illumination light of the illuminator, and control time for controlling the illumination light of the illuminator.
Claims (excerpt)

1. A lighting apparatus, comprising: an illuminator including a light source which emits illumination light; a lighting controller which controls the illuminator; and a receiver which receives, from another apparatus, a control command signal generated based on at least one of user information and environmental information in order to control the illumination light, wherein the control command signal includes one or more parameters including, as an element, at least one of a brightness of the illumination light, a color temperature of the illumination light, and control time for controlling the illumination light.
Description

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a lighting apparatus, a luminaire including the lighting apparatus, and an electronic apparatus including the lighting apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

[0003] In recent years, products or systems for improving quality of life (QOL) desired by users in daily life have been studied.

[0004] For example, a luminaire capable of improving QOL by irradiating a user with illumination light according to a vital rhythm such as a circadian rhythm having approximately one day as a cycle has been proposed (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2003-275315).

SUMMARY

[0005] However, a conventional luminaire cannot change illumination light unless a user operates the luminaire. In addition, the user does not know illumination light suitable for the user himself/herself and an environment, and thus the user cannot easily change to such illumination light suitable for the user himself/herself and the environment.

[0006] The present disclosure was made to solve the problem, and has an object to provide a lighting apparatus etc. capable of irradiating a user with illumination light suitable for the user and an environment without requiring any user operation.

[0007] In order to achieve the above object, a lighting apparatus according to an aspect of the present disclosure includes: an illuminator including a light source which emits illumination light; a lighting controller which controls the illuminator; and a receiver which receives, from another apparatus, a control command signal generated based on at least one of user information and environmental information in order to control the illumination light, wherein the control command signal includes one or more parameters including, as an element, at least one of a brightness of the illumination light, a color temperature of the illumination light, and control time for controlling the illumination light.

[0008] In addition, a luminaire according to an aspect of the present disclosure includes the lighting apparatus.

[0009] In addition, an electronic apparatus according to an aspect of the present disclosure includes the lighting apparatus.

[0010] According to the present disclosure, it is possible to irradiate a user with illumination light suitable for the user and the environment without requiring the user to operate the lighting apparatus.
Drawings

As with the other application, I will provide only the more interesting drawing. A block diagram illustrating a configuration of the lighting system (according to Embodiment 1).



---

Both application goes to great lengths in described various embodiments. Check the section marked DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS for more information.

Of note is that Appl. No. 15/904326, LIGHT EMISSION CONTROL DEVICE, ELECTRONIC DEVICE, AND CONTROL METHOD, saw a Non-Final Rejection on June 26, 2018. Claim(s) 1-5, 6 and 9, 11-14 were rejected, so this invention may or may not function as described in the current application (as it has not been amended).

Also to note is that Nintendo's other QOL device, the sleep monitor (in partnership with ResMed), was (indirectly) mentioned in the companies Annual Report 2017:

Moreover, we are working on the development of a new product that improves people’s QOL (Quality of Life) in enjoyable ways. Our aim is to enable consumers to make daily efforts to improve their QOL in a fun manner by making sleep and fatigue status visible and offering various services based on this information.


An illumination device that helps the user either relax or wake up I find more interesting than a sleep monitor. I suppose you could utilize the device's dimming functionalities to set the mood for a film night for example. What do you think, would you use a device like this?[/u][/u]
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,831
#6
Just as a note, a non-final rejection doesn't really suggest that it may not function as currently described in the specification. The specification can't be changed to something completely new, so if this ever gets granted it will have the same core concept.

The only things that may change substantially are the claims which probably aren't of interest to most people here anyway.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,982
#16
Do you remember when people hoped so hard for this mystical QoL device to save Nintendo from Wii U's failure? Fun times.
Did people hope it would save them? I seem to remember some people thought diversifying would be wise while a lot of people were angry that they dared try anything not gaming related.
 
May 20, 2018
3,293
Ponds
#28
Wow, haven’t heard anything about their QOL initiative in a long time. Though for the patent/device in question, there are already a number of these luminescence wake up devices around. I own one myself from Phillips, what could Nintendo bring to differentiate itself enough from an already crowded market?
 
Jan 27, 2018
2,149
#32
I wan to see Jeff Minter working in a game to be connected to this device as an extra peripheral, to synchronize the lights with the action in the screen.

But I don't know if the lights will be exactly relaxing.

And probably, after a play session, you will not be able to sleep in the next few days, with your eyes still burning :)
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,831
#34
If it was filed on February, does it really mean anything? Rumors state that Panasonic left in March.
It almost certainly does not mean anything in terms of a product we might one day see.

Think back on every Nintendo patent or application we've seen, have any of them actually been published before Nintendo has revealed the actual product they correspond to? I don't think that's ever happened.

Companies file patents all the time for stuff they have no interest in making or selling. Nintendo especially.
 
Oct 27, 2017
754
#39
Can't wait for Nintendo to announce that they will move forward with Philips for Nintendo Hue instead.



Honestly though, that doesn't sound very innovative.