Patent application title: MEDIA PLATFORM OPERATING AN INTERACTIVE MEDIA DISTRIBUTION PROCESS
Thomas J. Pokonosky (San Diego, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63F924FI
Class name: Including means for processing electronic data (e.g., computer/video game, etc.) with communication link (e.g., television broadcast, etc.) network type (e.g., computer network, etc.)
Publication date: 2012-11-15
Patent application number: 20120289343
A computer-implemented system and method is disclosed. The system or
method provides a platform to enable a community of users to compete
against each other in an effort to acquire certain assets. Each Asset has
a value. The platform converts the asset value to the lowest common
metric or point system, a.k.a digital currency. The currency can be used
to buy, sell or trade Assets between users. Users can measure their net
worth, in currency, against other users. Currency can be used to purchase
merchandise from retailers, brands or Publishers. The platform has an
inter-game communication and messaging platform.
1. A computer-implemented method comprising: notifying, by a server
computer via a communications network, a plurality of mobile devices of a
time, a date, a location, a set of assets, and a set of keys; receiving,
from at least one mobile device, data representing an engagement of the
at least one mobile device with a real-world physical object represented
by at least one of the set of assets; generating, by the server computer,
a value for the engagement; and accumulating, by the server computer, the
value with a user score associated with the at least one mobile device.
2. A system comprising: a plurality of mobile devices connected with a communications network; and a server computer that notifies, via the communications network, the plurality of mobile devices of a time, a date, a location, a set of assets, and a set of keys, the server computer further configured to receive data representing an engagement of the at least one mobile device with a real-world physical object represented by at least one of the set of assets, generate a value for the engagement, and accumulate the value with a user score associated with the at least one mobile device.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 The current application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. Provisional application for patent No. 61/330,243, which was filed on Mar. 16, 2011, entitled "Media Platform Operating An Interactive Media Distribution Process," the entire disclosures of which is incorporated by reference herein.
 This disclosure relates generally to an interactive game that is played with a mobile device and employing augmented reality.
 In general, this document discloses a three dimensional interactive digital process and media platform (the "Platform"). In one example the process may be implemented as a game that may facilitate the delivery of marketing or other informational messages. Other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of this disclosure. The system enables a Sponsor to quickly develop and implement a marketing campaign that invokes specific User actions and behaviors, and is cost effective, scalable, and verifiable.
 When operated as a game, the Platform enables a community of users to compete against each other in an effort to acquire certain assets ("Assets"). Each Asset has a value. The Platform converts the Asset value to the lowest common metric or point system ("Currency") a.k.a digital currency. The Currency can be used to buy, sell or trade Assets between users. Users can measure their net worth, in Currency, against other users. Currency can be used to purchase merchandise from retailers, brands or Publishers. The Platform has an inter-game communication and messaging platform.
 The details of one or more embodiments are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 These and other aspects will now be described in detail with reference to the following drawings.
 FIG. 1 illustrates a system for playing an interactive game as described herein.
 FIG. 2 is a flowchart of a method for playing an interactive game as described herein.
 Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.
 This document describes a three dimensional interactive digital process and media platform (the "Platform"). The following is a list of components of the platform.
 A user finds and collects various "Assets" during the course of operating the game. Often, the Asset will be at a physical location that requires to the user to move to that location, and take a digital picture of it to prove they "earned" the Asset. As described below, other conditions may apply to successfully acquiring the Asset. Some Assets may be acquired only once by one User, while others may be collected repeatedly and by many users.
 Additionally, each Asset has a has a metric value referred to as a Cost Per Engagement ("CPE") and Cost Per Acquisition ("CPA"). CPE and CPA value are based on industry standard advertising costs for impressions, clicks and other advertising measurement metrics.
 Assets are generally electronic or digital images, 3D digital objects or images, animated electronic or digital images or other digital and non-digital media content. Each Asset has an assigned value. Asset value is based on predetermined criteria including,
 i. limited production or availability of the Asset
 ii. accessibility or Location of the Asset
 iii. value of the Media used to access the Asset
 iv. value of the Media used to alert people about the Location of the Asset
 v. degree of difficulty of a Challenge required learn the Location of the Asset
 vi. degree of difficulty of a Challenge required to engage and acquire the Asset
 Using the lowest common metric or point system ("Currency") each Asset is assigned a value. For example, Asset values may be determined based on a weighted scaled from 1-10. One (1) being low value and (10) being the highest value. The Publisher (Disney, Nickelodeon) or game operator determines the weighting scale or value of each Asset. Weighting may be static or dynamic, and may be set responsive to the progress of the overall game. For example, if a retailer is trying to get customers to a particular store, the Asset reward for visiting that store may be increased if traffic targets are not being met.
 There are two metric value systems within the Platform:
 User Metric Value:
 When the User acquires an Asset the Platform converts the Asset value to the lowest common metric, point system or unit ("Currency"). The Currency can be used to purchase merchandise from retailers, brands and/or Publishers. The Currency has a direct and dynamic relationship to the U.S. dollar. For example: If a User acquires two (2) Assets worth 10 points each, than the User has twenty (20) points or units of Currency. The Platform dynamically converts the Currency to a U.S. dollar value. If at any given time one Currency unit is equal to $2.00 US then, in this scenario, the User has Forty Dollars ($40.00 US) to spend on merchandise. It will be understood that other basis may be used for valuation and redemption.
 Media Metric Value:
 Using the lowest common metric, point system or unit the Location, Challenge, Key, Media and Asset all have a metric value or cost. The value or cost is determined by whether the Location, Challenge, Key, Media and Asset is engaged and/or acquired. The values are referred to as Cost Per Engagement (CPE) or Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). A CPE and/or CPA value is attached to each Location, Challenge, Key, Media and Asset. Using the Platforms algorithmic synthesizer the Publisher selects or determines the CPE and CPA value Location, Challenge, Key, Media and Asset. The Platform converts the CPE and/or CPA value to US dollars. If an advertiser/brand/sponsor wishes to spend $500,000 to sponsor the "Celebrity" game by JeetleJack®. The advertiser can elect to manually allocate their advertising budget by CPE/CPA value, Location, Challenge, Key, Media and Asset or any combination. Or, the Advertiser can allow the Platform distribute/allocate the funds by using its proprietary media budgeting algorithm.
 Revenue Sharing:
 Predetermined percentages of advertising revenues generated from sponsors will be paid out to the each Publisher and or licensed property (such as a celebrity or other person).
 An advertiser or game Sponsor may select from one or more existing games with which to integrate, or may initiate a new game dedicated for a selected purpose. For example, if there is an on-going game directed to extreme sporting activities and clothes, a pizza delivery company may choose to add Assets into that game, or may select an on-going game with more of a food focus. Of course, for sufficient investment, the company may want its own game.
 Users may be required to perform a task, game or function (a "Challenge") in order to learn the Location of an Asset. Once the user has moved to the Asset Location, and taken its picture, the User may be required to perform a Challenge in order to engage or acquire an Asset. Each Challenge may have a metric value based on the degree of difficulty, and the value may be selectable by the user, set by the game operator, or set responsive to the game progress. For example, if a challenge is proving to be particularly difficult, the value of that challenge may be dynamically increased. In addition, using the lowest common metric or point system each Challenge has a metric value or CPE and CPA. For example, CPE and CPA values may be determined based on a weighted scaled from 1-10. One (1) being low value and (10) being the highest value. The Publisher (Disney, Nickelodeon) or game operator determines the CPE and CPA of each Challenge. Challenge values are based on the number of people traffic, eyeballs, accessibility, degree of difficulty, proximity and industry standard advertising costs for impressions, clicks and other advertising measurement metrics.
 FIG. 1 illustrates a system 100 for playing an interactive game as described herein.
 A Location is a place, event, concert, retail store, billboard, book, magazine, geographic area or other digital and non-digital Media. Using the lowest common metric or point system each Location has a metric value or CPE and CPA. For example, CPE and CPA values may be determined based on a weighted scaled from 1-10. One (1) being low value and (10) being the highest value. The Publisher (Disney, Nickelodeon) or game operator determines the CPE and CPA of each Location. Location values are based on the number of people traffic, vehicle traffic, eyeballs, real estate values, accessibility, proximity and industry standard advertising costs for impressions, clicks and other advertising measurement metrics.
 Media refers to various means of communication. For example, print, billboards, television, radio, internet, mobile phone, newspaper, social networking sites. All Media is assigned a CPE and CPA value. For example, Media values are determined based on a weighted scaled from 1-10. One (1) being low value and (10) being the highest value. The Publisher or game operator determines the CPE value of all Media. Media values are based on industry standard advertising costs for impressions, clicks and other advertising measurement metrics.
 Users may receive rewards based upon successful collection of Assets, and is most easily associated with reaching one or more currency goals. The Reward may be, for example, a product, a discount, a media file, a coupon, or entrance to an event. It will be understood that the Reward may take many forms. Each Reward has a metric value.
 Device 102:
 A Device is a personal digital camera, digital video recorder, computer, mobile Device, or other digital consumer or personal electronic Device. The Device must provide for communication on an area network. The Device also preferably has a sensor-receiver, gyrometer, accelerometer, and in some cases GPS or Location Based Services (LBS). After the sensor-Receiver acquires an image, known object recognition processes are operated to identify the Key. These processes may be run locally, run remotely, or by a combination of both local and remote operations. Identification can be assisted by the Device's understanding of its position and tilt, which can be used by algorithmic processes to identify objects, even when viewed from an angle.
 The sensor-Receiver can be a digital imager, picture camera, video camera, audio receiver, audio microphone, sound recorder, scanner, or image viewer. The sensor-Receiver is a device used to engage a Key for the purpose of extracting the Asset.
 A Key is a material object, digital image, physical picture, painting, billboard or other. The Key can be available on both digital Media and non-digital Media. The Key is placed in a strategic Location. Each Key has a unique ID, like a thumb print, which is determined and pre-stored in the game. A user operates the Device and Receiver to acquire a picture, scan, or sound from the Key. The acquired file is analyzed, either locally or remotely, to determine the "unique ID" for the object. The determined ID is compared to the predetermined IDs, and the system may determine which Key is captured, if any. Additional measures may be taken to authenticate a Key. For example, the Key may have a visible dynamic code or timestamp that the system can use to assure that the Device is present in the Location. GPS or other location information may also be used to assure fair play. If the Key is authenticated, then the Key will unlock the Asset, and make it available to the User. For example, the Asset may be viewed through the Device media screen, and the User can interact with the Asset, possibly to acquire additional points, or to learn some next step in the game.
 Mobile Client 104:
 The Mobile Client is a software application that is downloaded or embedded into the Device. The Mobile Client extracts, transforms and loads Data received from the Key, Asset, Receiver, Device and Server. The Mobile Client enables the Device and Server to communicate and exchange Data. Users can use the Mobile Client to view and manipulate Data, Assets and Currency; measure Asset value(s), compare accrued Currency against other Users; or, engage other Users to view, trade, buy or sell Assets.
 PC Client 108:
 The PC Client is a software application that is downloaded or embedded into a personal computer. The PC Client extracts, transforms and loads Data to and from the Server. Users can use the PC Client to view and manipulate Data, Assets and Currency; measure Asset value(s), compare accrued Currency against other Users; or, engage other Users to view, trade, buy or sell Assets.
 Server 110:
 The Server is a computer or set of computers in a network that is dedicated to database storage and retrieval. The Server is connected with the database management Platform and all databases 112, either directly or through communication network 106. Upon requests from the PC Client and Mobile Client the Server queries the database for selected records and returns relevant information. The Server extracts, transforms and loads Data received from the Device, Mobile Client and PC Client via communications network 106. The Server enables the Device to communicate and exchange Data between the Mobile Client and PC Client.
 Data includes any electronic event information and user behavior information extracted from the Device, Receiver, Mobile Client, PC Client, Server, Key and Asset. Data can include, without limitation:  Duration and frequency that a Key and Asset is engaged and/or opened by the Device Receiver.  Duration and frequency that a PC Client or Mobile Client is opened.  All Currency levels and activity.  Number of times an Asset is acquired by the Device, Receiver and Mobile Client.  All electronic event information exchanged between the Device, Receiver, Mobile Client, PC Client, Key, Asset and Server.  Duration and frequency of the time Device, Receiver, Mobile Client, PC Client, Key, Asset and Server is in use.  Individual and aggregate Asset values
 Individual participants or players in the Platform.
 The Gyrometer measures the oscillation, spin and rotation of the Device enabling the User to manipulate the Asset and its relationship with the Device by physically moving and adjusting the position of the Device.
 The Accelerometer measures the acceleration of the Device enabling the User to manipulate the Asset and its relationship with the Device by the speed in which the physically move or adjust the position of the Device.
 Any brand-associated location, merchant, or commercial entity.
 The Device may have a location based system, such as GPS, to provide location information. The location information may be used to confirm the authenticity of an Asset capture, or to confirm to the game owner that a particular user was at a Location, or to vector the Device and Receiver relationship to the key and to calculate and manipulate the assets. This enables the Device's screen to present the Asset in relation to the environment, and to allow the user to move the Device to track and manipulate the Asset position using the screen.
 Limited Use Key (LUK):
 Key Authentication and Fraud Protection. LUKs are Keys that have a predetermined number of uses. For example: A User may be required to purchase merchandise or perform a task in order to acquire, own, use or access a LUK. If a LUK has a one-time use limit--it can only be engaged once; as such, the Asset can only be acquired one time. Once the LUK's Asset is acquired the Platform will acknowledge its intended one time use limitation and terminate any further use of that LUK. Security, protection and authentication of it use is essential to the integrity of the Platform and to maintaining the value of the Asset.
 A LUK may be packaged in a tamper-resistant or tamper-evident container ("Container"). If the Container is opened either inadvertently or as a result of fraud the Container will provide evidence that it has been compromised. If a Container is compromised it is likely the LUK will be compromised as well, rendering the LUK useless. Therefore, in order to confirm a User's right to acquire, own, use, engage or access a LUK the User might be required to perform an electronic or manual task. This task is known as the Authentication process.
 A Container may incorporate a physical tamper-evident locking mechanism. The locking mechanism may be a plastic breakaway lock, scratch card, metal latch, one-way hinge or another type of mechanical device. A Container and/or LUK may require a PIN or unique User ID to Authenticate. A Container and/or LUK may require a receipt or proof of merchandise purchase to Authenticate. A Container and/or LUK may render itself inoperable if compromised. A Container and/or LUK may incorporate a microchip and/or a pass-protected encrypted data transmission process to Authenticate. A Container and/or LUK may be required to synch with a Point of Sale (POS) system via an electronic encrypted data transmission or a physical connection for Authentication.
 A Container and/or LUK may be digitally or manual Authenticated by synching with a Device, the Platform, WEB, a middleware component, computer and/or other digital or non-digital means. The Authentication process may be digitally transmitted via RFID, Bluetooth, WIFI, NFC, Audio Signal, and/or other communication networks including a local area network ("LAN") and a wide area network ("WAN"), e.g., the Internet. Cryptographic signatures often referred to as electronic signatures may be used for Authentication.
 FIG. 2 is a flowchart of a method 200 for playing an interactive game as described herein.
 Step #1 (202):
 Users down load the Mobile Client to their Device. Users down load the PC Client to their personal computer.
 Step #2 (204):
 Users are notified of the time, date, Location, Media, accessibility and availability of certain Keys. Users are notified about availability and Location of Keys through Twitter, Facebook, Internet, TV, Radio, Print and or other forms of digital and non-digital Media. USERS may be required perform/win a Challenge to learn the time, date, Media and Location of certain Keys.
 Step #3 (206):
 Users will seek out Keys. When a Key is located it can be unlocked by pointing the Receiver and Device towards the Key. (proximity of the Device to the Key is a factor) When the Receiver and Device establish a fix on the Key the Key is unlocked. Once the Key is unlocked the Receiver, Device and Mobile Client will interactively engage the Asset. As long as the Device and Receiver maintains a fix on the Key the Asset may interactively engage the Device. Users can manipulate the angle (GYROMETER) and movement (ACCELEROMETER) and position (GPS and Triangulation) of the Device and Receiver to engage, interact, manipulate and ultimately acquire the Asset. Note: when the Receiver engages the Key and unlocks Asset the Asset can be viewed through the Device media screen. Users may be required to perform/win a Challenge to acquire the Asset.
 Step #4 (208):
 Users can view and manage Currency and Assets by using the PC Client and Mobile Client. The Currency can be used to buy, sell or trade Assets between users. Users can measure their net worth in Currency against other users. Currency can be used to purchase merchandise from retailers and brands.
 Some or all of the functional operations described in this specification can be implemented in digital electronic circuitry, or in computer software, firmware, or hardware, including the structures disclosed in this specification and their structural equivalents, or in combinations of them. Embodiments of the invention can be implemented as one or more computer program products, i.e., one or more modules of computer program instructions encoded on a computer readable medium, e.g., a machine readable storage device, a machine readable storage medium, a memory device, or a machine-readable propagated signal, for execution by, or to control the operation of, data processing apparatus.
 The term "data processing apparatus" encompasses all apparatus, devices, and machines for processing data, including by way of example a programmable processor, a computer, or multiple processors or computers. The apparatus can include, in addition to hardware, code that creates an execution environment for the computer program in question, e.g., code that constitutes processor firmware, a protocol stack, a database management system, an operating system, or a combination of them. A propagated signal is an artificially generated signal, e.g., a machine-generated electrical, optical, or electromagnetic signal, that is generated to encode information for transmission to suitable receiver apparatus.
 A computer program (also referred to as a program, software, an application, a software application, a script, or code) can be written in any form of programming language, including compiled or interpreted languages, and it can be deployed in any form, including as a stand alone program or as a module, component, subroutine, or other unit suitable for use in a computing environment. A computer program does not necessarily correspond to a file in a file system. A program can be stored in a portion of a file that holds other programs or data (e.g., one or more scripts stored in a markup language document), in a single file dedicated to the program in question, or in multiple coordinated files (e.g., files that store one or more modules, sub programs, or portions of code). A computer program can be deployed to be executed on one computer or on multiple computers that are located at one site or distributed across multiple sites and interconnected by a communication network.
 The processes and logic flows described in this specification can be performed by one or more programmable processors executing one or more computer programs to perform functions by operating on input data and generating output. The processes and logic flows can also be performed by, and apparatus can also be implemented as, special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit).
 Processors suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and any one or more processors of any kind of digital computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a processor for executing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to, a communication interface to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto optical disks, or optical disks.
 Moreover, a computer can be embedded in another device, e.g., a mobile telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile audio player, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, to name just a few. Information carriers suitable for embodying computer program instructions and data include all forms of non volatile memory, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto optical disks; and CD ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, special purpose logic circuitry.
 To provide for interaction with a user, embodiments of the invention can be implemented on a computer having a display device, e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device, e.g., a mouse or a trackball, by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide for interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback, e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback; and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input.
 Embodiments of the invention can be implemented in a computing system that includes a back end component, e.g., as a data server, or that includes a middleware component, e.g., an application server, or that includes a front end component, e.g., a client computer having a graphical user interface or a Web browser through which a user can interact with an implementation of the invention, or any combination of such back end, middleware, or front end components. The components of the system can be interconnected by any form or medium of digital data communication, e.g., a communication network. Examples of communication networks include a local area network ("LAN") and a wide area network ("WAN"), e.g., the Internet.
 The computing system can include clients and servers. A client and server are generally remote from each other and typically interact through a communication network. The relationship of client and server arises by virtue of computer programs running on the respective computers and having a client-server relationship to each other.
 Certain features which, for clarity, are described in this specification in the context of separate implementations, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features which, for brevity, are described in the context of a single implementation, may also be provided in multiple embodiments separately or in any suitable subcombination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.
 Particular embodiments of the invention have been described. Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims. For example, the steps recited in the claims can be performed in a different order and still achieve desirable results. In addition, embodiments of the invention are not limited to database architectures that are relational; for example, the invention can be implemented to provide indexing and archiving methods and systems for databases built on models other than the relational model, e.g., navigational databases or object oriented databases, and for databases having records with complex attribute structures, e.g., object oriented programming objects or markup language documents. The processes described may be implemented by applications specifically performing archiving and retrieval functions or embedded within other applications.
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