Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oh, patents! Tiggly

Copyright © Franc├žoise Herrmann

Have you ever played Tiggly? Well, maybe not you personally… but your toddler or kindergartener, or the both of you together?
Tiggly shapes, Tiggly Math and Tiggly words are three of the Tiggly games, designed to create fun interactive learning experiences with the “silliest” apps! However, these interactive games are not only on screen!

Tiggly is also an augmented reality (AR) game that hinges between two worlds: the real and the virtual. Using physical manipulatives in the real world, detectable by the computer, the user/player bridges both worlds, interacting with a simulated virtual world using the real world manipulatives. So that, for example, using four shapes (a triangle, a circle, a star and square), the player can respond to one of several simulated worlds in different apps, matching, stamping or drawing with the physical shapes, on screen.

The result is a fun learning experience that is more than the sum of its parts! It is more than just playing with shapes in the real world since the shapes can be used to match, stamp and draw, while having an effect on the different simulated worlds of the apps. And it is more than a completely simulated and virtual world, on screen, since players negotiate what is happening on screen while manipulating objects off screen.

The four shape manipulatives for Tiggly Shapes are each the recipient of a US design patent::
  • US D726723 titled Computer detectable manipulative corresponds to the square.
  • US D726722 titled Computer detectable manipulative corresponds to the circle.
  • US D727323 titled Computer detectable manipulative corresponds to the triangle.
  • US D727322 titled Computer detectable manipulative corresponds to the star.
Above, the US design patent drawing for the USD727322 (star) computer detectable manipulative, and an image of all four of the marketed manipulative shapes. .­čĹá
Just for the record, the difference between a design patent and a utility patent is  the following:
“a “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a "design patent" protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171)” (USPTO) .

USPTO: Guide to filing a design patent application

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