Rockin’ Patent Application – ION Audio, LLC ‘s “Tablet Computer Guitar Controller”

Patents Rock - Tablet Computer Guitar Controller

Figure 1 of this patent application “is a sketch of a first embodiment of the controller showing a simulated guitar having [a] neck with a number of fret buttons to simulate chords and notes”

  • Rockin’ Patent Application: US Patent Application No. 2012/0318121
  • Filed: 3 May 2012
  • In the name of: ION Audio, LLC (assignee)
  • Title: Tablet Computer Guitar Controller
  • What’s claimed (in the application as published): “A guitar controller, comprising: a body having a cavity formed therein sized and dimensioned to receive a tablet computer therein, the body having an edge on a front of the body defining an opening into the cavity, the edge having a thickness forming a lip into the opening wherein the lip is configured and arranged to be received partially over the tablet computer; a neck extending from the body having a plurality of simulated fret positions thereon; and an electronic circuit electrically connected to the simulated fret positions and configured and arranged to transmit a message encoded with presses of the simulated fret positions to the tablet computer”.
  • Why this patent application rocks: It describes a guitar controller having a cavity that can receive a tablet computer.  The musician can use the tablet computer to compose and play music as one would with a traditional instrument.
    • The patent application describes the desire to allow musicians to interact more readily with such a tablet computer to create and compose music: “[t]ablet computers, such as the Apple iPad brand tablet computer, have emerged as popular devices for creating and composing music. Although a tablet computer’s touch screen offers some interesting possibilities for the control and creation of music, these touch screens are inherently small when compared to the control surface of a guitar or piano. Also, the touch interface requires users to learn a new way of playing and composing music. That is, the touch control interface does not permit a user to interact with a full size piano keyboard or simultaneously strum and operate the frets of a simulated guitar in the same manner as operating the respective music instrument. Therefore, there is a perceived need in the industry for an interface for a tablet computer that permits a user to compose and play music as one would with a traditional instrument”.
    • The patent application describes further how the controller connects with and is used with the tablet computer: “[t]he present invention solves the problems of the prior art by providing a controller for a tablet computer that permits a musician to create music in a way that is familiar to guitar players, yet offers new possibilities for music creation, in a cost-effective manner. In addition, the controller can teach the fundamentals of guitar chords and playing to budding musicians. The controller uses the tablet computer’s touch screen and digital signal processing (“DSP”) engine to control and produce the sound. Use of the tablet computer’s inherent components reduces the cost of the controller because these components do not need to be included in the controller. The controller includes a guitar-style neck so that the control of the pitch values will be familiar to guitar players. Other controls can be added such as whammy bar to bend pitch, just like in a traditional electric guitar, and knobs to control volume and audio effects like distortion”.

Post by Iain Russell, Patent and Design Attorney, EIP

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