Apple’s ‘Magic Wand’ Remote Concept Definitely Has Potential

I was doing some side research on patent filings by Apple Inc. and came across the Magic Wand (aka 3D remote controller at the USPTODRAWINGS) for use with products like the Apple TV. I have to admit… it’s pretty ingenious. The remote, which has an an accelerometer and a gyroscope built-in, basically takes your gesture inputs and translates them into commands for a media based UI to process. For example, a twist of the remote will allow you to rotate through imagesscroll through menu items, or spin an image on the screen to the left or right depending on which way you’ve rotated your wrist. Moving the remote forward or back in space enlarges or reduces the size of an image or displays more or less thumbnails on the screen. Pointing the remote at letters on an on-screen keyboard allows you to select them. And horizontal flicks of the wrist allows you to scan an audio or video timeline, as well as fast-forward or rewind. While the patent clearly shows an actual next-gen Apple Remote taking advantage of this technology, it’s not much of leap to imagine seeing it integrated into Apple’s Remote App for the iPhone and iPod touch — especially now that the iPhone 4 has both an accelerometer and a three-axis gyro built-in. Think of it this way… you’ll no longer have to press on or look at your handset in order to control iTunes, Front Row, or Apple TV (though most people will probably prefer to input text using the handset’s on-screen keyboard).

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Filed in: Industry Buzz, Peripherals, Portable Media Players, Software