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Microsoft Files Patent for "Magic Wand"

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 28 comments
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Is the Magic Wand the answer to the Nintendo Wii?

Ever since Nintendo came out with the Wii Remote control system, which took the mass market by storm allowing anyone to flail wildly in an effort to control a video game, both Sony and Microsoft have been rumored to be working on something to that effect.

Could it be a Microsoft Magic Wand? Maybe. A patent application from 2007 surfaced recently describes a device that sounds similar to the Wii Remote.

The architecture can exist in whole or in part in a housing that can resemble a wand or similar object. The architecture can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation.

Of course, a patent application is just one way of Microsoft to protect something it may choose to explore, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll every become anything. In fact, the evidence right now points to Microsoft utilizing some advanced motion tracking software in conjunction with video cameras for motion sensing rather than a “Magic Wand.”

Still, you can bet that Microsoft is working towards an answer to those who like waggle, and hopefully we’ll know at E3.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    cryogenic , May 19, 2009 12:14 AM
    They patented the "Magic Wand" ? ... such bad times to be a wizard, witch or sorcerer. Either you pay royalties to Microsoft, or no more magic for you ... :p 
  • 11 Hide
    Platypus , May 19, 2009 12:23 AM
    Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    cryogenic , May 19, 2009 12:14 AM
    They patented the "Magic Wand" ? ... such bad times to be a wizard, witch or sorcerer. Either you pay royalties to Microsoft, or no more magic for you ... :p 
  • 11 Hide
    Platypus , May 19, 2009 12:23 AM
    Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!
  • 3 Hide
    mrubermonkey , May 19, 2009 12:27 AM
    I want to patent the computer. Has that been patented yet?
  • 1 Hide
    acecombat , May 19, 2009 12:34 AM
    How can you patent a device which "can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation" when that is exactly what the Wiimote does???
  • 3 Hide
    outacontrolpimp , May 19, 2009 1:22 AM
    acecombatHow can you patent a device which "can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation" when that is exactly what the Wiimote does???



    using a different technology for it makes it ok, plus wimote only has 1 sensor. they said a collection of them
  • 6 Hide
    jsloan , May 19, 2009 1:35 AM
    patent this!

    middle finger, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_(gesture)
  • 1 Hide
    gorehound , May 19, 2009 1:45 AM
    BS Patent
  • -6 Hide
    pirateboy , May 19, 2009 2:07 AM
    microsoft can stick their magic wand where the sun don't shine
  • 1 Hide
    bridgesphoto , May 19, 2009 2:19 AM
    Isn't the magic wand already a "personal messaging device"?
  • -5 Hide
    Upendra09 , May 19, 2009 3:02 AM
    Looks like MS is getting desperate, now they have Apple and Nintendo against them.
  • 2 Hide
    nonstoprobot , May 19, 2009 3:13 AM
    I just hope they come out with something cool involving motion sensors. I really dislike the idea of buying a nintendo wii for wii sports alone. It's an inferior system besides to my 360.
  • 1 Hide
    nachowarrior , May 19, 2009 3:17 AM
    "The architecture can exist in whole or in part in a housing that can resemble a wand or similar object. The architecture can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation."

    i'd give a link if could find it, but i remember several patent apps with almost the exact same line as the above. Including one before the wii ever came out.... HMMMMMMMM the industry trying to catch up to the top sellers in the US? go figure. oh wait, i guess this is just a repeat of history with anyone that's seen "Pirates of the Silicon Vally"
    :-p
  • 3 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , May 19, 2009 4:28 AM
    outacontrolpimpusing a different technology for it makes it ok, plus wimote only has 1 sensor. they said a collection of them

    Actually, the Wiimote has not only the camera to determine its orientation relative to the sensor bar of the Wii, but also internal accelerometers to determine its path through space.
  • 2 Hide
    ossie , May 19, 2009 8:48 AM
    More patentland bullshit.
    "Of course, a patent application is just one way of Microsoft to protect something it may choose to explore"
    That's exactly the problem with SW patents - just to hamper others to create something new, by patenting some empty wording, without any substantiations.
  • 1 Hide
    Jerky_san , May 19, 2009 12:03 PM
    You would think adobe with their "magic wand" in photoshop already has the name patented..
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , May 19, 2009 12:12 PM
    jerky_sanYou would think adobe with their "magic wand" in photoshop already has the name patented..

    :lol:  True that. After all people are patenting all kins of things from smiley icons to words.
  • 0 Hide
    tenor77 , May 19, 2009 2:07 PM
    MS better stay the hell away from my magic wand.
  • -3 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 19, 2009 2:24 PM
    guys do not forget about the wii motion plus attachment to the remote. that will make the wii-mote have multiple censors. i can see MS and Nintendo going to court about this. not only does MS make inferior consoles but they have to copy off successful hardware too. but hey that's the MS way
  • 3 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , May 19, 2009 2:25 PM
    Are we certain that this wasn't just Bill, in a drunken stupor, running around spouting overexaggerations about his “Magic Stick”?
  • 0 Hide
    knickle , May 19, 2009 3:17 PM
    jerky_sanYou would think adobe with their "magic wand" in photoshop already has the name patented..

    You can't patent a word. You can trade mark them though, and it's not cut and dry. For example, Microsoft is trademarked, but a sponge company can legally say that their sponge has "microsoft air pockets". On the other hand, Logitech can't say that their new computer mouse features a "microsoft ergonomic grip".
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