Ah the sweet smell of litigation in the afternoon. Nintendo, hardly a shrinking violet when it comes to courting lawsuits, is being sued Hillcrest Labs over the provenance of the Wii controller.
We've long been a fan of Hillcrest—particularly its innovative Loop remote control (we featured it last year). And it's that very controller, especially the three patents relating to its motion-control capabilities, at the heart of the suit. The Loop has no numbers and few buttons, instead you swing the accelerometer-stuffed device up and down and right and left to cycle through an onscreen menu. Sound familiar? Hillcrest thinks so. In a statement released this afternoon, the company insists that though it has, "a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights."
As for the folks at Nintendo—they'll be releasing a statement shortly. Bets as to what it will say?
It's funny...but all this motion sensitive stuff reminds me a little piece of prior art called the Powerglove.
it took hem a while to respond, sheesh... you know the wii has only been out for like a year closing on two...
There are a lot of motion control out there... not just the Wii...
Ahh yes the power glove and a lot of other game devices were using this before. well Nintendo makes enough money so they probably going to settle this
Uhhhh..... i don't want 2 sound stupid but..... what's a Powerglove?
and doesn't the PS3 have some motion sensing in the controller?
the wii doesn't use accelerometers, it uses infrared cameras located in the wii-mote and infrared transmitters in the "sensor bar"
the sensor bar has two infrared lights on each side, and the cameras in the wii-mote track them
the ps3 uses accelerometers, although, i think it's a different kind than in the hillcrest thing.
Actually, kingofthepride, the Wiimote does contain accelerometers. The Infra-red capabilities are for pointing at the screen, not for motion sensing. The only way for the wiimote to sense motion with the infrared sensor would be if you constantly pointed the wiimote at the sensor bar, which would be quite inconvenient. If you cover up the infrared receiver on the wiimote with tin foil you will find that it is still possible to play any motion-intensive game such as Wii Sports, because the accelerometers inside are doing all the work. I would think Hillcrest would also sue Sony for using the accelerometers too.
Also, the Power Glove did not use accelerometers. It used ultrasound to triangulate the position of the glove relative to the tv. Two ultrasound transmitters in the glove communicated with 2 sensors in an "L-bar" on top of the TV to locate the glove in 3D space, similar to how the modern Wiimote uses two infrared points on the sensor bar and a sensor on the Wiimote to sense where it is pointing and how far away from the TV it is. The finger bending was sensed with conductive ink. The ink had more resistance if it was bent, so the glove simply detected how much resistance was in the fingers to find the approximate position of them. For example, if the finger was fully bent, a large amount of resistance was detected. This resistance was detected by the glove and turned into a signal that was sent to the NES. If the finger was straight, no resistance was detected. So, the glove knew that the finger was straight and sent the appropriate signal to the NES.
adding on to kudoku, theres the wii motion plus that just came out a little while ago, it has an accelerometer on it.
Makes putting on wii sports seem real...
...Almost too real...