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Friday, November 11, 2005

Is the XWand the Revolutionary Xbox 360 Controller?

Is the XWand the Revolutionary Xbox 360 Controller?

By: Richard Allen

It appears Nintendo and Sony aren't the only industry leaders working on a true 3D controller. Microsoft has a working proto type for the "XWand". This interesting device seems to serve a more general audience with applications for more of an everyday use.

Here is a quote from the Microsoft Research site that explains the technology:

"The XWand is a novel wireless sensor package that enables styles of natural interaction with intelligent environments. For example, a user may point the wand at a device and control it using simple gestures. The XWand system leverages the intelligence of the ubiquitous computing environment to best determine the user's intention.

Work on the XWand can be divided into two broad categories: the design of the hardware device, and the design of the user experience and software system that uses the hardware device. Prototypes of both halves of the system have been developed.

Hardware device

The XWand hardware device includes a custom printed circuit board (PCB) with a variety of off-the-shelf sensors, including a 3-axis magnetometer, a 2-axis MEMS accelerometer, and a 1-axis piezoelectric gyroscope. The output of these sensors is collected and formatted by an onboard PIC microcontroller and passed to a 418MHz FM transceiver. A base station (not shown) receives data packets from the wand at about 50Hz, and passes the sensor readings to the host PC via RS-232. The wand also has 2 visible LEDs for feedback, a pushbutton for user input, and two IR LEDs for position tracking.

The magnetometer and accelerometer readings may be combined on the host side to obtain the true 3d orientation of the wand with respect to the room.

The IR LEDs support 3d tracking via external cameras. The PIC is programmed to flash the IR LEDs at a predefined rate, such that simple image processing software on the host PC can recover the 2d position of the wand in each camera view. This 2d information from multiple cameras is combined to find the 3d position of the IR LEDs.

The RF part on the wand may send as well as receive data. Presently the wand uses a call/response protocol, in which the host PC sends a request for data, and the wand sends a data packet back. The bi-directional aspect allows for sending commands from the host to the wand to, for example, turn the on-board LEDs on and off, and it allows for multiple wands to share the same frequency."

Now it remains to be seen if they impliment this kind of technology with gaming, but it is interesting to see that each of the 3 contenders have some ideads that are nearly identical. Call it the creative community consciousness.

Link: XWand: UI for Intelligent Environments

Anonymous Anonymous
Excellent Post but people will probably "Microsoft are stealing the nintendo controller" think not looks nothing like it and completly different  

Anonymous Anonymous
oh shut up.....u know damn well this was gonna happen, they always steal the designs. different???????what the hell are u talking about? its the same damn concept and that just goes to show that they always take nintendo's ideas for their own benefit. "Xwand"......Unoriginal bastards  

Anonymous Anonymous
nintendo ripped off the dreamcast fishing rod  

Anonymous Anonymous
"nintendo ripped off the dreamcast fishing rod "

yea you wish they did

Nintendo takes old tech and using it into the rev.  

Anonymous Anonymous
Xbox 36o is crap and so is xbox PS2 And PS3 is way better!!at school everyone hates Xbox Except one Kid but he gets bashed up!
we all call it Xbox 2 shitty.
now they have stolen nintendos idea for the controller! how could those ballsucking ass holes do that for their own benefit?
screw the xbox 360 and buy a PS3 Or a Nintendo revolution!!!!!!  

Anonymous Anonymous
who the hell cares about what ppl say on your sql?
besides, you should read how sony tries to make their online-system compete with MS!
wait 18 months if u wanna see a clear difference between ps3 and x360.
i love nintendo, but dey need a new image, ms needs proper structure and sony needa stop making these hype-ups without no clear idea behind it!!!dm  

Anonymous Anonymous
these bitches are copying nintendo's idea because they have none of there own and ther losing money the should be sued  

Anonymous Anonymous
All you Sony and Nintindo fanboys need to realize that for every million consoles those two sell 1000 Americans lose their jobs or have to take a pay cut. Maybe even more. Keep jobs and prosperity here in the USA. Buy American Products! Xbox 360 is better or as good as the foreign stuff. Remember you will be looking for a job sometime in the near future. Where do you want the jobs to be? Your hometown or TOKYO???  

Anonymous Anonymous
hey nintendo copied M$ cus M$ has motion sensor controllers on PC BITCHES  

Anonymous Anonymous
Why should I care about American jobs? I'm not from the USA.  

Anonymous Anonymous
"All you Sony and Nintindo fanboys need to realize that for every million consoles those two sell 1000 Americans lose their jobs or have to take a pay cut. Maybe even more. Keep jobs and prosperity here in the USA. Buy American Products! Xbox 360 is better or as good as the foreign stuff. Remember you will be looking for a job sometime in the near future. Where do you want the jobs to be? Your hometown or TOKYO???"

Yeah we all know that every x360 part is made here in the US. What a load of BS. The bulk of the 360 is made over in Asia.  

Anonymous Anonymous
If you like the truth, then you say "thanks for stealing Nintendo's idea".

If you like to HIDE behind the truth, then you say things like "Excellent Post but people will probably "Microsoft are stealing the nintendo controller" think not looks nothing like it and completly different"

Of course people are going to say it, tard, when it's true.  

Anonymous Anonymous
All you haters are saying buy a ps3, 360 sux cuz its gonna make a 3d controller?!!! how stupid are you people, 1- its new technology that probably originates in japan hence nintendo came out with it first, 2- are you colostamy bags forgetting the boomerang ps3 controller, sony is the real copycat here they nixed there debut controller and stole nintendos idea, if 360 really does come out with a 3d controller its because its the new thing, because there is already more than one company out there using the tech, so they would just be jumping into the next gen controller mkt, if you wanna call anyone a copycat or theif call sony. Dual shock anyone?  

Anonymous Anonymous
Here are some undeniable facts in case you already have not cared to note them. Microsoft saw a flaw in Sony's & Nintendo's game console development strategy. They were waiting too long to introduce their next gen consoles. So out comes the Xbox360 about a year sooner than both of them. MS upgraded Xbox Live with the introduction & has improved it greatly. Live is the superior console environment. Xbox 360 is superior to anything on the market now. Sony's cell chip will eventually be able to slightly best the 30's graphics. But if you read any of the articles on the web about this new chip, it will be at least 2 - 3 years before the game developers can figure aout how to do that. By then, Microsoft will be introducing their next gen console that will best the PS3. So as you can see, Sony's strategy is flawed. Sony will never have a Live service that can compete with MS because they have waited way too long & have not provided structure to it with clear goals & objectives. Have you played in an online tournament on 360 Live? It is awesome! MS will & is dominating the console market, a simple fact. So everybody that is so upset that MS has done consoling right needs to mellow out. I work right next to the Xbox development group in Redmond, Washington. I have several good friends that work there. I have been in the building. There is no doubt in any of the minds of those people that they have clawed their way to the top of the console market & they are NOT going to give that status up. MS has a goal to integrate the PC & gaming console market. That is a advantage that Sony & Nintendo do not even have a solution for. In the next 5 years, lots of people will buy Sony & Nintendo consoles. But they will be disappointed in the end because they will not be able to integrate them with their home theater & entertainment systems like the MS console owners will. The game developers obviously have noticed the 360 because the number of “exclusive” games for the Sony consoles is all but nothing anymore. I am done now. So quite acting like whiners & live in reality.  

Anonymous Anonymous
This is the way things are goin, its a great controller idea for 3d UI and that is why everyone is using it, I am sick of the ps2, xbox, and to a lesser extent the nintendo GC controller. I prefer a wand to a pad :P  

Anonymous Anonymous
RIP OFFFFF!!!! WII >>>>>> 360 LOLOL  

Anonymous Anonymous
If anyone says that Microsoft and 360 ripped off the Wiimote take a look at "Sonys" six-axis controller that was announced 1 month after Nintendos Wiimote.Plus right after 360s Gamerscore and Achievement system was announced Sony announced that they were making a type of achievement system:0 heh but anyway there u go Sony fan boys FLAME ON.  

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