back to article BT brings Wii-like remote control to PCs

UK telco British Telecom has built an add-on for laptops, tablets and ultra-mobile PCs that allows users to control their computer simply by moving it around. Called Balance, the unit plugs into a spare USB port. Inside, it contains a set of motion sensors similar to the detectors build into Nintendo's Wii Remote game …

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Turn it upside down and shake...

Hurrah! The Etch-a-Sketch reset interface!

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Isn't there another group that

"need to control their computers with one hand." ;)

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Ash

Will BT provide solid state disks, too?

"Shaking it vigorously up and down could be set empty the Recycle Bin or restart the machine."

Restart the machine indeed! I'm assuming nobody in BT's R&D dept has heard of a "Head Crash".

Further, how is this a "Wii-like remote device"? If you plugged this motion sensor into a wii and shook it, you'd scrap the currently playing disc. There's nothing remote about it...

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Sample tech support for Etch a sketch - might something like this work for the BT Balance?

Frequently Asked Questions for Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support:

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?

A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?

A: Don't shake it.

Oh, I've copied this off a blog as I deleted the original.

Its from

http://superspace64.spaces.live.com/blog/

Dave

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Anonymous Coward

late April fool?

A bit late for an April fools gag though?

Incidentally, Linux users already have something like this thanks to reprogramable anti-theft devices fitted in some laptop HDDs.

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Hardly wii style

Sounds more like the accelerometers and tilt sensors in the MacBook/Powerbook. The Wii has a full 6 degree sense which provides feedback of pitch, roll, yaw and acceleration for each, as well as, and this is the crucial bit which makes it differ...

The wiimote also has a pair of fresneltastic IR sensors in the remote which pick up the direction the wiimote is pointing in at the screen (the sensor bar has the IR transmitters in it in case you're wondering what kind of hogwash I'm on about) giving you that ever so cool mouse style pointer which doesn't require moving a joystick back and forth until you manage to get the cursor to stop on the CORRECT button!

I can't see dear old aunt sally who has parkinsons being able to achieve any great deal of control, frail old men and women without parkinsons would also have trouble, lifting and maneuvering the device between their bifocals (poor visible angle/glare on the screen) and their weak wrists (how much does it weigh?).

If they were given to engineers, we all know which one handed activity they'd be using an internet tablet for ;)

And for all I'm not gonna jump on this band wagon. I've been picking up windows machines and shaking them for years. It would be nice if it came with a free 3 finger salute.

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Anonymous Coward

Do the Hokey Pokey

Hmm, wouldn't really want to turn my laptop upside and shake it. Maybe a device that plugs into the usb port via a long cable, rather?

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Seems familiar...

http://www.kerstein.org/dilbert/etch-a-sketch.jpg

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Gold badge

Sense this motion sunshine.....

If you drop kick it across the room, does this trigger the deletion of Windows and the start of a Linux install?

Before anyone asks, you should be able to get MacOS by shaking it in a vigorous but non-threatening manner while allowing your wrists to go limp.

;-)

Tim

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