An interesting article on CNN.com regarding the motion-sensing technology inside the new Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 game controllers. It’s very similar to the the technology inside Apple’s Nike+iPod Sport Kit sensor, which can accurately measure foot motion while running and walking, though judging from this video, it’s unclear whether Nike+iPod provides a better workout than the Wii.
Accelerometer technology has been around for a while, but is just now starting to pop up in all sorts of consumer electronics, thanks to advances in the production process and a significant reduction in price:
In the past, accelerometers were large mechanical devices, with springs or liquids that sensed orientation and movement. The reason they can go into game devices now is that they’re made not by assembling mechanical components, but with the same techniques used to make computer chips.
The article doesn’t specifically mention the Nike+iPod sensor as a beneficiary of this technology, possibly because its implementation is a bit different, but it does mention that motion sensing technology has already shown up in portable computers and cellphones:
Nokia this year launched a “sports” cell phone, the 5500, with an accelerometer that not only controls a game, but works as a pedometer as well. Other potential uses for such a chip in a phone include managing the user interface: pat the phone or flip it over to send a call to voicemail, Vigna suggested.
So the question is… How long before we see motion-sensor technology added to our beloved iPods? And what exactly could it be used for?
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