Apple 'Wiimote' patent discovered in US

New controller is far more likely to be for Front Row

Could Apple be about to take aim at Nintendo's gaming market share by introducing a Wii-like games console of its own?

As unlikely as it is, that's one conclusion that can be drawn from the discovery that Apple has a Wiimote-style controller on the patent books in the US.

Infrared modules

The so-called 'Wand' is described in a May 2008 patent that has just been dug up by Apple Insider.

The sometimes arcane language describes, "an optical component for capturing images [from] infrared modules, [which] may calculate its orientation and distance from the modules based on the captured images."

In other words, it sounds like a Wiimote that needs to be paired with a sensor bar or other source of infrared light for position finding.


However, a large portion of the patent describes how the Wand might be used to navigate an interface with a single button click that brings up contextual menus instead of having dedicated buttons for each action.

That sounds to us a lot more like a better controller for a media centre like Apple's Front Row. It may be a step up from the current Apple Remote but we're betting it doesn't have a lot to do with games.