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Input Devices Wii Games Technology

New Type of 3D Game Controller Harnesses MEMS Gyro 33

An anonymous reader writes "A new category of 3-D motion controller for gamers uses a novel type of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscope to track hand motions with unparalleled accuracy. By detecting the natural motions made by remote control users — as opposed to the unnatural motions that gamers must learn to control today — the MEMS chip is sure to be incorporated in both game consoles and other consumer electronics like TV remote controls. Nintendo has already incorporated a similar MEMS gyro into its forthcoming MotionPlus controller for the Wii, but this newer type of gyroscopic motion sensor will enable even more intuitive and agile control."
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New Type of 3D Game Controller Harnesses MEMS Gyro

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  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @02:45AM (#27796497)

    Come on slashdot.

    This company reprints this press release periodically.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a Meat Everything Minus Sauce, right?

    • by x2A ( 858210 )

      No, it's Many Enemas Mean Something... the guy who came up with the design really liked his coffee... like... more than just as a friend. Anyway, legand has it, he needed something that would hold steady.

    • Hint, hint ... ah ok, then it is Micro Electronic Mechanical System (see: MEMS [wikipedia.org])

  • As long as... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tyroney ( 645227 )
    ...a tap against a thigh hits farther than an enthusiastic swing, motion will continue to be overrated.
    • Pretty sure that with a real accelerometer, it'll be much harder to find that tiny flick motion that will be seen by the console as a massive smash. With sufficient accuracy you just integrate the forces that the controller experiences and you can get a pretty accurate path (over short periods of time, at least, there'll still be noticable drift after a second or two).

      That's why I hate the current Wii motion-control games; not because of the concept but because the controls tend to suck ass in practice.
  • But I do like greek food.
  • I have no issues with a company moving MEMS devices into mass production. This gives us better technologies and experience when it comes to manufacturing other MEMS devices. Whilst MEMS devices are (a few?) orders of magnitude away from nanotechnology, I believe that MEMS devices will be a bridge technology to a post-scarcity society. How can that be a bad thing? The more work we do at this scale the better.
  • but is it steady? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rastoboy29 ( 807168 ) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @03:15AM (#27796631) Homepage
    The biggest issue I've had with a lot of novel game controllers (and I've tried many of them) is that while they may technically work very well, they just aren't practical.  For example, I remember trying out a gyroscopic mouse several years ago, and it worked fine--except I had to hold the mouse up in the air...somewhere.  Not only was it very tiring, but I found that without a nice steady table to slide it around on, it was impossibly to hold *steady* in the air.  In the end it was useless.

    So I wonder if they've solved that.
  • So, they can now make a MEMS device which can detect two axes at once. How is this different from simply using two MEMS gyroscopes, one for each axis?

    Technology is expensive at first, but after a few years it's cheap enough to make it's way into consumer electronics. News at 11.
    • Cost, power and size. Having two axes and signal evaluation on one chip will effectively cut the cost by about a third and drastically simplify the design.

      Microcontrollers don't offer anything that can't be done with destinct components, but they what they can much better.

  • the question is, will this actually work better than the Wiimote, which randomly decides that you've pointed in the opposite direction for no reason?
  • Bad summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by LordVader717 ( 888547 ) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @07:36AM (#27797551)

    This product is the one that the Wii Motion+ uses. They actually unveiled it a year ago when Nintendo showed off the device at the E3.

  • So when I used to laugh at my sister for moving the NES controller around like a steering wheel in Mario Kart or moving it up in the air when jumping in Super Mario Brothers...
    I guess she just had much more foresight in the future of technology that I had.
    I wonder if Hallmark has an "I'm sorry I laughed at your stupid hand/eye coordination" section?

  • "I love the MEMS gyroscope... it's so bad."

    Nope, not as good as a Power Glove.
  • This is a 2006 part (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @11:52AM (#27798873) Homepage

    This 2-axis rate gyro part came out in 2006. [sun.com] Analog Devices and Motorola have had comparable parts for years, but at a higher price.

    It's only 2-axis. If they could do all 3 axes on a flat chip, that would be something. Usually, you need a second chip mounted vertically to the first one to get all three axes.

    An elegant design is to use four MEMS gyros oriented along the axes of a tetrahedron. With that redundancy, you can detect faults. The Segway does that, for safety reasons.

    • No, it's not (Score:2, Informative)

      by jkua ( 1159581 )

      Actually, no. This is the IXZ-500/650 that they are talking about, which measures pitch and yaw (rotations about the X and Z axes). The IDG-600 which you link to is the older gyro which measures pitch and roll (rotations about the X/Z) axes.

      And as far as getting 3-axes goes, pairing one of Invensense's X/Y dual axis gyros with their single axis Z gyro would give you that in a single plane.

      For those saying this is the part in the MotionPlus, it's not. That's using the IDG-600 which the parent talks about.


  • Microsoft is allegedly working on a system that detects the users body movement, no control required. If they get that to work well I'm thinking its going to trump the shit out of any controller based system. http://kotaku.com/5236404/microsofts-full-body-motion-controller-revealed [kotaku.com]

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel