Philips remote to bring Wii-style controls to TVs

Philips solution to the button-laden madness of remote controls behaves like the motion controllers of Nintendo's Wii.

Philips has a solution to the button-laden madness of today's remote controls, and it behaves a lot like the motion controllers of Nintendo's Wii.

Like the now-iconic Wii remote, Philips' uWand contains accelerometers and a camera that communicates with an infrared sensor below the television. This allows users to point the remote like an air mouse while also flicking or twisting the remote to scroll through long lists of information. The uWand also detects pushing and pulling, which could be used to zoom in and out in a Web browser or 3D menu. For text input, the uWand has a full QWERTY keyboard on its back side.

While the technology itself isn't revolutionary, Philips makes a strong argument for its use in televisions: As connected TVs become more popular, navigation is getting complicated. We're no longer dealing with simple lists of channels. Platforms like Boxee or Samsung's Smart TV present users with multiple panels of information, which make button-based navigation cumbersome.

Philips isn't hogging the uWand for its own products. Instead, the company wants to license the technology to electronics manufacturers and service providers such as cable companies and telcos. Philips hopes to make its first deals this year, resulting in consumer products in 2012.

Of course, there's competition. PrimeSense's motion-sensing camera that helps power Kinect for Xbox 360 is coming to home theater PCs, and a bunch of TV manufacturers at this year's Consumer Electronics Show were demonstrating touch screen remotes for smartphones and tablets. But I'll take any of them over the monstrosity that comes with your typical cable box.

Check out our complete coverage of CES 2011.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CESconsumer electronicsHome TheaterCES 2011entertainmentlcd hdtvNintendoHDTVphilips

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?