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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags philipsNintendoconsumer electronicsentertainmentCESHDTVHome Theaterlcd hdtvCES 2011

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

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?