By Evan Ackerman
I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of the Nintendo Wii… But then, I actually go outside and swing a real tennis racket once in a while. What I am a huge fan of is the fact that the undeniable popularity (and utility) of the wii has provided a good excuse for motion sensitive technology to spill over into consumer electronics. One of the latest examples comes from the British company BT, which has developed a motion sensitive peripheral (they don’t specify what type) that lets you navigate around your computer by physically moving it. The BT Balance chip can tell which way it’s being tipped or how hard it’s being knocked, nudged, or shaken, which is plenty of versatility if you’re just surfing the net. Do people still say “surfing the net”? Although it’s designed for tablet PCs, it could certainly be useful in smaller electronics like PDAs, or even larger ones like desktops: next time Windows crashes, just pound on the case and a motion sensing chip will force the computer to restart. Wouldn’t that be satisfying?
The BT Balance is still just a research project, but if you have a MacBook, you can take limited advantage of this sort of thing already. See how after the jump.
MacBooks and MacBook Pros already have a built-in accelerometer: it’s designed to protect the hard drive if the laptop is dropped. Some software allows you to use that sensor to implement simple motion-based commands, as shown in this video from Simplehelp:
Lots more info on the MacBook motion sensor here.