July 17, 2008 In news for Wii users– we know there’s a lot of you out there - InvenSense Inc., a provider of MEMS-based motion sensing solutions for image stabilization, dead reckoning navigation, 3D remote control, and gaming devices, has announced that its IDG-600 multi-axis MEMS rate gyroscope has started shipping in mass production quantities to Nintendo for its Wii MotionPlus accessory. The upcoming Wii MotionPlus accessory attaches to the end of the Wii Remote and, combined with the accelerometer and the sensor bar, allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player's arm position and orientation. In the new Wii Sports Resort, for example, the ability to throw a disc through the air and control the angle of flight is now possible.
Conventional MEMS gyroscopes, which are the key enabling technology that can sense absolute rotational motion inputs, are typically used in commercial automotive electronic stability control and GPS applications, where their larger size, high power consumption and costs are accommodated. InvenSense’s new class of silicon-based MEMS rate gyroscopes offer smaller package sizes, lower power consumption, and lower price points suitable for consumer markets. A key advantage of MEMS technology, as compared to its quartz and piezo-ceramic counterparts, is its ability to incorporate 3D mechanical features directly into single crystal silicon substrates while easily and cost effectively integrating it with CMOS electronics. The company states that the addition of their multi-axis rate gyroscope solution to the Wii MotionPlus accessory will allow high precision 3D tracking of rapid gaming gestures and support exciting new game titles.
Also jumping on the Wii bandwagon is Logitech, who have introduced the Logitech Cordless Keyboard for Wii – licensed by Nintendo - to make it easier to communicate on the Wii game console. With its compact, slim design and 2.4 GHz wireless technology, Logitech’s new keyboard for Wii is designed to complement the look of the Wii and Logitech are billing the device as a must-have accessory for chat-oriented games and the Wii Internet Channel. The keyboard’s primary keys are full size with special system keys – such as Zoom In/Out, Forward/Back, Quit and OK – designed to make it even easier to use the console to communicate with friends, surf the Web, and send e-mails. To use the keyboard a mini-receiver is plugged into the console and the keyboard is ready to use then, when finished, the receiver snaps into the back of the keyboard.
The Logitech Cordless Keyboard for Wii is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in August. The suggested retail price in the U.S. is USD$49.99.