Three mysterious patents for Wii Remote add-ons

It seems that Nintendo may have more planned for the Wii Remote than just a longer life span. A couple of weeks ago, three patents for Wii Remote add-ons were revealed to the public: two that expand on the infrared functionality of the controller, and one that changes its use altogether.

The first patent, and probably the one most interesting to potential Wii U buyers, is for a touchscreen thatWii Remote Patent Image attaches to the front of the Wii Remote. It utilizes the infrared technology, alongside half-mirrors, to locate the point on the screen that is being touched. And, thanks to the half-mirrors, it still works with pointer functionality while it’s attached. It does look a bit odd in the concept art, but if it works well, it could make for a great mini-U-tablet.

The next patent is something similar to what we’ve seen before. It’s some sort of pattern reader, like an e-Reader without a Gameboy Advanced. It works by shining an infra-red light through a clip on the end of the remote which shines through holes in the pattern on a card which the remote picks up.

Wii Remote Patent ImageThe final patent is pretty strange. It’s basically a ball that goes on the end of the remote and turns the device into a joystick. It only works on a flat surface, though, and it isn’t shown whether or not a hand counts as flat.

While I’m sure many of you are getting excited for Wii U Pong, don’t expect much from these patents – they pop up all the time and rarely does anything come from them. That said, the touchscreen one could be a great way to close the gap between U-tablet users and Wii Remote users.

What do you think these expansions could be used for?

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  1. FL767

    If these aren’t just throw away perephrials for one game and developers actually use them, then they could turn out to be pretty good. The joystick thing could turn out to be really cool especially. I’m also hoping for something to put the WiiPad in that attaches two big arcade joysticks to the controller and puts the face buttons on each one so that they can be used instead of the slidepads for games.

    In the end of the day, i’m hoping for perephrials in general that instead of being game specific just offer new means of input. Customization when it comes to control (like how y0ou can change the buttonmapping in Brawl) could be a huge feature of the Wii U.

  2. Guest

    I’m curious whether that joystick ball can be used without unplugging the Nunchuk. If it’s possible, you would have two analog sticks, and together with the touchscreen, it would transform your Wii Remote into something similar to the Wii U controller. So here’s a prediction: There will be another add-on for the Wii Remote like for the 3DS which will give you additional shoulder buttons and maybe a “real” 2nd analog stick, it’ll be ugly and it’ll be called the “FrankenMote!” And together with the three new patents, it will be the new Nintendo smartmote, the “wiiMe”! With lowercase “w” to appeal to the apple crowd, of course.

    And BTW, gratz for becoming a writer, Wertville!

  3. Interesting designs. Not sure how useful they would be, but interesting nonetheless.

  4. james braselton

    hi there soo what 10 years ago sega dreamcast had 1.8 inch screen 8 mb internal memory best invention ever hope controllers in future have the screen as a standard feature