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Wireless remote wand coming to next-gen Apple TV?

Apple is exploring ways to include a wireless “remote wand” for its next-generation Apple TV that would add the same precise controls a mouse has over a Mac claims a report.

The “remote wand,” revealed in a patent filing published for the first time this week, could also unlock 3D Nintendo's Wii controls according to Apple Insider.

According to the Apple patent, the Apple TV media system could identify the movements of the wand using any suitable motion detection component such as an embedded accelerometer or a gyroscope.

“The wand may include an optical component for capturing images of the infrared modules, and may calculate its orientation and distance from the modules based on the captured images,” Apple said.

“In some embodiments, the electronic device may direct the infrared modules to identify the position of an infrared emitter incorporated on the wand, and may calculate the absolute position of the wand relative to the infrared modules.”

Any wand could also help Apple justify removing buttons and controls from its devices, something that has been highlighted by the new look iPod shuffle released on Wednesday.

“In some embodiments, the user may provide a selection input by moving wand in a particular manner,” Apple said.

“For example, the user may flick wand (e.g., move wand in circular pattern), rotate wand in a particular manner (e.g., perform a rotation of wand), move wand a particular distance off screen, or any other suitable movement of wand.”

The May 2008 filing, released this week, is credited to Apple employees Duncan Kerr and Nicholas King.

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