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Full Story: techflash.comWe've been hearing rumors and reading speculation lately about what Microsoft executive J Allard has been doing. Apart from reports about a possible Zune/Xbox linkup, one source who has been accurate in the past recently cited the possibility of an Allard project reviving the Tablet PC.
Apparently that includes the secret magic wands.
In a newly disclosed patent application, naming Allard and others as inventors, Microsoft seeks intellectual property protection for a concept described, literally, as a "MAGIC WAND." Although it was only made public a few days ago, the application was originally filed in November 2007 -- about a year after Nintendo launched the Wii, with its distinctive, wand-style controller.
Several others from Microsoft are listed on the application, including Andy Wilson, one of the fathers of the Microsoft Surface computer. To get a sense for what the magic wand is about, here's the abstract.
"The claimed subject matter relates to an architecture that can facilitate rich interaction with and/or management of environmental components included in an environment. The architecture can exist in whole or in part in a housing that can resemble a wand or similar object. The architecture can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation. In addition, the architecture can include an advisor component to provide contextual and/or comprehensive guidance in an intuitive manner."