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PowerBook As A New Kind Of Human Interface Device

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the interesting-applications dept.

Portables (Apple) 276

An anonymous reader writes "As covered earlier on Slashdot, Amit Singh had shown how to access and use the motion sensor feature in the late model PowerBooks for innovative things, which created quite a buzz in the Mac community. In an ingenius new article, Singh has taken the idea all the way and released software which lets you use a PowerBook with a motion sensor as a general purpose input device which works with existing apps. IMHO the coolest use of this is for playing games: be sure to check out the video footage in the article. For instance, in a car racing game, you steer by tilting the PowerBook left and right, go faster by tilting it forward, brake by tilting it backwards! You can also scroll in apps. Google Map scrolling with my PowerBook feels like flying in an aiprlane over the terrain. I must say you have to try this in real life to appreciate the experience ... go to the Apple store or something if you don't have the hardware ;-) Before this my girlfriend (who uses a Dell notebook) has never called anything computer related "jawdropping"! Wouldn't it be nice to have a gaming motion sensor be standard issue in all future laptops?"

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Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999305)

More from Amit Singh (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999306)

What's even cooler about Amit Singh is that he's a he's a researcher [] at IBM Alamaden Research Center [] , working on, among other things, secure communications and Linux on the desktop.

And be sure to check out his other articles [] , particularly What is Mac OS X? [] . They're all well written, comprehensive on their respective topics, and generally excellent.

Re:More from Amit Singh (4, Informative)

TheGuano (851573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999364)

The same motion sensor (with real-time 3d display of the notebook's orientation) has been on the IBM Thinkpad for a while now. Since he's an IBM researcher, maybe he'll take the time to port it over to the PC as well! I've always wanted to play Labyrinth or Marble Madness (or Super Monkey Ball) by actually tilting the machine.

Re:Even More from Amit Singh (1)

bsgk (792550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999365)

Amazing!!! I quick look at my company's global address book, and I found that Amit Singh is actually working nine jobs.

Oh wait, seems this might be a common name.

In other news... (5, Funny)

nganju (821034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999444)

daveschroeder discovered to be the username for Amit Singh at

Re:More from Amit Singh (0)

Three Headed Man (765841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999465)

What's even more amazing is that he has a girlfriend!

Tasty Asstreats (-1, Troll)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999313)

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Re:Tasty Asstreats (2, Funny)

dhbiker (863466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999344)

maybe DonkeyHote is an alien trying to communicate, but we just can't understand him/her/it? ;-P

Fake Article (4, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999337)

This article is fake. Note the following lie in bold:

"Before this my girlfriend (who uses a Dell notebook) has never called anything computer related "jawdropping"! "

Re:Fake Article (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999373)

you've gotten us again with your clever insight into SlashDot and nerd culture.
Oh how I wish I could ignore any post referencing a "meme".

Re:Fake Article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999463)

who modded this one off-topic, it's hilarious

Re:Fake Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999542)

I realize that while you can't fathom the concept of having a girlfriend, some of us have social skills and/or are just occasionally likeable. Your continued rehashing of the same tired joke certainly speaks volumes about your abilities...

New Interaction (5, Funny)

LittleGuernica (736577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999339)

This Porn Site is Powerbook Enabled ..yes, I can see a lot of new ways of interaction

and Apples new Powerbook tagline:
"Shake it Like A Polaroid Picture"
"Do the Powerbook Shuffle"

Re:New Interaction (5, Funny)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999513)

well I guess.. but what I'd really like is to be able to delete everything on, say, photoshop or gimp by shaking it like an etch-a-sketcha. hehe

Re:New Interaction (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999765)

That's all well and good until your PowerBook gets motion sickness and pukes all over your lap. Well, at least you'll (hopefully) have a tissue or an old sock handy to clean up the mess.

A Reason (1)

blobzorz (864386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999343)

Now I really want one of those Powerbooks... too expensive for me still though.

Re:A Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999407)

Now I really want one of those Powerbooks...

Why? Because they can finally do something Nintendo were doing commercially ten years ago?

prior art! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999345)

i think i was the only one in my entire county who actually bought one of these []

Thinkpads hmmmm (3, Informative)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999353)

Thinkpads have this sensor too...

Re:Thinkpads hmmmm (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999383)

exactly, its amazing how a technology can be out for years but all of a sudden apple releases it and its "revolutionary".

Why discredit an innovative idea? (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999502)

Other laptops may have had this for years...

So where are the Windows apps that make use of this sensor?

Apple doesn't even deserve credit for this one as they include the sensor for the same reason everyone else does. Apple does deserve a little credit for making the output of this sesnor accessible to the programmer, and then the guy that developed the initial software to make use of it deserves the lions share of the credit for saying "hey, what if I did this!".

In your rush to discredit Apple, you were a bit too hasty in dismissing the accomplishments of the programmer as well.

Re:Why discredit an innovative idea? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999629)

I'm not sure that tilting a machine while it is powered on and using THAT as an input device is such a hot idea to begin with. This sound like the perfect little toy for a bunch of technically impaired users that like feeling trendy.

Re:Thinkpads hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999433)

So does the Playstation2. There are already a bunch of games that work with camera sensors. It's not that ground breaking anymore.

Camera sensors? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999528)

So what do camera sensors have to do with tilt/shift sensors?

I wouldn't think it would make as much sense to build programs around tilt/shift sensors in the PS2 since few consoles are in a position to be easily picked up and shifted around...

Re:Thinkpads hmmmm (-1, Flamebait)

pboulang (16954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999557)

ok, all together now, let's sing the I'm Retarded Song:
I'm retarded yes I am

But I say I think I can
There are olympics just for meeeee
I can't read the fucking articles.

This post brought to you by the number 7 and the letter shutthefuckup

Re:Thinkpads hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999563)

> So does the Playstation2

I'd hardly call the EyeToy a "built in" feature. Tilt sensing on the controllers themselves would be kind of keen. Those used to be all the rage, but they've faded faster than the joystick market itself.

I've really gotta wonder.... (4, Insightful)

UnixRevolution (597440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999354)

How much good all this tilting and stuff does the hard drive. I'd think it caused some undue wear and tear, if not a head crash. Plus, to be picking up the whole laptop for use as an interface device seems a bit risky. Especially a Powerbook (you're talking around 2 grand there, Slim.)

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999396)

You fucking idiot. The whole fucking purpose of the motion detector is to park the drive heads.


Many times HD asleep anyway (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999439)

Depending on how you have your power settings, the HD is probably going to be asleep most of the time anyway. And the gentle motion you're talking about here is hardly going to be enough to phase a laptop drive - I've got a portable storage device that uses a laptop drive and had it sucessfully write a whole GB of data while I was walking quickly and had it in a pocket in my shorts.

In short, don't worry about the HD... slippery fingers might be a bit more of a concern but just be careful to do this above your lap, not held high in the air like a trophy.

Solution: keyboard (2, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999450)

"How much good all this tilting and stuff does the hard drive. I'd think it caused some undue wear and tear"

The solution to this is to market a keyboard with the same capabilities. This keyboard could be plugged into the Powerbook, at which point it would disable the Powerbook's internal "shake controller". Then you could rag on the keyboard without worrying about shaking up the Powerbook. It makes it less portable, of course...

Re:Solution: keyboard (2, Informative)

the_sidewinder (850641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999586)

Or a gamepad MS used to make a gamepad with an anolog tilt motion sensor built in it, called the Sidewinder Freestyle Pro. Was awesome fore flight sims and raceing games. Unfortunatelly, MS discontinued that line of game controllers.

got to hand it to microsoft (0, Offtopic)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999635)

Whatever the big problems with swiss-cheese OS's and borglike office packages, they rightfully rule when it comes to controllers. Their optical mouse is the best I've seen, and after looking a long time for a good keyboard, the one I bought last year was theirs.

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999539)

Is it just me, or is this another stupid apple "feature", that is pointless? I can not see any situation where this would be a better solution than what is already available. Tilting my whole laptop, rather than using a scroll mouse, how is that better? Or does apple still not offer this rather common interface device? Does this mean I can look forward to abnormal scrolling on flights, depending on the attitude of the aircraft?

The more I read about Apple and their "innovations", the more I understand their total lack of market share. This company is the poster boy of how to totally fuck up your products market share.

To keep the fanboys in their cages, I was born and bred on the Apple. The first computer I ever received any formal training on was an Apple II, the first computer that I ever owned was an Apple IIc. Then the "clone" wars started, and suddenly I could by an IBM clone for less than half the cost of a new Apple. Never looked back. Looks like I can still get a new PC for less than half the cost of an Apple.

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (-1, Redundant)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999623)

Same here, I'd love to go mac if the following two problems could be corrected:

1) the overwhelmingly higher cost of Apple hardware
2) the complete and utter lack of new game releases for Macs.

If I were only into FPS (there's a mac version of UT2k4, right?) or could get my gaming fix completely from a console #2 would be a non-issue, but you'd still have #1.

Apple is only showing contempt for the average consumer with its lack of quality hardware at affordable prices. the Mac Mini? please.

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (1)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999593)

Generally I don't think hard drives care what angle they are operating at. The disk platters and heads have no more chance of contact when operating tilted then "right side up". The motion has to be pretty jarring to cause a head crash.

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (2, Funny)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999667)

Well, you've never seen me play pinball.

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999626)

um.. isn't the whole reason for the sensor being there to be able to park the harddisk if going gets rough?

Re:I've really gotta wonder.... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999665)

Wonder how much the motion sensor (and developing/debugging the interface) adds to the cost of said laptop.

These applications are just hacks, and have no usefulness, really. I'm sure in due time someone will figure out how to use the motion sensor for input for the disabled, though.

I had one of those YEARS ago. (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999357)

A friend built an Atari 2600/400/etc compliant joystick device into a Tupperware container. It had mercury switches in it, and you controlled it just by tilting it. I never used it much.

Then you drop it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999362)

....Then someone makes a boxing simulation and everyone blames Apple when their hard drives go bad.

Innovative, but not necessarily good (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999366)

And how much worse does this torque the bearings of the fast-spinning, gyroscopically-simulating hard drive?

Re:Innovative, but not necessarily good (1)

nxtr (813179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999578)

If motion was bad for the hard drives, you wouldn't even think of taking your iPod out for a jog.

Re:Innovative, but not necessarily good (2, Insightful)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999663)

Uh... yeah, motion is bad for hard drives...

If you want to jog with an iPod, do it with an iPod Shuffle.

Re:Innovative, but not necessarily good (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999595)

the whole purpose of this sensor is to protect the hard drive, so i'd say the answer is something close to "none."

Re:Innovative, but not necessarily good (1)

Kirby-meister (574952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999754)

The motion sensor technology in these Powerbooks is the same idea as the ones used in the Thinkpads - detect motion, and if there is too much, it stops the HDDs to prevent any possible damage...

Now, I can't find info on how it exactly works, but I figure it stops the heads until shaking stops (someone care to elaborate?)...Thinkpads have a cool feature on Windows that shows how you're tilting the laptop and when the HDD is stopped.

Yes (1)

dosle (794546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999374)

I love tilting my expensive laptop and testing my underdeveloped motor skills

But how much can your arms take? (1)

MixmastaKooz (621146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999376)

Is the motion sensor sensitive enough to navigate/play while it's in your lap, or as I fear, you have to pick it up and tilt it. Even if the laptop is 3 or maybe 4 lbs, after a while, it's going to tire your muscles. However, I do appreciate this hack because it's using something in a way that it wasn't intended to on top of working well (minus muscle fatigue).

One benefit (5, Funny)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999523)

is that most geeks would then have equal size arms.

Re:But how much can your arms take? (1)

LilWolf (847434) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999562)

So you can play a racing game and get some muscle exercise for your arms? Sounds good to me.

Jawdropping? (5, Funny)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999386)

Before this my girlfriend (who uses a Dell notebook) has never called anything computer related "jawdropping"!

Umm, actually, she was just yawning.

Anyone else think this is stupid? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999387)

Sounds like a great way to accidentally drop your powerbook. Hope it's worth it "flying" around google maps.

All's fine and well (1)

Petro123 (833232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999389)

...until you shake your CPU or RAM loose which hours of continuous gaming would eventually do!

Who games on a laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999398)

Maybe Mac users but they'd have to develop some sort of peripheral device to be successful with gamers. Gamers use desktop PCs, not laptops, and they're slow to accept gimmicy crap like this. Remember the Orb controller? there's tons of new human interfae devices that come out, they all suck.

Straight Street (1)

thundercatslair (809424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999408)

They should add this feature to my crt monitor.

I Was hoping to be first post but; (-1, Troll)

mab (17941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999427)

All I can say is what a Wanker

Re:I Was hoping to be first post but; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999662)

I agree the poster is all hot and bothered

racing game appliations (3, Insightful)

drunken dash (804404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999434)

I don't think this is a particularly good application for racing games, because if you watch the video, since you're actually tilting the notebook, the screen tilts with it. It's somewhat disorienting, and requires you to tilt your head repeatedly (as you turn) which will quite likly get annoying real fast.

Re:racing game appliations (2, Informative)

mrmez (585359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999642)

IIRC from the previous article, a previously created app from the originator of these motion sensor hacks tilts the contents of the screen so that as the PB tilts the picture stays level to the viewer (i.e. - PB screen goes left and down, screen contents go right and up to compensate).

First we put the computer in the joystick... (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999445)

...with those Atari games that can now be contained completely within the base of the thing. Now we turn an expensive laptop into a joystick. And I thought it was expensive to get a broken Gravis joystick replaced.

Somewhere in the future as AI/Expert software spreads, "Will you stop freaking shaking me like that and get a gyro mouse already?! I'm getting nauseous and feel like I need to take a hex dump. I think I'm going to reformat..."

Innovation (0)

andyring (100627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999446)

Again, we see the unique innovation of Apple's products and their users!

Re:Innovation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999745)

Yep, the IBM Thinkpad's motion sensor and the work by IBM's researcher Amit Singh is a great Apple© Innovation(TM) that can only come from Apple©!

What the hell is the big deal? (3, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999452)

It's an accellerometer! There have been inertial mice based off these guys for as long as the sensors have been available.

There's some projects out there to hack one of these into some earlier palmpilots directly onto the bus, a nifty hack. Oh, wait, starting to get that feeling.. tm l

Sigh. I have a powerbook and like it, but new kind of HID? Please.

Call me when they have a camera in there like the Sony vaio picturebook used to, and you can wave your arms at it and such. Then it might be a new interface device.

Re:What the hell is the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999590)

> It's an accellerometer!

It is not. It's a camera with motion detection hardware. The EyeToy was probably the first mass-market success of this camera tech.

Re:What the hell is the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999734)

You sure? []

Re:What the hell is the big deal? (1)

Jemm (747958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999673)

Well for starters inertial navigation.

Many people have used GPS to locate their car on a moving map display. If the powerbooks accelerometers can be fine tuned for at least two dimensional inertial navigation, this data could be used to augment and fill in navigation data.

GPS is not very accurate. Not accurate enough to say park your car or guide a cruise ship into a dock and stationkeep.

Another possible use could be in the home built robotics market.

Self balancing devices similar to the segwey all rely on accelerometers.

or how about theft alarms. Set you laptop to sound an alarm if it is moved out of a certain area without the pass code.

or how about for automatic screen orientation. Tilt you powerbook on it's side and the display rotates 90 degrees to portrait mode. Would be killer for presentations / demonstrations to small groups.

Yeah, you can probably get an external device to do these things, but it's way cool to have it built in.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a gaming motion sensor (5, Insightful)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999455)

Well, no.

Don't get me wrong, this is a cool hack, but a 17" powerbook weighs over 3 kilograms.

You know how your Xbox controller was a bit big? Well, it wasn't that big.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice to have a gaming motion sen (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999566)

Yes with both you could bludgeon someone to death , however with the powerbook you could bludgeon in style whilst running OS X and with the sensor you would risk less HDD dammage whilst doing it

Re:Wouldn't it be nice to have a gaming motion sen (1)

mrmez (585359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999677)

I've never understood these complaints about heavy laptops. Cripes! "weighs over 3 kilograms," eh? If you can't hold that much weight for a while then you need even the slight workout you'd get from gaming that way. You remind me of the people here at the office who will wait 5 minutes for an elevator to arrive and take them up or down a single floor, ignoring the stairs 5 feet away.

Compaq Ipsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999457)

I seem to remember that the Compaq Ipsi (a handheld research prototype that was made before the ipaq by Compaq) had the "Rock&Scroll" interface modality. That was 6-7 years ago.

Compaq IPSI []

Re:Compaq Ipsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999527)

BTW, it's spelled "Itsy," not "Ipsy" or "Ipsi."

OMG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999461)

Yeah - just like flying (-1, Flamebait)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999462)

Google Map scrolling with my PowerBook feels like flying in an aiprlane over the terrain. I must say you have to try this in real life to appreciate the experience

You obviously need to try the flying thing in real life sometime, because you are really not appreciating the experience of flight if you think tilting your powerbook to scroll a map is anything like it. Maybe you should just throw yourself at the ground and try to miss a few dozen times.

I think that the experience would be more like playing one of those old wooden labyrinth games.

"New" ? (1)

VisualStim (130062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999467)

I've had a similar, but certainly more integrated technology for nearly a year, in my Toshiba Portege M205 Tablet PC. It has built in accelerometers to determine the orientation of the screen and can automagically rotate the screen in the proper direction if you change the "up" direction for the screen. There is also an included utility that can turn the "tilt" from the accelerometers into key presses. One of the "TabletPC" demos I show my friends is a shareware marble maze game and I can play by simply tilting the screen.

Re:"New" ? (1)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999732)

They have them in some digital cameras as well. If you tilt the camera to take a picture, on playback the picture is reoriented to be upright. Pretty slick, really.

My favorite application for this would be (5, Funny)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999475)

After (of course) parking the disk heads, I think that turning the laptop upside-down and giving it a good shaking should clear the screen.

I mean, wouldn't that just be common sense?

Obligatory Futurama reference (5, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999559)

Zapp Brannigan: Kif, clear my schedule.
Kif turns the Etch-a-Sketch upside-down and shakes it.

YAWN (0, Redundant)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999491)

All I can say is...yawn.

The submitter acts like they have never seen anything you can tilt before. The fact is its purely a novelty. Is this more useful than, say, a joystick? I really don't think so. Consider tilting your laptop all over the place on an airplane. I''m sure it would annoy your neighbors to no end.

Something that would really be good... Controlling stuff by holding your hand out over the keyboard and tilting/sweeping your hand. Now that would be quite an idea.


Re:YAWN (2, Interesting)

johnlittledotorg (858326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999666)

I used to have something like that in my home studio . Alesis' Air FX [] seems like a hackworthy piece of hardware.

Re:YAWN (5, Funny)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999694)

Consider tilting your laptop all over the place on an airplane. I''m sure it would annoy your neighbors to no end.

Actually, tilting the laptop didn't annoy my neighbors nearly as much as the airplane sounds I made, or when I'd headbutt the guy sitting next to me when I'd tilt my head along with the laptop.

The stewardess took my laptop away half way through the trip. Something about homeland security...

Apple recommends... (1)

boule75 (649166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999497)

"Apple recommends that this motion sensing device be not used to play dirty games with adultz materials, and especially all "G Point" research are to be prohibitted: as our customers have noticed, notebook behave badly under high accelerations, even counted in heartbeats.
Furthermore, let us remind it still disipate some heat hat may be prejudicial not only to your underpants."

Jokes appart, when will they include motion captors in stereoscopic headsets so that we really become sick with Doomlike games ?

Motion sensor on a laptop? (2, Funny)

pg110404 (836120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999500)

Does that mean if you tip it upside down and shake vigorously the imagaes on the screen disappear??

Re:Motion sensor on a laptop? (2, Funny)

omegacentrix (473330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999721)

This is a common feature on all laptops assuming, of course, that you shake the laptop hard enough.

New clear screen capability? (0, Redundant)

gcauthon (714964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999511)

If you turn it upside down and shake it, does that clear the screen now?

Too Inconvinient (1)

SilentJ_PDX (559136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999514)

I love the "gee whiz" aspect of the motion sensor as input, but I really don't feel this will ever be more than a toy.

As it is, I hate lifting my hands off the keyboard. To think that I'd actually have to take my hands off the keyboard, lift my laptop, and hover it around is absurd.

Another application (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999517)

I'm rather surprised no one has yet thought of applying this to a Pinball game. Tilt indeed. Could get rather rough with the bumping though.

now if the motion sensor worked with pr0n.. (1)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999522)

we'd have more people switching to apple.

And in a fighting game... (1)

spaeschke (774948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999535)

You slam it violently against the wall. Sure, you may destroy your Powerbook, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you won.

Laptops are big...Mice are small (4, Insightful)

amichalo (132545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999537)

"Laptops are big...Mice are small...add a motion sensor to a blue-tooth mouse and you will drop my jaw."

Re:Laptops are big...Mice are small (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999610)

no no no, go on and use the laptop. Shaking, pulling and holding your laptop in your arms will muscle up your body!

(Marketing at Apple)
New! Become like Arnold playing and looking at maps with your Apple! CEO will see increse productivity!

nahh .. (4, Funny)

ciupman (413849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999553)

...anything that doesn't plug into the back of your neck just plain sucks!!

I don't get it (2, Insightful)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999587)

I can't see this becoming anything more then a novelty. So instead of doing something easily and quickly with a mouse or a touchpad underneath your hand. You're gonna hold a 5-12 pound laptop in your hands. After 4 minutes of gaming you're arms will be tired.

Marble demo (2, Interesting)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999591)

A better game for the "ball/tilting" genre might be Marble Blast Gold [] , which is different from Neverball in that the image does *not* tilt in response to input. Considering that the Powerbook is being physically tilted already, it would look much more like real-world forces are acting on the marble.

Tilt maze (3, Interesting)

oniboy (786449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999592)

I guess the next big craze in laptop gamming will be a virtual maze game like the ones we had when we were kids that had a small metal ball inside & u had the tilt the maze to get the ball thought the maze & to the finish hole.
Damn things have gotting expensive & complicated but havnt realy changed at all...!

It really works! (5, Funny)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999606)

For instance, in a car racing game, you steer by tilting the PowerBook left and right, go faster by tilting it forward, brake by tilting it backwards! ...Wouldn't it be nice to have a gaming motion sensor be standard issue in all future laptops?"

I tried it with John Madden's NFL Football. I threw a Hail Mary pass; a perfect, aim-for-the-end-zone spiral. My Powerbook sailed out the window of my 10th floor San Francisco apartment and I haven't seen it since.

I wonder if the pass was complete?

Complete Crap (-1, Offtopic)

fsterman (519061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999684)

3d interfaces, multi-modal desktops, etc, All worthless. Until one understands the fundamental way that our brain functions with the computer all this is just toys. We need to radically change our understanding of interfaces. While this is "cool" it's mostly useless.

It would be better if in all applications they reduced the time and complexity to complete each task. This is why using my highly customized joystick I can rape most anyone in Unreal, even though I only had a week or so experiance. This is why I am totally addicted to the Humane Environment, try it for a week and you will understand why the pain of no spell check and c/ping everything in and out into a regular editor makes is worth it.

Want something radical? It's not standard force input devices but not having any notion of applications in an OS. Never turning off or on a computer. No crashes, no worries.

Put that on the desktop, and people will move to linux in droves!

Not to say that alternatives to the mouse and keyboard combo couldn't be usefull. Its anogolous to designing cars without an understanding of physics, and deciding that a motorcycle would be cool. We need to fix the junkers we have before expanding.

Considering how much powerbooks weigh... (-1, Redundant)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999701)

Worst feature imaginable

Also See: (4, Informative)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999713)

This is really cool from a UI perspective, but not entirely new. A couple years ago people were doing interesting things with tilt sensors for Palm devices [] . Also see: Nintendo's new WarioWare game [] for GameBoy advance, which has a rotational sensor built-in to the cartridge. Also, Sony has done research in this area [] as well.


Last name is Singh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11999741)

Well then...*takes deep breath*



Safer to have this in your keyboard or mouse (2, Insightful)

ecotax (303198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11999750)

Several problems have already been mentioned, like using the whole laptop like this defies the original reason ot have a motion sensor - to protect the hard disk -; plus, it's a bit heavy too.

Still, an input device like this would be cool, but I'd rather have it integrated in my (separate) keyboard or mouse.
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