Starting from the Wii Remote
The Wii Remote, as a current generation controller, integrates the widest range of technological advances in transmission for controllers thus far. Released in November of 2006, the Wii Remote has remained a point of public interest due to Nintendo's implementation of a bulk of technologies used for a major video game console.
Technologies Incorporated into the Wii Remote
These technologies include, but are not limited to: infrared detectors/emitters, Bluetooth radios, and A/V cables.
The Signifcance of this Article
This article explains these specific technologies only due to the specific processes they made aware and to the basic nature to which they relate to the Wii Remote, thus their supreme relevance to the subject. The Wii Remote may appear to be a highly sophisticated controller, however the principle technologies it integrates into its designs are at least a century old, thereby relieving the Wii Remote of its revolutionary aspect.
Infrared Remote Controllers
So thus a variety of technology became new again. Infrared detectors were already available through the experiments of Macedonio Melloni back in 1835, which were later widely used to transmit signals for wireless remote controls for commercial television sets. An infrared signal would be sent from the remote directly to the detector on the television set not unlike Melloni's thermopile could detect infrared light waves.
This principle was enacted through the Wii Remote using its IR pointer to send a signal to the IR sensor connected directly to the Wii console itself. It was improved upon with LEDs, which merely are a more efficient type of light source, but do not significantly change the basic technology.
A/V Cable Controllers
An early example of the cables used to support the connection between the Wii Remote and the NunChuk would be the telegraph which works on a similar principle of sending electric impulses through a telegraph wire to the receiving end of the wire. The first crude electric telegraph was invented in 1809 by Samuel Soemmering, in Bavaria.
However, the signals sent from the Nunchuk to the Wiimote are merely sending more impulses at once at a much faster rate than early telegraph wires. This still is only made possible through further development of the telegraph wire through the use of an electromagnet, which was invented in 1825 by William Sturgeon. Over time conduction was improved through materials used to make these wires, or "cables".
A simple yet effective version of the Bluetooth radio signals used for communicating the button interactions was put into practice by Leonardo Torres-Quevedo, a Spanish engineer, in controlling dirigible balloons. He laid the foundations for further development for remote technology using the same approach as telegraphy, but forgoes the use any direct/physical transmission method.
The Bluetooth radio merely synchronized the processing of multiple inputs at once, so, for example, the "A" and "B" button could be pressed simultaneously and still both be received. This is simply known as a type of communications protocol, thus only layering the methods developed by Quevedo.
The WiiMote has been expounded as a "revolutionary" controller by the video gaming media. The fact that this is just sleek recombining of existing technologies and that nothing truly new has made its way onto the market is lost at times. One may say the SAMO-effect applies heavily for this situation.
* Changa, Hasok and Leonelli, Sabina. "Infrared metaphysics: the elusive ontology of radiation. Part 1." sciencedirect.com. 9 September 2005. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V70-4H2NX9D-2&_user=1111158&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000051676&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1111158&md5=1cc89795d0b4f42c44d50b581ea764d9>
* "The first LEDs were infrared (invisible)." Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/quartz/inventors/biard.html>
* Bellis, Mary. "The History of the Electric Telegraph and Telegraphy:The Beginning of Electronic Communications" About.com. 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/telegraph.htm>
* Adler, Robert. "Wireless TV Remote Control." ideafinder.com. 1956. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/remotectl.htm>
* "IEEE History Center: Early Developments in Remote-Control, 1901" IEEE.org. 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://www.ieee.org/web/aboutus/history_center/telekine.html>
* "Bluetooth." lecroy.com. 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://www.lecroy.com/tm/Solutions/Protocol/bluetooth.asp?menuid=29>
* Copeland, Sarah. "Nintendo Wii - Revolutionary Gaming for Every Gamer" associated.com. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2008. <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/198657/nintendo_wii_revolutionary_gaming_for.html> read