J Allard invents new "magic wand"

So that's what he's been up to. 

Microsoft Entertainment and Devices bigshot J Allard has been named as one of five inventors of a "magic wand".

The patent, filed in 2007 and dug up by TechFlash (spotted by Kotaku), talks of a handheld controller that can interact with any electrical household object: thermostat, lights, media devices, computers and consoles.

"There has long been an imaginative current flowing in popular culture relating to magic, which has recently culminated in the Harry Potter phenomenon. Given the widespread commercial success of Harry Potter books and feature films, as well the many predecessors in the fantasy genre such as The Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, etc., it is readily apparent that a number of communities or demographic segments are enamoured with the idea of magic," reads the patent.

"Discounting the aforementioned communities, even the most pragmatic individual would have trouble arguing against the merits or utility of, say, a magic wand that actually worked to control or communicate with objects or components in an associated nearby environment."

Specifications are theoretical, and mentions are made of accelerometers, gyroscopes, cameras, lasers and even biometric sensors that can tell who is using the device through touch.

J Allard oversaw the launch of Xbox and Xbox 360 for Microsoft, as well as portable media player Zune. He also wears hooded jumpers with suit jackets.

The existence of a patent proves little, of course, and this is more theoretical than most. Plus, Microsoft is heavily rumoured to have a motion-sensing camera for Xbox 360 ready to unveil. We would like a wand, though.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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