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Microsoft secures patent for wearable controller

Xbox Loop in the wild?

Microsoft has secured a patent (via Engadget) for a wearable Electromyography (EMG) based controller.

It uses your movements to control gadgets, such as a smartphone, a notebook and a game console such as the Xbox 360. Sensors interpret electrical signals generated by muscles and feeds those to a device via a wireless or wired connection.

Microsoft's vision for practical application of the device involves an armband, wristwatch, and even clothes. In the case of the armband application, motion control comes into play, with the device picking up specific gestures.

This patent may relate to a project Eurogamer understands was codenamed Loop. Loop, we've been told, was an early motion-sensing technology that pre-dated Nintendo's July 2008 Wii Motion Plus announcement. It wrapped around the player's arm, as shown in the patent image above, and was thought to be more accurate than both the Wii and the PS Move controller.

We were told Microsoft had developed the tech to the point that games were being made using it, but it was dropped in favour of motion sensing device Kinect, released in November 2010.

Microsoft filed for the patent in March 2009. That same year, Microsoft Research released a video, below, showing how it could be used. A man is seen playing Guitar Hero by strumming and fretting in an "air guitar-like experience". It remains to be seen whether this latest patent results in any released products.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.