One remote control shall rule them all.
Early next year, at least one unnamed consumer electronics company will release the Loop, a ring-shaped remote control that lets you navigate by pointing at icons on the TV screen, rather than scrolling and clicking through TV listings. The device translates hand motions into cursor movements.
The technology behind the Loop was created by Hillcrest Labs.
In remotes, buttons are out. Pointing is in. Nintendo's Wii game console will come with a hand-held controller that does the same. Meanwhile, GeoVector has come up with a software application for cellphones that lets users point their phone at a building and figure out the name of the building, the tenants and other information. Panasonic has a remote with only a few buttons too.
Hillcrest wouldn't say whether its technology is in the Wii controller, or whether it plans on suing Nintendo. It just said that that major companies have licensed its technology.
On a quick test, I found it pretty easy to use, but it would be better if they called it the J'Accuzzi.
This item originally appeared on CNET's new gadgets blog, Crave, which covers the hottest and coolest gizmos around. Other recent postings include a stress-increasing clock and VW's programmable bumper sticker.