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NEC goes out on a limb with arm-tap gadget control

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NEC has taken Nintendo's Wii Remote to its logical conclusion and announced that it is developing device controls you wear on your wrist.

Each watch-like gadget comprises an accelerometer for motion sensing, plus sensors that register touches to the arm.

The sensors divide the arm into four zones, NEC said: the upper, middle and lower sections of each arm, and the palms of the hand. Essentially, each sensor's input is used to triangulate where on your arm the tap took place.

Tap one of them and the sensors can pinpoint which one it was and issue a command - wirelessly, we guess. It also senses when you clap your palms together.

Combine taps into sequences, and you can start building up a library of gestures, each of which can control some aspect of the device you're using.

"Possible applications of these technologies include music players that can be easily operated while exercising, and mobile phones that may be operated remotely while stored in a bag," NEC suggested.

NEC didn't say when any of this sensor technology might make it into a real, shipping product. ®

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