It's been awhile since we've heard from J Allard; the man who assumed responsibility for Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division (think: Zune and Xbox) in mid 2008 in an effort to unify the experience into a centralized package. Now Microsoft's CTO and CXO (that's, Chief eXperience Office) has co-signed a patent application for a "Magic Wand" first filed in November of 2007 and made public just a few days ago. The patent application reads very much like a Wiimote, hand-held controller,
"The architecture can utilize one or more sensor from a collection of sensors to determine an orientation or gesture in connection with the wand, and can further issue an instruction to update a state of an environmental component based upon the orientation."
It's worth remembering that Microsoft has been rumored to be working on such a controller since at least August 2007. Something they've apparently scrapped for a camera-based solution that will allow gamers to control the action with their bodies and hand-gestures without requiring a hand-held controller -- you know, if current rumors are true. How many days until Microsoft's June 1st E3 press conference again?