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Published on Nov 24, 2006
Quick note: Yes, this is the ORIGINAL Sensor Bar candle video. After this was posted, many others followed suit, including Joystiq.com. IGN.com even made several references to it in their articles an blogs, and someone referenced it in Wikipedia.
Many have heard that the Wii's Sensor Bar does not really sense anything at all but that the remote does all the detection sort of like a monochrome digital camera. What many do not realize is that the Sensor Bar is just two sets of IR LEDs that emit just enough light to be detected by the remote for triangulation.
Knowing this, I decided to do an experiment. I turned out all the lights in my living room and lit two candles about three feet apart beneath my projector screen, seeing as they emit several wavelengths of light, both visible and beyond. Surprisingly it worked atleast as well as Sensor Bar when directly in front of the screen (but worse far to the left or right) because of the combination of increased IR light output and increased distance. Any two IR sources will potentially work in this manner (including two TV/DVD remotes with any buttons held).
The video was recorded on a Cingular 8125 set to "cool" (bluescale) to capture enough light. I wish I could've used a higher-quality capture method, but the low light made it difficult. At the beginning of the video, I hold up the pack-in sensor bar to show that it is not plugged into the Wii (since it's tough to tell in the very low light of the room). I then grab the Wii Remote and navigate the menus to pull up Wii Sports.