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MagicWand: The world’s first cylindrical handheld device

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Published on May 4, 2016

Researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab have developed the world’s first handheld device with a fully cylindrical user interface. The device, dubbed MagicWand, has a wide range of possible applications, including use as a game controller.

Similar to the Nintendo Wii remote, but with a 340 degree cylindrical display, users are able to use physical gestures to interact with virtual 3D objects displayed on the wand. The device uses visual perspective correction to create the illusion of motion parallax; by rotating the wand users can look around the 3D object.

“This, for example, means you can rotate MagicWand and see a gaming character inside it from all sides, as if it were 3D” says Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University. “Smartphones are flat and not ergonomically suitable for use as a controller or pointing device. MagicWand is the first handheld with a 340 degree high resolution display to have the regular physical affordances of a pointer stick."

As the Wii U has shown, the form factor of a controller is really critical when interacting with gaming content." says Dr. Vertegaal. "MagicWand really allows users, for the first time, to play around with gestures while being able to hold gaming visuals literally in their hand. It is the world's first true DisplayObject, going well beyond what has been demonstrated in any smartphone or controller."

For more info, visit: www.hml.queensu.ca/magicwand

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