Image: the Loop
Hillcrest Labs' new motion-sensing TV remote, called the Loop, features right mouse buttons and a scroll wheel.
updated 1/8/2007 7:54:23 PM ET 2007-01-09T00:54:23

A motion-sensing TV remote control that looks like a round dumbbell is not meant to give couch potatoes a workout — it actually helps navigate the 500-channel universe.

The donut-shaped gadget, called the Loop, was developed by Hillcrest Laboratories and is expected to be offered through an unnamed hardware provider later this year for under $50, said company founder Daniel Simpkins.

The motion sensor, along with left and right mouse buttons and a scroll wheel, does away with the bulky, multiple remotes that find their way between many living room sofa cushions.

Slideshow: CES 2007 "I could take a traditional 50-button remote, put it on a PC and call it media center or I could take a mouse from a PC and put it on a TV," said Simpkins. "We realized that (the latter) was the right way to go."

The point-and-click Loop, which comes with supporting software and a graphical interface that displays on the TV, works through "relative pointing." That means the motion sensor moves a screen cursor based on tiny swivels of the wrist. Like Nintendo Co.'s Wii game console, extreme arm movements are not necessary or recommended.

The interface allows one to access the Internet, sort through on-demand movies, photos and record and watch television shows.

The system also comes with a game of Whack-A-Mole to get one used to the controls.

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