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article imagePanasonic Creates Protective TV Screens to Combat Flying Wiimote Accidents

By David Silverberg     Mar 12, 2008 in Technology
Panasonic reinforced a range of LCD TVs with toughened glass inspired by older sets. Why? To protect against airborne Nintendo Wii remotes known to fly off wrist-straps and into pricey LCDs.
Digital Journal — Nintendo Wii gameplay has caused serious damage to TV sets, as Wii remotes fly off gamers’ wrists and crash into TV screens, windows, table lamps and anything else that gets in the way.
If you've ever worried about putting a hole in your TV set, Panasonic might just be the company that can help you out; Panasonic is protecting its sets from Wii-related damage by returning to classic boob-tube technology for their modern-day LCDs.
It’s a well-publicized problem: A Wii owner accidentally flings a Wiimote into a TV screen, smashing a new 50-incher. Blogs were created to chronicle the many ruined TVs, and YouTube videos highlight how easy it is to mistakenly nick a screen with the Wiimote.
But one TV manufacturer is coming to the rescue of Nintendo’s PR nightmare: Panasonic has announced a new lineup of flat-screen TVs reinforced with glass used in old cathode-ray tube sets. The classic TV has toughened thick glass to ensure the sets don’t implode, but LCDs and plasmas only sport a thin glass faceplate. Panasonic wanted to strengthen those LCDs with CRT technology in order to allay any Wii worries.
In a demonstration for New Scientist, Panasonic swung a 250-gram steel ball suspended on a cord 40 centimetres onto a screen to simulate an impact similar to the Wii remote being hurled at the screen from across a room. The new sets proved their mettle: After 1,000 strikes on the same spot, the glass remained intact. In comparison, a conventional flat screen cracked after a single blow, stopping it from working.
Undoubtedly, reinforced sets will be attractive to anxious Wii players or generally clumsy home-theatre enthusiasts. But what about a product to stop Wii gamers from injuring themselves?
Here's a sample of the Wiimote throwing problem. TVs never felt so vulnerable:
More about Nintendo, Wii, Wiimote, Strap, Accident
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