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Thursday, March 19, 2009, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

iPhone demonstrated as a Wiimote at iGames Summit

At the iGames Summit, Shervin Pishevar of the Social Gaming Network demonstrated the use of the iPhone or iPod touch as "virtual Wii Remotes" for interacting with PC games using the company's new iFun software in the session "Building Gesture-Driven Games for the iPhone."

SGN's iFun uses the device's accelerometer controls and touchscreen to drive computer or online games, forwarding control signals over local WiFi or the 3G mobile network.

Users login the Social Gaming Network using their Facebook account, and the system relays their swings, shakes and steering to games played on a computer. The system can handle inputs from multiple iPhone or iPod touch units at once, similar to the Bluetooth-connected Wii Remote controllers Nintendo developed for its Wii console.

Pishevar demonstrated the iPhone being used as a virtual steering wheel for a PC car racing game and fitted into a prototype Wii-style golf club or tennis racket unit.

While Nintendo's Wii was originally panned by gamer enthusiasts for being little more than a re-warmed GameCube, the console's innovative "Wiimote" controllers, which are easy and engaging for non-gamers to use, helped make the Wii the top selling game console and broadened its appeals to a wider audience of casual gamers.

SGN's technology also suggests the potential for increased interaction between the iPhone or iPod touch and Apple TV, were Apple to open up its "hobby" iTunes-connected movie rental box to third party game developers. One of the first iPhone apps was Remote, a utility developed by Apple to allow users to control Apple TV or an iTunes library on a Mac or PC via the mobile's touch screen.