News Article

Wii Sensor Bar Works Using Heat, Claims UK Newspaper

Posted by James Newton

WTF mode: engaged

UK newspaper Metro is renowned for its loose grip on reality — who can forget its 2010 story video gaming leads to surge in rickets? — but it's excelled itself again today.

The paper reports an 8-year old boy suffered "severe burns" from two tea light candles. Hardly newsworthy in itself, but the boy was attempting to replace the Wii's sensor bar with the candles, a well-known trick among Wii owners as the light from the candles replicates the sensor's infra red functions.

Or not, according to the Metro:

Two tea lights were used to copy a method adopted by some gamers to remedy faulty Nintendo Wii sensor bars, which work using heat.

Oh, so that's why we need to fill our Wii sensor bars up with fuel and why they're made of plastic — because they work using heat.

The story continues:

But the schoolboy, from Ammanford, Wales, was airlifted to hospital with injuries to him arms [sic] and shoulders after his clothes caught alight. Nintendo cautioned against the quick-fix.

We wish the boy a full and quick recovery. Next time, maybe playing with matches and candles isn't a good idea for an 8-year old.


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User Comments (38)



JustAnotherUser said:

Wow... just.. wow.
I'll be surprised (probably not really) if people try to sue Nintendo over this.
Where were is parents when he was doing this?

I do hope he gets better soon though.



SaKo said:

The sensor bars doesn't use heat, it uses infrared thingies...
The black thing on thop of the wii remote is an infrared camera, but i think that the camera also detects heat...



JustAnotherUser said:

@jibberldd5 Welcome to the UK. Where food eats people, the economy is booming, everyone has a job and house prices only go up.

I was actually expecting this newspaper to be the sun for some reason.



Shworange said:

That's redidiculous! I can't believe the junk that is printed these days! Everyone knows that the sensor bar uses magic to let us play our games.



Kyloctopus said:

I don't know... Nintendo knows the cautions of a heat sensor. Plus, it took 5 years to figure this out



Bass_X0 said:

I was actually expecting this newspaper to be the sun for some reason.

Everybody hates the sun but it remains england's best selling paper.



Flowerlark said:

Huh. I never knew you could use candles to fix a sensor bar. Not that I'd ever try it as the room with my wii has an oh-so-flamable carpet.



kurtasbestos said:

It's hard enough to get minor burns from tea light candles... this kid must have been trying REALLY hard to fix his apparently coal-powered Wii.



Kirk said:

I'm not really sure the paper needs to worry about detailing perfectly accurately the exact inner workings of the sensor bar just to report the basic news that the kid tried to use candles, which the bar can detect, and burned himself. They got the general idea and reported the basic story. It's not liked they said you actually need fire to get it to work or something litigious like that. No real harm done. Well except to the boy.



RedBlueSpot said:

That's not correct. The sensor bar uses the wonders of love and the power of happiness to work.



LztheQuack said:

If this happened in America, Nintendo would lose billions in a class-action lawsuit for not warning against using candles to fix the sensor bar!!

McDonald's hot coffee anyone?



misswliu81 said:

@Bass_X0 Everybody hates the sun but it remains england's best selling paper.

last i read it's the daily mail that became england's best selling paper. both are terrible.

typical reaction from the tabloids over something like this. as terrible as that incident was, the likes of the metro had to take one situation and blow it out of proportion.



NESguy94 said:

The kid shouldn't be able to access matches, his parents are partially to blame for this one. He is lucky he didn't burn the house down, or in the worst case scenario, die.



TWK said:

Actually you could say the the sensor bar emits heat... it emits infrared radiation... which in term is can be interpreted as heat.

I will agree that it seems a little stupid to say it like the newspaper did.



Magicpegasus said:

I use the candle trick! Because I've lost my original sensor bar, I now use a battery powered wireless bar, and when it's out of batteries, or I don't want to waste batteries, I light up two candles instead. It's like worshipping Satan and playing video games at the same time!

Nintendo is evil because they burn children and skin tanooki's



TTGlider said:

Seriously, read TWKs statement a few times, people.... Infrared wavelengths are heat...



Raylax said:

@Bass_XO: That doesn't make it a good newspaper. It just means that Britain is full of guillible and easily-influenced people. Which we already knew.



Gullwing said:

I'm sorry for that poor kid, but what the hell is up with Metro? O.o First, the 3DS headache and dizziness fiasco, then this.



skywake said:

@jibberldd5 Learn to science. Candles emit a whole range of light from Thermal IR all the way through the visible spectrum. That's why fire both emits heat and is visible. The Wii sensor bar LEDs emit a very limited range of light between TIR and Red which is why you can't see them AND they don't emit much heat.



StarDust4Ever said:

Believe it or not, infrared LEDs actually run cooler and emit far more intense light than blue or white LEDs due to the lower energy potential (electron volts) require to excite the emitter. It's just that this light is invisible to human eyes. Candles have peak emissions far below the visible light spectrum, so while relatively dim in the visible, they are actually quite astonishingly bright within the infrared spectrum. Wiimotes also use a full-spectrum camera sensor, which has a filter over it to block visible light, so any wavelength of light from IR to UV could potentially excite the sensor. The IR-filter removes the possibility of interference from television sets, which primarily emit visible light.

I think that the only way that Nintendo could be sued for this is if the lawyers can prove that the candle trick was actually authorized or recommended by Nintendo, which it obviously wasn't. Just like you can't sue Nintendo for Wiimote-induced telivsion damage of injuries when the wrist strap was clearly not being utilized. That is why the safety warning is displayed every time you load a game. The candle trick would likely be classified as an unauthorized modification or device and thus nullify any claims. Parents should also teach their children not to play with fire, and hide dangerous objects like matches, lighters, knives, etc.



SaKo said:

@sgotsch I was replying to the newspaper article, "to remedy faulty Nintendo Wii sensor bars, which work using heat."

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