The Wiimote’s audio translation chip

225_microphone.jpgMy associate and literal stateside neighbor Mr. Invisible pointed me to an incredible find in the Wiimote today. Well, it’s incredible to me because I somehow hadn’t heard about it until today. The incredible find? An audio translation chip buried deep within the innards of the Wiimote.

You can see it here in Fortune’s interactive Wiimote graphic that’s currently running alongside their lengthy expose on why Nintendo is kicking the competition’s ass with the Wii. Click around the graphic for a while, you’ll find it. It’s on the right side Wiimote near the bottom.

From the graphic: “Audio Translator: Converts analogue data such as human speech into a digital data stream. ”

To me, this is what a microphone would synch up with so we can have some DS-like Mario Kart balloon blowing and Metroid Prime Hunters voice chat. Regardless, it’s little hidden gems like these that lead me to believe there’s a lot of hidden potential left to discover in this little white box.