When the Wiimote was first unveiled, it took the gaming world by surprise. It was one of the first game controllers to include motion sensing and an infrared camera that tracks your wrist movements. But if you think the folks at Nintendo are creative, just wait until you see what Wii enthusiasts across the world have been doing with their Wiimotes. The following are a few Wii remote hacks that redefine what it means to have a lot of time on your hands.
Johnny Lee And The Wiimote Whiteboard
Perhaps you’ve seen this viral video. Johnny Lee, a human computer interaction expert, transforms the Wii Remote into a low-cost digital whiteboard. If you have a Wii Remote, a projector, a laptop, and a homemade infrared pen, you can do the same without having to know a thing about computer programming!
How is this possible? As Johnny Lee explains, the Wii Remote is actually a Bluetooth device, meaning it is can easily communicate with any Bluetooth enabled laptop machine. All you have to do is install a few programs to establish the Bluetooth connection and use Johnny’s software to do the rest.
Your possibilities aren’t just limited to vertical whiteboards. You can go one step further and mount the projector to a tripod, shining it on the surface of a table or desk. Now you can write directly on your desk with an infrared pen! As long as you place the Wiimote in the right place and use Johnny’s calibration program, it will work just like the digital whiteboard.
Check out Johnny Lee’s Wii remote projects page on his website for the rest of his demos. He’ll show you how to create a Wii interface that’s a lot like Minority Report as well as a tablet PC on an ordinary laptop. It’s amazing, and more importantly, incredibly cheap.
Lose Your Mac Remote? Don’t Buy Another One!
Maybe you bought your shiny Apple machine way back before they were shipped with handy little remotes to control keynote presentations, music, photos, and videos. That, or you’re like me and you just keep losing the dang thing. Now it’s no problem. Just get out your Wiimote and download a program for Mac OSX called Darwiin Remote.
Next, install Darwiin Remote on your Mac and fire up the Wii controller. You will need to hold down both the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wiimote at the same time in order to get Darwiin Remote to recognize the device and pair it through Bluetooth. Once that’s done, you’re good to go.
The Wii Remote functions a lot like the remote that comes with your Mac, except it has a few added advantages. When you press your home button, it’s the same as pressing Apple-Escape to launch Front Row. As soon as you are seated on the couch, you can press the arrow keys to navigate through your video or photo collection.
This all well and good, but you haven’t even heard the juiciest bit! Once you’re done seeing what you want to see, you can exit Front Row and use your WiiMote as an air mouse by tilting it where you want your mouse to move. It isn’t as efficient as a standard mouse, but it gets the job done. Besides who can be bothered to walk across the room just to move a few windows around?
Turn Your Laptop Into A Drum Machine
If you’ve already gone through the trouble of creating a digital whiteboard and a remote for your Mac, why not learn how to drum while you’re at it? With a few software tweaks, you can turn your laptop into a drum set. Your Wiimote serves as your digital drumsticks, creating sounds with the flick of your wrist.
To do this, you just need to download He Zhao’s Wii Drum High and install it on your PC. Once your Wiimote is connected, you can use different gestures to play all the elements of a full drum set. Mr. Zhao programmed this so you can hear a louder noise when you strike harder, making it feel very close to the real thing. It’s definitely worth checking out.
There are so many ways to hack your WiiMote and turn it into almost anything. Just think of the possibilities for businesses and just for fun. If you have any awesome ideas, we want to know about them!