And now for my next experiment…
I found out a while ago (and have only just got round to trying it) that its possible to connect a Nintendo Wiimote to a computer using a Bluetooth Adapter. The Wiimotes work via Bluetooth, so when you scan them they appear as HID’s and have a pin code of 0000.
So what’s the point? Well, primarily it makes it an excellent (and relatively inexpensive) remote control, ideal for a media centre or presentation controller. Without using the motion sensors, the full set of buttons work natively on the controller to navigate, click forward & back, and exit (you can map button’s to key’s with software).
What is really cool is when you bring in the motion tracking and infra-red tracking elements. The Wiimote (as I’m sure you’re aware) has a 3 axis accelerometer and an infra-red tracking camera built in, which allows it to to know where it is in time and space. Some clever developers, the most famous of whom is Johnny Lee, an MIT student who has written some excellent interface software to demonstrate the capabilities and possibilities of the hardware.
Some examples include using an IR-Led array and some reflective tape to provide an interface along the lines of "Minority Report", building a cheap IR Pen to provide multi-touch interactive white boards, and my personal favourite, head-tracking to give ‘virtual windows’ into the world using this inexpensive technology. You should checkout his website HERE where he discusses the capabilities and allows you to download the software.
Be sure to checkout the videos on YouTube – some impressive stuff indeed!