Inspired by Johnny Lee’s wiimote hacking, but disappointed that the code sample was written in C# I decided to use the available libraries for connecting to the wiimote and write a head tracking sketch in Java (Processing libs in Eclipse).
Most of the struggle is that I’m not really proficient in pure Java and have had to deal with a learning curve there in breaking out of the Processing sandbox / safety net. (OpenFrameworks is next, I promise :)
Also, I wanted to tinker with crafting my own head tracking sensor bar. I used an old baseball cap to wire up with infrared LEDs. Although the cap works, there are some issues with LEDs that I salvaged from the “formerly loved shelf” (ie. the junk shelf). One LED has a really narrow focus, and the other seems to draw different current. I’m going to have to replace these LEDs with a matched pair, preferable that have a wide focus – but free got me off the ground.
This first sketch was a proof-of-concept and the data is flowing. There are numerous data drop outs, but I think most of that is due to the LED issue noted above. Nevertheless, I’ll have to set up a way to smooth the tracking data to allow it to handle missing info gracefully. Although the first sketch is just 2D, with one dummy target (also a nod to Johnny Lee’s demo) the effect is immediately striking. Screenshots don’t do it justice. Just watch Johnny’s videos and you’ll understand.
So, I’ll get to work on setting up a 3D environment soon, but I’d like to get better IR LEDs which will make development less of a headache.