(big surprise) i like the Wii.

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.

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One Response to “(big surprise) i like the Wii.”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Thats geat! now… Publish the code! I dont have time to write a low level interface from scratch so if you could get me this i could(maybe) work it out with a little openGL and that could be frickin sweet. So yah publish it. also a video of it working would be nice.

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