4 Ways to Unleash the Power of Your Wiimote Controller

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A big part of the Nintendo Wii's charm is its wireless motion-sensing controller, the Wiimote. But who knew it could do so much more than just serving as a virtual racket or bat? From pointing your Roomba to where it should go, to creating an interactive whiteboard for a fraction of the cost, here are 4 Wiimote hacks guaranteed to make you smile.

1. Hook it up to a Horse

With the technology available for modifying the wiimote now, nothing is impossible these days. Even rigging a springy horse to work as a controller in Need for Speed. Admittedly, it's kind of a niche project, but there are plenty of other crazy (and easy to do) ideas as well. Like #2 on our list:

2. Control Your iTunes

Hesitant to go crazy with your wiimote before a smaller test? Why not use the controller to power your favorite media library? An already existent program, Blue Tunes, allows you to do just that, using the buttons on your wiimote to control the various functions. No programming experience is necessary--just download, adjust the settings to your music library of choice, and you're ready to go.

3. Create an Interactive Whiteboard

Don't want to shell out $1500, for an interactive white board? Why not do it on the cheap while harnessing the full potential of what the Wii controller can do. Johnny Lee's genius whiteboard that could be placed and used anywhere was picked up quickly by major technology blogs like Gizmodo. The ease is the big factor. As long as you've got a projection screen or LCD monitor, a laptop, and a cheap infrared (IR) device, you have a whiteboard that can be used by multiple users at the same time for a fraction of the cost of other interactive whiteboard systems.

Amazingly, the whiteboard is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Johnny's developments. Other projects use concepts of image recognition and computer vision to use the Wiimote to track finger positions and create VR displays that display different views of an image based on the postion of your head in relation to the sensor bar. Interested in seeing what that means? All of these projects are available at his website and youtube channel.

4. Make Sweet, Sweet Music

Creatively stifled by Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but don't want to wait around for Wii Music to come out? Or maybe you just don't want to invest in a real drum kit. Either way, it's now possible to make great music with your controller!

Because of the Wiimote's rectangular shape, the drums are a natural extension of the controller's capabilities. Those looking to replicate a full drum kit can even use Nunchuks to simulate the pedals. The software to do all this can be found here. Personally, I'm looking forward to testing this out once I'm back at school and need a break from the work.

Picture 48.pngOf course, there are plenty of other great ideas out there as well. From turning the controller into a spray can (pictured left), to controlling your Roomba (below)if you've got a little imagination and a little know-how, the sky's the limit. In any case, if you know of any applications we missed or need to check out, be sure to drop them in the comments.

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July 26, 2008 - 12:43pm
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