2 05 2008

Different post for today, related to game development.

I’ll explain some stuff from the WiiMote, some technical aspects, so for those who are not much interesting in those, skip this one (or maybe just watch the videos). 😉



The Wii Remote, AKA WiiMote, is the controler for the Wii console.

Considered the big distinguishing feature from the Wii console, this mix of remote control with joystick has more under the white glossy plastic than it looks. .

Joystick function aside, the WiiMote also has acceleerometers and a infrared camera.

And with all that, communicating wirelessly with the Wii via Bluetooth, it didn’t take much long for the community to create mean for it to communicate with a PC.

EDIT: Remembered one other resource that is not being used yet: A small speaker that the WiiMote has. The creators of the library that does PC communication still didn’t find out a way to use it, but they promise something in the next versions. And I also didn’t mentioned that other accessories can be attached to the WiiMote, like the Nunchuck and some others, which are mostly working with the PC already.

Given this scenario, I’ll first cite what has been done, and then show some examples of what to do using that:

– First step was obviously making it possible for a PC to connect to the WiiMote, and that the signal was translated to something the computer could understand. The WiiMote is recognized as a HID (human interface device – joystick, mouse, keyboard, etc), but the messages it send don’t follow the HID pattern.

Those interest in further details of this step, i suggest Wiili.org and WiiBrew.org. They also have several other technical information.

– With the WiiMote synchronized, connected and sending legible messages to the computer, the next step is to use those messages with a programming language, so this can be used for some purpose.

For those interested in this step, which is the main step for developers, Brian Peek from ASPSOFT created a library (lib) for C# and VB.NET. Check it at the forum Coding4Fun or at CodePlex.
There’s also a software called GlovePie which uses scripting language to create apps. It works with several different input devices, including the WiiMote.

– Finally, for those who are not interested in the technical aspects, there are already available several application examples that can be tested using the WiiMote connected to a PC. I’ll post some videos next, but for those who wants to check the detailed information, I’ll recommend: Johnny Lee, ScreenFashion, SimpleHarmonicMotion and GlovePie.

If you already have the WiiMote and is having problems connecting it to the PC, I recommend checking these out:Instructables, ScreenFashion or Wiili.org.
If you have any doubts about those or other stuff related to the WiiMote on the PC, join the Wiimote Project forum.

Based on my personal experience, the BlueTooth USB dongle from Linksys model USBBT100 v2 detected and connected the WiiMote with either it’s own drivers or using the BlueSoleil software recommended on the tutorials. Special attention to the fact that the WiiMote can’t connect to every bluetooth device and software out there. BlueTooth integrated on my laptop won’t detect the WiiMote, and neither does the standard bluetooth software from Windows XP (can’t connect).

Now, finally, let’s have some fun. See what has already been done with the WiiMote up ‘till now (nothing practical, most of them just for testing purposes, but interesting nevertheless):

Johnny Lee – Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote

– One of the most famous videos, about how to use the WiiMote to produce a realistic effect of a window for a 3D world.

Johnny Lee: Wii Remote hacks

– Johnny Lee presentation on the TED Talks conference. For those who don’t know about TED Talks, I highly recommend to seek more info about it.

Johnny Lee: Tracking fingers with the Wii Remote

– For a Minority Report style effect.

Johnny Lee: Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote

– Using the WiiMote to simulate a virtual whiteboard.

ScreenFashion: The Wiinstrument — Drumming with your Wii remote

– Virtual drums and midi mapper for the WiiMote.

Johnty Wang: Wii-mote Joystick Test

– Wiimote integration with a Logitech Joystick (GlovePie script).

Johnty Wang: Wii-mote drums “full” kit

– Using 2 WiiMotes+Nunchucks to simulate a “full” drum set (GlovePie script).

Johnty Wang: Wii-mote drums DTXMania simulator “full” kit

– Using WiiMote to play DTXMania (GlovePie script).

Bob Sommers: Wii Drum Machine

– Another virtual drum, with some instructions (GlovePie script and C#).

I guess you can find more stuff on this on YouTube and Google, but you got the point.

Enjoy, and I hope this information can be used to create new applications and games using the WiiMote!

Took me 5 hours to write this post and several more to gather all the information, test the WiiMote myself, and research… so if you’re using or sharing the info in this post, please give credit and include me and the other quoted people on the reference list, ok?

– Renato Murakami



8 responses

5 05 2008

Let me add one interesting piece of information here: There are some rumors that the XBox 360 will release a “WiiMote style” controler, this generation.

Read more:
Xbox 360’s Wiimote Accessory Is Already In Development, Coming This Generation
More Xbox 360 Wiimote Details: Code Name ‘Newton’
Xbox 360 Wiimote Might Be Made By Motus, Not Gyration

6 05 2008

Some more doubts came up, and I’m answering to them:

The basic set for starters is: WiiMote, a compatible Bluetooth device on your PC (USB or card), and a compatible bluetooth software.
I wrote “compatible” because not all of them are able to detect and connect to the WiiMote.
I recommend Linksys, USB… more details on the post.

To run Wiinstrument you don’t need a sensor… the Wii bar, since it only uses the accelerometers.

Now, if you want to run other stuff like Multipoint Grid and GlovePie (which emulates mouse), you will need the sensors because these apps use the infrared cam from the WiiMote.

It’s not absolutely necessary for it to be the Wii sensor bar.. but you’ll need at least 2 infrared leds or 2 infrared light sources… which is why the candle trick works:
Here’s an example on YouTube

Any other doubts, just leave a comment! 😀

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