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Wii – that’s fantastic !

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

About one or two weeks ago, during searching for articles and algorithms for my M.Sc. i tripped on http://johnnylee.net/projects/wii/. Really interesting for me was the “Low-Cost Multi-point Interactive Whiteboards Using the Wiimote”. When I saw the movie i said: “I must have it”. This tool will be helpful for me for my meetings and lectures. So, I searched the internet where and how to Buy the Wiimote [pol.: po polsku mówi się także na to Wilot, dostępne do 200 złotych]. The nearest shop with this nice tool was in Gdansk – Euro Market. I booked this gadget and the next day I bought this. I was really excited how to use it. Of course I bought some IR LEDs and micro switches to make my IRpen.

When I came home, I started to make the connection to my Wii. My 64bit Windows 7 quickly discovered a Bluetooth device and installed it. Wow! The next step was to download Johnny’s Wiimote Whiteboard and run it, and of course I have done this. Unfortunately after first attempt the application did not found the remote tool. A had to restart the application about 10 times, but finally at the end the application found it. The battery status was about 99% and my IR pen worked, because the application displayed some IR dots. Unfortunately after checking the box for ‘mouse move’ nothing happened.

I’m strong enough to mange it to work! – I said – they were plenty of applications available in the net for connection. They’re presented on http://www.wiimoteproject.com/ and some of them are shareware! like http://www.smoothboard.net/. The last one worked perfectly, but with the same connection manipulation (install-uninstall-reconnect-try to connect). Another interesting application and really powerful was a Java based http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard . But this could not connect no Wii, and had bluetooth problems.

After some googling, binging I found couple of articles describing the same problems like mine. Java bluetooth problems, no Wii connection and so one. Mostly the problem was, that the Windows bluetooth stack (winsock) doe’s not support some kinds of bluetooth connections – and the solution was to install another bluetooth drivers, applications or stack like BlueSoleil, or widcomm stack from broadcom. The last one after firing up, did no found my bluetooth device, and the first one installed only plenty of drivers for bluetooth. I thought that this will help – I ran the java program, and… the java exception came and said – “sorry I do not see the Wii”.

My frustration began, but I remembered, that Johnny published his source to his application. Of course I had to make some restarts but this worked. I downloaded his source and began to edit. First I throw away the cursor moving with Windows API and I used a

Cursor.Position = new Point((int)warpedX, (int)warpedY);

I ran this in debug mode, and… “It works!” – I said :) Of course I had to use WAPI to fire global mouse clicks. What is more I added some features like mouse dragging events or clicking. I used also the calibration to calibrate my IR pen with my notebook screen. The more the tracking utilization is then more the mouse is precise. I opened my paint and I could write my name. Maybe not perfectly but important for me was, that the mouse clicks worked.

One big drawback is that every time – maybe not every but many times – I must uninstall the Wii from bluetooth devices, install it again and try some times to run Johnny’s application. But after this I have a nice pen and a nice electronic whiteboard. Probably there is another solution to quick connect Wii with application (like WiimoteConnect – but this couldn’t found my Wii).

IDEA#1: I found, that a great project for Wii will be a WPF whiteboard with fancy effects like dragging, glass-effects board for notes and presentation. I bagan to write this, but I remembered that I had to write my M.Sc. :) I think that this will be a great job for other students

So to sum my crap up:

– On a 64 bit Windows 7 – the Wii connection still works – just only small modifications in Johnny’s code and manipulation with wii connection, and voila.

– There are plenty of good tools and a great community.

A list of useful links is below:

http://www.wiimoteproject.com/ – Great community, how to make IR pens

http://johnnylee.net/projects/wii/ – nice ideas,movies and tutorials (with the source I used)

http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard – nice looking and usefully tool, but I couldn’t ran this because of java exceptions. Nice idea how to make a IR Pen.

http://www.smoothboard.net/ – great application, but it cost’s some $

http://www.codeplex.com/32feet – .NET Bluetooth library – with this tool I found my Wii without installing it in ‘Bluetooth devices’, but I do not have time to read, how connect with Wii.

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