Christian Long

Johnny Lee: Demos Wii Remote Hacks

In TED Talks on May 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Extra credit reflection by ALEX C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Johnny Lee:  Demos Wii Remote Hacks

At my school some of our teachers have a nice feature called a Smart Board. A Smart Board is a touch screen board that is connected to a PC to allow the user to write and maneuver computer applications. These boards cost thousands of dollars, but Johnny Lee has made an alternative that costs about $50 without a projector. A projector would cost extra but liquid crystal computer screens can be used as wee.

Johnny Lee has used a Wii remote that costs about $40 and a $10 homemade LED infrared pen to make a thousand dollar board.

The reason why a Wii remote is used is because at the tip of the remote there is a high-performing infrared camera. The homemade infrared pen emits an infrared dot that can be seen by the Wii’s camera.

To set this up all you have to do is have the Wii remote pointed at the surface that has the image and connect the Wii remote to a computer via bluetooth and download a few programs provided by Mr. Lee. Then hold the push button and write on the surface or move different applications around, just like a regular thousand dollar smart board. Besides seeing only one dot the Wii remote can also see multiple dots and can actually have up to four people working at once.

Another application that the Wii remote can be used for is 3D imaging. The Wii remote is pointed toward the user who is wearing a homemade infrared glasses. The remote will track the dots and move the images on the screen in coordination with the users motion. The video is truly miraculous; the glasses are only another $10.

Unfortunately there are not many applications with this because it is so new, but Electronics Arts has decided to release a game that could utilize this function. After 5 months of research Mr. Lee is now working with one of the top game designing companies. He says he has to thank YouTube because within a week of his video being up he got 1 million views on his different projects. Congratulations to him and I wish him good luck.

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