Thursday, 10 July 2008

Wii Things Amuse Wii Minds...

Phew! After a little while, I'm back with my account of my Wii little adventures (that's pun #1...)

In the past, there have been many systems, gizmos and gadgets released that have incorporated some sort of pointing device. To cut to the chase, none have proven so sucessful, at least on such a widespread scale as the 'Wiimote' used as the primary control device for the Nintendo Wii games console.

There are sensors to detect movement in all directions, including the speed (or rather acceleration) of those movements. The remote can also sense it's tilt and pitch. The main use of the remote however, is to point at the screen and interact with various elements presented on the television. To achieve this, a series of infrared LEDs are placed above or below the television. The remote has a camera built in to it's point that senses the position of the infrared LEDs and interprets this information as a position for a cursor etc. on the screen. Yes, that so-called 'Sensor Bar' that is placed on your TV doesn't sense a single solitary atom of information... all the communication is between the Wiimote and Wii using Bluetooth!

Anyway - the point of me waffling about the Wii Remote is that it's possible to use all it's functionality with a PC!

The best part is that it's actually a relatively simple process to make the connection between Wiimote and PC.

You need the following (links at the end of the post)...

1. a Wii Remote
2. an actual Nintendo Wii OR a wireless sensor bar - you need this for the pointing aspect of the remote. However, you could even use several candles if you wanted to!
3. Bluetooth connectivity on your computer (I'm using a PC with Windows XP for the record...)
4. BlueSoleil - this is the software that will actually detect and pair your Wii remote to your computer
5. glovePIE - finally, this is the software that reads the information from the Wii remote's sensors and provides appropriate feedback - in this case, through mouse movements and mouse clicks!

The only thing that remains is to tell glovePIE what you want it to sense from the Wii remote... The most reliable (but by no means the only) code I've found for controlling the mouse so far resides here:

Just paste all that code into the glovePIE code view and press the 'run' button at the top! ...and Bob should be your mother's brother...

I shall return when I've managed to write some of my own code for glovePIE :)

Links... - useful for setting up BlueSoleil - glovePIE download page - everything else you'll need to know for research and scripts for glovePIE

No comments: