Thursday, March 27, 2008

WiimoteWhiteboard v0.2 - slightely updated/fixed

Hi, all. I got a few moments yesterday to make a couple of small improvements to the Wiimote Whiteboard software. Most notably, I improved the mouse emulation code. There were problems where it wouldn't work with some programs like PowerPoint, Alias Sketchbook, etc. So, those work fine now.

I also added a "Tracking Utilization" feedback to the GUI which tells you how much of the camera you are utilizing for tracking. This gets updated after calibration. This provides a way to evaluate how good your Wiimote placement is which directly impacts tracking quality. Getting this number to 100% is virtually impossible in any usable configuration, but dropping below 50% is a sign of not-so-great Wiimote placement.

I've also updated the code to use Brian Peeks's WiimoteLib v1.2. I think this may help a little with greater Bluetooth/Vista compatibility. On a technical note, the WiimoteLib in this download is slightly modified to increase the Wiimote camera sensitivity.

You can use this link to download the new version: WiimoteWhiteboard v0.2

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Inspiring Students

One of the great, unexpected, and perhaps most influential aspects of creating these videos has been how many people they have inspired and sparked an innovative spirit in. I've gotten hundreds of emails from young students that express this enthusiasm. But, perhaps one of the best testimonials is this news article about kids in the Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School's Lego Club in Williamsburg, VA. The students there, lead by Kofi Merritt, are getting excited about innovating in technology by creating their own electronic white boards.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tracking multiple laser pointers @ 200Hz using the Wii remote

A couple of videos (vid1 and vid2) from sha433 demonstrate that if you are willing to crack open your Wii remote (you'll need a tri-wing screw driver) and take out the IR filter, the camera will track visible points of light, including laser pointers. That's pretty neat. Additionally, it has also been recently discovered by a few people that if you read the data directly off the camera chip using I2C, you can get 200 Hz tracking (vs 100Hz that you get over Bluetooth). It looks like there might be a latency hit, though, depending on how you get the data into your computer.

So, if you are willing to get a little down and dirty with the hardware, you can pull out quite a bit more capability! Good job Sha!

YouTube Awards: Nominated for Best Instructional Video of 2007

Hey all, (shameless plug) it looks like my video on head-tracking was nominated for the Youtube Award - Best Instructional Video of 2007! Very neat. =o) Please, go to the site and cast your vote! Thanks!