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Wii Hacking with Jonny Chung Lee
When the Wii remote was first unveiled, many people were awestruck by the new technology. The motion sensing aspects are written off by most as being one of those black box accelerometer thingamabobs. We know what it does and don't really care how it does it. However, the pointing features of the remote are especially ingenious because of their relative simplicity.

It's simple math after all. The remote has a special little camera that can see only infrared light. The sensor bar is made up of two points of infrared light. Knowing where those lights are and the distance between them is all the Wii remote needs to figure out roughly where it is pointing and how far it is from the screen. This clever use of relatively old technology really had me wondering why I didn't think of it first.

Well I thought I was over that thought, but Jonny Chung Lee has me asking it all over again, as he uses the same basic technology and blows the roof off the geeky joint. Last week he released his third project, which is his best yet. It simply uses all of the same concepts, only now the software can decide where a player's head is. This knowledge is combined with a clever algorithm to create an immersive 3D experience without the use of special screens or glasses. Check out his YouTube clip below.



So why didn't I think of that? Probably an even better question would be, why didn't Nintendo think of that? Link's Crossbow Training would have been infinitely more fun if it played like that. It's not like the one player only limitation would have changed anything, as Nintendo didn't bother to put a real multiplayer mode in it anyway.

Anyway, make sure you check out Jonny Chung Lee's Wii Projects Site to see some of his other cool work and read more about the head tracking software.
By Mike on December 24, 2007 at 1:12am EST Topic(s): wii programming head tracking

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