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Hardware Hacking Wii

Head Tracking w/ the Wiimote 169

mrneutron2003 writes "This guy just doesn't know when to stop. Johnny Chung Lee graces us with yet another one of his inventive Wiimote projects. This time it involves using the Wiimote and a pair of inexpensive LED safety goggles (with the standard LED's replaced with InfraRed ones) to allow positional head tracking , achieving an effect similar to what is experienced with three dimensional displays and CAVE systems. The video dramatically illustrates the effect. Game developers take note. This simple little variation on infrared tracking could allow for some seriously immersive gameplay in the future." This guy deserves a medal.
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Head Tracking w/ the Wiimote

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  • video down (Score:5, Informative)

    by Takichi ( 1053302 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @11:18AM (#21797952)
    The youtube video on the linked site comes up as unavailable, but the one actually on the youtube site seems to work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com] Cool stuff.
  • Worth mentioning.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by delire ( 809063 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @11:41AM (#21798090)
    Headtracking for games has been around for a long time [naturalpoint.com] but this solution really takes the cake for using inexpensive, off the shelf technology..

    The TrackIR solution linked above costs around as much as a Wii itself.
  • by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <imboboage0@gmail.com> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:04PM (#21798204) Homepage
    from the this-is-just-to-cool dept.

    You spelled 'too' wrong.
  • Re:Fantastic (Score:2, Informative)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @01:18PM (#21798704) Journal
    iTouch and iPhone have multitouch capabilities already.
  • by emilng ( 641557 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @03:09PM (#21799446)
    From his website [cmu.edu]:

    As of September 2007, Nintendo has sold over 13 million Wii game consoles. This significatnly exceeds the number of Tablet PCs in use today according to even the most generous estimates of Tablet PC sales. This makes the Wii Remote one of the most common computer input devices in the world. It also happens to be one of the most sophisticated. It contains a 1024x768 infrared camera with built-in hardware blob tracking of up to 4 points at 100Hz. This significantly out performs any PC "webcam" available today. It also contains a +/-3g 8-bit 3-axis accelerometer also operating at 100Hz and an expandsion port for even more capability.
  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @03:50PM (#21799712)
    Alas, shutter glasses(a polarized screen with an LCD shutter) and cross-polarized glasses don't play with LCD displays, because LCD uses polarization to turn the pixels on and off. LCD latencies are also a little high for shutter glasses.

    They only work with DLP projectors (uses little mirrors), CRTs, plasma, and upcoming display technologies like Field Effect Displays and LED displays. Obviously there are a lot of display technologies that do work there, but LCD is a very popular technology for widescreen TV and of course, for PC monitors.

    Either way you do it, you also have to double the grunt of your rendering system (or half your graphical complexity), and you need specific software support to get it right (you can go a long way with a driver that knows it's rendering for stereoscopy and just produces the correct eye POVs, but the glitches you get in the foreground and HUD are only tolerated by enthusiasts.). With shuttering you need glasses. With cross polarization you need to double the number of display elements (by having two displays or a special display with double the horizontal resolutions). Used in POV applications, all of these technologies are a one-user gig.

    Stereo "Wii-D" will probably never happen ; half the audience have an incompatible display device, the system does not have an enormous excess of GPU grunt. Stereo3D would only be common with one of the following display devices...

      * Personal head-mounted 3D display (probably VRD goggles)
      * Large area wide aspect flatpanel displays with inherent stereo 3D support built in at the factory (which means basically doubling the vertical rez and making a special polarized filter for the screen). ... an no-one is going to build the latter until there are plenty of mainstream 3D apps to support the market.

    The parallax effect that Johnny Lee demonstrates conveniently exploits the tendency of the human brain to "fill in the gaps" ; I'd be intrigued to see how convincing it really is.

    As another poster points out, head tracking really isn't very well received for the PC, because the PC is an inherently static device. You can move your head, but your hands have to remain fixated on the keyboard / mouse. The Wii has an advantage here because the input device moves around with you. Several times during Zelda I got up from my chair and started moving almost involuntarily, my whole body was immersed in the game. I would never have tried that on the PC ; when I feel the urge there it probably just contributes to my neck tension.

    If the static, 3rd person POV of Zelda can make this gamer rise up and move, a game armed with a head tracking linked POV would be compulsively immersive, even without stereoscopic 3D.
  • by Buzz_Litebeer ( 539463 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @04:02PM (#21799794) Journal
    Just thought of this. This would be a wicked interface, and much more natural, for someone piloting a drone helicopter or even robotic vehicle.

    If you had several monitors, this could be used to make them feel as if they were an actual "pilots seat" of a vehicle giving perfect perspective to the "pilot" because they know where the head is oriented and each monitor could produce the proper peripheral and image views for the "pilot"

    It would take a little tricky camera work for the robotic vehicle, but I am sure gratuitous funding could solve those problems.
  • Re:Old (Score:3, Informative)

    by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @09:31PM (#21801958) Homepage
    You dumbass, the link you pointed at is making use of the accelerometers, not the IR cam. It must rock to be too stupid to know how pointless your input is.
  • by fbjon ( 692006 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @09:52PM (#21802058) Homepage Journal
    Eh, sort of like what TrackIR [naturalpoint.com] already does? This is not all that innovative, just on-the-cheap.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.