Teaching and Learning Resources by Peter Pappas

Wiimote Interactive IR Pen Whiteboard Solution

It's only been just over a year since Johnny Chung Lee's first posted his creative solution for turning a Wii remote into an cheap interactive whiteboard system. Watch Johnny Lee's original IWB video.   

Last week, Stan Merrell and Adam Wilcox - two of my Rochester NY tech buddies, met fellow Rochestarian – Tino Agnitti. Tino has developed a great Wii mounting bracket and IR pen that makes assembling Lee's Wii creation a snap. Tino calls his IR pen "The Groove" it's a sleekly designed, 2nd-generation IR pen that features – Hybrid Activation Tip Switch and Button, Treated LED for better tracking, Vishay TSAL6400. It runs on AAA batteries and it works great. I was especially impressed with its very intuitive interaction with writing applications. Tino also created "The Spot," a mount to connect your Wii remote to a standard tripod with a 1/4" – 20 thread.

Tino sells his Groove/Spot combo for only $39. Spend another $39 for a Wii remote (no need to use the rest of the Wii system) and you have an interactive whiteboard on any flat surface you choose to aim your  LCD. Tino showed me how to  aim the Wii at my monitor and we turned my MacBook into a tablet! 

Software? For PC, Tino recommends Smoothboard produced by Boon Jin Goh, a friend who lives in Singapore.   Tino set me up with the Mac version – Wiimote Whiteboard that I'm running. It comes out of Germany from Uwe Schmidt, a master's student at Darmstadt Technical University.  It was a quick install and it's especially easy to calibrate. For more on the growing wiimote community check out The Wiimote Project Forum  

I'm working on integrating the wiimote system into a portable whiteboard that I can use in my presentations. I'm very excited about pairing it with Prezi – its zooming capabilities will allow me to do exciting nonlinear presentations. 

My buddy Stan Merrell shot our meeting Tino

2 thoughts on “Wiimote Interactive IR Pen Whiteboard Solution

  1. Reply
    toni - May 19, 2010

    I want share with you a free program to be used with interactive whiteboard
    http://code.google.com/p/ardesia/

    Ardesia enables you to make colored free-hand annotations on your computer screen, record it and share on the network.

    This is especially useful when making presentations, to highlight things or point out things of interest.

    The tool facilitates the online presentations and demos showing in real time your computer screen to anyone in the network.

    Ardesia is XInput-Aware, so if you have a mouse, a graphic tablet, a touch screen, a wiimote whiteboard or a commercial whiteboard; you can draw lines with different strength, select color, erase things and draw arrows.

    You can free-hand draw geometrical shapes using the shape recognizer, insert text with the keyboard and highlight screen areas. You can draw upon the desktop or select an image as background.

  2. Reply
    alpha - April 13, 2011

    WiildOs 1.3.2 is out,
    WiildOs is an educational live and installable GNU/Linux distro build
    from the Ardesia stuff and thinking for teaching purposes. It includes
    the software that enable you to use a wiimote whiteboard.

    WiildOs includes lubuntu-desktop, python-whiteboard, ardesia, sankore,
    spotlighter, curtain, florence-ramble, wmgui, wiican, easystroke,
    whyteboard, vmg, shutter, gimp, tuxpaint, tuxmath, tuxtype, dia,
    scribus, audacity, stellarium, xournal, gcompris, geogebra, wxmaxima,
    openoffice.org, jokosher, musescore, solfege, stellarium, dasher,
    eviacam and more!

    More info on http://code.google.com/p/ardesia/wiki/WiildOs

    Build a wiildOs4win wubi like installer that allow to install wiildOs
    inside windows without partitioning the hard disk.
    http://ardesia.googlecode.com/svn/wiki/wiildOs/wiildOs4win.exe

    Changelog
    – new kernel 2.6.35; this add the support to some new devices including
    the toshiba bluettoth
    – thunderbird in now the default mailer instead of sylpheed
    – firefox is the default browser instead of chromium
    – removed xscreensaver for performance issue
    – remove all the gnome office suite; we use openoffice suite
    – fix the wiican program; now you can you use the wiimote as controller
    usinf the infrared camera or the accelerometers in a visual user
    friendly way

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