So the cool thing about this is not that you can pretty easily hack a Wii to make just about any surface you can project onto into an interactive white board (though that is cool, no doubt.) What’s REALLY cool about it is that Johnny Chung Lee, the guy that figured out how to do it, created a video that shows pretty compellingly the amazing applications here and then offered up the program that makes it all work for free on his Website.
I showed this for the first time in a presentation I gave this morning and I made sure to watch the reactions of the people in the audience. They were doing the OMG head shake and stare for the most part. But what I should have made more clear is that the important part of this is not the hack but the delivery, the sharing of the inspiration, the willingness to give it away. You just know (don’t you) that there are going to be dozens if not hundreds of more Wii hackers born because of this, and it’s primarily because of the transparency of the process.
That’s what continues to make me giddy about this moment…
Brian Mull says
You know Will, I was reading the comments. You don’t even need the Wii. You can just go out and buy a single controller.
Will Richardson says
Thanks, Brian…I knew that but wasn’t real clear, obviously. What I didn’t know is that you could buy just one remote. Cool!
Mike Seyfang says
Will, I share your sense of vertigo.
If you dig around Johnny’s work a bit you will discover a joyous pointer to the future of education and research. Look out for his ‘academics page’ and ‘littlegreateideas’ site (tagged at http://del.icio.us/mseyfang/openscience ).
Yesterday I had a glimpse at my ideal school of the future courtesy of:
1. Johhny’s work on human computer interfaces
2. A paper by Mark Federman on multiple literacies
3. My fun with twittories.com
I have a blog post brewing but no time to do it justice.
Fang – Mike Seyfang
Bill VanLoo says
That is FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for sharing it! I wonder if I can get my school to buy a Wiimote… 🙂
Brian Mull says
You know, listening to this video again, where he mentioned it basically an LED flashlight, I immediately thought LED pointer. I’m sure instead of constructing the whole pen thing with a dangling wire, you could just use one of these.
Makes me want to pick up a remote.
This is super neat!
No. Seriously. Dude.
Shaun Carey says
Where did the video go? I wanted to show some other teachers this wonderful (cheap!) idea.
Never thought I’d use the term “howling with glee” to describe myself, but my colleagues and I (in the tech dept. of a public school district) are doing just that.
Looks like we have a fun project to try. Thanks for pasing this along. What a riot!!!
I am sure you can imagine how many times we’ve told teachers that request interactive white-boards that we couldn’t afford them.
Can you say “late stocking stuffers” boys and girls?
We can’t wait to try this.
Stevie Kline says
Just had a conversation yesterday with my director and he and one of our techs are going to try to build one. I am very anxious to try it out. I do many presentations of site and if it works and it seems like it should how exciting. What a role model for our students, tinker, discover and share!
This is so very cool. Thanks so much for passing this one on, Will. I’m so excited to pass this idea on to all of our school tech coordinators and see if we can start a collective effort in our state (NH). Talk about cost savings while increasing the digital tools in classrooms… If I were in the audience that day, I would have been one of those doing the OMG head shake. So cool!
Ryan Collins says
The total cost is closer to $50 ($40 for the Wiimote, leaving $10 for construction of the pointer).
I just picked up an infrared emitter during Christmas shopping, and hope to put something together this week.
The downside is that part of the allure of SMARTboards is the Notebook software. I haven’t investigated alternative software that could be used with a Wiimote.
Mary Miner says
Just thinking out loud re: alternative software. How about Wink?
So all I need is the remote and a projector … correct? Will I need to buy any bluetooth device?
I am going to try to test out over the holiday break.
If anyone gets this to work please post a link back to the blog!
I couldn’t get the video to play this afternoon??
John Patten says
This works pretty well and you can make a infrared pen for about $6. (Radio Shack and PVC)
I did Monday…however, don’t go walking through an airport with one of these in your pocket 🙂
Harold Olejarz says
Another alternative that teachers at my school have had success with is a wireless keyboard and mouse. You can get one for less than $99. Teachers and students may use the keyboard and mouse from anywhere in the room. What is great about this is that students can type from their own desktop and the keyboard and mouse may be passed from one student to another. I purchased two and the teachers that have tried it with their classes love it. We have ten more on order. Price wise you can’t beat it. Also, when doing presentations you can ask a student to pull down the menus or click on the buttons. Tis gives students a great opportunity to get involved. Students who do not like being in front of the class will be more comfortable with this kind of setup.
Help – probelm with the wii pass key
A few teachers have tried to put this together here is the problem.
Using a targus bluetooth, connects to other devices. Downloaded the SW and have the wii remote…
Hit the two buttons 1&2 on the remote to put it into “discover mode” (I’ve attached the bluetooth instructions to this email) It finds the remote fine … but it doesn’t connect. I get to the point where I need either a passkey or hit “skip”. Everything I’ve read on the net says to “skip” the passkey (and besides there is no documentation on a passkey anyhow – so what would I enter?) I am supposed to keep the 2 buttons on the remote pressed (for discovery). No errors, but no connection either. I’ve done google searches and a lot of people are experiencing this problem. (try googling: Wii bluetooth passkey … to see everyone’s frustration).
On the “pen” area, I found the IR emitter at Radio Shack (it costs about $3) and looks easy to hook up.
Any help would be appreciated!!
resolution to Mary’s post above: remove bluetooth completely; get new drivers from Targus; reinstall software (without dongle present until requested). The trick was making sure that all of the old drivers were removed – went into XP’s Add/Remove Programs and removed the bluetooth stack as well as the driver. Simply re-installing without complete removal of old bluetooth does not work.
Mister D says
I know I’m a bit late to teh party, but this is great. I looked on Amazon and found a wiimote for $39. I am planning on trying this as soon as I get it.
Bridget McNamee says
That is fantastic! What an incredible way to bring access to this type of technology to institutions who can’t/won’t purchase the commercial products-nice job!
This is great, but no mac software.. 🙁