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Wiimote Whiteboard – Looking back at 3 months

On January 27, my friend Lucas sent me a link to Johnny Lee’s head-tracking video on YouTube. I thought it was really cool what could be done with the Wiimote. I had no idea that it contains such a powerful camera and even does image processing. I checked out Johnny’s other projects and found the Whiteboard to be the most immediately useful. While the head-tracking is probably more impressive (I actually haven’t seen it in person), it wasn’t really that “accessible” to me. I could’ve ported the head-tracking demo to the Mac and had fun with it for a while. But eventually it would have become boring and making an actual game that uses head-tracking isn’t possible for me. Some game companies luckily picked up head-tracking very fast (EA’s Boom Blox to include Wiimote Headtracking).

I tried running Johnny’s demos on my parents’ Windows machines, since I’m running OS X on my MacBook, but couldn’t get them to work. So I decided to give it a shot on my Mac. I found WiiRemoteJ, which made it very easy for me to get started as a Java programmer. Soon, I had a “clone” of Johnny’s Wiimote Whiteboard software in about 400 lines of code. I decided to release it so that other Mac users could play with it as well. I actually have no real use for the application. I’m neither a teacher nor an artist, I just like to play with technology. And it makes me happy when my software is used by others, especially for purposes like the education of children.

Since the first release, I’ve been blown away by the reactions to my software. I never expected that much feedback and usage. It kept me motivated to successively enhance the software by adding features while trying to keep it easy to use. I finally took the time to compile a list of posts and videos that reference my software: check it out.

Statistics for the last three months

February 08 March 08 April 08
Pageviews (of Wiimote Whiteboard) 2769 4020 7252
Application starts # 1747 4449 8139
Download: Cross-platform version 515 504 1212
Download: Mac version 285 787 1273
Download: Sourcecode 126 225 370

# The application accesses a tiny file on this webserver to check for updates at startup. This only happens if update-notification is enabled and a connection to the Internet exists. The number of applications starts in the table is hence a lower bound on the number of actual starts.

9 Responses

  1. marc says:
    Pen

    Hi Uwe,
    I just discovered this site and am very excited to try out the Wiiboard for Mac. I had been interested in the Wiiboard for about a month but the PC issue was keeping me from trying it out. I was wondering what is the best and easiest way of making my own IR pen, or does such a product already exist commercially?
    all the best,
    marc

  2. Uwe says: in reply to marc
    Re: Pen

    Hi Marc,

    there is a whole sub-forum dedicated to this topic at wiimoteproject.com.
    You can also have a look at the pictures of my IR Pen.

    Uwe

  3. James Klock says:
    Hi, Uwe– I’m one of those

    Hi, Uwe– I’m one of those Mac version downloads, and several of the application start stats. I’m a math teacher in a slightly-rough public school in Chicago, and have started using your Mac port on a fairly regular basis (I heard about Johnny’s original app a few months back, but wasn’t interested in dealing with Windows).

    Personally, I think that the Wiimote Whiteboard (because of its price) has the potential to alter how we handle “instructional delivery” in a serious way. I’m working on getting my school to buy a few more Wiimotes and some pens, for more teachers to pilot the software… I’ll keep you posted.

  4. Anonymous says:
    Students with Disabilities

    I am somewhat tech savvy and recently had a fellow teacher e-mail me this site to try to make my ibook into an interactive whiteboard for a student with limited fine motor. Unfortunately, we do not have a projector. Due to budget issues I am using my personal ibook. I am excited to try it out and am hoping that she is successful. Any helpful tips or hints?

  5. Uwe says: in reply to Anonymous
    Re: Students with Disabilities

    Hi,

    Unfortunately, we do not have a projector. Due to budget issues I am using my personal ibook. [..] Any helpful tips or hints?

    I’m not sure what your question is.
    Do you want to know whether you can use the software with your iBook’s display instead of a projected image on the wall? This is possible.
    If you’re looking for general advice on things like how to position the Wiimote or which additional software to use, then I’ll recommend the wiimoteproject.com forums.

    Very sorry for the late reply,
    Uwe

  6. Peter says:

    I want share with you a veru powerfull software to be used with the wiimote 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.

  7. Peter says:

    Ardesia 0.4 is out!
    http://code.google.com/p/ardesia/

    Ardesia allows to draw and sketchup everywhere

    You can use it with a wiimote whiteboard or a graphic tablet;
    in this way the lines are writing lighter or darker depending on
    the pen pressure

    You can export your work in the pdf format to create simple presentation, tutorial or document

    Ardesia allow to record and the stream on icecast streaming server
    thanks to the vlc media player and streamer

    …Ardesia is free and simple as you are; Try it now!

  8. Essaidi says: in reply to James Klock

    Let me first start off by saying that I have had my own coemptur since I was 5 years old. My father is a tech engineer and has always put different pieces of technology in my reach while growing up. I can personally say that technology is apart of me, and honestly, I don’t know if I would have it any other way. I am a strong proponent about using technology in the classroom and I believe my students are excited about my need for technology as well. We use coempturs, elmos, video streaming, and more. I currently do not have a SMARTboard in my room, but will next year and can not wait!I think it is very important that students be exposed to all types of technology, no matter the age. Our society thrives on coempturs,etc and if we want our future leaders to succeed with and produce more advance pieces of technology, let’s start in Kindergarten! My students get so excited when they visit the coemptur and thoroughly enjoy playing the games. I love that they are playing games and learning at the same time. No matter what age, I truly believe you need to have fun, and having the opportunity to have hands on with all of the technology in the classrooms, while you’re learning it sticks better!

  9. Mauricio Garcia says:

    I have a Macbook Pro with IOS 10.9 Maverick. Which version of the software should I use?

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