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Wiimote Whiteboard

This program allows you to use the Wii Remote (Wiimote) to turn any surface into a Low-Cost Interactive Whiteboard. It is based on Johnny Lee’s original WiimoteWhiteboard program that is written in C# and available for Windows only. My program uses Java to allow for (some) platform-independence. I also provide a Mac-only version since I’m a Mac user and this is, up to my knowledge, currently the only such program for the Mac. For Windows only, Boon Jin has enhanced Johnny’s software and created the shareware program Smoothboard. There is also a SourceForge project that provides other implementations, but it is not getting much attention.

Check out the video and the other cool projects at Johnny Lee’s page if you have no idea what I’m talking about :) .

Features in a nutshell

  • Open source
  • Runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux
  • Simple User Interface available in English, Estonian, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, and Spanish
  • Camera Monitor and Calibration Details for better Wiimote placement
  • Auto-connects up to 2 Wiimotes
  • Right-click support, double-click assistance
  • Mouse cursor smoothing
  • Screen selection
  • Touchpad Mode
  • Update notification
  • TUIO/OSC support for multitouch applications

More details in the Wiki.

Download (1.0.3)

Video

Documentation & Support

You can post your comments, bug reports, feature requests, etc. at the bottom of this page. The latest documentation is available in the Wiki. You can also find out how you can help.

The wiimoteproject.com forums are a great resource for everything Wiimote. You may use this subforum to discuss everything related to my software. The Smoothboard Wiki also contains useful information for setting up your interactive whiteboard.

Infrared pens

You need a source of infrared (IR) light to use the software. Many people build their own IR pens for that purpose, usually by retrofitting some sort of marker. You’ll find all you need to know here. I started with a simple IR pen made from a battery clip.

There are also IR pens for sale if you don’t want to build one yourself. Several vendors sell different models, the IR Pen marketplace is a good place to get an overview.

You can use the coupon code uwe if you buy from IRPensOnline.com. This will give you a discount of $2 and I’ll get $1.

Compatibility

I only heard of few problems on Mac OS X, using the built-in stack. I also got reports from users who got the program running on Windows using either the Widcomm or BlueSoleil stack. It seems like Widcomm works better, see this post about BlueSoleil. You need to use the BlueZ stack on Linux, see the Wiki or this post for further instructions.

Issue on PowerPC Macs (excerpt from the WiiRemoteJ-README):

Note for Mac OS X PowerPC (PPC) users: you will have to delete the Wii Remote from your previous devices list in System Preferences->Bluetooth->Devices after each connection (every time you connect a given Wii Remote). Even then, the outgoing connection will still fail every other time. There is some sort of bug relating to HCI devices and Apple’s library. Luckily, it was fixed for the Intel Macs.

Further details can be found in the Wiki or the help files bundled with the application.

1,428 Responses

  1. TomF says:

    UWE,

    I am not at all a computer expert at all, just a teacher trying to get your program to work with my MacBook. I can connect it all and get the pen working. I can also get the pen to respond. The calibration seems to be a bit off, but the bigger problem is the response time, there is a definate lag in the repsonse time from the pen to the computer. As well, the resolution is affected when my MacBook is presented on the LCD. I suspect the latter is a problem for me to solve with Mac, but it you could help with some suggestions for pen response time and calibration accuracy, that would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Uwe says: in reply to TomF

    Hi Tom,

    The calibration seems to be a bit off, but the bigger problem is the response time, there is a definate lag in the repsonse time from the pen to the computer.

    try using it on a smaller screen to see if the calibration issue is only due to the Wiimote being to far away from the screen. Another obvious thing is to check whether the IR pen is bright enough.

    There should only be a small delay in the response time caused by the smoothing algorithm in my app; you can turn this off in the app preferences under Mouse Control → Smoothing.
    Maybe there’s also some other app running that slows your Mac down; check your CPU load with the Activity Monitor.app.

    As well, the resolution is affected when my MacBook is presented on the LCD. I suspect the latter is a problem for me to solve with Mac, [...]

    What do you mean by that? Does the display resolution change, or does the accuracy of the cursor movement suffer?

  3. TomF says:

    Thanks for the help Uwe, I moved the Wiimote as close as possible and installed a new battery in the pen I have. Please forgive my total lack of computer ability, but where would I click to find app preferences, then route to Mouse Control-smoothing?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  4. Uwe says: in reply to TomF

    Hi Tom,

    Please forgive my total lack of computer ability, but where would I click to find app preferences, then route to Mouse Control-smoothing?

    the preferences can be accessed as in most Mac apps by clicking on the application name in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then select Preferences…; alternatively use the (standard) keyboard shortcut ⌘, to accomplish the same.

  5. Sean says:

    Thanks for a great site Uwe! I’m getting some parts together to try this out. I do have one question before I get going, though. To my understanding, “Touchpad Mode” will have the whiteboard emulate the touchpad, allowing gestures to be drawn with the ir pen. So what I’m wondering is whether you could use multiple ir pens to simulate the multifinger touchpad gestures. What do you think?

  6. Uwe says: in reply to Sean

    Hi Sean,

    To my understanding, “Touchpad Mode” will have the whiteboard emulate the touchpad, allowing gestures to be drawn with the ir pen. So what I’m wondering is whether you could use multiple ir pens to simulate the multifinger touchpad gestures. What do you think?

    the Touchpad Mode in my app won’t allow you to use gestures. It just means that the behavior is similar to a touchpad, e.g. you can move the cursor around without actually clicking on something.
    That being said, one could write a program (using the TUIO output of my app) for gesture recognition with up to four IR pens. I neither have the time nor the interest for that right now, sorry.

  7. Beth says:

    I want to send out a great big thank you to you, Uwe! I just got an IRpen (cheaply) that arrived last night, and today I loaded up your software on my mac, and away I went! You have brightened my life as an educator. (Philly schools… 32 years in Special Ed.) My Elementary School SE students thank you as well!

  8. joel says:

    I have two separate computers that each have one wiimote hooked up to them. When you open the program it automatically picks up the one in the other room. I just want the one in my room not my neighbors. The person next door has the same problem as me.
    Help!

  9. Teresa says:

    I installed WiimoteWhiteboard for the mac. It does detect the battery life. I have IR Pens. When I try to calibrate it, it doesn’t read the pen.

    My Wii controller is a Wii MotionPlus inside.

    Are there any ideas on how to get this to work? I’m a teacher and would find this extremely helpful.
    Thank you, Teresa

  10. joel says:

    I followed the steps in the older posts about the infoplist but when i try to change it it says The document “Info.plist” could not be saved. The volume is read only

  11. Uwe says: in reply to Beth

    Hi Beth,

    You have brightened my life as an educator.

    thank you for letting me know. I usually only hear from people who have problems with my app…

  12. Uwe says: in reply to joel

    Hi Joel,

    I guess you’ve already found the runtime option that can be used to connect a specific Wiimote only.

    I followed the steps in the older posts about the infoplist but when i try to change it it says The document “Info.plist” could not be saved. The volume is read only

    Are you opening the Info.plist from inside the disk image that my app comes in? If so, please read How to Install Software from DMG Files on a Mac first.

  13. Uwe says: in reply to Teresa

    Hi Teresa,

    I have IR Pens. When I try to calibrate it, it doesn’t read the pen.

    is your IR pen bright enough? Can you see any detected points in the IR Camera Monitor?

    My Wii controller is a Wii MotionPlus inside.

    Does that mean that you have a Wii MotionPlus attached to the Wiimote?
    If so, try to remove it before using the Wiimote with my app (which doesn’t require Wii MotionPlus).

  14. Deane says:

    Hi, I saw this on StumbleUpon, thought it was great. I have set it up, got the Wiimotes toolbar on the screen and have calibrated. When I use the pen, however, all I get are trails on the small “Screen 1″ under Calibration in the toolbar – nothing shows up on the actual screen. Also, whatever I draw fades after only a few seconds. How do I get what I draw to stay on the screen, and save it, and all of that? Did I miss instructions that were posted somewhere? Please advise, this is so cool and I really want to get it running and use it productively in my classroom.

  15. TomF says:

    Deane,

    If you are using the SMART Board software and getting trails, then having them disappear, you may be using the ‘magic’ pen, the one that has purple stars all around it. Choose the regular pen and your writing will stay.

    Uwe,

    Thanks for all your help. I made the changes you suggested above (distance and smoothing) and now my Wiimote SMARTboard works great. I still think a brighter pen may help, do you have any suggestions of pre-made pens that are significantly better than others.

    Thanks
    Tom

  16. Uwe says: in reply to Deane

    Hi Deane,

    When I use the pen, however, all I get are trails on the small “Screen 1″ under Calibration in the toolbar – nothing shows up on the actual screen. Also, whatever I draw fades after only a few seconds. How do I get what I draw to stay on the screen, and save it, and all of that?

    my app will only let you control the mouse cursor with your infrared pen. Is the cursor moving? If not, do you have Mouse Control enabled? What you see on the small “Screen 1” is just a mini-view of where you’re pointing at on the screen.
    My app won’t let you draw on the screen, please use another app for that like Desktastic (assuming you’re on a Mac) or the free Jarnal.

  17. Uwe says: in reply to TomF

    Hi Tom,

    I still think a brighter pen may help, do you have any suggestions of pre-made pens that are significantly better than others.

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with that since I’m not actually using the app in a classroom. As far as I know, there is a certain type of very bright infrared LED that most (if not all) IR pen vendors use; please take a look at the wiimoteproject.com forums for more information.

  18. Teresa says: in reply to Uwe

    The WiiMotionPlus is all one unit and can not be detached.

    The IR pens kind of register on the screen. it is like the top right point is on the bottom left according to the pen. The pen seems to jump around the screen. The pens are new.
    http://penteractive.us/main/?page_id=58#ecwid:category=596211&mode=product&product=1214703

  19. Uwe says: in reply to Teresa

    Hi Teresa,

    The WiiMotionPlus is all one unit and can not be detached.

    I guess we’re talking about different things then. I mean the little white device that you attach to the bottom of the Wii Remote (picture), as described in this Wikipedia article.
    It seems there’s also a Wii Remote Plus with built-in Wii MotionPlus now. I have no idea how my software behaves if you have that model, since I’ve never tested this…

    The IR pens kind of register on the screen. it is like the top right point is on the bottom left according to the pen. The pen seems to jump around the screen. The pens are new.
    http://penteractive.us/...

    The pen should be fine. Are there by any chance stray sources of infrared light (e.g. sunlight, light bulbs) that interfere with the system? Check the IR Camera Monitor in my app.

  20. Spencer says:

    Hey Uwe! This is super cool and I’m really excited about it. A classmate and I are going to use it to possibly build a museum exhibit in which participants roll a skateboard around on a ramp to learn about (and feel) velocity, acceleration, minima and maxima and horizontal points of inflection. Thanks!

    (Teresa, the same thing happened to me and it turns out I had calibrated wrong. Check your calibration details, and if it looks like an hourglass, then you accidentally clicked the wrong crosshair at some point in the calibration.)

  21. Deridder says: in reply to Uwe

    Hi

    I’m having the same problem. It says “won’t work with winsock”. Widcomm won’t work either.
    Other suggestions?
    THanks!

  22. Deridder says: in reply to Deridder

    I was replying to this:
    Hi Efex,

    the program is not working with the “winsock” Bluetooth stack that comes with Windows XP by default. If possible, try using the WIDCOMM stack. Your last chance may be BlueSoleil if this also fails.

    WiiRemoteJ is used to connect to the Wiimote over Bluetooth. If it works on your system, my program will work too. The WiiRemoteJ forum might help to solve your problem.

    Good luck,
    Uwe

  23. Keenan says:

    Hi,
    I’m trying to find a way to add two wiimotes on a windows system for redundancy in the tracking. i see that you’ve done this on mac, and linux. I’m familiar with java programing and would appreciate some help with how to go about doing this.
    Thanks.

  24. Paul says:

    I’m thinking of trying to get this to work on an Android tablet, starting with the cross-platform java version. Any gotchas or suggestions for me?

    Thanks
    Paul

  25. Eric says:

    I have downloaded the wiimote whiteboard software… I can open/close
    programs, drag, scroll, etc, awesome! But what kind of program do I need
    to be able to ‘draw’ on my files (word files, etc), like what is done
    with a real smartboard? Any tips? I can’t see any option to do that in the software…

  26. JorgeAT says: in reply to TomF

    Hi All, Thanks Uwe, great stuff here, sure I buy a coffe for you.
    Tom Yesterday I configure in a Win and Mac with excellent results (today I try it in ubuntu) and yes we have an issue with resolution, I doubt is the same for you, but here is: With a 800×600 resolution the movment are erraticall but when we change to 1200 (native resolution in mac) al work perfectly, is an issue if the projector dont work in that resolution.

    Best Regards

  27. JorgeAT says: in reply to Uwe

    Hi Again

    We use the new model of controller, this model have the Wii MotionPlus Inside is not a attachable module anymore.

    And work well the problem is not in the controller maybe in the pen.

    Best Regards

  28. Jennifer says:

    Hi there. A few teachers at my kids’ school have been using your whiteboard software successfully for a while, which has been fantastic! Parents are always blown away that we don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a Smartboard. The PTO decided to donate several more Wii remotes to the school so all classrooms can benefit from the technology. However, the factory-sealed, Nintendo-branded remotes that we bought (the discontinued model, before MotionPlus) will not sync. This hasn’t been a problem before, except with some Nyko knock-offs. We’ve literally tested 12 or so brand-new remotes, and while they ALL work with the Wii console, NONE will work with the Mac. Do you know of any hardware compatibility issues? I’ve looked extensively through your Wiki and other sites, but I don’t speak ‘code’ and can’t find an obvious answer. FYI, marks inside the battery compartment read: RVL(M)-KOR-3 and NIN-RVL-003KOR-32. Thanks for any guidance you can provide, and for helping underfunded schools like ours to keep up with the times. :o )

  29. Alexander says:

    Hi people.

    wiimonteboard would like to use, but I’m not getting …
    I have basic … W7 ADAPTER with bluetooth and a software Bluesolei 8.0.338.0.

    When I try the connection “WB” inform only connection is not supported!
    When I try the bluetooth winsock windows gives error.
    Since they did not know anything about programming, how could I solve this problem?

    Since already many thanks.

  30. Andreas says:

    Hey Uwe,

    this is a great tool. I only have one Problem. I can not connect the Wiiremote to the PC. I have Windows Vista and Windows 7. both in 64bit mode. Do i have to run the program otherwise? is it working with 64bit?
    The failure is nemed : “not supprted on winsock”

    Please can you help me.

    Thanks a lot.

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