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Making an Electronic Whiteboard with the Wii

A video has been posted by, made by Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University. The video is a talk-though of demonstrations on how to use a Wii to create an inexpensive, interactive whiteboard for classroom use.

In an educational setting, money is tight, incredibly so, and whilst a projector display onto the classroom whiteboard is common, adding in the interactive element, has always used an interactive whiteboard costing several thousand pounds.

Each Wii-mote has a tiny camera built into it, designed to track infra-red light. This is so the Wii can track other peripherals in 3D space, by light they emit invisible to the human eye. So, by using 'pens' consisting of a pen casing, with an infra-red LED out one end, an on-off switch, and a power source.

Provided the Wii-mote can always see the surface the pens are to write on, then any surface becomes an interactive whiteboard. This is best achieved simply by selotaping the Wii-mote to the projector.

To configure where the board is, a standard four-touch method is used, pressing one of the pens to each corner of the surface to form a square. The camera detects where the 2D plane that is created, is in 3D space, and automatically draws any lines that cross that plane. That the plane happens to correspond with a physical surface, is actually irrelevant.

As a physical interactive whiteboard is not used, the projector can be swung round to point at a student's desk, and with four quick configuration points, that desk is now the new interactive whiteboard.

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