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Tracking Your Fingers with the Wiimote

Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University has been looking into ways to use the Wii-mote recently, to create inexpensive VR interfaces which may or may not be actually useful.

His latest effort is essentially a very, very primitive fingertip sensor. About the same point as cybergloves were at in the early 80s. However, he does this with a single Wii-mote controller, and a few basic electronics. No gloves, no Wii.

The idea is simple. The Wii-mote is now one of the cheapest, and most common 3D motion trackers on the planet. It contains a 1024x768 infrared camera with built-in hardware tracking up to four different points in 3D space, at a frequency of 100Hz - 100 positional updates per second. No modern webcam like the Eyetoy even comes close to that.

By using an LED array made out of cheap to buy LEDs placed in a grid with a hole in the middle for the Wii-mote to point through, some software Johnny has written himself (available for use) and some foil stickers on the fingers, his video below demonstrates a home-use, very basic multi-point interaction system.


Johnny Chung Lee > Projects > Wii

Wiimote Multipoint Grid sample program

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