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Creating a Budget Head-tracker with the Wii-Mote

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.

One of these is an inexpensive head-tracker. Most reading this have probably done this before with a gyromouse - taken the gyroscope part out and stuck it to a hat to get 3D head tracking. I know I certainly have. However, the gyromouse never did sell very well, and similar devices (outside the 400 $/£ price range) have been increasingly difficult to find.

Well, now we have the Wii. 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.

As a good bonus, we also have a video showing head-tracking in use, so those who have not actually seen such before, can now see why this is desirable.

Note: The statement at the end of the video is incorrect. Head tracking for multiple parties is actually perfectly reasonable - as long as you have one display per person. Worn display systems are increasingly common. Some of the links below, for eyewear demonstrate that - all are compatible.


Johnny Chung Lee > Projects > Wii

Personal Display Unit: Icuiti VR920 (contains inbuilt head tracker)

Personal Display Unit: Icuiti AV920

Personal Display Unit: Icuiti DV920

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