See also: Top 30 Wiimote Hacks of the Web
Anyone who’s interested in virtual reality will find German Timo Fleisch quite fascinating. He’s the one who originally came up with a way to combine Nintendo Wii remotes and IR LED’s, in order to create virtual reality environments. Even though Fleisch is the master-mind behind this technique, with the right equipment and know-how, anybody can setup their very own virtual reality world.
Here are the basics:
- First, the user holds an object in front of a monitor. He has a Wii remote set up above the monitor facing the table on which it stands.
- The object that is being held is equipped with some IR LED’s so that the remote can identify it and determine its location.
- The second remote is pointed towards the user who is also equipped with IR LED’s. Just the same as the object, this allows the system to determine the user’s location.
- From there, the computer uses all of this information to display an interactive image based on the object in relation to the user.
“The core of this VR setup is using the Nintendo Wiimote Controller as a tracking camera. As one might already know the Wiimote is equipped with an infra-red camera that is able to recognize up to four infra-red lights. The main idea now is to build a device with four infra-red LEDs that can be recognized by the Wiimote. I call this device infrared beacon. Using the values of the 4 LEDs as recognized by the Wiimote I use an algorithm to reconstruct the original position and orientation of the IR LED beacon. Getting all 3 axis translations and all 3 axis rotation angles of the device is called 6 degree of freedom tracking or short 6DOF tracking.”
For a visual explanation and a better idea of how to get started, take a look at his Wiimote Desktop Virtual Reality video: