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Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Interactive Whiteboard for Under $100 using a WiiMote



This one came across twitter when Pat Sine said she had just set up her new interactive whiteboard with her Wiimote. I asked what she meant and started getting feedback on this.

This is the video demonstrating it.



Here is the video teaching us how to set this up:



I love how he projects this onto a flat table and demonstrates that anything may be turned interactive with this configuration. He also demonstrates that if you use TWO pens it is a multi touch interactive system. Wow!

He also uses the same system to turn an LCD display into an interactive whiteboard also.

I highly recommend you visit the inventor's website and page about the technical details as well as the software that you should download.

What you need:
  1. A Wiimote (it only uses the infrared camera built into the front of the controller which is sensitive to only sources of infrared light -- if you understand this, you'll understand how this works. One then only has to create "pens" that emit infrared light.)
  2. The Pen (an infrared LED, a push button and a power supply (which could be a battery source, a normal ink pen such as a BIC with the ink portion removed and glue -- my favorite pen, however, is on flickr by Alan Melecon and he used a thick highlighter marker.)





  3. A Stand or Tripod for Wimote (must be close enough to take into account that it has a field of view of only about 45 degrees but far enough to see the whole projected image on the board.)
  4. Bluetooth adapter for the computer (You have to connect the wiimote to the computer over bluetooth.)
  5. You ALREADY need a projector, a FLAT SURFACE of any kind (even a wall), and the projector should be hooked to something (like a computer) - this of course wasn't included in their costs.
  6. His software:
    Wiimote Whiteboard
    (original 12/19/07) - includes source
    Wiimote Whiteboard v0.2 (updated 3/27/08) - includes source
This is just so cool and I'd like to see some photos of teachers who have set this up. If you have one just upload to flickr and tag wiimote whiteboard like all of the other people who have already done this to add your photo to the link above.

Honestly, I don't think I can wait to try this out for this simple reason. I could use this method to allow my students to draw on their screens without having to buy tablets. It would just give them another way to interact with their computers. I think I would buy some sort of protective shield for the LCD.

OK, lets hear from everyone who has actually done this!

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