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December 12, 2006

Filed under: gaming»hardware»control

Rise Up with Fists

The news that the motion-sensitive Wii controller can be used with a Bluetooth-enabled PC is both intriguing and puzzling. It's intriguing because the Wii remote is relatively cheap, considering its capabilities, and probably very durable.

It's puzzling because once I got it hooked up, I have no idea what I'd do with it.

Frankly, the Wii likely makes a poor mouse. We've got the Gyration Air Mouse at work, and we usually end up using it like a regular mouse on the table. On a system where the interface can be designed for shaky hands (i.e. large buttons, forgiving dead zone, circular menus), it's probably much easier to use, but computer interfaces have gradually become more and more precise, with small OS widgets and lots of data onscreen. It also looks to me like it requires the sensor bar to handle yaw measurements and pointing with any degree of accuracy (although let's not be conventional--turning the controller to its NES-style orientation solves that problem, and would certainly be more usable for the Half-life 2 video that's floating around).

So I've been trying to figure out what I would do with something that could measure force in three dimensions, but not position or relative orientation. Knowing my obsessions, I've been trying to relate it to gestural control in music without having to write a really complicated wrapper for it. I'm not coming up with much. Any ideas?

Future - Present - Past