Using the Wiimote as a pointing device
What does a Nintendo wireless controller have to do with Slackware?
Well… you’d be surprised!
On october 4th I am running a presentation about “A history of Slackware development” as part of T-DOSE (fyi: T-DOSE is a free and yearly event held in The Netherlands to promote use and development of Open Source Software). One of the other speakers is Dag Wieers, a former IBM collegue and a big name in the RPM and Redhat world. Dag is going to present his software “wiipresent” and when I read that, my curiosity was triggered. I own a Nintendo Wii (or rather, my son does) and I am interested in things that you can do with it apart from playing cool games.
Wiipresent is a small linux program that connects your computer to a Wiimote (the Wii’s wireless controller) over a bluetooth link and enables you to use the controller as a pointing device. Of course Dag is going to bring a Wiimote to the conference, but so am I 😉
Wiipresent turned out to be extremely easy to use and the variety of buttons and the diirectional cross on the controller are all functional. The cool thing is that it uses the tilt function of the Wiimote to move the mouse pointer across your screen. So, by waving the Wiimote I can steer and control my KDE desktop, and the directional cross will be useful when I give my presentation – it allows me to move forward and backward through the slides.
And since bluetooth is used instead of infrared, I can walk around without the need to point that Wiimote to the big screen.
And this all from a program that was born as a demonstrational hack at another conference. I created some packages for Slackware 13.0 (both 32bit and 64bit) which you can obtain from my repository as usual: wiipresent and libwiimote (a required supporting library).
Have fun trying it out! Eric
I have uploaded a PDF of my T-Dose presentation (as well as the original Tex plus bitmap files used to create that PDF). They are available at http://slackware.com/~alien/tdose2009/ .