Wiimote headtracking FPS laser gaming

Remember [John]‘s Halloween laser tracking game? He’s been busy since then. After building his own version of multi-player missile command based on his laser interaction game, he added head tracking (using the same method as [Johnny Lee] . Check out the video after the break, and grab the full source for Mac or Linux.


  1. EllisGL says:

    Now throw in a 3D Goggles and extra IR points for 3D tracking…

  2. tbare says:

    impressive… now all i need is a wiimote… and an extra box for linux… and spare time… wellp, i’m screwed :)

    again, impressive to say the least.

  3. tbare says:

    …and why isn’t this filed under wii hacks?

  4. ellisgl,

    Actually, I’m doing 3d tracking. The game knows your X, Y, and Z (I use all three for control) as well as the tilt of your head. I do X and Y by calculating a point that is between the two IR LEDs. The Z is determined by the distance between the two points. If you are closer to the WiiMote then the points appear to be further apart. If you’re further away then the points are closer.

    I get the angle of the points as well but I currently don’t use them. I had used them for turning, I plan to use them for sidestepping.

    Of course I could know more about head orientation by adding points. But I think I’m getting what I want out of head tracking. I’m going to use the other two points for an IR light saber, which I think would be more compelling.

  5. a random John says:


    as long as we’re suggesting categories, in addition to wii hacks, I would add laser hacks and webcam hacks.

  6. Mint_Sauce says:

    Freetrack is similar to this and works incredibly well.


    Is the tracking shown in the vid above for the Wii or PC?

  7. EllisGL says:

    @a random John:
    Should have been more specific in my meaning of 3D tracking. Being able to turn around 360 Degrees.

  8. ellisgl,

    You are correct, I cannot track orientation (with the exception of tilt), only position.

  9. William says:

    I would love to see this kind of technology integrated with something like the Neural Impulse Actuator

    slashdot: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/02/0131225&from=rss
    video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKd_AJUUT7Q

    to allow truly hands free gaming and faster response times.

  10. charlie says:

    video no longer avalable?!

  11. JCL_Headtracking fan says:

    I went to youtube this morning to check out the video again and saw someone posted that a company by the name of HyperTMG is putting out its own IR Headset with 6 IR LED’s. I have already ordered mine and cant wait.

    As well, the site offers a Quake III mod download, so you can play Quake with the Wii mote. This is totally AWESOME. I have always wanted to play Quake or FPS with a gun.

    Thanks Johnny for making ideas like this come to life…

  12. mint sauce,

    right now my 3d game only does head tracking on the mac. The game itself runs on linux and windows, but with keyboard control. Actually, you can use the laser in linux, but we haven’t hooked up head tracking in linux yet.

    the missile command game that we’ve done:
    works on both mac and linux. that game will also run under windows, but we haven’t bothered to port the laser tracking to it so you’d be limited to playing with a mouse.

    jcl_headtracking fan,
    yeah, I owe a lot of credit to johnny lee for the inspiration, as well as to graffiti research lab. I should note, since engadget’s coverage of this has been sub-par, that johnny did not write this game. I wrote it from scratch. every line. in fact, i had to modify the mac wiimote libraries in order to get them to work with python…

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