Wiimote Head Tracking Desktop VR Display

If you thought [Johnny Lee] was done making us all buy Wiimotes, you were wrong. Now he’s back showing off a simple, but incredibly effective VR head tracker. He swapped out the LED’s on a pair of LED light safety glasses with a set of IR LEDs and used his PC/Wiimote combo to do the work. The demo is just fantastic. As usual, you can download the software from his project page.

93 thoughts on “Wiimote Head Tracking Desktop VR Display

  1. Has anyone ever played any of the Konami Police 911 games? They track body movement and you have to duck or dodge to avoid bullets. I could just imagine it being truly 3D like this that would be amazing. With some type of smelly head device, (it wouldn’t have to be smelly but it would probably get sweaty and smelly from all the nerds using it.) They could even make a home version, just sell the user some glasses, and a wiimote stand and it would be awesome. The home one would probably be less smelly depending on the user.

  2. I’m imagining some sort of dodgeball game or maybe a soccer goalie game. Very nice work. Johnny’s making Nintendo look bad, but I can’t wait for them to steal some of these ideas and put them into some great games.

  3. DUDE!!!!!!

    Sure, games, ok, but really as a shell enhancement, this would be KILLER!

    Think about this…
    1.) If the Wii remote will track four ir targets, then assume two are on the users head to control the POV, and the other two as light pens to manipulate objects on the screen.

    2.) What is the frame rate of the Wii remote camera?

    3.) Assuming the ir targets opperate in a steady state, how can the remote differentiate between targets?

    4.) Assume POV target #1 is flashing at 10pps, #2 is flashing at 20pps, and the pens are at 30 and 40 pps. Then you could also have one pen as a “left click” and the other as a “right click”.


  4. This is Awesome.
    And really, given the capabilities of the wiimote, it could be extended to a two person split screen. A wiimote tracks 4 points. 1 person’s head needs 2 LED’s that leaves 2 other LED’s. So theoretically could have a person split screen.

    Also, since a different wiimote would have to be used to capture infrared on the screen, you could have a two person split screen and 4 mouse cursors.

    I also think, instead of using the infrared as a touch screen, it should be the mouse cursor. Then combine it with a mouse to get a left and right click. So moving the infrared source moves the cursor but other buttons would actually make it click. Like a remote mouse… a remouse… a wiimouse…

  5. First of all – this is amazing.

    Second – does anyone have an alternative to using the Wii’s sensor bar? I really want to give this a try but don’t want to have to power my Wii up every time.

  6. You could get this to track two different displays, and make them visible only to the person viewing them by using a 3d glasses like setup.

    Example. Player one’s targets are all blue, and he has blue tinted goggles. Player Two has Red targets and Red goggles. Because red glass only lets red light through, (If its tinted right) that would make Player 1’s blue targets invisible to player 2, and vise-versa. (You would probably need some opacity to the colors to avoid collision.)

  7. If a person diddnt want to buy a wiimote, where could you get an ir camera that has the onboard chip that ouputs the x-y coordinates? I have searched everywhere and cant seem to find anything similar.

  8. @ gonnafail

    I believe that the Wiimote is the cheapest bluetooth, IR camera that you can find. You really can’t find a better deal than the Wiimote (6 buttons, bluetooth, IR camera, accelerometer).

    If you really want to do it your own way though, you could go jumping through google links or something. Other than that, I have no idea of where to get one.

  9. @ 16… any infrared leds (2 minimum) wired to a power supply
    @ 19… you need to get 2 infrared leds from an electronics shop, in the uk the best option is maplins in usa radioshack? you will also need to get resistors to protect them and some way to power them.. have a looksie at
    http://www.instructables.com/id/leds-for-beginners/ should help you understand
    @ 22… as 24 suggested the wiimote is actually one of the best options, but you can also convert a normal pc webcam into an infrared one (people do this alot for ftir based multitouch screens) and you could use something like touchlib to calculate the xy in software

  10. @all that want to try this and do not have a wiiimote, you should try the: http://www.free-track.net/ . It uses a unmodified webcam to track 4 leds mounted to your head and has 6DOF(directions of freedom). It can emulate the comercial TrackIR output, so you can use it with almost any PC game (ok, simulations mostly). It works really great, but there is some fuss with setting everything up.

    /proud citizen of nSk\

  11. @20 You could have two projectors that are polarized and each player use polarized glasses. This would cut down on the annoying colour difference, and would look cleaner to any other person.

  12. Didn’t someone (SHarp I think) make an LCD display that was split so that people standing to one side saw one image and people on the other could watch something else? Combined with this you COULD have 2 player stuff…

  13. @27 the traditional way to do this (for two eye viewing with parallax) is to alternate rapidly between the two views on the monitor, and use liquid crystal “shutters” in the glasses to block out the display when it is showing the wrong view. I suppose you could simply put a piece of polarizing film over each half of the monitor. i hear saran wrap works as a polarizing filter… http://individual.utoronto.ca/iizuka/research/cellophane.htm

  14. the majority of games can easily be split screened, so I don’t see how multiple displays would be a problem (so long as you could differentiate between the headsets)

    The real problem with multiplayer games of this sort would be the need for multiple players to maneuver around the screen for better viewing angles.

    Still though, if combined with eDimentional’s shutter goggle 3D system, this could create some crazy realistic environment renderings.

  15. once again johnny lee impresses with a hack that is cheap and impressive. This one has more practical uses than the last one, which was still pretty cool. I could see integrating this into my driveway game to make a 3d shooter in which you walk a bit forward to start moving forward, a bit back to start moving back and have some central location where you are standing still.

    Turning might be counterintuitive but you’d get the hang of it. This could make for some really cool interactive games.

  16. this is probably the most awesome use of the wiimote i’ve seen so far. however, you can fool johnny’s system into thinking you’re moving into and out of the screen by turning your head back and forth a little. i think it would be best to omit this feature and only allow the camera to move laterally.

  17. kamma the easy answer is go to radioshack and calculate what resistor you will need by googleing “led resistor calc” and hook the led, resistor and whatever you use to power it up in a series circuit.

  18. with just two IR LEDS you get 4 degrees of freedom(up down, left right, in out and rotation in the screen’s plane). if you add just one more in a triangular configuration so that one of the LEDS is closer or further away from the other two, then you can in fact get 6 degrees of freedom.

    Look up trackIR or freetrack for an open source implementation of the concept, but using IR cameras instead of a wiimote. i was intending to do this with the wiimote but mine hasn’t arrived yet.

  19. i have never seen any of johnny lee’s hacks, but this is a Great one! like he mentioned at end of vid, hopefully some Wii game developers will make something that can utilze this! way to go johnny!!

  20. Now this is really awesome. I would like to see this integrated into Ubuntu Linux. Your desktop can be bigger than the screen. I also like the idea of using it to control a mouse as well. I was thinking a device in your hand that points, and you press a button and the computer recieves a seperate signal through bluetooth that there was a mouse click, and reads where the pointer was on the screen to process the click.

  21. You know how cool this would be for a boxing game and it you did it right you could make the glasses 3d like red one side of the glasses and blue the other and enhance the effect even more.

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