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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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Janice Stearns May 10, 2008 - 1:38 pm

Saw your post on Twitter. Thanks for including the link to the larger marker pen. That looks better than having a battery pack to hold onto. I just don’t know if one battery will be enough.
I bought cold solder for my project. I don’t solder well, so I hope this will work. Will post my results when finished.

Pat Sine May 11, 2008 - 1:00 am

Just blogged about my own version of this project. This is a great summary and pointed me to new resources, which led me to still more. The best I’ve found for teaching is from Tom Sextro, the Technology Director for Holton USD 336.

Mike Dionne May 11, 2008 - 1:00 pm

I have created one of these and it works great! You have to really tweak the placement of the Wii though. I then gave the instructions to a student who has created 4 pens for us. He is now investigating the use of Edusim with the Wii Board. Edusim is a free opensource 3D virtual world you can download and install on your desktop. You can connect IWB with this software as well. We are playing with it. I will have my student take pictures and we’ll post them this week. You can also listen to our discussion on the Wii IWB at TechPodZone

I’ll warn you that we don’t get to the discussion of the Wii until about half way through the podcast.

Joel Zehring May 11, 2008 - 2:49 pm

I have the wiimote whiteboard set up in my classroom. I’ve also set up a wiki where I hope to collaborate with others on lessons, activities, and tech support.


Neil Charlet May 12, 2008 - 2:28 pm

Hey Vicki,
One of our students just created one of these at our school. It actually works really well! I’ve posted it here.

Jim Hollis May 13, 2008 - 10:16 pm

This does work and I have created a Wiimote Interactive whiteboard setup video process that should make it clear how to do everything.

I would not recommend for the classroom at this time especially if the teacher is not extremely tech-savvy. Using this technology throughout the course of the day would become extremely cumbersome. The frustrations may turn them off to interactive whiteboard technology altogether.

That being said, it does work and it’s a good demonstration of ingenuity! I think it’s a perfect project to use in a student-centered project-based classroom dealing with technology!

Joel Zehring May 14, 2008 - 8:22 pm

I would agree with Jim Hollis. Mainly, the supporting software is a little clunky, so far. Fortunately, we have some mimios at our school, so I’m able to use professional paid software.

Pietro Pilolli April 13, 2011 - 2:59 pm

WiildOs 1.3.2 is out,
WiildOs is an educational live and installable GNU/Linux distro build
from the Ardesia stuff and thinking for teaching purposes. It includes
the software that enable you to use a wiimote whiteboard.

WiildOs includes lubuntu-desktop, python-whiteboard, ardesia, sankore,
spotlighter, curtain, florence-ramble, wmgui, wiican, easystroke,
whyteboard, vmg, shutter, gimp, tuxpaint, tuxmath, tuxtype, dia,
scribus, audacity, stellarium, xournal, gcompris, geogebra, wxmaxima,, jokosher, musescore, solfege, stellarium, dasher,
eviacam and more!

More info on

Build a wiildOs4win wubi like installer that allow to install wiildOs
inside windows without partitioning the hard disk.

– new kernel 2.6.35; this add the support to some new devices including
the toshiba bluettoth
– thunderbird in now the default mailer instead of sylpheed
– firefox is the default browser instead of chromium
– removed xscreensaver for performance issue
– remove all the gnome office suite; we use openoffice suite
– fix the wiican program; now you can you use the wiimote as controller
usinf the infrared camera or the accelerometers in a visual user
friendly way

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