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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8 thoughts on “New Interactive Whiteboard for Under $100 using a WiiMote

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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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