Using the Wii Balance Board(TM) as a Low-Cost VR Interaction Device
appeared as a poster on the ACM conference on Virtual Reality Software and Technology 2008,ACM VRST 2008, Oct. 27-29th in Bordeaux, France.
Note to potential users
Many researchers have contacted us to use the BB for their work. As of now, we cannot provide support or new additions to the original code found on this page. If you still want more info, have suggestions ideas etc., e-mail Gerwin de Haan: <g.dehaan AT ewi.tudelft.nl>.
Update: Apparently the Intec Action Board does not work with this (thanks Simon Su)
In this work we explore the use of the Wii Balance BoardTM as a low-cost input device in virtual reality (VR). We combined and extended existing communication libraries such that the balance board's four separate pressure sensors can be used as input to a VR application. We provide a brief technical overview of obtaining and working with the sensor input. By processing the sudden and gradual changes in the sensor input values caused by pressing on the board, we are able to use the balance board for both discrete and continuous input. We discuss how this discrete and continuous input can be used to drive a variety of VR interaction metaphors. Using continuous input, the balance board is well suited for interactions requiring two simultaneous degrees of freedom and up to three total degrees of freedom, such as navigation or rotation. The discrete input is suitable for various forms of control input such as mode switching or object selection. Additionally we present some example VR applications that demonstrate some of the possible metaphors
This video illustrates a range of applications through the use of the balance board library and VRMeer, our OpenSceneGraph-based VR toolkit.
Our balance board library runs on Linux or Windows XP/Vista, and makes use of:
VPRN, Virtual Reality Peripheral Network
WiiUse library, a library written in C that connects with several Nintendo Wii remotes. We use a customized version with experimental Balance Board support, developed by Christopher Sawczuk. We thank him for letting us use and host the source code here.
For more information and instructions on how to build the software, please refer to the /README page.
The following screenshot of the OpenGL-based demo application illustrates some of the properties that can be used in your Balance Board application.