Friday, August 22, 2008

Re-engineered applications with a wiimote - one way of innovation

[english version]

Re-engineered applications with a wiimote and DIY projects - one way of innovation

As a concrete result of an idea, innovation does not follow a defined process. It is possible to accelerate or delay innovation, only.

Here, I would like to get back, to introduce and to show some analysises of re-engineered applications of the wiimote. The innovation in area of video games has spread in other knowledge areas. It is interesting to observe how.

Improvising a new way of use of an object is in human nature. The following article describes hacking - I prefer speaking about DIY projects or diverted use - as a spontaneous life form of innovation and especially in area of "pervasive computing" as hacking the wiimote.

Hacking is pervasive [1]

Of course, first, Nintendo innovated with a new game peripheral. Basically, composed of several buttons, a tri-axial accelerometer, an IR sensor device, a bluetooth communication and a comprehensive communication protocol, the device became interesting, soon. The following article describes technical characteristics and some surprising applications :

Hacking the Nintendo Wii Remote [2]

A constant emulation between searchers/developpers, DIY projects, spreading ideas through the web and research are the cause of new applications and new devices.

In the same way, Johnny Chung Lee provides us his own feedback about his activities with the Wii Remote in the following document :

Teaching statement [3]

(picture source : Wii-Spray)

Vidéo 1 :

[TED video – YouTube]

As noticed in the article from Newsweek, "The Tom Sawyer of Innovation" (spanish version), Open Source developments allowed emerging applications. Furthermore, this phenomenon was supported by latest web-tools.

Indeed, developing and spreading ideas are facilitated by network tools as forums (Link 1, Link 2) , wiki (description, drivers), blogs(Link 1, Link 2 ), forges (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3) and Online Videos sites. It can be noticed that "Web 2.0" tools are used as a media, here. Then, a link was simply established with "classical" tools (sites, downloading), providing contents (drivers, sources, exe).

New applications with a wii controller met 3 conditions in order to exist :
- Mass production of an innovative peripheral (with wireless communication and several sensors and "actuators").
- Open Source development (scripts, drivers or applications).
- Communication : Emulation searchers/developers and Internet.

And so, these conditions are exactly the cause of several critics as :
- Use of a device out of a granted process and without warranty.
- Specific development constraints and no warranty from and for a firm or an institution.
- Interest/Fashion/Geek hobby ?

Finally, we must keep in mind that a lot of applications with the wiimote are for few people. But, nowadays, Open source and internet contributed to prove the "long tail" theory and provided content to interested people.

Let's go through the way of innovation...

References :

[1] Hacking is pervasive – Guest's editor introduction
IEEE CS - July-September 2008
Joseph A. Paradiso (MIT Media Laboratory), John Heidemann (USC Information Sciences Institute), Thomas G. Zimmerman (IBM Almaden Research Center) – U.S.A.

[2] Hacking the Nintendo Wii Remote
IEEE CS - July-September 2008
Johnny Chung Lee (Carnegie Mellon University – U.S.A.)

[3] Teaching Statement
Johnny Chung Lee – personal web site

Other articles and videos to browse :

- Modders take control of Wiimote

- Wii and iPhone to help military control freaks - New Scientist 03/27/2008

- Serious Games & Conventional Simulation Convergence: Game-Based Simulation
From blog "futur-making serious game" 02/10/2008

- Kinetic User Interfaces for Flexible Mobile Collaboration

- Motion Sensing with Accelerometers – Present and future

- Video 2 : (conducting a virtual orchestra with a wiimote)

[Wii conductor Hero - video of tcnjwebmaster - YouTube]

An example of innovation with a presenter application :

- Wiimote Presenter - Jason Smith's webpage

Video 3 :

[Wiimote Presenter - 05/10/2008 - YouTube]

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