BodySurf :: AudioSurf + Wii Balance Board :: Vegas Demonstration from Chardish on Vimeo.

Never that impressed by people waggling the Wii Remote? Time for some full body-weight control. Enter the Wii Balance Board, the force-sensing hardware bundled with Nintendo’s Wii Fit.

Evan Jones, aka Chardish, has hooked up the balance board to the fantastic Audiosurf, a music/rhythm game that allows you to play through your existing music collection rather than needing special content. (Vive le FFT!) Audiosurf is ten bucks on Steam, Valve Software’s indie-friendly, happiness-packed online service, so Mac users, if your Boot Camp hasn’t been getting any love and you needed an excuse to boot Windows, this is it.

The key ingredient is a script for GlovePIE, the Windows-only software for custom connections to lots of hardware,  including the P5 data glove. I heard a nasty rumor that GlovePIE development is on pause, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

Of course, I bring this up as it’s not just for gaming. Like the Wii Remote, the Balance Board is a simple Bluetooth device. The force sensors are really accurate – easier to work with, in fact, than accelerometers. Given the relative paucity of good controllers for your feet in music, that makes the Balance Board intriguing indeed. I’m interested in making it work with Java, as well, as that would work across platforms and with Processing. Weekend project: Balance Board hacking. If anyone is interested in joining me, drop me a line; otherwise I hope to have some results for you soon.

Wii Balance Board + Audiosurf + Motion Controls = Awesome [Chardish’s site]

Via Joystiq

  • Lawrie

    Very, very cool.

    I'd be interested to see it working with Guitar Rig maybe, with your body's position changing various settings, as a replacement for the Rig Control…controller. Sadly my coding skills are not there yet.

    Anyone fancy this project?

  • Well, I was going to use it with Kore's morphing feature. To do that, I'll have to set up a VST host — will give it a go with Max. Once that's done, switching the control over to Guitar Rig will be academic.

    So, hopefully, wish granted. 🙂

  • Thomas

    I wonder if the timing and sensitivity of the Wii balance Board is so good that you can use it to trigger sounds with a low latency and high precision.

    Could be used to trigger drum sounds, for instance, or melodic instruments while controlling pitch with the wiimote.

    The best way to accurately trigger notes with the Wiimote + GlovePIE is the buttons, and that just doesn't feel right in a I'm-playing-a-musical-instrument kind of way.

    If one could play the balance board with one's hands, and get correct timing, velocity and position information, the balance board could be used as a really cool rythmic instrument.

  • somewhat related…i was on a compilation with Dosh and many others a few months back when Audio Surf was introduced. it's free, some of you may dig the comp:

  • @actuel: very sweet. I know what I'll be doing in between coding and editing this weekend. 🙂

  • MonksDream

    Sounds like a fun weekend! One question: does the board measure force as well as position?

  • bknoth

    has anyone gotten anywhere with accessing data from the balance board for MAX?

  • soulmate


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