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]