Wii controller

A team of artists has turned the Nintendo Wiimote into a controller for an adaptive, 3D sound environment. Claudio Midolo, Edgar Castellanos, Natan Sinigaglia, and Pedro Mari worked together on the project, and have posted extensive technical details if you fancy trying something like this yourself.

The basic setup:

  • Mac for control input via Bluetooth and music generation
  • aka.wiiremote external for Max/MSP (by Masayuki Akamatsu, freely available though Mac Universal only) for communication with the Wiimote
  • Propellerheads Reason for sound
  • Windows PC for 3D visualization, via visual software vvvv (Windows-only)
  • UDP for data transmission from Mac to PC

More details and lots of video:
wiiwiiwiiwii (Thesis Project)

I’m not totally convinced from the perspective of musicality, but it’s a promising project, and it demonstrates how a controller like the Wii can allow a reduction of controls. As it happens, I’ve been really aware of this as I play EA’s Madden Football. They even have a new single-controller scheme, because you can do so much gesturally, which previously required lots of buttons or keyboard hotkeys. I think this kind of gestural control could be relevant not only to the Wii but other controllers — there’s no reason only the Wii needs to have tilt sensors. Even my digital camera has a tilt sensor for adjusting the orientation of image previews.

So there you have it. Students, tell your computer music / new media teacher I told you have to spend time playing Madden football, in order to experience the possibilities of gestural interactive control mapping. Seriously. You’ll just have to take on my Giants.

Thanks to Chris O’Shea for the link. He’s got so much awesomeness on his site Pixelsumo that I don’t know where to begin.