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Wii Remote helps wheelchairs create virtual art

A virtual canvas, that is

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The Wii's Remote can already direct a disco, but it can also now be used to paint a virtual canvas, thanks to one intrepid student’s adjustments to the controller .

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A overview of Digital Wheel Art

Digital Wheel Art is designed to allow wheelchair-bound people to express themselves through drawings. Essentially, the user controls the Wii’s Remote over an IR connection, which in turn allows the Remote to communicate over Bluetooth with drawing software. The IR signal is sent out from the user's chair, transmitting its movements.


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Drawings are projected onto a display in front of the user, allowing them to design the canvas in real-time in any way they like simply by moving their chair.

Using IR seems a weak spot: ultimately, we'd expect the Wii Remote to be attached to the chair itself.

Because the system is PC-based, designer Young-Hyun Chung, a student at New York University, boasts that drawing data “includes the actual brushstrokes of dynamic drawing process”. Much like having a video of Leonardo Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa.

The Wii’s Remote is increasingly being adapted for purposes beyond batting a tennis ball over a virtual net. Gaming boffins from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have already used it as the basis for a musical game that helps visually impaired people compete against their 20/20-vision cousins.

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