Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Wiimote Story

This Wiimote has me thinking into the future and it has some ideas bubbling...Here's how I got here.
First someone mentioned this video on the TED web site.
It simmers for a few months while I paint the house and watch the kids.
The the boss calls and says she can order a projector, but not the interactive whiteboard for my room. Time to cook.
I poke around a little bit and find the Mac version (the laptop with Bluetooth in my area is a Mac.) Order up the Wiimote (not the Wii system, the Wiimote.) from Target. Why Target? I had a coupon and a percentage of my Red Card goes to GMS.
The next problem is the IR Pen controller. So I start poking around on the internet (Google is your friend.) and found a couple of sources for plans. There were a couple of movies on YouTube that showed how to make one.
I also found this business case.
Bottom line. If you need the content, get the boxed whiteboard. If not, why spend the money.
There are also a lot of demos on YouTube showing at work. Big confidence builder.
I also figured out that I would need some skills and could not remember where my soldering iron was. So I did the sane thing and went to eBay.
I ordered two pens.
One pen did it all. Laser pointer, stylus, ball point and IR LED. Very James Bond. The problem is it took a very small and expensive set of batteries. The LED sticks out the end of the top of the pen and I was worried that I would snap that off before class. That wasn't a great design for me.
I found a guy that was doing this Dry erase maker pen. Nice and sturdy. Very quick with a "Buy It Now" account on eBay. That's my winner.
Turns out it does work. Now my thought is how does a company that makes these interactive whiteboards stay in business? Is this a case where "too greedy" gets your business wiped out by a "do-good" group of programmers?

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