I was poking around on some information about OpenSim for an author and stumbled across a video about using a Wii remote to create a low-cost Multi-touch Whiteboard. Wow! I admit that I'd never given a whole lot of thought about how the Wii remote works. I was curious, but I just assumed it would be pretty complicated. I had never realized that the Wii communicated through Bluetooth and that the sensor on the front was an infrared camera.
So, I poked around a little more and found a page on CWiiD, which outlines how to get my laptop, running Ubuntu, to communicate with the Wii remote. I was able to set it up to use the Wii as a mouse, interpreting the tilt sensors-- which was challenging to use! I was also able to get it to work as a mouse using the infrared sensor. In this mode the Wii remote gives its position relative to an infrared source. (Your little Wii bar acts as the source for games, but any light source that generate IR will work, even a candle!) My office lights all use the little swirly fluorescent bulbs, but the bathroom across the hall from my office has incandescents. I just turned on the bathroom light and was immediately able to move my mouse by waving the Wii remote in the air like a magic wand-- though I had to point it at the bathroom. However, a desk lamp with an incandescent light bulb would do. I suppose I could mount a red LED somewhere if I wanted to be specific. (What a great use for a lava lamp!)
Anyway... it's been a while since I've been tickled with technology. This is silly, but fun and easy to do. Check it out!