9 Unusual Uses for the Wii Remote

For most of us, the Wii remote was cool because it let us swing our arm to bowl or play tennis, but for the more technically minded, the Wii remote was a cool, inexpensive piece of bluetooth, motion-detecting hardware that could be used in a variety of ingenious ways.

Use It as a PC Mouse

Wii remotes

Lnk.Si / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Did you know you can use the Wii remote as a PC mouse? Me neither, but apparently if your Mac or Windows PC can connect with Bluetooth devices you can put your Bluetooth software on discover, press the 1 and 2 buttons on your remote, and you’re connected.

Make a Theremin

Wii Theramin
Ken Moore

Once you’ve connected a Wiimote to a computer there is no end to the clever things you can create. For example, connect a laptop, synthesizer, and Wii remote and you can create a Theremin synthesizer. It sure looks like more fun than playing Wii Music.

Make a Multi-Point Interactive Whiteboard

Wii white board
Johnny Lee

The first Wii Whiteboard was mocked up by Johnny Lee, who has come up with a number of ingenious uses for the Wii remote, and his design was given a makeover by other users.

Make a Head Tracker for Virtual Reality Displays

Wii Remote Head Tracker
Johnny Lee

Another Johnny Lee Wiimote creation, a head-mounted sensor bar allows a Wiimote under the TV to keep track of your head placement. A computer uses this information to move things on screen so that users can look at objects from different angles as they move around.

Diagnose Eye Disorders

Wii Remote Optical Tracker
Seoul National University College of Medicine

Scientists are working on a way to use a Wii remote as a low-cost diagnostic tool for kids with ocular torticollis, an eye disease that affects the angle of a sufferer’s head. This is quite similar to the head tracker mentioned above, but with a very different purpose

Let Your PC Track Your Fingers

Wii Remote Finger Tracker
Johnny Lee

Remember in Minority Report how people could drag things across the screen with their fingers? Well, this isn’t much like that, regardless of the claims of its designer (once again, Johnny Lee).

Analyze CT Scans

Some doctors found they could replace a mouse and keyboard with the Wii remote when they wanted to analyze CT and MRI images. The goal was to simply find a way to do so more comfortably, allowing doctors to cycle through images with a twist of the wrist.

Interact With Holograms

Wii Remote Hologram Machine
Shinoda Lab

Some folks at the Shinoda Lab in Tokyo combined a Wii remote, a computer and a tactile device that blows air to allow users to interact with a holographic image and actually feel it as well.

Hold your hand out and see a holographic ball fall on it as a puff of air gives you the sensation of a ball hitting your hand. When are we going to get video games that do that?

Use It as Part of an Elaborate Hoax

Wii Remote Flight Hoax
Floris Kaayk

Sure, you can use the Wii remote to create some sort of ingenious technology, but you can also use it to pretend to create some sort of ingenious technology.

That’s what some Netherlander did, creating a video in which it appeared that he was flying using a winged apparatus attached to his back that he controlled by waving his Wii-remote-equipped arms up and down.

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