Wii-ing on PowerPoint


Being always on the lookout for new UI paradigms, I've been thinking about Nintendo's Wii and what it might mean in terms of interaction design - not just for games, but for other uses.

I've even dug up the accelerometers used in the new controller, which I assume to be these PDF.

The first thing I noticed when watching the Wii videos was that the controller would make an excellent wireless mouse - sure, it's limiting to think of it as such, but if Nintendo can use it to simulate an archery bow in the new Zelda, they sure as hell can use it as a mouse pointer for a web browser (I really wonder what Opera is doing with that, given their penchant for adding new twists to navigation).

Anyway, what has gotten me thinking is this: the controller is sure to be available separately - and, more to the point, produced en masse and at a reasonable price tag.

So what if it were possible to hook one up to a Mac?

At the very least, it would make a kick-ass presentation controller. At most, it would spawn an entirely new set of applications that we can't even envisage right now.

Either way, it would be much more useful than the built-in PowerBook/MacBook sensor. Sure, it has given rise to a number of interesting hacks, but none that are actually useful in a UI sense because a laptop isn't easy to wave around.

But something the size of the Wii remote is, and although I can think of few compelling uses for it other than making your PowerPoint presentations look like something out of Minority Report (and wouldn't that be cool), I wonder how long until MEMS make it into cheap, mainstream pointing devices of some sort.

Who knows, maybe the Mighty Mouse will sprout wings some day...


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