Posts Tagged ‘wii’

Using Wii Balance Board to Fly Through Google Earth (Google)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Editor's note: And here I thought the Wii was just for bowling, lol.]

Republished from Google Lat Long blog.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM

This year for Macworld I decided to create a program that allows people to “surf” any region on the Earth’s surface using a Nintendo Wii Balance Board and the Google Earth API.  To do this, I used the Google Earth Browser Plug-in with a Javascript API.  The Wii Balance Board transmits the your movements to the Earth Surfer application using Bluetooth and allows you to maneuver a virtual milk truck by shifting your balance as if you were on a surfboard.

Check out the following video to see it in action:

While it’s fun to use Earth Surfer, I really wrote it to inspire others to write their own programs. It’s all open source using the Apache License, so you can use the code in your own programs, even commercial ones.

It is based on Thatcher Ulrich’s terrific Javascript Monster Milktruck demo, which is an open source program on a webpage. I wrapped it as a Macintosh application program so I could add Objective-C.  Objective-C uses the Macintosh Bluetooth support to decode the Bluetooth packets from the Wii Balance Board. The Balance Board support is my work. I based that on DarwiinRemote, open source decoders for the Wii Remote.
Earth Surfer and its source code will be available next week on the Google Mac Developer Playground.

Another amusing hack for surfing in Google Earth.