Wii-mote Hacks: New Uses by DJs, Doctors, Musicians, and Engineers

Wii2A DJ in the Netherlands uses his Wii-mote (what fans call the Nintendo Wii’s remote control) to mix techno music at dance parties while a medical student in Italy has reconfigured his to analyze results from CT scans. More uses? You bet. A software engineer in Los Angeles controls a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner with his, and a formally trained conductor in Connecticut is showing classical musicians how to conduct a Beethoven symphony. The musicians use Wii-motes to control a digital section of an orchestra.

And even companies are looking into business applications of the Wii-mote. Rick Bullotta, vice president of SAP Research wants to improve their clients’ manufacturing operations by using Wii-motes. He sees future uses of Wii-motes in factories and warehouses. Employees would walk around waving and pointing their Wii-motes to control machines. “It’s the first time we’ve used a videogame controller for R&D,” he says.

This video (below) put out by the WSJ.com talks about the phenomenon while explaining that the Wii isn’t the only device being hacked. There’s a clip of the Sony PlayStation 3 being used as a working grill.

Nintendo apparently has mixed feelings by the wide-spread application of its Wii-motes and currently discourages atypical uses, at least according to Nintendo spokeswoman Anka Dolecki: “The Wii Remote was created to play on the Wii system only.”

But what are they going to do about it? If anything, it’s more positive press for the already popular Wii. Sony, on the other hand, probably could have done without this press. A spokesperson for Sony couldn’t be reached for comment on how the company feels about consumers using its gaming console as a grill…

For more details, check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

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