The Electric Educator: Setting Up Your Wiiboard

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Setting Up Your Wiiboard

In a previous post, I created a list of the components that are required for a functioning wiiboard. I will now briefly describe how to connect everything together. The video below will describe how to connect your computer and wiimote. Written instructions can be found below the video.

1. Enable bluetooth
For some, this may mean enabling the blue tooth signal on your PC, for others, it may mean physically plugging in your bluetooth dongle. 

2. Connect wiimote
With your wiimote in hand, press the 1 and 2 buttons simultaneously. This will activity the bluetooth signal in the wiimote and enable it to be "discovered" by your computer. 

3. Search for wiimote
Exactly how you go about doing this will vary depending on the type of bluetooth adapter you have. On my computer, a little bluetooth icon appears at the bottom right corner of my screen, right next to the clock. When I right click on the icon, there is an option that says "add bluetooth device." They key is to have both your computer and your wiimote sending out a bluetooth signal at the same time. If the lights on the wiimote stop flashing and your computer hasn't discovered it yet, press the 1 and 2 buttons again. 

Your computer should search and then give you a list of all nearby bluetooth devices (if your cell phone is nearby it may show up as well!) Inidcate that you want to connect to the Nintendo Wii Controler (exact steps will vary depending on the bluetooth software you are using). When your computer connects to the wiimote, it will list it as a connected device. It should also indicate that it is a "human interface device" (just like a mouse or keyboard). 

4. Run smoothboard software
This part is a little bit tricky. Although you have linked the wiimote and computer, you aren't actually using the wiimote until you open up the smoothboard program. If you don't do this quickly enough, the wiimote will "hibernate" and you will loose the signal. Don't worry, it's longer than a few seconds. I'm guessing you have about 1 minute before the wiimote shuts off. Just don't go and get a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom until you have opened the smoothboard software.

If you have completed steps 1-4 correctly, the "player 1" light at the bottom of the wiimote should remain lit.

5. Aim wiimote and calibrate
Properly aiming your wiimote at the projected area will take a bit of experimentation. The Wiimote has a infrared camera inside of it that projects out at a 45 degree angle. The goal is to align the wiimote so that it can "see" all of the projected image.

From your computer, click "calibrate" on the smoothboard interface. (If you are a former Palm Pilot user, this step will be familiar to you!) A white screen with a target in one of the corners will appear. Using your Infrared light pen, click in the center of the target. Repeat with the targets in each of the corners. 

Smoothboard will tell you how much of the screen the wiimote can see. The higher the percentage the better, however I have never gotten much above 50% but haven't had any performance issues. 

I have, on occasion, set my wiimote too far to the left or right, resulting in a dead zone on the projected image (i.e. I click, but they wiimote can't see the light emitted from the IR pen.). If this happens to you, simply re-aim your wiimote. Remember- every time you move your wiimote, you must recalibrate!

You are now connected, calibrated, and ready to go! Enjoy using your white board and congratulate yourself for saving thousands of dollars!

1 comment:

  1. Hey,

    With the latest Smoothboard 1.6 (, you can now rely on its autoconnect mode (MS Bluetooth Stack) which reduces the hassles of manually connecting your Wii to computer.


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