The Electric Educator: Wiiboard Software

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wiiboard Software

Turing a Nintendo Wii controler into a smartboard is a relatively simple process. Here is what you need.

1. Nintendo Wii controler (Note: you do NOT need to have the Wii system. A controler can be purchased for about $50).

2. Blue tooth enabled PC (if you don't have built in bluetooth on your PC, you can purchase a bluetooth adapter for as little as $8, although I would recommend spending a bit more for higher functionality)

3. Smoothboard software (this freeware is based off of the original work done by Johnny Chung Lee however it works much better and has several added components)

4. Video Projector

5. Infrared Pen 
  • You can find instructions for making your own pen all over the web. Here is a helpful video tutorial from Originally, I used my own, however it didn't work that great.
  • I would discourage you from making a pen simply because the ones available for sale are relatively inexpensive and work much much better than the one that I made. I would recommend the pens sold by John Mitchel ($8) at I purchased one and have been very satisfied with it. 
  • I am also very curious to purchase and try out "The Groove" sold by This pen has a pressure sensitive tip which makes use of the wiiboard more intuitive. The downside to this pen is that it costs $30.
Now you have all that you need to create a wiiboard! In a later post, I will describe how to connect and use your wiiboard.


  1. I looked at the Penteractive Pens, but they wanted $26 just for shipping two pens, which is ridiculous.

    Do you remember what problems you had trying to make your own pens?

  2. DWees,

    The IR LED that you use is critical. There has been a lot of discussion on which one is best on the wiimoteproject discussion board. The best one, the vishay TSAL6400, can only be ordered from electronic supply companies. It's not that expensive, but must be special ordered. You can't get it from Radio Shack. Couple that with the challenge of making a pen casing that allows for easy replacement for a battery and you've got quite a project on your hands. If you've got the time and the interest, go for it. It's not that complicated, just takes time.


  4. Anonymous...

    True, however I would argue that the vast majority of schools have one or more traveling projectors that can be used. My assessment is that the LCD projector is a standard piece of equipment in most schools.


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