A Modular Implementation of Wii Remote Head Tracking for Virtual Reality

Ryan Pavlik
Virtual Reality Applications Center
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-2160

Judy M. Vance
Ph.D.
Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Virtual Reality Applications Center
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-2160

Pavlik, R. A. and Vance, J. M., 2010, “A Modular Implementation of Wii Remote Head Tracking for Virtual Reality,” ASME 2010 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality (WINVR2010) Proceedings, May 12-14, Ames, IA WINVR2010-3771.

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) environments based on interactive rendering of 3D computer graphics often incorporate the use of position and orientation tracking on the user’s head, hands, and control devices. The Wii Remote game controller is a massmarket peripheral that can provide a low-cost source of infrared point tracking and accelerometer data, making it attractive as a PC-based virtual reality head tracking system. This paper describes the development of an extension to the Virtual Reality Peripheral Network (VRPN) software to support the use of the Wii Remote game controller as a standard tracker object in a wide range of VR software applications. This implementation permits Wii Remote-based head tracking to directly substitute for more costly commercial trackers through the VRPN and VR Juggler Gadgeteer tracker interfaces. The head tracker provides up to 100Hz of head tracking input. It has been tested in a variety of VR applications on both Windows and Linux. The discussed solution has been released as open-source software.

Keywords: Virtual reality, tracking, human-computer interaction.

Links