While Nintendo’s newest console has been labeled decidedly non-hardcore by most of the gaming public, the technology afforded within the system’s wireless controller opens up a wealth of DIY possibilities. Inspired by noted Wii hacker Johnny Lee, blogger Ken Moore has used the Wiimote to create his own Theremin.
To be precise, I’ve built a Theremin simulator using a computer, a Roland JV-1080 synthesizer, and a Wiimote (remote controller from the Wii game console).
At just $35, the Wiimote is an AMAZING piece of technology. It has an infrared camera in it which tracks the position up to 4 infrared light sources. So I bought a pair of leather gloves, wired up a couple infrared LEDs to 1.5 volt batteries, and poked an LED through the tip of the index finger of each glove.
Check out the Ken Moore Design blog for the full skinny, or simply watch the following video to see the Wii Theremin in action. It’s a pretty impressive hack with nigh limitless expressive musical potential. Sure, you look like a dork whilst playing it, but, if you’ve gone to all that trouble to turn a console controller into an ad hoc instrument, chances are you’ve already blown your cover.