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Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

Wiimotes and Vista Media Center?

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I played with a Nintendo Wii system for the very first time last Friday at a friends house (gotta admit I was a little ‘snobby’ about it and stayed clear until now) – but after seeing it I’m hooked. The nice thing about it was that all of us there (5 x couples) – were having a lot of fun playing it (tennis, bowling etc) – and normally the wives/girlfriends in our group would not be in the slightest bit interested. I’m now considering buying one – as my wife actually said she’d use it too (she won’t go near the Xbox360!)..

Of course being the Media Center fanatic that I am – I immediately thought – ‘that would be awesome for controlling Vista Media Center’. The great thing is that you’d get a new axis(s) of motion control + force feedback – in addition to the standard OK/LRUD/BACK buttons normally offered. 

So to my delight (and whilst on my net travels) – I caught a really interesting article on Microsoft’s Coding4Fun site by developer Brian Peek (ASPSOFT) – who has put together a Managed library for Nintendo’s Wiimote.

From the abovementioned article :

Nintendo’s Wii Remote (forever known as the Wiimote) is a fantastic little controller for the Nintendo Wii system.  Because it uses Bluetooth to communicate with the Wii, it can be connected to and used by practically any Bluetooth capable device.

Brian has then gone on to provide an actual Managed Library (for use with VB.NET and C#) – for communicating with your Wiimote from Windows (I assume would work with XP/MCE2005/Vista) and shown us how it’s all done.

There’s a bunch of additional cool things we could then do (some already demonstrated via the Wii main UI and Weather/News channels) – such as –

– Virtual Mouse / Screen Pointer (which works great while sitting on the couch).

– Sending feedback to the remote control from Vista Media Center (ie vibrating/beeping remote when your tv show is starting etc).

– Advanced navigation within Addins/UI (ie. would be excellent for picture viewing, video editing, virtual earth type apps, position/playback control etc).

So anyhow if I get one – this is something I’ll definitely be playing with.

You can also of course just by a standalone Wiimote (I think about AUD$65) – and bluetooth adapter (AUD$20 – see notes in article of what does/doesnt work) – without having to purchase the full Wii system.

I should also mention that a US company Gyration released a Media Center compliant ‘Air Mouse’ with some similar functionality a while ago – but is quite a bit more expensive (I think starts at around US$149.95) – and you don’t get the extra goodies like force feedback etc..

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Written by mobilewares

March 15, 2007 at 3:06 am

Posted in Vista MediaCenter

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