Author Archive

I knew all that time spent playing Call of Duty on Wii would pay off. The newest issue of Make Magazine (#33) offers an interesting and relatively easy project that turns a Wii Nunchuk into a gesture-based computer input device. Now I can be just as much of a deadeye in Excel – C2, bam; F7, bam – but at least in Excel everyone’s a winner. The guide was written by Gabriel Bianconi, an impressive Brazilian teenager, who appears to have been working on the project for a few years now.

The project pairs a Nunchuk with an Arduino to provide serial input interpreted by a custom Arduino library and a straight-forward Python script available on Make’s website that drives mouse events via win32api.  Best of all, the project is non-destructive – Wii Nunchuks accept regular jumper wires so you can try the project at no cost (assuming you already have an Arduino and Nunchuck), and later disconnect the controller for gaming use at any time.

The web link to Make’s online tutorial appears to broken at this time, but you can refer to Gabriel’s original tutorial if you can’t find a hard copy.  For further reading, check out this guide detailing the


The era of integrated computing is upon us, or at least starting in earnest. I look out upon the landscape of upcoming commercial peripherals, computing devices, and experimental tech and see many fascinating technologies which will change the ways that we interact with computers, our environments, and each other. To name a few: credible mass-market gesture controllers like the Myo Armband or the Leap Motion Controller; a competitive market for wearable computers like smart watches, heads up displays (Glass), and intelligent garments; and radical new technologies in neural interfaces that are allowing paralyzed individuals to interact with their worlds in previously unimaginable ways be it through an artificial hand, leg, or eye.

I love simple solutions, and I am not overly eager to ditch my computer mouse which serves me well (currently a Logitech M705), but in the very near future they will enjoy a decreasing share of our computing attention as more intuitive and natural interfaces, as well as semi-autonomous solutions take their place. In the future mice may be as much a memory as the hand-crank car window.

The purpose of this blog is not to discredit the value of today’s or yesterday’s technology, but simply to share some