Wiimote Perl hacks

The wiimote is a geek toy. Here's what I did with it so far.

3D Earth

I wrote this OpenGL program in Perl more than a year ago. It can display Apache access logs in real time, as geolocated spikes on the rotating planet (if your machine is powerful enough :). It was a fun way for me to learn tiny bits of OpenGL, enough to run it. I thought it would be cool to use the wiimote to control the planet, twisting and spinning the Earth with your hands. It worked pretty well, and I'm really satisfied with the result.

Fast forward…

During last couple of weeks, I managed to find some spare time to play with the wiimote again. Here's the result, the wiimote tools.

Wiimote tools

Tools it's probably not the right word. It's small hacks. It 3 different hacks in one box. I know there's already stuff out there that let you do everything like this, but honestly I don't care at all. The interesting part is writing something, preferably in Perl, to do that myself. And if my kids can have fun with it, it's the best a father-hacker can hope for… :)

Copy-paste from the README follows:


This is something I made for my small kids, so they could just play with sounds. You can write a small config file to assign random mp3s/wav/… to each button of the wii.

Take a look at drumkit.conf or animals.conf as examples.

Then every time you press a button, or wave the wii in the air (pretending you're playing drums), you will hear the corresponding sounds. It requires 'paplay', the Pulse audio command line player. My daughter almost managed to fork bomb my PC pressing buttons everywhere :)


This is a quick hack that I put together to use the wiimote together with any of my favorite games as a digital joystick.

I can use it to play with mame (see pic), of course with legal roms or c64 emulators (with games I of course owned when I was a kid) and so on. Currently it works well with a few games, because of the way the keys are sent to X11, and it works really bad with other games, because of the way the keys are sent to X11. :)

Requires the X11::GUITest module, install with sudo cpan X11::GUITest.


This is the stupidest of the lot. It can control the speed of a movie (or song?) by pretending to use the wiimote like a drunk orchestra conductor would.

It's a bit sucky because it doesn't get the actual tempo from the sound, so you have to pretend the normal (1.0x) speed is represented by wii-beats distanced by 1 second. So if you want to double the speed of the movie/song, you have to wave the wii in the air every 0.5 seconds. Pretty lame, eh? :)

Requires Audio:: Play:: MPlayer with a trivial patch I made to add the speed command.

Everything is nicely packaged here, if you want to experiment with it.

… and this is for mst, have fun!

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