Hacking the wiimote

The WSJ has an article about how people re-engineer the Nintendo Wii controller to do all sort of things. This is done through downloading free software on the Web and tweak the code to re-assign the control/movements to specific commands. See wiihacks.blogspot.com and WiiLi.org. Some excerpts I found interesting:

"what has most captivated hackers is a mechanism inside the Wii-mote called an accelerometer that can detect its speed and direction of motion. It is the accelerometer, made by Analog Devices Inc., in Norwood, Mass., that allows Wii players to use their remotes to act out whatever game they're playing, whether it's casting with a fishing rod or swinging a tennis racket. (...) Nintendo says it is surprised by efforts to reprogram the Wii-mote and discourages the practice. "The Wii Remote was created to play on the Wii system only," says Anka Dolecki, spokeswoman for Nintendo. But all the interest in the Wii-mote could have an upside for the company. The dozens of free games on the Web that incorporate the Wii-mote have helped add to the buzz surrounding the console. (...) Some companies see possible business applications with the Wii-mote. Rick Bullotta, vice-president of SAP Research, an arm of the German software giant SAP AG, is looking at ways to integrate the Wii-mote into their clients' manufacturing operations. He envisions factory and warehouse employees walking through facilities pointing and waving Wii-motes to monitor and control machines."

Why do I blog this? the wii hacks are more and more documented, it's interesting to see how this innovation from the gaming area can lead to change in other area.