The Nintendo Wiimote is an inexpensive high degree-of-freedom wireless input device. This suggests that the wiimote might find use in a wide range of applications including the visualization of complex scientific data. Research in our lab focuses around the three dimensional structures of large organic molecules such as proteins.
To date, there are two classes of environments for molecular visualization – the vast majority of biologists utilize a desktop computer and mouse while a small minority have access to expensive virtual reality environments costing upwards of $100,000. We demonstrate two uses of the wiimote in molecular visualization: 1) the wiimote can be used as an input device, providing a natural interface for grabbing, rotating, and interacting with the protein and 2) by adjusting the on-screen display to reflect changes in the user’s head position (as tracked using the wiimote) we provide visual cues to achieve a 3D visualization effect.
Our method integrates the wiimote input device with a traditional desktop computer achieving many of the features of a high-end virtual reality environment for less than $100.
Ryan Lilien Faculty
Laptin Doan Undergraduate Student
Ronald Fung Undergraduate Student
Christian Muise Graduate Student
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