A Game using 3D Head Tracking with the Wiimote

Bachelor project by Jasper Smit


The computer screen can be regarded as a window to another world. For real-world windows (in buildings), the visible view changes when it is looked through another position. For instance, when standing to the left of a window, there is more visible to the right of the world behind the window. The distance to window is also of importance for the view from the window. When an observer is closer to the window, he or she sees more of everything; while when getting further away, the field of view is decreased. In contrast, using a regular computer screen it has been impossible for a game (or a similar 3D application) to detect movements of a player's head. Today's 3D games draw a perspective centered to a single point in space behind the screen. It assumes the player does not move with his or her head.

In this project, system was created that detects the position of the player's head, using the Wii Remote as an infrared camera which can track the position of infrared light sources. Normally it tracks the position of stationary infrared light sources in the »sensor bar« of the Wii. Using the positions of these infrared dots it can estimate the position of the Wii Remote. For the head tracking system this principle is used the other way around. The Wii Remote is placed at a stationary position and the infrared lights are placed on the player's head. For this purpose a special pair of glasses was created.

A game with head tracking capabilities was created to demonstrate the system. In this game the perspective of the view is corrected for the point of the player. Incoming projectiles have to be dodged by moving the head out of harm's way. Thus, the system gives the player the feeling of being part of the environment and it makes the game more realistic. You can download Jasper Smit's bachelor thesis here.