I’m not really sure on the Windows side of things as I’m a Mac guy. I’ve done it on the Mac using a couple different techniques, but it’s been a long time. I used Darwiin Remote, https://sourceforge.net/projects/darwiin-remote/ and set up a serial connection to an old OS X technology called Quartz Composer.
More recently I’ve been playing with setting up a system using an Arduino and some 940nm LEDs and a blob tracking camera called the Pixy which I modded with an IR kit from IR-Lock as I described above. As far as I got though was writing a program that just detects the reflected light from the wand tip and triggers an LED on and off. I still have yet to do any true tracking and the reliability of the IR LED detection is not great.
I realize this thread has been dormant for a few months now. My family and I just got back from Universal a couple of days ago. We had acquired HP interactive wands and loved them. I would love to build a wand and found this thread.
The patent that @Steameister posted mentions the Microsoft Kinect system, which operates at 827nm, according to this link: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/48fd741b-b858-46c5-8668-96efbaff9573/kinect-ir?forum=kinectsdk.
Has anyone tried using the Kinect system to view the wands? I wonder if that would make them easier to see, over the 940nm Wii system.
Thank you all for the useful information presented here!
I just got back from Universal Orlando. I brought some IR filters with me. The sensors and backscatter light are clearly visible with the 850nm filter.
Thanks for this info. That would seem to line up with the system working with the Wii set up. Still it seems like a 940nm system may work as well if not better? I never got very far with my testing though. Maybe someone with more IR experience could explain.
I believe 940nm is Wii. 827nm is XBOX Kinect.
What I’d really like to understand is if one wavelength would perform better than the other or does it really not matter?
I am probably very late to this party, but I was wondering if someone is still working on this? I would love to get this to work again but am currently stuck with the problem of the Wii-Wand-Reccognition software @timothy_high developed several years ago does not work with newer Windows versions, not even in compatibility mode. I purchased a Lenovo laptop with W10 just for that reason but cannot get it to work properly. Additionally, because I use MAC, I would love to find a way to have this all run on a mac instead.
I’ve become busy with a number of other things, but I still have a goal of trying to get some sort of solution working that doesn’t require a desktop computer or a Wii set up. I’d really like to see something that can use the Arduino bit or a Raspberry Pi or something like that. I’ve played around with a few things and got basic solution working with a Raspberry Pi unit. The main thing is time. I just don’t have a lot of extra cycles to play with this stuff. Still I’d be possibly open to doing some collaboration with a group if that’s something we can set up.
@maccast I really do like the idea of detaching it from any computer and I am definitely happy to help. Because I do not have enough coding experience to help with that I am afraid, I am happy to test, brainstorm etc. Hopefully we can get some other interested ppl engaged and get this up and running again, one way or another.
I am still looking into a way of “fixing” that Windows IR movement recognition program just in case. I have a party coming up later this year and I would really like to add this as big surprise for a very dear friend of mine
I’m really a Mac and Linux guy so I’m afraid I won’t be much help with the Windows code that was really @timothy_high’s area.
Same here! I actually bought a mini laptop ONLY because I hoped that @timothy_high s program would work for the party I am trying to get this running for. I would much rather have a MAC solution
Oh my! When’t The party?
I actually have an Android version that works with the phone itself - an accelerometer + gyroscope - but not with the wand. A lot less flashy that way… but if it helps, I can try to recover that and send you an APK.
@SLG when I first found this project I actually got a primitive system working on the Mac using the Wii sensor bar andDarwiinRemoteOSC (May or may not work with latest OS X). DarwiinRemoteOSC sends all the data captured by the remote over Open Sound Control(OSC). I was then able to use a plug-in for QuartzComposer, qcOSC, to capture the signal and generate a dot in a QuartzComposer visual that would track around the screen based on the position of the tip of the HP wand. That was about as far as I got though. Ideally I would want to write a Mac app using Xcode that could consume the OSC data and then use @timothy_high’s techniques to pattern track the wand data and trigger commands to send to the LittleBits. Alas, I have never writing an Objective-C or Swift project, so all of this was a bit daunting and I never took it any further. I write all this in case the information may inspire or help someone else.
For anyone who wants to go a simpler route with immediate results, it’s worth mentioning the newly released BLE Bit . It’s available both individually and in the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit 2nd Edition. Using the shake or swing mode effectively turns your cell phone into a magic wand.
The Tips & Tricks page for the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit has the full lowdown on how this awesome Bit works:
Here you can see Luke @pooky demonstrating he waves his cell phone like a magic wand to make a littleBits powered train to go:
On another note, we recently had an AMAZING Magic of Invention challenge for Harry Potter fans with nearly 150 inventions submitted. Here are the 3 winners:
littleBits Book of Monsters by Graciela <---- Yes, she controls the Monster Book of Monsters with a Bluetooth Low Energy Bit!
Ron’s Howler by Asthik
Later this year so there is some time to get this done I already have the floating candles in a test drive up my ceiling
Does anyone know why wizarding-wands link is no longer up? I was hoping to recreate the magic for Halloween, but I can’t find the source code I had it up recently and meant to go back to it today, but it says “page not found” on the website. I had an idea for Halloween house for the family. Any help is appreciated. (:
I can’t find it either! It looks like they rearranged everything on their site, and now I can’t even find it with a search
Here’s the link to the code itself, but it doesn’t have the instructions that go with it…
You need to be able to compile it on a (maybe old…?) Windows machine, need the right DLL (might be in the project), need a Wiimote, and it’s important to get a powerful IR light bulb (single point source is best) in the right frequency - I think people have figured that out above.
The Arduino code may be lost but it’s unnecessary - it was good for doing a littleBits-only smart switch for multiple wand movements. You can also use IFTTT as a switch for multiple spells (instead of the CloudBit).
Has anyone tried regular old black glass beads from a craft store as a wand tip?
William Osman did find the right reflective material. Check out his video. His blog has links to the reflective items that work (he found that 3mm facial tracking dots worked best).
Please keep us posted on what you try.
William Osman’s blog: http://www.williamosman.com/2017/12/hacking-harry-potter-wands.html