Just picked this up from my feeds, again as something to return to later and follow, how Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University, has used the Wii Remote, and pens modified to emit infrared to create a portable multitouch whiteboard that also works as an input device for potential collaborative engagement on a host of other work surfaces. With the excitement that Microsoft Surface generated for me when I saw it earlier in the year, this solution, is a really interesting idea. It does not have all the bells and whistles, that "surface" as a commercial solution is likely to provide, but from a classroom perspective the ability for more than one student to work on the same surface at the same time, with tools we already have available to us, means this is a potentially exciting resource. In addition, as is demonstrated in the video below, using tools based on this, every surface in the classroom onto which you can project a computer desktop, becomes a potential multiuser interactive space. Currently using the solution may mean a visit to Tandy or Radio Shack, but considering the costs of installing IWBs, this solution, will surely require some rethink or redesign on the part of our current providers. I was made aware a few weeks back that the most recent Hitachi Board model includes multitouch features, but have not seen any proposals or demonstrations with other boards so far, it will be interesting to see as this idea emerges further if commercial producers will make or develop an infrared stylus, that can be sold separately for use with the Wii remote. What will also be interesting is how or if the cost of such tools will equate with the £40 to £50 pound price tag that this solution offers as is, in posts published by Ewan McIntosh and Will Richardson that directed me here.
There is still the cost projectors to consider, but this initial solution cuts potential costs considerably. Maybe with the addition of an open source, cross platform, object based software suite, that enables use of legacy file formats from other IWB software suites, this will have an impact on the solutions offered by IWB providers. Below is a video of Johnny demonstrating his innovation, you can also find his original you tube post, here amazing and inspirational.