Bluetooth? Accelerometer? Optical Sensing? Wii like it.

26 Nov



The Wii Console by Nintendo was widely released December of 2006. The console was considered a smash hit, with its innovative remote, which pretty much created the whole casual gaming market.

The Will console is now ubiquitous in homes all over the USA. We have a Wii and my kids love to play the different Mario Bros franchise games, and I enjoy watching them enjoy a series that I grew up with. Now as an adult I am not much of a gamer, but the Wii remote has always intrigued the tech nerd in me. That weird game controller that looks like a cross between a vintage television remote and a garage door opener is packed full of technology.



The Wii remote uses Bluetooth for communication and an optical sensor for location orientation.

The bluetooth module is a Broadcom BCM2042 full bluetooth on a chip, with a fully integrated HID profile and a full Bluetooth stack.To obtain the pass code or pin for syncing perform the following:

Bluetooth pairing must be initiated by the host by sending a Require Authentication command. At this point you will be prompted for the Wii remote’s pin code. The pin code is the Wii remote Bluetooth MAC address reversed in binary.  For example if the MAC Address is (HEX) (00:1E:35:3B:7E:6D):, reverse the address (HEX) (6D:7E:3B:35:1E:00), then convert to binary.

Here is a little C code to calculate the string:

char pin[6];
pin[0] = 0x6D;
pin[1] = 0x7E;
pin[2] = 0x3B;
pin[3] = 0x35;
pin[4] = 0x1E;
pin[5] = 0x00;

The Wii also contains a ADXL335 accelerometer that senses on three axis, and can measure the static acceleration of gravity, as well as dynamic acceleration resulting from motion, shock, or vibration.

The remote contains a pixart optical sensor, when used in conjunction with the Wii sensor bar (which contains strategically placed and aimed infrared LED’s) can triangulate its distance and position from the sensor bar, with a range of 16 feet.

Combine all of this with built-in EEPROM memory (with a portion of the registers mapped to the inputs), the typical U.D.L.R, A-B inputs, and tactile and audible feedback, this is one powerful little device running on two AA batteries.

I have rooted my android tablet, and after a few modifications I was able to install Wiimote  (Google Play Store) allowing me to use the Wii remote as a controller in conjunction with a SNES emulator. This has been very handy for entertaining the kids while travelling.


Other people have come up with some pretty creative ideas:

Such as controlling your home with a Wii remote;

And interfacing a Wii Remote with Google Earth;

And one of my favorites, a Wii Remote controlled lawn-mower


If you’re looking to experiment with a Wii Remote, CLICK HERE for various Wii bluetooth drivers and source code for Windows, Linux and Java.


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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in 2013, Previous Month


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