Google hacks the Wii Balance Board to surf Google Earth — literally

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Google used its booth at Macworld this year to show off some of the things it was working on with Apple, particularly for the iPhone. But the coolest thing at their booth didn’t have much to do with Apple at all: A hacked Nintendo Wii Balance Board (from the game Wii Fit) used to control Google Earth.

Using the Google Earth application programming interface (API), a Google engineer was able to get the Balance Board to talk to the program after decoding the Bluetooth packets being sent from the board (that’s how the device wirelessly interacts with a machine like the Nintendo Wii). The result (which you can see in the video below) allows users to move forward by leaning forward, move backwards by leaning back, etc.

The developer says he made this neat little demo to inspire others to code their own programs using these open source methods. Hopefully, someone comes up with a hack to make it so I can use my Wiimote to control my Apple TV, so I can stop using that damn directional pad.


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  1. […] just read about how a Google Engineer apparently integrated Google Earth with Wii and “was able to get the Balance Board to talk to the program after decoding the Bluetooth packets….†Um, thankfully Brian Peek has done a write up for a supported a not […]