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Scientists use Wiimote to measure water evaporation rates

Mike Schramm, @mikeschramm
January 4, 2011
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A recently published report in the Water Resources Research academic journal describes an experiment undertaken by a team tasked with measuring evaporation rates by monitoring water levels. How is this related to our favorite hobby? Well, rather than use a hypersensitive monitor or a high tech ballast system, they used a Wiimote. According to the report, the scientists pointed the Wiimote's IR LEDs at reflectors attached to a float in a water pan, and then used the reflected light (usually used to see where the sensor bar is relative to the controller) to check and see how quickly the water was evaporating.

The results were pretty amazing, actually -- not only did the Wiimote pick up even slight changes in the water level, but it was able to compensate for other movement, due to waves or water displacement. That's impressive for a little $30 game controller. We've already seen Kinect do some pretty impressive things as well, including recreate a Minority Report-style interface, and recognize sign language. That leaves just one motion controller without its own academic degree -- better get a Move on, Sony.



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