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Tokyo Make Meeting 06: Wii Balance Board hacked to create 'Diet Chair'

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November 22, 2010

Ryo Yamamoto has repurposed Wii's Balance Board, to create a Diet Chair

Ryo Yamamoto has repurposed Wii's Balance Board, to create a Diet Chair

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Here's a very clever hack of a Wii Balance Board from engineer Ryo Yamamoto that was on display at Tokyo Make Meeting 06 this past weekend. Mr. Yamamoto's "Diet Chair" is essentially just a regular chair, but with a Wii Balance Board sitting underneath the seat. What's smart about this is that it allows the chair to send feedback to the computer where the user's weight can be monitored over time.

The Diet Chair's data is displayed onscreen via a Google Chrome extension, showing the user how he's doing and whether or not he's nearing his goal. Not satisfied with any old line graph, the Team Lab engineer has ingeniously decided that he wants his feedback in the form of an old fashioned RPG (Role Playing Game)! Very geeky, very awesome.

Tokyo Make Meeting 06: Wii Balance Board hacked to create 'Diet Chair'

As you can see in the demonstration video below, as the user approaches target weight, the corresponding on-screen RPG video clip (from Final Fantasy V) will also get nearer to the goal as well. Mr. Yamamoto also has a clip up on NicoVideo, although login is required to view.

These days, when everyone and their dog is trying to hack the Microsoft Kinect, it's encouraging to see that people are still putting Nintendo's hardware to good use. Tokyo Make Meeting, as always, was full of enthusiastic smart people like Mr. Yamamoto, who were repurposing technologies in innovative ways.

For other interesting Balance Board hacks, check out these German students who used it to surf Google Earth, or this Arduino-powered labyrinth game that uses the board as navigation input.

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