How to make a low-cost electronic whiteboard

Wii remote 2Need an interactive, back-projecting electronic whiteboard? Build your own from household objects!

You will need:

1 sheet of tracing paper (70p)
1 Wii remote
1 customised crayon* (£5)
1 laptop
1 LED projector (£250)Crayon

*Take crayon large enough to take on AA battery. Open, remove all ink, insert switch-operated infrared light and battery, tape back together.

How it works:

1. Projector projects image from laptop onto paper (aka the screen)
2. Image is visible from other side of paper
3. Person uses infra-red crayon (aka the mouse cursor) to draw on the screen
4. Infra-red signal picked up by Wii remote (aka the infrared camera)
5. Wii transmits data wirelessly to laptop
6. Laptop adds cursor data to image
7. Image sent to projector, cycle repeats

projector setup

And as if that wasn’t enough, the team are also experimenting with depth. By adding simple infrared positioning lights (the same technology used in parking sensors and automatic toilet flushing sensors) the system will be able to add 3D positioning to the data displayed on screen.

Whiteboard system developed by Emma Tonkin (UKOLN, University of Bath), Andrew Hewson (UKOLN, University of Bath) and Greg Tourte (School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol). Photography by Andrew Hewson.

One thought on “How to make a low-cost electronic whiteboard

  1. IR Repeater

    Amazing what you can do with with a Wii remote and some creative thinking! The picture looks something like a school classroom full of intelligence and structered mess! that said, you can clearly see it works – may I ask what was its purpose other than making it out of household items?

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