News Article

Wii Remotes Can Help Diagnose Eye Disorder

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

No, really

The humble Wii has been a lot of things in its lifespan beyond a simple gaming machine. It's become an alternative exercise centre, dance studio, artist's easel and, of course, a games console. The Wii Remote, meanwhile, has been possibly the most creatively-used game controller in the industry's history, with its motion capabilities giving it a variety of applications. It's now being used as a medical device, showing that Nintendo really can make people feel better.

That's a slight distortion of the truth, but Wii Remotes are being utilised as a tool for diagnosing an eye disorder. Ocular torticollis is an eye disease that causes children to have an abnormal head position, and to diagnose the issue doctors are required to gather data on a child's head movements, which isn't always an easy task. It's been reported in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal that two Wii Remotes can be used to track the movement of the head in real time, sending results to a computer via Bluetooth.

The image in this article shows how the setup works, and is possibly the most elaborate use of Wii Remotes that we've seen so far.

[via newsroomamerica.com]

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User Comments (24)

thedanman64

#2

thedanman64 said:

It's amazing to see such humble tech being used in ways like this and making positive changes to people's lives. You don't see this kind of thing with PS3 or Xbox 360!

Kyloctopus

#6

Kyloctopus said:

Interesting... The 3DS hurts eyes, while the Wii helps eyes. But there is the possibility that the 3DS could help your eyes.

SkywardLink98

#7

SkywardLink98 said:

O_O Wow. I guess the Wii will live on forever (Or awhile longer at least) but not in the gaming world but in the world of medicine.

DashChargedShot

#8

DashChargedShot said:

You learn a new thing every day. Wow. Whodathunkit? Here's my fun fact for Nintendo: AR in the future will be put on phones and if, say, an elderly(sigh, that again sadly) or someone with medical problems if they have an emergency and dont know where the nearest hospital is they can get out their phone and point it aroud to see the nearest hostital or center where they can get helped.

AVahne

#9

AVahne said:

I can kinda see how this is done, it's because each Wii Mote has an infrared camera inside right?

Capt_N

#10

Capt_N said:

Beautiful, just beautiful, like Spirit242 said. I have ocular motor apraxia, & when I was diagnosed w/ it, back in the early 90's, I was afraid I was no longer gonna be able to play video games. Believe it, or not, thank God, one of the actual ways to strengthen my eyes was to play video games, according to my eye doctor. Ocular motor apraxia is actually more well-known now, than when I was diagnosed w/ it, years ago.

This is a very cool artcle. In a sidenote: This is why I was originally apprehensive about getting a 3DS.

DestinyMan

#11

DestinyMan said:

It's always heartening to see studies about video game technology being used to advance peoples' health. Video games aren't all bad. Maybe the Wii U might be used in a medical way?

grimbldoo

#12

grimbldoo said:

@Koops3 #6
It doesn't necessarily hurt your eyes. Playing on 3D settings for over 30 min periods is like being to close the the TV. And there's a %1 chance of eye improvement.

C-195

#13

C-195 said:

Now that's interesting, this will probably inspire some sort of dedicated medical device for this purpose so doctors don't need to use console controls for medicine.

Rosalina

#15

Rosalina said:

Wow! Nintendo technology is surprisingly amazing!
A new step in medical and video games!
I got a feeling that government will misuse this new advancement.... or not.
Who knows?

Punny

#17

Punny said:

Surprising! This is just as sweet as the use of Wii consoles for physical therapy!

Alienfish

#20

Alienfish said:

That's funny, I wonder why they wouldn't use a kinect for something like this. More interesting to me is the fact that this can be done with Wii remotes. I wonder if Nintendo will ever come out with a human tracker based on the Wii remote's camera. I've said before that a kinect with a controller in hand would be ideal and potentially awesome!

hillbill26

#24

hillbill26 said:

That's cool. See, Video game technology can help the world. I wanna read mor about this. OW, my eyes hurt! (Grabs Wii Remote and points it towrds eyes) Ah, much better.

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