10.29.2008

desktop vr displays for dummies

The New York Times has an interesting story on Johnny Chung Lee, who became the web's most famous innovator when his instructional Wiimote/Desktop VR Display YouTube video became an online sensation: If No One Sees It, Is It an Invention?

Posted last September, the five-minute video showed how, in a few easy steps, the Nintendo Wii remote controller could transform a normal video screen into an eye-popping virtual reality display. So far, the video has been viewed more than six million times.

The video turned him into something of a geek celebrity. Video game companies have contacted him, and in September, M.I.T.'s Technology Review named him as one of its top innovators under 35. He was eventually recruited to work in the applied sciences group of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division.

That's the power of YouTube, baby. He could've kept the idea to himself. Or maybe posted instructions for his invention on a Wii mod or hobby site. Instead, he posts it on YouTube and the whole world gets a share of his idea, as well as all his other do-it-yourself innovations. That's awesome.

You can view the video that started it all here: Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote. And watch the rest of Johnny Chung Lee's instructional videos here. Watch the video, and it immediately becomes clear that this guy is a badass.