Picnic Day revelers tried 'Wiimote control' in Hart

Picnic Day is a chance for campus departments to show off what they do, and Information and Educational Technology was no exception. On April 19 in Hart Hall, IET demonstrated some interesting and useful technological services.

Half-hour classes were taught twice that day on Photoshop, Flash animation, iMovie, and computer-buying advice. Representatives from Apple and Dell demonstrated their products and answered questions.

The standup computer stations in Hart displayed interactive class materials created by IET-Academic Technology Services' staff. One station displayed a PowerPoint on cyber-safety basics. Visitors could also have their pictures taken in Hart, then go to the Computer Lab Management Web site later to see the photo and choose different Picnic Day-themed overlays.

One demo showed how to use a controller from Nintendo's Wii (a "Wiimote") to create a virtual environment on a computer screen. The Wiimote was used for "head tracking," in which the image onscreen moves with the viewer. By wearing infrared LEDs, the viewers could see the image onscreen as if they were looking through a window. If they raised their heads, they could look down into the image; if they moved their heads to the right or left, the perspective would shift with them. A demo of the technology shows how it works.

Live streaming of Picnic Day's popular Doxie Derby races in the ARC Pavilion can usually be seen at IET's annual display in Hart. This year the streaming was not available, but Meyer Media Lab manager Joe Castillo hopes to have it back next year.

Picnic Day is renowned as one of the largest student-run events in the country, and students ran the ATS events as well. Twenty students taught the classes and set up the presentations and displays. "Just about everything for Picnic Day was accomplished by our Computer Room co nsultants, our student staff," Castillo said.