If you’ll recall, once upon a time I managed to get my Wii Balance Board to connect to my computer and function as a scale. At some point throughout the years, Linux changed, and that method broke. It would still measure your weight fine, but you could no longer activate the balance board by tapping its front button, you had to flip it over, remove the battery compartment lid and press the red button every time. This was too much of a hassle, so I stopped using the board, hoping that a solution to this problem would arrive one day to liberate me from the scourge of adipose tissue.
This day is today (well, a few months ago, actually, but I couldn’t be arsed writing about it until today, so). I received an email from a reader called Jawaad Mahmood, who had read my balance board article and spent a bit of time figuring out how to get the balance board to work, and packaged his work into a library called bbev.
I was initially sceptical because many people contacted me throughout the years, but nobody managed to get rid of the red button requirement. Talking to Jawaad for a bit, though, he confirmed that he could painlessly get the board to pair with his computer with the front button. Apparently something had changed in the Linux Bluetooth stack, and made pairing possible again, and he managed to figure out how.
This was great news! However, I wanted to make a few small changes to suit my use case, like disconnecting from the board after the measurement was done, running a command with the weight afterwards, etc.
I spent a bit of time writing some code, using most of the measurement code from Jawaad’s library, added the features I needed, and released it for your enjoyment:
It’s a command-line application, but it’s fairly simple to use.
weii, turn the balance board on, step on it, and a few seconds later you have your measurement and the board turns off.
There isn’t really much more to say here, I just wanted to let you all know that we can finally once again weigh ourselves using our balance boards.
I’d like to thank Jawaad for figuring out how to solve the dreaded pairing problem, and for open-sourcing his code. I’m really glad I can finally use my board to conveniently weigh myself and post my weight online, with one simple command.
I hope you find
weii as useful as I do!