While the Wii Balance Board's usefulness as a fitness device are questionable, there's no doubts over its ability to perform as a...rehabilitative "force platform".

That's a device used by doctors to measure the balance of a person recovering from a stroke (or similar injury), employed when the patient is "relearning" how to walk.


While lab-grade devices normally cost around $20,000, researchers from the University of Melbourne have torn apart the humble Wii Balance Board, tested its guts and found that Nintendo's peripheral is almost as good as the expensive stuff.

"We found the data to be excellent", Uni of Melbourne's Ross Clark told New Scientist. "I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up."

So impressive that Clark and his colleagues wrote up a paper singing the Balance Board's praises, recommending it as a low-cost replacement for the costlier, dedicated "force platforms".

Wii board helps physios strike a balance after strokes [New Scientist]

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