GlovePIE is an open source PC program that is used to emulate input and output. It was originally designed to assist with interfacing virtually reality gloves to a PC but has since expanded hugely. In simple terms it lets you fool the system into thinking one input is another – ever wanted to be able to configure your xbox controller to pretend to be your mouse? A rowing machine’s pulls to move you forward in an MMO? A wimote remote to be the arrow keys ? You can use almost any combination of PC compatible input/output devices that you can think of and GlovePIE is the way to do it.
Installation, which I’m covering in this article, is quite straightforward, but it can be rather fiddly to get to work exactly the way that you want it to – that is the disadvantage of it being so configurable.
The software will run on almost any windows PC from Windows 98 upwards (also Linux under WINE) and will support almost any hardware that you can attach to the PC in some way. DirectX 9 or above should be installed on the machine, but if you are trying to run a modern game it will almost certainly be there already. If not find DirectX here.
Download: To install download here. The current version is .45 and there is a Kinect compatible version and one that isn’t. Unless you plan to use a Kinect with it it, it really doesn’t matter which you use. Extract the zip (GlovePIE045Free.zip) file you have downloaded to a directory you will be happy to leave it. I would recommend a new directory called GlovePIE on the Desktop as you will be accessing this often. This directory includes a number of files which you can safely ignore and three files or types of files that are of interest.
- documentation.rtf First is the file documentation.rtf which contains the most up to date documentation and information about how GlovePIE works and variables and hardware you can use. Its rather techincal going but a good place if you have a specific question such as “Will GlovePIE accept Push to Talk Speech input” it a good place to look.
- .pie files Second are multiple .pie files, some in the subdirectories. These are example scripts and parts of example scripts for some of the things that GlovePIE can do. You’ll look at these later as you get more advanced.
- PIEFree.exe Last is the file “PIEFree.exe” which is the main GlovePIE executable. Run this to start GlovePIE and you’ll get a program appear that will look rather like a wordprocesser such as Wordpad. Copy or write the script that you want to run and hit the green run button along the top of the window and you’ll have GlovePIE running.
Now that you have installed GlovePIE, you can either write your own scripts or make use of scripts that others have written and made available online. The scripts can be difficult to produce yourself but there are several pre-mades available on this site such as here and more will be available over time. GlovePIE is extremely flexible in its allowances and make use of it in conjunction with games that do not include the necessary customizability in-game. More than anything else, we use it for complete button remapping as well as adding a controller option to PC games that does not support the use of a controller.