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Airborne Mouse 253

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the toys-to-want-to-have dept.
edpin writes "CNN is reporting this new mouse that works without a surface. You hold the device in your hand and tilt it to where on screen you want it to go. It uses a similar technique to "rock and scroll" developed by Compaq (now HP) a while ago."
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Airborne Mouse

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  • Note: (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bobulusman (467474) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:55AM (#4504291)
    This is, in fact, no relation to Mighty Mouse.
  • How useful could this be? 3D navigation?
    • Re:airborne mouse (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I am thinking video games could be one market? If I hook up my computer to my tv, it's unlikely I'll have a desk in front of it...

    • Re:airborne mouse (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lrohrer (147725) <lrohrer AT lsquared DOT com> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:02AM (#4504351) Homepage
      "hands free" operation. For instance in some warehouse implementations I've done we mounted laptop computers on fork lift equipment. First it was a pain to get the "big burly hands" to use nipples on the machine and tailed mice still had to have a place to play on. There are hand activitated computers but these cost 3X times as much as a normal PC/laptop.

      Whould it not also work for presentations?

      What I want is my screen focus to shift based upon eye movement. Well maybe most of the time. I don't want the wife and kid to be assilmilated!
    • Depends a lot on how well it is implemented. Implied in the write-up is that it might be hard to hold the pointer position while you click buttons, and they have an 'enable' trigger so you can freeze the position before clicking. Sounds like that might be cumbersome.

      Better would be to start re-thinking some things more fundamentally. As you suggest, there are new degrees of freedom that could be used to enhance the interface for 3D control. The idea of 'gestures' could be very useful too, but you have to maintain compatibility both with people's familiarity with using mice, and the system and application support for mice.

      I think it would be cooler if one of these could be strapped to your hand or wrist so you could still type on the keyboard without putting it down, and also access pointer functions more or less seemlessly. This needs some real hard core UI research and experimentation.

  • by Trusty Penfold (615679) <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:56AM (#4504296) Journal

    If it flies it's a bat, not a mouse.
  • Hehe... (Score:5, Funny)

    by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:58AM (#4504305) Homepage Journal
    Imagine what a lanparty would look like with a buncha guys throwing their hands up in the air to avoid being railed...

    This isn't a good way to get out of that geek stereotype....
    • Re:Hehe... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Wolfrider (856)
      On a side note, how accurate can this mouse possibly be?? Imagine pointing at something in Explorer (shudder) with it, your hand slips a bit, OOPS there goes windoze... (Munching sounds and massive deleting on hard drive ensues) OH F--K I just rm -rf'ed my OS!!!

      Ah well, I wanted to try Linux anyway... :b
      .
  • New? Not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jfrumkin (97854) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:58AM (#4504309) Homepage
    This isn't anything new - for about the last year or so, we've had a mouse just like that for presentations here at my university - in fact, I think we've got one in each of electronic classrooms for instructors to use. And it doubles as a laser pointer!
    • Re:New? Not. (Score:4, Informative)

      by bpb213 (561569) <bpbyrne AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:03AM (#4504372)
      I believe that the ones your refering to arent gyroscopic.
      Ive seen the ones that professors use, and they usually have a small joystick or a small trackball.

      (and yes, they have the built in laser pointer ;) )
      • Re:New? Not. (Score:2, Informative)

        I believe that the ones your refering to arent gyroscopic.

        No, I don't know about the OP, but I used a gyroscopic mouse in June 99 for a demo. It was just to run Powerpoint. Of course the powerpoint presentation was more important to people than the fact that the software worked, but that's business!

        Most of the people that were giving demonstrations didn't have the technical capacity to use it (as in they were fully deficient PHB), so they'd still have someone working a computer in the back to scroll

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:16AM (#4504504) Homepage
      I've had a "flying mouse for over 4 years now. Made by Handykey and built into their twiddler device.

      you simply press the mousing button and gesture to move the mouse.

      and in fact I remember back in 1993-1994 many MANY people using nintendo powergloves as mice for windows 3.11 and Logitech had a wireless "airmouse offering back in the mid 90's.

    • But I believe Slashdot has covered 1-2 different hacks using these mice as the core. (Or if /. hasn't covered it, it was linked to from discussion - Anyone remember the article on the AI machine road rally contest from somewhere in California to Vegas? There was a link to an open-source helicopter autopilot project that used the electronics from these mice as an attitude sensor.)
    • 6 Years ago... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ackthpt (218170)
      6 years ago I had a Gyration Gyromouse (which I've actually mentioned in a few posts over the years) and it was the same thing, except it didn't have a charger-cradle. I absolutely loved it, too bad I left the job where I used it and no employer has been willing to buy me another.

      The earlier version could work on a wire or wireless (wireless operation ate batteries, though) and was a beauty for clicking because you did it with your thumb, rather than index finger. The thumb is stronger and with it's shorter radius and good dexterity can click much more effectively without fatigue than a finger.

      They also had the presentation mouse, which we put in a lecture theater about the same time.

      This is merely Gyration receiving some nice press from largely ignorate media.

    • It was new in 1966. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by theonomist (442009) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:44AM (#4504719) Homepage

      Funny this should come up; I was just reading RFC 1 [ietf.org] this morning (read it; it's cool), and they mentioned the Lincoln Wand [packet.cc]. "What's that?!", I asks myself; so I looked it up. 1966, guys.

      I think this may set a new record for Slashdot missing the boat.

  • Obviously... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by suman28 (558822) <suman28&hotmail,com> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:58AM (#4504312)
    this has very limited applications. I think it will be difficult to play games with this, since I use the keyboard also. Then there is the issue of whether I want to hold my hand up in the air when using my mouse in the first place. That has to hurt after a few minutes.
    • Not So (Score:4, Informative)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:45AM (#4504732) Homepage Journal
      this has very limited applications. I think it will be difficult to play games with this, since I use the keyboard also.

      And with a desktop mouse you're still taking your hand off the keyboard, onto the mouse, off the mouse, and repositioning over the keyboard. The typical use of separate input devices is your bugbear, not the mouse and whether it is hand held or deskbound. Some study revealed GUI designs which lack keyboard shortcuts and require mouse movement are far less efficient. It serves game designers well to remember this. Imagine grabbing a joystick, then leaping to the keyboard, then back to the joystick again. Same problem.

      hen there is the issue of whether I want to hold my hand up in the air when using my mouse in the first place. That has to hurt after a few minutes.

      Movement can be adjusted for very small arcs to very large arcs. When I had a Gyromouse I could rest my hand on the desk and just lightly move it around, or rest in on my thigh if I wasn't needing keyboard. It was far more relaxing, easier to use and responsive, when I had a Gyromouse (and I'm going to buy another one soon) than any desktop mouse or touchpad.

      • And with a desktop mouse you're still taking your hand off the keyboard, onto the mouse, off the mouse, and repositioning over the keyboard.

        What??? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but when I'm playing games (I'll use my FPS config as an example), my left hand is on the mouse (I'm left handed), my right is positioned with my ring finger on the up arrow, my thumb on >, and my index finger on enter (some keyboards vary), and my hands never move aside from my fingers moving slightly to hit different keys, I think 'm' is the farthest my thumb ever has to move, and its set to a command I don't need very often. Games like every modern First Person Shooter allow you to change keys for a reason. If you're using the default binds or some silly configuration where you're moving your hands you're going to lose to someone who isn't. Hardcore games are won and lost by milliseconds, and hardcore players carefully craft their control configurations accordingly.
    • I imagine there's more than one geek here who's using, or has tried to use, a PC as the core of their entertainment system. DVD player is good, but the CD jukebox is better. TV output isn't ideal on any PC (unless you have a newer LCD television), but dropping the resolution can help that.

      The biggest problem is input, though. You don't need a keyboard unless you're entering new data, and a wireless keyboard can help with that. But a wireless mouse still requires a pad, and a trackball needs a flat surface on which to rest.

      IR remote controls for PCs do exist, but they're slightly limited in what they can and can't control. Something like this wireless mouse, OTOH, can be used to control an entertainment PC just like a television remote, and could make it much easier for someone to make build a PC into a home entertainment system.

      I for one would love to see someone like Sony use this to market a PC specifically for this purpose -- CD/DVD player (and burner, for an upgrade), MP3/WMA/OGG audio/video jukebox preinstalled, and a TV/video in/out card to make it all happen, together with a flat stereo-component-sized case and a wireless flying mouse and keyboard. 25" flat LCD television costs extra. Could be the next big thing.
  • more info (Score:4, Informative)

    by BigBir3d (454486) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:59AM (#4504319) Journal
    Gyration Ultra [gyration.com]

  • 9 hour charge? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Howwie (516153)

    Installation involved popping the receiver into a USB port and giving the mouse a nine-hour charge in the supplied charging pod.

    The review doesn't say how long the charge lasts but I certainly hope it lasts a while if you have to charge it for 9 hours.

    • Re:9 hour charge? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bpb213 (561569)
      the same applies to any cordless technology.

      For instance, you have to charge your cordless phone for 9 hours before use.
      your cell phone gets charged for 8 i think hours before use.
      rechargable PDA's get charged a couple hours before use.

      So an initial charge time of 9 hours isnt really new in the electronics market.

      And besides, you do it the first night, and forget about it.
  • Hrmmmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EatHam (597465) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @10:59AM (#4504323)
    I wonder if it's anything like this device [pricegrabber.com]. Seriously though - a pointing device that works without a surface? Possibly that old thumbpad wireless mouse (which was also used primarily (AFAICR) for powerpoint presentations? Possibly a trackball?
  • by Astrorunner (316100) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:00AM (#4504325) Journal
    It's been done before [bosswave.com]

    its been around for what.. two years now? and its at least 5 times smaller.
  • I think the guys at Gyration produced mice that weren't bound to the mouse pad eons ago (6+ years... I remember thinking about getting one, but they were *honkin'* expensive).

    So what's different, other than being another mouse by the same company?
    • I forget the details, but we saw them in like '97 at the Pittsburgh conference for analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy, i think in atlanta.

      someone, bruker or hp, had them attached to some huge piece of machinery, like an nmr or a big spectrometer. That system, inertial mouse, was actually patented [delphion.com] in 1988.

      I think the new thing they're trying to hype here is that they're wireless and consumer grade (cheap).

      hopefully, that gets us one step closer to the ui on minority report.

      --mandi

  • These sound like they'd be useful at the airport or on the train or somewhere without a good sized flat surface. If I'm at home though, I can't image i want to be waving my hands out in front of me manipulating a pointer. It's such much easier to have my hand resting on the desk,
  • by dacarr (562277)
    Didn't Gyration Inc develop something like this about 5 or 6 years ago?
  • by ShooterNeo (555040) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:00AM (#4504333)
    But is this really any more accurate than, say, a joystick? The advantage of a mouse is that mouse movements by your hand map directly to your screen. With practice you can just move it and get very close to the desired point. A joystick like device lets you control the rate of change of pointer position, not the position directly itself. While useful for some things, for aiming my railgun or getting work done this gadget is junk.
    • What's really ironic is that I just got a 5 rating for a comment I made before I read the article. Folks, don't depend on /. for reliable information even the high ranks are mostly rumor and hearsay. Turns out the mouse has inertial sensors and I think lets you move it just like a regular mouse when airborne...you get the same mapping effect, just no desk needed. Sounds very tiring, but might be useful in cramped spaces where no desk is available (cars, airliners, ect)
  • by SonicBurst (546373) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:01AM (#4504340) Homepage
    We've been using the Gyromouse Pro [gyration.com] from these guys for a while now. It works great and the recharging base is a plus. The only difference I can see from what we use and the new one is that the new one is optical when you use it on the desk, whereas the gyro pro still uses old ball technology.
  • by GweeDo (127172) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:01AM (#4504343) Homepage
    This device seems like it would have very limited uses. When I am using my computer for work and play I normally don't have my left hand dedicated to my mouse (like right now, I am typing with it). It is nice to just lay my hand right on top of the mouse and be ready to go. With this I would actually have to pick it up and that would take just a second longer, but it would be enough to irritate I think. Any application where you use your hand exculsivly for your mouse (or 90% of the time atleast) might be a use for this, but then there is a question of control. Do I get fine precision with this new airborne mouse? I have to think I wouldn't...but I don't honestly know.
    • handykey [handykey.com]

      the #1 keyboard used by wearable computer researchers...

      one handed keyboard just for you :-)
    • You don't need to pick it up... on the desk it is a a wireless optical mouse. One that you can pick up and use in the air too. *That* is the neat bit.

      And because the gyro motion is only transmitted with the trigger button in, you can position onto something on the screen exactly, release the button and the mouse point stops dead where you released the button.
  • click it with your tongue. Great for surfing pr0n sites!

  • You have to hold a trigger whenever you're using it? Did some surgeons that treat RSI come up with this?
  • Back in the 80s (Score:3, Informative)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:02AM (#4504353) Homepage Journal
    There was a very similar device for the Atari 800. I have forgotten the exact name, but it relied on mercury (again, IIRC) switches and doubled as a joystick for playing games. It took some getting used to, but it pretty neat.

    I'd hardly call this revolutionary.

    On a side note, I've sold a few items *very close* to this to presentation researchers. Wireless hand-held mice that allow the professors to give power point slide shows while still being able to walk around and point at other things.
    • Re:Back in the 80s (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AngryPuppy (595294)
      This is more revolutionary than the mercury-switch controllers. The Atari system controllers were just five switches. One for each of up, down, left, right and one for a fire button. diagonals were achieved by closing two switches. There was not the fine control you ordinarily want with a mouse. A simple mercury switch is only an on/off device. It would not measure degree of tilt.
    • Re:Back in the 80s (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Andrewkov (140579)
      Mercury is very toxic .. I wouldn't like to see it used on a device such as this which has such a short life span (2 years or so?). There's a lot of talk going on now about banning mercury in automotive applications (mercury is used in switches, such as the ones that turn on a light when you open the hood).
  • by papasui (567265)
    Add force-feedback to it and I see it as a huge hit within the porn industry....
  • by thr2k (523068)
    This has been around for years. (ok, maybe not wireless) I have a Gyropoint mouse that I bought about four or five years ago that does the same thing.
  • Killer app? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Harald74 (40901)
    A boxing game with one of these in each hand?

  • by jerkychew (80913) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:03AM (#4504371) Homepage
    ...is a gyro mouse like this, but one that attaches to your hand.

    The problem I have with this mouse is, you have to constantly pick it up and put it down when you need to use it. Granted, we have to take a hand off the keyboard to operate our current meeses, but sliding a mouse a quarter-inch across the table is somewhat less involved than picking one up, re-orienting it with the screen (after all, once you've picked it up, the cursor has moved), pointing and clicking at what you want, and finally putting it down again.

    Why not a small device, mounted to the top of your wrist? When you want to point, hit a hotkey that activates the mouse, raise your hand slightly from the keyboard, point-click, hotkey, back to work. The mouse in this article seems more suited to presentations than personal computing.

    If this idea gets patented in the future, can I use my slashdot post as 'prior art'?

  • Yeah, great (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wind_Walker (83965) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:04AM (#4504374) Homepage Journal
    There are so many jokes to be made...

    Giving a slideshow with the mouse, and "talking with your hands" yields a deletion of your presentation...

    Geeks begin to have buff right arms from holding their mouse hand up all day...

    Grandmothers can no longer accurately point-and-click because of their shaking hands...

    Rhythmic up and down hand motions becoming the next gesture-command to surf to persiankitty.com...

  • by vondo (303621) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:04AM (#4504378)
    We had an earlier version of this (Gyro Mouse, same company I think).

    I never really liked it. Control is not so good. I think the only place I would want one of these is for giving a presentation in a lecture hall where you need more functionality than "next slide/last slide."

    We were using it in a small conference room, everyone seated around a table. Eventually we switched to a cordless trackball. Much better, in my opinion. I also use a cordless trackball when I use the computer and the TV together. (It sits on the armrest of the sofa.)
  • by phorm (591458) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:04AM (#4504379) Journal
    There was a 3d-input device like this out sometime ago, but it never caught on. From memory, it was simply called "the bat", but this could be a general term much the same as "mouse."

    I haven't been able to find any links on google, but a gyroscope-driven bat was definately out several years ago, as I remember considering it as a cool tool for playing descent or quake games (had they come up with proper support for it). It it catches on now, it might indeed be a cool tool for 3d-gamers and developers alike.
  • by Triv (181010)
    But when you lift it, the usual red optical glow disappears and the gyroscopes take over when you depress a big button on the underside.

    Ok, let me get this straight - you need to hold down a button on the bottom of the mouse/controller/whatever to move the pointer? That's a bit counter-intuitive, doncha think? What kind of wrist/hand strain is that going to create? How about complicated tasks (I realize this is an impractical example, but how about Diablo II?)

    I haven't tried it so I don't know how well the thing works, but it seems like too much of a bother. :)

    Triv
  • by levik (52444)
    Can we mount this technology on a glove? If so, then coupled with these smart screens [slashdot.org] from earlier today, we really *could* get a setup like in Minority Report.

    That would look really cool, but imagine the carpal tunnel syndrome your shoulders/elbows would develop :)

  • by soboroff (91667) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:05AM (#4504391)
    Several years ago, Till Harbaum [harbaum.org] added a tilt sensor [harbaum.org] to his Palm Pilot. Then he wrote Mulg, which is kinda like Marble Madness; if you have the sensor, you can play by tilting the Palm to roll the marble around.

    This is STILL the all-time best Palm HW hack I've ever seen.
  • Lightsaber (Score:2, Funny)

    by krystar (608153)
    Is it just me or does no one else recognize that as the handle of a lightsaber? :) This can take Jedi Knight II to a whole new level if the game supported it.
  • How long before we start seeing something like this incorporated into some of the home versions of Dance Dance Revolution....
  • Man, I saw a story on this exact mouse on the local news over a week ago (Wash. DC NBC Channel 4)... is slashdot now lagging behind local news reports in technology information? That would be really scary!
  • Seems like THIS [directron.com] would be more practical for most airborne trips. It is a handheld trackball where you move the cursor and buttons with your fingers. At least it would not require me to learn a whole new method for working with the computer.

    The linked product seems more like a handheld trackpoint and really a mouse. My two cents.

  • Wiggly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eMilkshake (131623) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:08AM (#4504418) Homepage
    I just purchased the two different models of these for our University -- they work as you would expect.

    Unfortunately (and this sounds obvious, but comes as a surprise when using it), your wrist lacks the precision that your fingers have. Circle points of reference is easy, but clicking on links is difficult.

  • I could see where if you were doing a presentation and you wanted some mobility to walk around this would make a lot of sense. As for the office or home office I would think prolonged use while not moving around or standing would cause more fatique then a good old logitechs mouseman... Though on a side note, if you were going to seup a CAVE system, this would be exactly the mouse I'd want.
  • Torture (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nick_davison (217681) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:14AM (#4504474)
    I have friends in the S&M scene who have their submissives hold things out at arm's length for long periods of time as a painful punishment. You'd be amazed how quickly just the weight of your own arm starts to hurt.

    Next : a mouse, shaped like a dime, that you have to press against the wall with your nose?

    • You don't have to hold a gyromouse up. Yeah, they talk about it going wherever you point on the screen, but that's marketing BS. It senses movement (just like a mouse ball) and sends that to the computer without regard for where it is or where it's pointing.

      Net result? Fire up a browser, lean back, let your arm hang by your side, put it on an armrest, or whatever other position is comfortable, and surf to your heart's content.

      (Yes, I had a GyroPoint mouse many years ago. Cool idea and I probably would have used it for a good while if I didn't prefer a trackball for on-desk usage. Plus it drew power from the keyboard connector and, well, they don't make motherboards with AT-style connectors any more.)
  • by IceFox (18179)
    Well from the article it looks like they are trying to target those who are not trying to hurt there wrist, but in the add itself they say it responds to movment of the wrist, arm or Anything! Other then the arm and wrist what is there? I will move my body just to move the cursor? This is pure bull, you will move your wrist. Now, what hurts the wrist? Why moving it! What makes them think that holding this will help in anyway? The sad thing is that they are going to sucker in some people who are trying to help their hands. As much as it stinks trackballs are just about the only mouse that I (and many of my friends) have found to work for hurt wrists because they don't move the wrist, but only the thumb.
  • by T-Kir (597145) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:18AM (#4504515) Homepage

    A few weeks ago, the laptop I gave to my parents packed up (well the win98 installation gave up)... and my Dad; the definate 'luddite' who doesn't like stuff he doesn't understand, had gotten used to the laptop mousepad.

    I caught him trying to use another workstation I had set up, and he was stood there moving the mouse through the air, then followed by shaking it violently (while cursing under his breath that is wasn't working) and then he found the ball at the bottom of the mouse actually moved, and started using his finger to move the ball (and cursor) around... I nearly sh*t myself from laughing. So I guess an airboune mouse might have come in handy.

    I've since sorted them another workstation up, and decided a mouse might not have survived.. so I got a thumb-trackball mouse from Logitech, which is great, especially considering you don't need half the room needed for a mouse mat and movement room.

  • I had a GyroPoint for about a year, and finally tossed it because it was always a little bit dysfunctional due to battery voltage issues, then finally refused to hold a charge even with new NiCads. I got the impression it was a common fault in their products.
  • I was buying Gyromice back in 1996. Half the campus here has them. Why on earth does this get a story?
  • but once you position the mouse, wouldn't the pointer move once you set the mouse down to type?? Having a mouse rest on a desk lets you leave the pointer where its at..if focus is strictly under the mouse, it would get pretty aggrivating...
  • To Doom, Quake, CounterStrike watchers...

    If you see that the player does not lie his hands on the table, then, don't come close. The administration takes no responsability for black eyes, broken teeth, bruises and other trauma that may advent from the fact that the player uses airborne devices...
  • Installation involved popping the receiver into a USB port and giving the mouse a nine-hour charge in the supplied charging pod.

    might cause problems for those on a 36 hour run.... however I suppose much of that could be avoided by using the keyboard... wait, now I'm offtopic.

  • Airborne Mouse + Adobe Photoshop = Jackson Pollock [art.com]
  • We can finally use a true-to-life controller for all those Jedi games now.
  • I was amazed when my father was in the hospital, on a resparator and unable to talk, that they had no implementation of a device like this! Does anyone know of an application that uses a wireless mouse to help someone on a resparater. These are people who often find themselves in a hospital bed, with a tube down their throat, unable to talk, and often with their hands tied to the beds. (I was told this is because of all the drugs the patient has often results in halutinations).

    I am not much for tinkering, but I would guess that you could set something like this up pretty easy.

    If you know of such a device, please reply. I now have a cousin who fell down a flight of stairs over the weekend, and is on a resparator.

    Mark
  • by twoslice (457793) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:37AM (#4504670)
    My son had a hissy fit the other day and threw my cordless mouse across the room. The kid damn near took out one godawful ugly lamp. My wife would have grounded him for a month if he had broke the lamp.
    I on the otherhand would have given him 20 bucks and a high-five.
  • I've got one (Score:5, Informative)

    by greenrom (576281) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:38AM (#4504677)
    I bought a gyration mouse and keyboard a few months ago, and they're great. Gyration has been making these for a while now, so I don't really know why it's news.

    The mouse does take some getting used to if you're going to use it without a surface. Instead of using it like a normal mouse, it's designed to be held and pointed like a flashlight. Wherever the "flashlight" would shine on the screen, that's where the mouse goes. I must admit, this isn't really practical for most uses outside of things like presentations and such. The best part about these mice isn't the gyroscope feature, it's the wireless range. The model I purchaced is supposed to have a 25ft range, but in practice the real range is closer to 35ft. There's also a 50ft model that's significantly more expensive. These things are great for home theatre PCs. It's really difficult to find an RF wireless mouse and keyboard with a range greater than 6ft.

  • This is just another gyromouse story, isnt it?
  • possessed. (Score:3, Funny)

    by docmittens (529542) <docmittens@NoSpAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:56AM (#4504834)

    my CS professor loves to use powerpoint presentations as lectures almost as much as he likes to walk around (presumably to keep us awake...?)

    he recently purchased one of these mice and initially we were all impressed -- waving his arms through the air with pp slides flying by behind him; it was like magic. pure, hardcore geeky magic.

    until the batteries died. then things got frustrating: the cursor, *when* it responded, skittered around the screen like a coked up mosquito, slides would click by at random. I presume he tired of banging the confounded thing against the wall (with no effect) since he eventually retired the bugger.

    now we're back in the tech stone-age: actually CLICKING the mouse. oh, the humanity.

  • by Masem (1171)
    Near the end:
    Beyond the obvious application for those who willfully lay Powerpoint presentations on their fellow human beings...
    I have another quote around here from another source, which I can't find, but it's recent (within the last two years):
    Power corrupts, but PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.
  • Comon, who here won't admit to sending at least a few of the poor bastards airborne to their ultimate demise during a night of Half-Life deathmatch?
  • 1. Get a extension cord for your mouse 2. relax on sofa 3. Grap the mouse sidways with middle finger on bottom of the mouse resing on ball, with your thumb (and index if desired) over buttons. 4. Move ball with middle finger, and bush button with thumb. Voila! man go back to the basics!
  • My cousin had a really kick ass TV/Stereo Surround Sound system before everyone else did. His Sony TV used a gyroscopic mouse that was shaped like an egg. It did the exact same thing on his TV. Worked as a remote....and this was 6 years ago.
  • by sstory (538486)
    moving your hand from the keyboard to the mouse is annoying enough. Who wants to move, pick up, use, put down, and move back? Aside from specialty apps, this is DOA.
    • Re:sux (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Junta (36770)
      Read the article, this thing has an optical eye while on a surface, and uses gyroscopes when lifted and a special button pressed.
  • Produced in the 80's, a joystick which was freestanding, see picture [classicgaming.com].
  • looks like an electric shaver to me. ;)
  • No desk? (Score:2, Funny)

    by ThomK (194273)
    Where do I set it down to type?

    Look for the new 'mouse holster' on thinkgeek.com soon.
  • by Dj (224) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @04:13PM (#4507137) Homepage
    The Gyromouse is gyro based in the air, but put it on the desk and it reverts to being an optical mouse. It needs no external sensors to detect position and it also has, in the pro version, a 30M range... It is actually a very slick pointing device , and it feels really solid in your hand.

  • This is nearly as good as my Thrustmaster Firestorm Wireless [thrustmaster.com] gamepad... except that the Firestorm has an extra four axes and nine buttons (or nineteen with shift-button mapping). Probably cheaper too, and I can't see myself playing GTA3 with just a mouse. ;-)

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