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EvoMouse Turns Your Digits Digital

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the would-you-say-there-is-a-plethora? dept.

Input Devices 110

cylonlover writes "With the plethora of mouse alternatives available or in development you'd be forgiven for thinking the humble computer mouse was some kind of torturous device inflicted upon computer users. But despite a multitude of challengers, the mouse has maintained its dominance while remaining largely unchanged since its unveiling in 1968. Now there's another alternative cursor relocation device set to hit the market called the evoMouse that turns just about any flat surface into a virtual trackpad with your finger as the pointer."

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110 comments

Trackball Explorer (2)

fortunato (106228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35500974)

I'd be happy if Microsoft re-released the Trackball Explorer. It's never been bested as far as trackballs go.

Re:Trackball Explorer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501614)

Trackball explorer was my first trackball mouse and after that I have only used trackball mice on my home pc(s). Right now though I'm using Kensington expert, which so far has been fantastic for everything. Nobody else can't get the feel to it though so I have some cheap laser mouse plugged in as well.

Re:Trackball Explorer (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35504062)

The Kensington Expert Mouse in general works very well. It is extremely accurate, the ball is easy to remove, the ball socket and insides are easy to clean, and the software is pretty good. The weight of the ball is nice too -- not too light, not too heavy. I've had 2 of them and used them off-and-on since the mid 90's (the top of the rubber scroll wheel eventually disintegrated after 5 or 6 years of finger friction). It's built well.

The bad? I find that after prolonged use I have to switch it out with something that has less of an angle, and I've tried various things as shims. I'd prefer the angle to be adjustable or even flat. I've gone so far as to turn it 180 degrees (reversed) to see if that worked... it's close.

Re:Trackball Explorer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35503032)

From the summery:

cursor relocation device

I lolled

Re:Trackball Explorer (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35503124)

I've got one of those and it still works great, even though I have to occasionally (like every day or so) pop the ball out to wipe the gunk off the bearings or blow dust out of the sensor.

I got one that works everywhere ... (4, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35500984)

using a logitech trackball right now, works on every surface, needs extremely little space, I don't need to push a mouse, and it looks nice and not like something out of a japanese manga for pre-schooler ... so ... what's the point of the evomouse again?

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501006)

I bet you look like a total fucking twat using a trackball.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501070)

Yes this works for you. For me I would rather stab myself in the eyes than use a trackball. That means that the demand for this product will be non-zero and thus it can potentially be sold for profit. So that is the point of the evomouse to be sold for profit to people who are not you.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505252)

Yes this works for you. For me I would rather stab myself in the eyes than use a trackball. That means that the demand for this product will be non-zero and thus it can potentially be sold for profit. So that is the point of the evomouse to be sold for profit to people who are not you.

You don't understand, on slashdot if it's not what I want, it's worthless. And probably only used by elderly homosexuals, or communists, or someting.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501136)

A Microsoft Bluetrack mouse will also work on any surface and is much more accurate than a trackball. Hell, I'd rather use a touchpad than a trackball.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (2)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501188)

Ever tried any modern one? I'm using a Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse at the moment.I *do* have a regular mouse (MX Revolution) too, as for certain tasks (many types of games for example) a trackball really doesn't cut it, but it is very easy on the wrist and the hand, and as precise as any mouse I ever used. On the plus side, you really don't need any particular surface or area. Touchpads, on the other hand, are just painfull in every aspect.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (2)

chammy (1096007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501214)

Logitech's marble mouse is indeed pretty nice. Especially if you bind a side button to scroll, the momentum feels excellent when web browsing. You don't really get the kind of tactile feedback a trackball has with a regular mouse or touchpad when you're moving over large distances.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (3, Informative)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501830)

My mother is 84 and has many problems with her wrists., So i bought her a Logitech trackman marble. she loves it, now she uses the computer more and doesnt end up in pain. I love mine, because i dont have to drag it all over the desk to use the computer, and when i am doing work that requires delicacy i can position the pointer, then remove my fingers from the ball and click, (how many times have you moved the mouse a fraction as you clicked), So for me, a trackball is ideal. Its not for everyone, and for those who say "if a trackball is so good why doesnt every one use them ?"unfortunately , like VHS vs Beta, Like Microsoft VsLinux, or Microsoft Vs Mac, Just because more people use something it is not necessarily better, just more common.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502456)

as for certain tasks [...] a trackball really doesn't cut it, but it is [...] as precise as any mouse I ever used.

So, for tasks that require higher precision and agility, it doesn't really cut it? Yet it's as precise as any mouse you've ever used... if you nudge it obsessively slowly to slide into that single pixel. Hard to make a trackball move perfectly sideways steadily too...hard to do that with a mouse, but it's not all over the place.

Using a mouse has always been far easier than anything else anyone came up with, which is why they've never been replaced despite the wide availability of nibs, touchpads, and trackballs. People buy wireless mice for their laptops even.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502668)

It really depends on what the task is. Moving a trackball in a perfect vertical or horizontal line isn't that difficult, but in first person shooters I find it harder to aim (although I tried Amnesia with the trackball yesterday, and it was actually easier to use wheels.) In scrolling elements (scrollbar, drop down menues, etc), the trackball is much more functional than a mouse though. Oh .. and it's a killer at marble madness clones ;)

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35504424)

I'm confused, which product are you talking about? The original thumb-operated Trackman Marble, or the newer one with the larger ball?

I like the Trackman Wheel, which is a slightly curvier version of the original marble, and it's cheap. I abuse the crap out of mine and it keeps on working. I play all types of games with it and am competitive with mouse users. Being able to "flick" the ball is just amazing. Being able to use the thumb is awesome.

It's wrong to say you don't need any particular surface area, though. Trackballs have plenty of footprint and on a non-rounded surface they're very difficult to control. You can hold them in two hands and use them though, which puts them up on a mouse, which depends on compatible clothing. Most mice don't work well in the palm of your hand.

Re:I got one that works everywhere ... (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507312)

The symetrical one with the big (red) ball. the thumb goes on the left mouse button, the ring finger and pinky on the right mouse button The area needed for it is approximately equal to the size of my hand. I must admit that I didn't really try to play any FPS for an extended length of time with it, as my standard mouse is also already plugged in (so switching to it is not a problem). Once I got used to the trackball though, it pretty much replaced the mouse for work related tasks.

built-in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35500994)

If this really works well, why don't they build it in into ultra-portable laptops?

Re:built-in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35502776)

Because "Innovation" is not in their vocabulary, but "selling point" is!

Reminds me of ... (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501008)

Reminds me of the virtual laser keyboard [thinkgeek.com] that came out a few years back. Is there anyone out there who actually bought one and used it regularly (or, like, more than 5 minutes)?

Re:Reminds me of ... (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502044)

Reminds me of the virtual laser keyboard [thinkgeek.com] that came out a few years back. Is there anyone out there who actually bought one and used it regularly (or, like, more than 5 minutes)?

Yeah, I have one. Funny thing about typing is that fingers need a resistance buffer (ala buckling springs [daskeyboard.com] ) so that you can rest your fingers without triggering a key-press, and get feedback (even, mmm audible clacks) to notify you to stop pressing.

I have tried using the laser keyboard, and it fails in the same way that all touch-pads & touch-screens do.

  • No resting position
  • No physical response to keypress
  • No pressure buffer

By "pressure buffer" I mean that pressure goes from none to 100% ALL STOP on each press using any touch surface. This is retarded behavior (seriously, retards my typing speed considerably), and causes more repetitive stress due to the equal/opposite forces slamming into the end of your fingers each time you press.

Set your keyboard aside, and pretend to type on the desk -- It HURTS after an hour or so. The mechanical keyboards & mice are truly far superior. My normal speed of 80wpm drops to 50wpm with the laser keyboard. Hint: I can touch type, but the laser can't notify me by touch where the damn keys are at...constant readjustments are required.

On the topic of pointer input...

Hello touch interface users: Welcome to the next round of: Rub your fingertips off (or alternatively: Really Expensive Writers Cramp).

Even if you put down a flexible mat in front of the EvoMouse to reduce finger impact strain, and grease it up to reduce the finger friction burns, you still have to deal with either "flying fingers" or "repetitive keyboard to pointer reach" -- No restful position.

Look where your pointer hand is even when you're reading: Resting on the mouse / trackball / keyboard, ready to scroll past this nonsense at the press of a button or roll of a wheel (Hint: remap Capslock to Ctrl and use ctrl + IJKL (CHTN on Dvorak) as arrow keys... no more arrow key reach stress). Touch users will be hovering their finger above the scroll region, or else will have to reach to scroll.

I prefer pen-tablets, mice, trackballs, keyboards... Why anyone thinks that an "insubstantial" interface is intuitive is beyond me -- we have nerves tuned for mechanical manipulation and touch feedback. Here's a brilliant Idea: Let's utilize our senses / nerves, not make them less important; Let's also stop labeling input methods that require even more motor skills than finger twitch, wrist move as "innovative".

The Wacom Intuos4 pen-tablet [wacom.com] comes with a "wireless" mouse that doesn't take batteries -- NO, I said NO batteries, not "it's a rechargeable bullshit battery that you have to charge" -- I mean, It works just like the damn pen does, the tablet senses the mouse.

I just move the mouse aside and begin drawing with the pen to switch back and forth. No wires (except on the pad itself), and Bonus: Gimp recognizes the pen-tip, pen-eraser, and mouse all as separate pointers with their own tool selection auto activated when they are above the pad. Draw, flip pen to erase, grab mouse to arrange & composite.

I get both: The precision & natural feel of a pressure sensitive "touch" pen-tablet, and the restful comfort & familiarity of a mouse for every day point / click / scrollwheel.

Touch / Laser input be damned. You're right, it's neat for 5min -- Keep the box & re-gift them; These touch input devices are a toys, not real "work" devices (by this I mean that if you do most of your work by key/pointer input touch devices are horribly inefficient & inaccurate at best -- The touch devices would probably be fine for a manager or C*O who doesn't require comfortable devices for heavy use in order to work effectively, but instead require impressively fancy input devices in order to be the best C*O or manager).

P.S. Yes, I like the totally blank keys: Switching between QWERTY and Dvorak has never been easier, and no, I don't resent my Boss & his fancy input devices -- I work for myself now.

Re:Reminds me of ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35504026)

You're comment, as brilliant as it is, is longer than the actual article. Kudos to you sir.

Re:Reminds me of ... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506234)

The only place I could see something like a virtual keyboard or mouse being of use would be a kitchen, or other similar location where your hands are likely to get messy. At home, you could use it for pulling up recipes and such. In a business, it could be an interface for tracking orders, cook timers, or inventory management. Have an all-in-one unit mounted underneath a cabinet, and the keyboard/mouse projecting down on the counter top below it. A counter is a lot easier to clean off than computer equipment, and the monitor could be easily folded out of the way if needed.

No thanks! (4, Interesting)

Retron (577778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501012)

I can't stand trackpads (of any nature), they feel unnatural and clunky to me. Things such as a precision drag and drop across the desktop seem almost impossible for me and no, I don't have massive chunky fingers! It's a pity that the other two methods of control on a laptop (Trackpoint and trackball) seem to have fallen out of favour, with the notable exception of Lenovo (which owes that to its IBM heritage of course). I did once see a review of a laptop which had a mini-mouse pop out on a stalk, but that wouldn't have been very comfortable to use.

The thought of using a trackpad out of choice on a desktop (even if it's a fancy virtual trackpad) is a turn-off to me. I'll be keeping my Microsoft mouse, thank you! (I just wish you could still buy the original Intellimouse Explorer, that was the most comfortable mouse I've ever used....)

Re:No thanks! (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501050)

I agree. Different tools for different jobs. Mices, trackballs and drawing pads all have their advantages with different tasks, but somehow I'm still searching for an area in which trackpads (and trackpads-like devices like the evomouse) have re better than (or are even as good as) more traditional devices.

Re:No thanks! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501460)

The only two I can think of are laptops, and rackmount keyboard/mouse trays

Re:No thanks! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501798)

Why oh WHY would you need a mouse on a rack-mount server?!? I can see a keyboard for the installation phase or debugging (loss of network), but a MOUSE?

Re:No thanks! (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35503918)

Why oh WHY would you need a mouse on a rack-mount server?!? I can see a keyboard for the installation phase or debugging (loss of network), but a MOUSE?

You've never had to administer a Windows rack-mount server, I see.

Re:No thanks! (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501818)

...I'm still searching for an area in which trackpads (and trackpads-like devices like the evomouse) have re better than (or are even as good as) more traditional devices.

The only two I can think of are laptops, and rackmount keyboard/mouse trays

But the keyboard clit (curiously called a TrackPoint by IBM/Lenovo) is better than trackpads in every way.

The trackpad is one of the first items I disable on a laptop. Luckily with Dell laptops the "pointing stick" (yet another curious name for the keyboard clit) and trackpad can be independently disabled.

Re:No thanks! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505128)

I find the eraser entirely useless personally, the cursor ends up being tristate, hard left, hard right, and anywhere but where I want it. The trackpad actually works. The trackball is sorta OK except it has moving parts and no tap to click.

Re:No thanks! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507028)

The advantage of trackpads is when you don't actually have a mouse, or don't have room for a mouse. Thus they're useful for hand held devices.

Re:No thanks! (4, Interesting)

opinionbot (1940160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501074)

Agreed. Especially for small laptops / netbooks, I find trackpads extremely annoying to use and far prefer to use Trackpoints. As your hands are already resting on the keyboard, it's a tiny movement to get to the mouse, and it doesn't feel so cramped. The main annoyance of trackpads though is that when typing it's extremely easy to accidentally hit the trackpad, shifting the cursor or focus (yes on some laptops you can disable the mouse when typing, but I don't find it a very good solution). I can see that trackpoints are no use at all for games, but neither are netbooks and generally when I'm at a computer I'm typing.

Unfortunately we seem to be in a minority, and finding laptops with trackpoints is really hard. Impressed with the sturdiness of Lenovo laptops (still using an IBM-branded X41 from 2006), but you do pay through the nose for them...

In summary: Bring back Trackpoint (and get off my lawn)!

Re:Netbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35502200)

The tiny trackpads and screens on Netbooks is exactly why they suck.

Re:No thanks! (1)

ThomsonsPier (988872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502544)

I agree with the typing thing, and was thus very pleased when I acquired my most recent laptop; it has a button placed just above the trackpad that toggles it on and off, just below the spacebar. This is disproportionately useful.

Re:No thanks! (0)

alva_edison (630431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35503766)

I've never found trackpads to be a problem, the only thing I have to do is disable the click via tap feature. Trackpoints on the other hand, get in the way of my typing (since their always annoyingly embedded in the keyboard), and tend to cause whatever digit I'm using to hurt after a few minutes of use. I say good riddance.

Re:No thanks! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501078)

Things such as a precision drag and drop across the desktop seem almost impossible for me

To me, I find I can do that just as well with a trackpad as with a mouse, as long as I can use the trackpad surface as a button (so you can use your thumb to click and another finger to drag).

I also prefer trackpads for gestures, two finger scrolling is way better than any scroll wheel or nub or whatever, that I have ever used.

Re:No thanks! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501206)

I did once see a review of a laptop which had a mini-mouse pop out on a stalk, but that wouldn't have been very comfortable to use.

How long ago? The only one I can think of is the HP Omnibook 800, and that's been out of production for over 10 years. And it wasn't as bad as you'd think, other than the mouse itself was too small (and lefties were screwed). Here's a review I found that's still up and has a picture of it, though not a good one...

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/1185/hp-omnibook-800ct [pcpro.co.uk]

Re:No thanks! (1)

Retron (577778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506294)

That's scary, as that's exactly the machine I was thinking of, even the same magazine article too! I hadn't realised it was that long ago though, how time flies...

Re:No thanks! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508096)

Come on, this is slashdot. If some anonymous geek doesn't read your mind 10 times a day, you should turn in your geek card. It didn't hurt that I happened to be phone support for that machine back then either.

Re:No thanks! (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501382)

It very much depends on the trackpad. Those put on toshiba laptops for example have regularly caused me to nearly throw the thing out the window. On the other hand, the rather lovely ones on Macs are so good that I now use one of apple's "Magic" trackpads as my desktop pointing device – I actually prefer it to a mouse.

babys et al; GeorgiaStoneMasons must edit digits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501036)

if not, all bets are off, possibly forever. we remain conventionally unarmed, & willing (mandated) to survive, which includes ALL OF US. take heed. we know you've done your 'math'. seems simple enough.

for each of the creators' innocents harmed in ANY way..., we use our math.

Summary (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501062)

So the summary is usually just copied verbatim from the article, right?

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501204)

So the summary is usually just copied verbatim from the article, right?

This.. is.. SLASHDOT!! [kick]

(aka. you must be new here)

And for gaming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501066)

If it doesn't have 5000+ DPI and a 1ms response time then it'll just be ignored.

OT: I used to think the 5000 DPI mark was a gimmick... except now, anything below it feels just awful.

This is a must have (2)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501086)

... that turns just about any flat surface into a virtual trackpad ...
Great, I don't need my trackball anymore. Oh wait...

Described by its creators Celluon as the next evolution of the mouse, the evoMouse works in a similar way to the Invisible Computer Mouse we looked at last year – but is infinitely cuter.
Awww...cute. I am glad you did not mean a mouse on streoids, like those rats in Fallout 3.

Two infrared sensors that form the eyes of the small animal-shaped device track the user's finger movements
Great, I don't have to use my fingers anymore. Oh wait...

The evoMouse can even be used for drawing – or is that finger painting?
This should help let the Van Gogh in you out. Your fat fingers can't possibly get in the way.

while a handwriting recognition feature lets you write with your finger or a pen.
Phew, I thought you just said "your finger or a penis". Imagine that.

the evoMouse could also help reduce repetitive stress injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by allowing users to hold their hand in a natural position.
Yes, in its natural position I always point my finger forward and down.

We are witnessing the making of the future from the first page of /.

Re:This is a must have (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35504476)

Yes, in its natural position I always point my finger forward and down.

This is slashdot, so we know that in the natural position the finger is pointed upward.

Sandpaper! (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501088)

I choose sandpaper as my evoMouse work surface. The added bonus is that when my wife is murdered and they suspect me as the culprit there won't be any fingerprints for them to lift off the hammer.

Re:Sandpaper! (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501580)

You must be a journaled file system developer! Your solution beats programming in Cobol by the way.

Ergonomics (4, Insightful)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501090)

Accuracy aside, the ergonomics for touch based devices are terrible. Repetitive large movements in the wrists and fingers are bad whether you're moving a mouse around or dragging your finger on a surface. High resolution mice which only require an inch of movement to cross an entire screen provide good accuracy while minimising wrist and finger movement.

Re:Ergonomics (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501202)

I have a Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000 (Great name, yeah?) with the red side button mapped to reduce the DPI 80%. I hold that button and I get 5x the accuracy, be it for gaming or image manipulation. I've not found a better solution so far.

Re:Ergonomics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501226)

Higher end gaming mice like the G9x or G700 have remappable default buttons which adjust DPI by up to ~5 preconfigured settings.

Re:Ergonomics (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502256)

Yes, but I don't need 5 pre-configured DPI settings. I'd need to re-adjust my movements for every change, or the change isn't worth it. With just two settings ("High speed" and "High precision") I can manage every possible movement I could possible require. "Kind of fast but slower than almost as fast as the fastest setting" is a little overkill, IMHO.

Plus, you can get the Comfort Optical 3000 for £11. Either of those you suggested come out at at least 4x that.

Re:Ergonomics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35502542)

Well, I wouldn't buy a mouse specifically for highly-configurable DPI. When I was looking at wireless gaming mice, the G700 was the only option for 3 reasons:
- high resolution, < 1ms response (all but ~3 wireless mice are 5-8+ ms)
- no base station, incredibly tiny receiver (crucial for laptop use)
- can be operated while plugged in (Razer Mamba does this too)

I don't even use the DPI buttons unless I need to pull off a critical headshot or something. And I keep the same settings as you do, uber-fast and uber-slow :P.

Re:Ergonomics (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507100)

Best input device so far is the keyboard. Most fingers in use (sometimes all ten) leading it to be very efficient, plus the fingers do not move very far at all (except for those not trained in touch typing). Next up is the modern mouse I think. Compare to the bricks used in the early 80s and these are very efficient and ergonomic, involving very little hand movement or pressure. The places where the mouse is not very good are also places where a trackpad is not very good either.

Latency (4, Interesting)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501102)

If you notice the video, there's quite a bit of latency between the physical action and the response on the screen. Which is kinda normal as this thing needs to do quite a bit of processing. From my experience with another mouse that for some reason had latency, slow response is *very, very* frustrating. So, no matter how cute it is, I can't see it succeeding in the market, not even as a device for a niche market.
I can't see it being very good for the fingers as well. Ok we use smartphones using fingers on touchscreens quite a bit, but for a device that boasts that it's the evolution of mouse they should have thought that 2-3 minutes (smartphone quick use, on the road, whatever) is very different from desktop/laptop use (could be hours).
Get this mouse == Welcome to my-fingers-hurt-and-input-is-now-freakin-slow world.

Re:Latency (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506906)

Ok we use smartphones using fingers on touchscreens quite a bit, but for a device that boasts that it's the evolution of mouse they should have thought that 2-3 minutes (smartphone quick use, on the road, whatever) is very different from desktop/laptop use (could be hours).

This most certainly is an evolution of the mouse. It's every bit as much as the addition of extra buttons, or a scroll wheel, or an optical pickup. You have to remember that evolution is unguided, and completely random. Fortunately, in our current computing environment, it will be heavily selected against, and die off quickly.

Let's see: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501122)

New device for sale soon? Check
Summary direct copypasta? Check
No testing or analysis performed? Check
Posted by Timothy? Check

Classic Slashvertisement. Come on editors, you're supposed to be better than this (I know, I must be new here, but I did say 'supposed').

Feh... how about a new paradigm? (1)

nine932038 (1934132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501172)

It irks me to have to lift my hands from the keyboard to mouse around. I was thinking about a new design - how about a new combined mouse/keyboard system?

I'm imagining two chording modules; one for each hand. But each module is meant to be placed on the desk, with an optical sensor on the bottom. Not only do you get to mouse without lifting your hands off the 'keyboard', but you could open up a whole new library of gesture-based commands.

Not sure (1)

Crouty (912387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501590)

You cannot move half of the keyboard from your normal typing position.
Trackpoints work very well and without the need to put your hand off the keyboard. Some are hard to aim with but the trackpoints from Lenovo are awesome.

Re:Feh... how about a new paradigm? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501814)

I'm waiting for someone to combine the evoMouse with the laserKeyboard from thinkgeek. Just add a dynamic texture mat (for textile feedback) and I'd be happy!

Re:Feh... how about a new paradigm? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502030)

Their video shows that the evoMouse works as a keyboard with an 'optional mat' that takes the place of the laser projection.

Re:Feh... how about a new paradigm? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506342)

Yes, but moving the mat in/out of your work area is even worse than moving 1 hand over to the mouse. I'm talking about a texture mat that goes completely smooth in "mouse mode" then has raised areas when in keyboard mode.

Re:Feh... how about a new paradigm? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511258)

that wouldnt happen easily
maybe tiny bumps could work instead, ones not to big to get in the way but still noticeable

Re:Feh... how about a new paradigm? (3, Insightful)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502830)

New Paradigm: Vi key bindings for all navigation. Really, its great! Try some web browser addons for this, you'll see what I mean.

Digital (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501174)

Thanks for the topic in this comments site about the evomouse great subject in this comments site.
http://www.vinyldecals.com

Oh dear, I smell a lawsuit coming up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501216)

Perhaps their choice of name, "Evomouse" is a bit poor considering there's a company Nortek selling a mouse called the "Evo Mouse"...

Needs a screen (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501220)

I'm puzzled why this doesn't have a pico-projector. With no physical feedback, seeing what you're touching would make it a much more useful device. Especially after the hardware-hacker community got stuck into it.

For example, even if it isn't accurate/fast enough to replace the mouse, it can add another layer of input that might still result in sales from the first gen device. (Especially if it didn't steal focus from the main screen.)

Re:Needs a screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35502132)

I'm puzzled why this doesn't have a pico-projector. With no physical feedback, seeing what you're touching would make it a much more useful device.

It's a replacement for trackpad, not a touchscreen. Motion with a trackpad is all relative, so no feedback is required.

It's Wednesday! (1)

Unka Willbur (1771596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501242)

So it must be time for another "Mouse Killer" story...

Re:It's Wednesday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501262)

do you rate stories about copyright also as "mouse killer" ?

Re:It's Wednesday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501344)

Well it does look like a cat. Ah-ha!

@£$#% novelty gizmos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501288)

You would think they have never done anything serious with a computer.

How about a GOOD ERGONOMIC POINTER DEVICE instead?

Re:@£$#% novelty gizmos (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501372)

How about a GOOD ERGONOMIC POINTER DEVICE instead?

How about rapid-prototype customisable body, with a variety of modular pieces that can be fit wherever you want them. 3 buttons, 5, 9, mouse sensors, trackballs, touchpads, whatever combination you want. Extra fee if they assemble it for you.

Geeks only, but still, there's got to be a market for a niche player.

(I've been looking around for a decent replacement for old blinky here, and nothing is precisely right. I want to say, that style, those features, in that body.)

Re:@£$#% novelty gizmos (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511350)

that would be nice, build ur own input device? comes with lightweight modeling clay, buttons, high dpi analog inputs, basic ui chip and powerful, cross-platform calibration software

A mouseless mouse - Again! (2)

irp (260932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501378)

Reminds me of my fingerworks plate - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FingerWorks [wikipedia.org] - "we have reinvented the mouse". Nice, but the same basic problem.

No physical buttons! This is important, because it means that button presses must be made by interpreting the users gestures. And with interpretation comes misinterpretation. Software sometimes guesses wrong. And if it does that in an "unpredictable" or "random" way (I know it is an algorithm, but "random" from the user point of view) the user will (consciously or unconsciously) adapt by change his behavior - i.e. by emphasizing or repeating the gesture. This is annoying.

With a physical button there is no interpretation. You can feel it has been pressed. It may be by accident, but you know you're the one responsible for the click.

Another problem in my opinion is there is no weight. This is usually described as a feature, but in my experience the weight of the mouse gives stability and increases precision and for me this helps to reduce fatigue - I tend to overshoot or jitter and have to correct myself or do things slower when I don't have a physical object to give mass in my hand.

And finally; no scrollwheel. I don't notice that I use it, but whenever I encounter an old mouse without the wheel I realize how much I depend on it.

Re:A mouseless mouse - Again! (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35503256)

I've never really liked trackpads. I always thought they were better than the alternatives on a laptop (I really don't like the trackpoint nipple pointers) but they were always severely lacking.

Then my office bought me a MacBook Pro with the snazzy multitouch trackpad. Wow. This sucker is almost good enough to replace the mouse. Smooth as silk even after a year of heavy use. Two-finger scroll completely makes up for the lack of a scrollwheel. I just wish the thing had multiple, separate buttons instead of the whole pad area being one big button. (At least it's a physical button, not just a tap gesture.)

I don't think I'd like the evoMouse. No real buttons, obviously, and most surfaces just aren't really appropriate for constant use as a trackpad.

And before anyone accuses me of fanboyism, let me say that my preferred pointing device is a 5-button MS Intellimouse. Some RSI problems prompted me to go out and get a Kensington Expert Mouse (which, despite its name, is actually a trackball) which I can use with my left hand. So it's right-handed mouse for high-precision (gaming and drawing), left-handed trackball for most daily use, and right-handed trackpad when I'm away from my desk.

Not convinced by the 'Cute' tag (2)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501388)

I like to use my laptop in bed sometimes while my wife is watching some crap on TV. I can just imagine her expression when I rest the EvoMouse between her breasts so that I can use her stomach as the 'Virtual Trackpad'.
"It's OK Darling, the instruction manual tells me I can use... oh crap - it said 'Any flat surface'.".

Not unchanged at all (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35501458)

But despite a multitude of challengers, the mouse has maintained its dominance while remaining largely unchanged since its unveiling in 1968

Umm, NO. The mouse of today is nothing at all like the mouse of 1968. Well, other than the fact you hold something in your palm, face-down, and move it around a flat surface. I haven't seen a mouse that used a trackball in years. The ones I have are all cordless. They weight almost nothing, are VERY precise, and are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes so anybody can find one that feel comfortable. They pretty much all have a minimum of three buttons plus a scrollwheel, and most of them these days have at least 2 or three additional buttons. Many of them also have the ability to macro commands to the buttons and remap them how you want.
Compare that to 1968 when you basically had a brick with a rope attached that you pushed around your desk until you got lucky and the pointer landed somewhere close to where you wanted it. Then you would press your button several times in the hopes it might register a click, and end in frustration when you realize the cord had failed from being flexed too much. Which was a good thing, because if you didn't have to stop working for six weeks while waiting for the $200.00 replacement to arrive via US mail you'd end up with crippled hands.

Why do I get the feeling that someone is about to "unveil" some "new" kind of touch-based interface? (reads article) Ohhhhh, makes sense now.

Re:Not unchanged at all (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501918)

I agree that saying the mouse is "unchanged" is like comparing a modern day car to a Model T. While cars today still have 4 wheels and are used for transport, that is where the comparison ends.

Today's mice work in fundamentally different way, using laser diodes to detect astoundingly small movements compared to the mechanical mice of antiquity that used other, less accurate means - from variable resistance to spinning disks with photo-optics.

Having something to rest your hand on... (1)

Crouty (912387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501562)

...is better than moving the hand freely.

Personally, I want immediate cursor response. If it takes 50 ms to track my finger I'm out.

Nice, but not for me. (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35501714)

The primary immediate issues, that make it unuseable for myself.

- I don't lift my fingers to click. I gently press. I don't want to have to start lifting.
- Latency.
- Awkward scrolling.
- Muscle tension from having to hold any part of my hand off the surface at any time.
- Lacks the other 5 buttons I use on my mouse.

The reason the mouse hasn't "changed" much in the last 20 years is because it works great.

xbox kinect (1)

Mirey (1324435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35502418)

couldn't the kinect do this?

I couldn't see a price, but this looks like it would fall under the "expensive gimmicky gadget" price range. At least with a kinect when you get bored of using it with a mouse, you can do something cool with it. I'm sure this would be either close to, or even more expensive than, the kinect.

Ouch! (1)

joshuao3 (776721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35504160)

Just reading this article is making the tips of my fingers feel funny. What a horribly painful notion... rubbing my finger tips on a surface for 4-6 hours a day.

I could use an alternative right now (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35504368)

Sprained my right wrist and mouse use over the course of the day causes pretty bad pain, even with a stiff brace. I'd kill for that eyeball tracking "mouse" right now.

I had a simular product (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505054)

it was from Iomega I think. It was a pen you could write with and it appeared on the screen. Cool idea, but the tracking was always skewed a bit so it was useless for drawing. If you drew a square it looked like a trapazoid. It'd be neat if they fixed this.

Now, what I'd kill for is a 'mouse' that kept me from having to leave home row :D.

Stay updated for the Ducth people (1)

iPadBulletin (2013290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505588)

Great article, and great product ;) For the Dutch people who are reading this post, you can subscribe at the Dutch evoMouse [evomouse.nl] website to stay updated. Thanks

Largely unchanged? What? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506356)

There's a comment I don't understand. From one button to two button to three button + scroll wheel. From ball on the bottom to 2 separate rollers to ball on top (trackball). From optical trackball back to optical mouse (that was the order for optics). And now Magic Trackpad, which is IMHO better than any of those others.

Still changing? Sure. But unchanged? Hardly.

Re:Largely unchanged? What? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507130)

You mean from 2 button to 3 then to 2 and then to 1 then back to 3 then to 2 then to 5.

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