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3D Mouse

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the and-it-fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.

Hardware 203

FTL writes "Turn an ordinary wheel mouse into a 3D pointing device. All one needs is some string, some hot melt glue, and a lot of math. 3D mice have been floating around for a while, what will it take to get people to use them?"

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203 comments

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What's the point? (5, Insightful)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747298)

Seriously, what's the point of a 3d mouse? We have 2d GUIs.

Re:What's the point? (2, Funny)

mrdaveb (239909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747320)

I'm sure if you are designing 3D graphics it could be quite useful in combination with 3D glasses. Use some imagination!

Re:What's the point? (4, Interesting)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747379)

Possibly, but for general use, there is no reason for people to start using them. Not to mention, think of how tired your arm would get after hours of work on your computer.

I'm sure for specialized tasks 3d mice make perfect sense, and are probably already in use. I just don't want to have them shoved on normal use.

Re:What's the point? (1)

mrdaveb (239909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747459)

Sure it wouldn't be much use to you or I, but remember this is slashdot - most of the stories on here are about wacky specialist kit.

But yeah, it does sound like a one way ticket to having a very tired arm.

Re:What's the point? (1, Funny)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747503)

The 80s are back! Does that mean I can write my source code with red and blue glasses?

Re:What's the point? (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747578)

Actually most CAD systems use a combination of a mouse and a spaceball.

The only application I have observed for a 3-D input device was at GM R&D for programming the movement of the end effecter of a robot (e.g. weld guns, CNC machining operations...)

Re:What's the point? (1)

kf8vn (526580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747721)

I use both my space ball and mouse to navigate my CAD system. They each have several buttons to initiate various functions and tasks. How would you select anything when your mouse had it's guts removed and all tied up with strings?

help censor the american press (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747346)

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Re:What's the point? (1)

fstrauss (78250) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747351)

What's the point of a 3d GUI with only 2d input devices?

Re:What's the point? (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747423)

Very good question. IMHO the Mac OS X approach makes the best use out of any GUI to use any 3d features. Make the windows 3d surfaces, so you can do neat stuff like expose. Rotating windows, and sticky notes are really just a showoff of technology. I just can't imagine that being usefull.

Re:What's the point? (2, Informative)

SpinyManiac (542071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747356)

Maybe you only have a 2D GUI.

It's a UNIX system! I know this [sgi.com] !

Yes, I know it's still a 2D display. It's supposed to be funny.

Vote for Busch in '04! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747381)

Busch is the greatest president America has ever had! Don't be a liberal - use you're head not you're emotion - vote for Busch not Kerry in '04!!!!!

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747468)


Let's see most REAL work done on a computer is in CAD and Graphics. both of which make extensive use of 3d.

in Maya, Blender and Lightwave I would KILL for a 3d mouse. Same as most CAD designers have a 3D pointing device on their desks.

Just because you click and drool doing mindless work that can be just as easily done on paper with a pen, you just do it on a computer for the novelty, doesnt mean that a bulk of real work done on computers is only using the 2d windows desktop.

Re:What's the point? (2, Interesting)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747557)

I'd really love to see some statistics proving that point.

Web development isn't real work?
Video production isn't real work?
Audio editing isn't real work?

Those 3 items are 90% of the work I do on a computer, and I'd love to see you do any of them with a pen and paper. Not one of them would be simplified with a 3d mouse, or even a 3d desktop. Extra monitors on the other hand, provide a great benifate to all of those areas. And all a second monitor does is extend your 2d work area.

I can't back this up at all, but I would imagine that true 3d applications are nothing more than a small percentage of work done on computers. I'd say the vast majority of all work related computer use is office applications. Yes a good deal of it could be done on paper, but with a lot more effort.

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747648)

You are wasting your time responding to an anonymous troll? Come on, man! You have a 5-digit id, haven't your learned anything yet? :)

Re:What's the point? (0)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747697)

I know it's a troll, but just in the off chance it's not, I'd love to hear more of the person's reasoning, maybe he has a real point.

Re:What's the point? (2, Interesting)

tciny (783938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747482)

On the other hand it'd be pretty comfortable for using a software like Maya or 3dsmax where you currently have to use those transform gizmos in order to move objects in 3D space.

I think tho, that it'd need another solution than just giving 2d mice a third axis.
I'd rather have something like a glove you put on where you can then pick up objects, point at them, etc. It'd just make it far more intuitive and flexible to use... and of course far more expansive, that is :)

Re:What's the point? Music! (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747554)

With a 3d mouse you could build a digital theremin.

Re:What's the point? Music! (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747570)

Or you could do the same with modified antennas that a computer could read and end up with a far more natural system.

bingo (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747795)

Until we are using holographic cubes instead of "pixeled" squares whats the point?
Its nice to know so many people are waisting their time..

Re:What's the point? (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747832)

I use a trackball, you insensitive clod!

3d mouse on 2d screen ? (1, Redundant)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747300)

What's the point of moving a mouse in 3D if we use 2d monitors ?

Re:3d mouse on 2d screen ? (1)

terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747344)

Someone made the same comment one minute earlier.

Punish him for me Errol, and feed him to the pigs.

Descent (5, Funny)

AuraBorealis (772837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747318)

Perfect! Just what I needed to get me to haul out an old copy of Descent and start vomiting all over again.

-B

A lobotomy? (1, Funny)

Democritus2 (553661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747321)

Yeah cause some string and glue are much easier then the old fashioned mice we use today. Geesh

Luxury.. (5, Funny)

caston (711568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747322)

None of this fancy Z axis stuff.. why in my day all we had to get around with a 1D mouse. We had the X axis only and we liked it!
Next to our punch cards they were the bees knees.

Re:Luxury.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747706)

"I already have a job but I'm looking for a gf if any ladies are reading this in Perth West Australia. I am not pathetic." .. I am not _that_ pathetic

We already know you're pathetic.

What will it take? (2, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747324)

As with all technologies: A killer app.

Re:What will it take? (2, Interesting)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747461)

As with all technologies: A killer app.

Perhaps a desktop environment like Sun's Project Looking Glass [sun.com] in conjunction with a 3D output device (like a VR helmet or 3D monitor [3dz.co.uk] ) could make such an input device feel more natural.

I haven't used Looking Glass yet so I'm not sure how well suited it would be...

Re:What will it take? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747576)

A robot sniper controled by glue and string?

what will it take to get people to use them? (1)

it0 (567968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747325)

What about RSI or a killer app?
I see nobody using a 3d desktop so why the 3d mouse?

I don't know about others but I never had the feeling with quake that it would be more efficient to play with a 3d mouse?

Nice gadget, but probably not practical in use.

4D Mouse (4, Funny)

ProstheticSwan (754025) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747327)

I hear you can make a 4 dimensional one from extra delorean parts.

Re:4D Mouse (3, Funny)

CMRichar (610129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747375)

yeah, but I also heard that you have to sustain a scroll speed of 88 miles/hour for it to work correctly..and then it gets really, really cold.

Interesting concept (4, Informative)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747328)

And in answer to the people asking what's the point...

a) Because it's a neat hack
b) It could be used for simple 3D point scanning to measure points on a 3D model
c) Could be used to manipulate information in a 3D CAD/drawing progeam, or to navigate or move objects in a solar representation or similar spatially oriented program
d) Because it's a neat hack. Sheesh what more reason do you need?

Re:Interesting concept (4, Insightful)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747392)

>Because it's a neat hack. Sheesh what more reason do you need?

Yes, it's a neat hack. But when the question is raised "what will it take to get people to use them?" it needs a better answer than "it's a neat hack."

Re:Interesting concept (3, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747603)

Even in 2D programs, this would be useful. Think of simple controls like moving a slider or zooming in/out. There are plenty of other program specific functions too. For example, in paint programs, it could represent the opacity (translucency level). Almost any type of program could benefit from the extra dimension. In fact, the mouse wheel on a lot of mice already counts as this 'extra 3rd dimension'. But unfortunately, it uses discrete steps to funtion, rather than a smooth continuous movement (one would think there'd be a market for analogue mouse wheels, but no company seems to produce them... shame...).

Re:Interesting concept (2, Funny)

Confused (34234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747416)

This mouse uses 3 strings to measure distances. For scanning, this reduces the scranning volume dramatically. For example, it would be impossible to scann a simple cube with that mouse, because one of the strings needs to move through the cube. The mouse works only for moving around empty space.

The best use I can imagine for this thing is to attach a fly to the pointer an track it's movements.

Next on Slashdot: Nano-Piercing for flies made easy.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747569)

strings... don't those become cumbersome? get snagged on things like your hand?

I just kinda figgered it'd be a hand shaped thing with a rfid tag and three antennae... seems like a perfectly legit use for rfid (for once).

But then, as long as we're being innovative, how about a pair of gloves with an rfid in the tip of each finger, combined with OS's and apps that make use of ten discrete interface points (using a traditional mouse, or even a 3D one, is still like using one finger - why not use all ten?), with distibuted antennae around the edge of the monitor?

Um, patent pending, or something...

Re:Interesting concept (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747760)

RTF... ah, screw it

what's the purpose? (2, Interesting)

softwave (145750) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747329)

what will it take to get people to use them?
seriously, a purpose?
I remember that Logitech had a pointing device that would allow 3D-movement, that was like 10 years ago. Can't remember the name though. I frankly don't see in what niche there would be a use for a 3D-mouse. Not even gaming, not even 3D-development (such as CAD/CAI). But I'm curious to hear it from other users...

Re:what's the purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747479)

Perhaps it'll be useful in virtual worlds. Second Life content design or something?

Re:what's the purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747581)

I believe it was called the Cyberman or Cyberman 3D, it was neat for playing Descent.

Re:what's the purpose? (1)

BearJ (783382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747737)

The Spaceball is an example. Still around today, and in use in 3D CAD and animation. I want one, but man are they expensive, even on eBay.

What will it take to get people to use them? (2, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747332)

3D mice have been floating around for a while, what will it take to get people to use them?

Most likely a functional 3D GUI.

A different solution... (5, Informative)

Oscaro (153645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747335)

...can be built with two analog joysticks. See here [traipse.com]

Replacement (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747340)

Cool! Maybe soon I'll be able to search for a replacement for my Nintendo Power Glove! Oh, wait...

That "interesting", but what about... (4, Insightful)

ShaggyZet (74769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747341)

...just using the wheel as the third dimension, depth? And not just for zooming in on a window, but for actually navigating in a 3d space. I never much liked the idea of a scroll wheel anyway. It's find for reading documents (yes, I know that all some people use their computers for), but it doesn't really fit in to any other UI paradigm that exists today. I think using it for depth in a 3d space would feel very natural.

Re:That "interesting", but what about... (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747398)

it alreayd is in many 3d cad apps, but i think you have a point. i also think a good example would be using the wheel in your desktop manager to scroll through windows by their 'height' from the desktop. swish, i reckon.

Re:That "interesting", but what about... (1)

geekSession (798509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747828)

i also think a good example would be using the wheel in your desktop manager to scroll through windows by their 'height' from the desktop
Isn't there an option for this in the nVidia geForce driver settings?

Rube Goldberg? (2)

Blitzenn (554788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747401)

That was my first thought too. Why not just use the scroll wheel for the third dimension, z-axis? I would think that it would be a lot more intuitive after a bit of use. With the configurable controls you have today attached to your mouse you could set your axis any way you want. The article seems to take a Rube Goldberg approach to a 3-D mouse in my eyes. Hey where is the fly swatter attached to the hamster wheel to do the mouse clicks!

Re:That "interesting", but what about... (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747550)

The only reason I first got a wheel mouse was for switching weapons in FPS games. Now I use the wheel constantly for things like coding, editing term papers and reading /. I know of no easier way to scroll through 200+ comments in an article then with a wheel, it is way less effort then moving your whole arm.

Re:That "interesting", but what about... (1)

brett42 (79648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747780)

It's been done to a limited extent. Warcraft 3 uses the wheel to zoom in/out, and there are some image manipulation programs that let zoom into the cursor'd part of the picture with the wheel, which is cool, but kind of disconcerting when you're used to using it for scrolling.

For first person style navigation, especially games, wasd/arrows+mouse is probably the easiest method .

3D mice to outsell ordinary 2D mice in 5 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747352)

... in Japan!

6d mouse more useful (3, Interesting)

XavierXeon (585110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747361)

a space mouse has 6 degrees of freedom and is very useful when working in a "3d" environment such as CAD http://www.3dconnexion.com/products.htm [3dconnexion.com]

see: inexpensive 3d mouse (2, Informative)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747364)

What they really mean is "inexpensive 3d mouse". There are already 3d mice available for CAD applications, but they cost A LOT [vrdepot.com] (Logitech Magellan for $579).

Pity about the threads (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747365)

I'd imagine it would possible to 'trace' 3d objects with this by simply moving the little ring over the surface of 3d objects. Unfortunatly, the threads would get in the way. Has anyone thought of other uses besides this and the pong game?

Re:Pity about the threads (1)

FTL (112112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747448)

> I'd imagine it would possible to 'trace' 3d objects with this by simply moving the little ring over the surface of 3d objects. Unfortunatly, the threads would get in the way.

You're thinking two-dimensionally. Flip the mouse over and mount/suspend it upside down. Then the strings are converging down to a point.

3d scanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747372)

They seriously have devices designed for scanning 3d objects in as a 3d model, I can see this being a cheap version of that....

What will it take to get people to use them? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747376)

Lots of Acid.

I dunno (2, Funny)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747390)

I always thought the vagina mouse [amateur-asian-girls.com] (not work safe!) was 3d....

Re:I dunno (0)

zeylisse (689694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747833)

Now that i call 1337 generation ,)

We need a Killer App? (1)

vashathastampedo (627544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747394)

These are widely available at the time - the newest coming out have names like "Doom 3" and "Half-Life 2".

These games are still basically driving games saddled by limited interaction with the environment. "Clicking" a door or other object to activate some canned response does not really qualify as interactivity to me.

Muscle fatigue... (5, Insightful)

timbloid (208531) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747400)

...is surely the problem with all these designs?

How many hours a day (out of an 8 hour day) do you think you could hold something (even of tiny mass like a mouse) in the air, away from your body.

And what happens when you want to type/relax/urinate? You put it down, lose your place in 3d space, and have to get it back to the same position to continue?

It's a nice hack, don't get me wrong, but there's a reason why helicopters use a 2 handed control system rather than a mouse. Doing it all with one hand just isn't very accurate, easy, or safe...

Re:Muscle fatigue... (1)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747544)

...is surely the problem with all these designs?

Maybe, maybe not... it al depends on how you use it. Try putting your elbow on the table and holding your hand steady in the air. Not so hard now, is it? Even holding that position for a while isn't that hard. Granted, it's harder than just resting it on the mouse that you already have, but I see no easy way around that without having a suspension system to hold your arm up. Now if you try standing up and holding your hand in place over the desk without steadying yourself, it's not so easy and it fatigues you a lot more.

And what happens when you want to type/relax/urinate? You put it down, lose your place in 3d space, and have to get it back to the same position to continue?

I would imagine that a good way to handle this problem would be to have a button on the mouse itself so that it only registers motion when you're holding the button down, analogous to how a regular mouse only registers motion when it's on the table. It may very well be annoying, but who really knows until someone tries it? I thought I'd hate scroll wheels before I'd used one, but after about 10 minutes I knew I'd never go back.

It's a nice hack, don't get me wrong, but there's a reason why helicopters use a 2 handed control system rather than a mouse. Doing it all with one hand just isn't very accurate, easy, or safe...

Very true. Helicopters encounter quite a bit of turbulence, and when they catch an updraft for example, the pilot's hand drops in relation to his/her body and that wouldn't be very easy safe or accurate at all. The difference is that when you're at your computer, most of the time you're on a pretty stable surface and so is the computer... so it's kind of a moot point.

Re:Muscle fatigue... (1)

lc_overlord (563906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747582)

or posssible at the time it was invented.

IT would be theoreticly possible to control a helocopter with lets say a spaceball mouse.
IT wouldn't be that unsafe or inacurate either, just let a computer fly and you telling it where to go.

>>>And what happens when you want to type/relax/urinate? You put it down, lose your place in 3d space, and have to get it back to the same position to continue?

there is this little button on the side you press down to make it work, release it and it stops working(stops sending 3d positional data).

wheel mouse (2, Interesting)

salec (791463) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747411)

Why don't we use wheel as "depth" (zoom) command for 3D navigation in "world behind the screen"? That seems so obvious...

Those devices from TFA are more like "make your computer read your hand's 3d motion", which is IMHO too anti-ergonomic to be useful (except maybe for some kind of workout).

Re:wheel mouse (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747820)

Why don't we use wheel as "depth" (zoom) command for 3D navigation in "world behind the screen"? That seems so obvious

I have thought as that as well. On very wheel mouse that I have ever used the scroll wheel "clicks" when you roll it (and on every click it scrolls.) For this to work properly, it will have to be a wheel that is truely analog.

What will it take? (1)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747421)

What will it take to get people to use a 3D mouse? Not much! Once they see it and feel it they will throw away those flat 2D mice in a heart beat.

see the geek (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747428)

got curious about the advert on the board. picture of the geek [digitalroutes.co.uk]

Useability; A mouse is the wrong shape (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747431)

I was working as part of a research project for 3D (as well as 4D, 5D and 6D) designs for better comuter input devices. What we found was that a mouse is the wrong design.

Firstly, It quite simply doesn't make sense. Mice don't fly unless you throw them. This cognitive dissonance causes users considerable problems. We solved this quire easily by replacing the "mouse" with a "bat".

Secondly, it creates arm ache. Holding the bat up for several hours just isn't possible. This was solved by the simple and rather crude device of a counterweighted piece of string on a pully on the ceiling. Of course, this isn't goinf to be suitable for a home user. I suggest we'll probably need some sort of rotor assembly to avoid the tangle of strings and wires.

It appears that no other researchers have even looked into our research, preferring to reinvent the wheel at every step.

Re:Useability; A mouse is the wrong shape (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747619)

who the fuck thought this was informative instead of funny?

Re:Useability; A mouse is the wrong shape (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747663)

mods are asleep or what? that was FUNNY, not informative;
(sigh)

I have two 1D mice (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747435)

One of them does the X axis, the other one does the Y axis.

No wait, that's my etch-a-sketch...

great! (2, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747450)

just two nights ago I wondered whether I should post "ask /." on how to make a 3d mouse. Such device will be very useful for debugging my CAE program (calculating concrete) that I write for my PhD.

now I'm off to make this mouse and see how it works. :))

Argh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747455)

I'm two dimensional, you insensitive clod!

This was invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747472)

..in Japan.

Game controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747480)

You could make a lot of cool games with it.. boxing, pong (has been made), guide-the-ring-around-the-wire-without-touching-it , and a lot more.. it doesnt really take long to think of a lot of posibilities for this kind of device. And not only for gaming.

mouse buttons (-1, Troll)

garver (30881) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747481)

what will it take to get people to use them?

Some people [apple.com] still haven't figured out that 2 or even 3 buttons can be useful.

Mod parent up! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747566)

Funny and on-topic! Don't mod down because you happen to like macs!

It will take three words... (1)

artoo (11319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747486)

Project Lookng Glass (AKA 3D Window Manager)

Logitech Cyberman (1)

ender-iii (161623) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747496)

Old news! No one care about it [inebraska.com] then, not one will care now....

What a lot of arm ache (1)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747504)

I'm not sure about you, but I'd quickly get very bored of having to wave my mouse around in the air, unless someone can create a system which supports the whole arm and hand and measurement device to go along with the 3d mouse, there never going to take off.

We already have 3d mice (2, Insightful)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747506)

X-Axis (Left right) and Y-Axis (up down) are determined by the Ball.

Z-Axis (Foward, backward)is determined by the scroll.

Or you can use the keyboard and mouse like in so many FPS games. DUH!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747511)

3D mouse point with YOU!

Reson. (1)

Krunaldo (779385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747515)

Lets think, which OS will be the first to come out with an 3d GUI? The answer is Windows. So these guys must be employed by the evil lord of bill gates? Or is this a signal for us (The open source community) to make a 3d GUI. It's a signal for us... We must make an 3d GUI.So what're you guys waiting for?! GET TO WORK!!! I want my 3d GUI tomorrow! ;)

ummm wrong (1)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747571)

The answer is Linux and Solaris.
http://wwws.sun.com/software/looking_glass/

Re:Reson. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747761)

Does this mean glowstick waving ravers will be the only users capable of using computers in the future?

I for one welcome our pill popping overlords.

No no no (1)

PKC Jess (797453) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747517)

the problem with the 3D mouse is that it tires you arm. Anyone who's ever tried to play the NES with the power glove will tell you. You simply get exausted just trying to keep your arm still or even just keep it moving. Maybe its just because I'm hella weak in the arms but I haven't a doubt that I'm not the only person who think this is whats hindering such a device from the mass market.

Re:No no no (1)

Krunaldo (779385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747565)

3D mouse + 3D tetris alternative 3D pong. Might this be the answer for the question: How to make geeks exercise? Will we finnaly be able to get in shape and... d..da..date a g...gir..girl?

what will it take to get people to use them... (0)

inkdesign (7389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747520)

Problibly would help if it didn't look like some kind of bizarre ouija board... :0]

Finally (1)

jesler (683123) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747523)

This is what I've been waiting for. My 2D mouse is so hard to grip and I'm always losing it between sheets of paper. It also has no mass, making it very hard to control as the usual laws of inertia don't apply.

- jesler

Spaceball (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747552)

Just to add to the list of already existing devices, there is also the Spaceball [3dconnexion.com] .

Re:Spaceball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747709)

Just to add to the list of already existing devices, there is also the Spaceball.

Yes, the Spaceball, which my dad (who works in CAD/CAM) has used for just about fifteen years. A nifty device, useless outside of a 3D graphics context, and almost totally non-intuitive.

3D pointing devices are doomed to remain non-intuitive and virtually useless to the average consumer until 3D GUIs or even 3D displays are developed.

What about clicks? (1)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747553)

That a nice little hack... But a mouse is a point and click device. So I would not call that a 3D mouse for now.

This hack is a just a point and stare device... Maybe he should had a switch on the ring to allow for clicks.

Woohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9747564)

My girlfriend has one of those 3D mouses!

Just what we need (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747598)

... another axis of evil.

Useful! (1)

Natchswing (588534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747609)

Now that we have the device we just need a practical use for it! It took years just to teach my parents how to access their email in two dimensions, now they'll have to learn to use the 3D mouse.

What it would take... (1)

Wilkshake (788751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747610)

For something like this to take off it would take a computer game with a large audience to buy/build this sort of thing. That and having a 3D mouse giving a discting advantage over it's 2D cousins.

I seriously can't see it happening any time soon though.

What it will take for me... (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747654)

a 3D trackball.

I hate mice.

He's holding it wrong! (UI ideas) (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9747754)

What you need is to put the ring on your finger, then get one of those laser-pointer mice and hold it: now you get:

3d position of your hand.
2d attitude of your hand (pitch and yaw).
2 or 3 buttons.

Now let's pretend you have a device like this that's light enough that you can wear it like a glove (no Nintendo jokes, please) and it's wireless. Add "roll" input and implement the buttons using something like midi drumsticks based on finger movements.

Now, what's the user interface for this going to look like?

Let's avoid the gorilla-arm problem by making a state change when you rest your hand on the table. On the table it acts like a mouse, except you're not holding a mouse you're just moving your hand or finger on the desktop and tapping it to click.

So, if you're used to a mouse, you can use it like a mouse.

Next, add gestures. Thumb and forefinger together and you're dragging. Curl your fingers into a fist and you just cut (grabbed) what you selected. Open your hand wide and you paste (drop).

Now, move your hand off the desktop. A couple of inches away and you shift to 3d mode. Gestures work the same way, but now you can drag windows forward and back as well as up and down.

Next, move your hand near the actual screen. Now it works like a light-pen with gestures, so you really can move that window out of the way by reaching up and dragging it. Why, you could even apply virtual white-out on your monitor!

Finally, curl your fingers around like you're pointing at something. Now you're using a virtual laser-pointer... the mouse moves wherever your finger is pointing at. This extends the "light pen" mode back away from the screen, so you can rest your hand on the desk without breaking that metaphor.

I'm sure that not all of these modes will end up being useful, but it wouldn't take much of a change in our existing user interfaces to find something that would work better than the mice we use now.
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