Aerion mouse lets your fingers stick together through air travel

Gesture control continues to find its way into a wide variety of consumer electronics devices including TVs and videogame consoles.

Aerion Mouse is a gesture-driven computer mouse that’s somewhat smaller than traditional mice. It gets placed between the top of any two of the user’s fingers. The user then points the mouse at the display to operate it and, instead of clicking on any buttons, just leans to the left to achieve what a typical left click on a mouse would and leans to the right for a right click.

One main benefits to Aerion is that it allows one to keep fingers close to a typing position without having to grab a separate device when moving between the keyboard and pointing device. It also works even when there’s no convenient focus on which to set a mouse.


ODiN claims rule of virtual computer trackpads

There isn’t a whole lot of innovation being made in the computer mouse category. You might even say that if you’ve used one mouse, you’ve used them all.

patent-claimedBut the makers of ODiN are attempting to change that.  ODiN is a laser projection mouse that aims to help users whose arms and wrists tend to hurt after using a traditional mouse for extended periods of time. ODiN works by projecting a laser onto a flat surface, subsequently creating an area that can be touched with one’s fingers to perform functions ordinarily performed with a mouse or a trackpad.  Instead of expending energy and moving around a computer cursor with a mouse, users can simply move their fingers across a flat surface instead.

The mouse is compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs and can be easily connected via USB. It’s being fielded in a choice of three colors –- black, green and silver. It’s priced at $66 and will ship in June. Its maker is hoping to raise $50,000 by May 8.

The ODin mouse holds promise because of its innovative design and functionality. The campaign’s emphasis on the device’s portability, however, seems a bit over the top. Indeed, it doesn’t seem much more portable than a traditional mouse, especially when one considers that the ODiN is not wireless capable.


Tiny Swiftpoint GT mouse offers touchscreen gestures without screen touching

The introduction of the touch-centric Windows 8 and the impending advent of its big brother, Windows 10, have given manufacturers headaches in trying to figure out how to best design a computing system comfortable enough to take advantage of their features. Trying to reign its many tiles along with getting the start menu under control with an ordinary mouse just doesn’t cut it. Although trackpads have fared OK, even touchscreen laptop combinations have come up short.

The Swiftpoint GT is a extremely compact mouse with the ability to use natural touch gestures in a non-touch environment. Its ergonomic design has a point-and-click mode with which all the standard mouse functions are available, but the magic begins with a light press of toggle at its front. A comfortable pen-like grip facilitates natural touch screen gestures like scrolling and flicking with natural motions of the wrist, so as to avoid the dreaded crab claw that results from long periods of mouse use.

It sports a Bluetooth LE connection for up to several weeks use, and a separate USB dongle should the computer it’s used with not be equipped with it which doubles as its rapid charger: just 30 seconds of charging time gives user one hour of use. The Swiftpoint GT goes for $93 and should the campaign reach its $25,000 goal, backers should receive their very own December 2014.

The Swiftpoint GT can also be used with an iPad or Android device as well, but the former exists only more as a portal to Windows than anything else. In addition, learning an entirely new manner of input may actually might make using Windows more difficult for some, especially since left-handed users are left out in the cold. Still, the Swiftpoint GT seems like a must have for Windows users who can grasp its benefits, and probably is a bit easier to swallow than the ThumbTrack — fellow hardware manufacturers should take note.


Motix ties touch screen controls to any standard keyboard

The Premise. It might be hard to realize, but a good deal of time spent doing anything on the computer is moving from the keyboard to the mouse and then back again. It’s an insignificant blip when it happens once, but it more likely will occur over and over, adding up into lost time. No amount of keyboard shortcuts can prevent this from occurring.

The Product. The Motix is a touchless, hands-free sensor that sticks onto a keyboard and reads finger gestures above the keys to enable mouse-like or touch-style controls over a computer, regardless of operating system. By simply lifting an index finger off the key and pointing it forward, simple finger motions allow for scrolling, navigation, and anything else that can be done with a mouse.

The Pitch. The campaign focuses on how much easier and responsive computing can be if only one input device needs to be used. The Motix plays well with mice, however, making it a perfect solution for things that it’s designed to do without shutting out mouse functionality. Motix creators Technology Launch, LLC want to raise $50,000 to finalize the product’s design and complete its production. If the project reaches 400 pledges for the Motix itself, the included keyboard in the higher tiers will be upgraded from a standard release keyboard to a custom keyboard with built-in Motix capabilities.

The Perks. The Motix sensor is available to backers who pledge $80. At the $185 level, the Motix Pro is available for those that want to customize keyboard and mouse gestures. These perks will ship out in November, but for those that can’t wait, an early release with API documentation is available for $1,000 in September.

The Potential. Motix is designed to keep control intuitive and uninterrupted, but unless people are skilled typists with only a few of their fingers, moving from keyboard to Motix is still a full-stop process, albeit with less arm movement. Leap Motion has already shown off this kind of touchless control in the marketplace optimized for a more immersive interface, albeit doing so in a fashion that is more about 3D space manipulation than economy of movement. At least with Motix, the hands can stay anchored on the keyboard, but for typists that don’t subscribe to home row methodologies, there may be reason to worry about accidentally setting off the motion detection and sending a mouse cursor somewhere unwanted.

Health and Wellness Tech Accessories

Mousebar supports your wrist, won’t serve cats drinks

MousebarWorking long hours at a computer can be hard on your back, wrists and sometimes soul. It’s easy to forget that even while not in motion, you may not be taking care of your body. Mousebar is a product designed to be ergonomic and friendly to the human wrist. It is long, comes in several different colors and supports your arm from elbow to wrist on the side that you control your mouse from. While slightly clunky, Mousebar is great for compulsive computer-ites and goes for $19 early or $29 regularly on Kickstarter. Mousebar’s creators hope to raise $11,000 in their 30-day campaign.

Tech Accessories Wearables

ThumbTrack creates a wearable mouse for mobile computing

ThumbTrackOne of the continued limitations of laptop computing is the lack of a functional mouse substitute. Far from the first ring-slinger, The ThumbTrack takes the hand motions of the standard mouse and shrinks them down to a wearable thumb ring that is light, small, and easy to use at any location. The design is also designed to be ergonomic and reduce hand strain. Simple touch features are also available to allow users to easily scroll or drag icons. Backers interested in giving this project a thumbs-up will be able to get this product on their hands in December of this year for a $119 pledge.

Video Games

Sinister game controller puts the tremble in your twitch game

sinisterPC gamers have finally found a replacement for their keyboards – when it comes to gaming, anyway. The developers at Sinister have created a game controller that works in conjunction with a mouse and utilizes new technology to deliver higher quality vibrations. This control helps gamers feel like they are truly in the game and can create an immersion experience. Any USB enabled mouse will plug right into the Sinister controller and begin working immediately. With the flip of a switch, the mouse disengages and works as per usual on the desktop. The early bird special on this new technology is $100 CAD and the device is slated to ship in April 2014.


Input Video Games

The King’s Assembly mashes up keyboard, joystick, mouse, crushes enemies

The Premise. While any PC gamer worth their kill/death ratio will say that keyboard and mouse is the only way to play, many games have had to optimize their control scheme to operate with a hand on each. More complicated games or any game with text chat requires players to take a hand off the mouse and slow their game down to communicate.

The Product. The King’s Assembly from Solid Art Labs is an intimidating but smart solution to this problem that combines keyboard, mouse, and joystick into a one- or two-handed system that looks like the love child of a typewriter and an air hockey paddle. By using a rest for the palm and a downward sweeping curved keyboard, gamers have access to more keys than ever without having to move their hands around. And by using an optical laser on the bottom, the device can be moved around like a mouse without having to change hand position.

The Pitch. Engineer, gamer, and founder of Solid Art Labs Eric Charlton explains how he designed the King’s Assembly to satisfy his personal gaming needs and demos the product. Campaign graphics show off the console-inspired thumb joystick, ergonomic palm rest, and a look at the unique curved keyboard. The project is looking to raise $20,000 to create molds, develop packaging and complete testing. Multiple stretch goals are announced, starting with upgrading the parts and making the device work with as many hand shapes and sizes as possible at $50,000. $100,000 will have the King’s Assembly bundled with presets designed by pro gamers for specific games and onboard macros. At $150,000 the company will add more colors, programmable backlighting and other style options, and at $250,000 the device will become fully wireless, both in connection to the PC and to each hand of the device.

The Perks. To get one hand of choice of the King’s Assembly by September takes a $110 pledge. Both hands are available for $185. If that’s too long to wait, a $350 pledge is all it takes to get a signed pre-production set by July.

The Potential. The unique approach of the King’s Assembly means it will have a hard time competing with established or traditional gaming peripheral manufacturers like Razer and Roccat, but all it will really take is for one pro to adopt and endorse this device for it to catch on with curious gamers.