Neuroscientists at Princeton University created a new way to study the neurons of the classic mouse-in-a-maze: strap it to a suspended ball and have it run through a virtual maze. That first virtual maze? Derived from a Quake 2 level.
Apparently it's difficult to control and study the neurons of a mouse when it's physically moving, and this method makes that easier. The ball is suspended on a jet of air, and the mouse is strapped in place with a collar on top of it (like a giant trackball, sort of) while running on a spherical treadmill.
Given … Read more
With the exception of Netflix and YouTube, many online video providers aren't natively available on set-top boxes or game consoles--Hulu being the most notable example. That's led many online video junkies to go with the most direct workaround: connecting their PCs directly to their big-screen TVs. Generally, it works like a charm--but requires a big keyboard and mouse to sit on the coffee table for navigation duties.
It's that niche--the living room input device--that the new GlideTV Navigator is designed to fill. The wireless pointing device is a disembodied touch pad flanked by a handful of … Read more
In spite of its novelty factor, Windows 7's multitouch capability faces some major hurdles to mass adoption. Touch-screen displays aren't exactly ubiquitous, and few serious PC users would consider reaching out across a desk to touch their displays for any real length of time. It seems Microsoft is tackling both issues with a series of prototype touch-capable mice it unveiled today.
The five mice prototypes come from Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group, which will be presenting a paper on the mice at this week's User Interface Software and Technology Conference in British Columbia, Canada. Microsoft already announced a pressure-sensitive keyboard at the UIST back in August.
For the mice, Microsoft has five different designs to demonstrate. We'll hand off the description chores to Microsoft's PR department:
FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection) Mouse: FTIR Mouse is a mouse design that uses the principle of frustrated total internal reflection and a built-in camera to sense user's touches on top of an arc-shaped piece of acrylic.… Read more
I don't normally indulge statements from vendors in response to other company's announcements. Guess what? They think you should buy their product instead. Normally it's the graphics card guys that snipe back and forth via my in-box, but this morning was the first time I've seen competing PR over mice.
After extensive research to determine where people want to track, BlueTrack was designed to work where people use their PCs most--around the house on granite, carpet or a bedspread to on-the-go at a coffee shop table, on an airplane tray or even on your jeans. Tracking … Read more
Apparently unhappy with falling behind in the input arms race, Logitech announced its response to Microsoft's BlueTrack mouse sensor technology this morning by way of two new mice bearing its new Darkfield laser. Unlike traditional laser sensors, or even BlueTrack, Darkfield will track on pretty much everything, up to and including nonmirrored glass.
The desktop-size Darkfield product is the Logitech Performance Mouse MX. Retailing for $99.99, the Performance Mouse MX replaces the MX 1100 Cordless as Logitech's new flagship desktop mouse. You get the usual array of high-end mouse features with the Performance Mouse MX, including rechargeable batteries, wireless operation, and Logitech's adjustable fast scroll wheel design. It also has the standard pair of forward and back buttons on the left side, as well as Logitech's extra-comfortable sculpt.
We haven't used the mouse long enough to write a full review, but our initial hands-on suggests that Darkfield is the real thing. We tried the mouse on a pane of glass and experienced no discernible jitter or precision loss, at least in our initial Web navigation test. We were also glad to see that Logitech extended its new Unifying USB microreceiver to the Performance Mouse MX. The Unifying receiver, which debuted last month, is not only small, but it also lets you link up with other Logitech wireless devices in its Unified product family.… Read more
On Thursday, Logitech announced two new PC gaming accessories, a successor to the G5 Laser Mouse and a behind-the-head gaming headset.
The G500 Gaming Mouse refreshes the current G5 Laser Mouse with improved sensitivity and a new design. The mouse will also come with up to 27 grams of weight that you can add on to tune the overall feel of the device. How's that for customization?
The mouse's onboard memory also allows you to switch from game to game without having to remap a button scheme. Better yet, this feature doesn't require any software installation (though … Read more
I received this wireless mouse awhile ago, but as it comes in one of those clamshell packages that are impossible to open, I kind of ignored it until now.
As it turns out, the packaging is the only bad thing about it. Inside, I found what's possibly the coolest wireless mouse ever. It's a miniature replica of a Ford GT sports car. The two mouse buttons are the left and right side of the hood, and the scroll wheel is right in the middle (but kind of hidden as it's painted over).
The feature of the Fort … Read more
Microsoft on Thursday announced a new wireless mouse aimed at the burgeoning Netbook market.
The Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, which goes on sale in August, comes in a bunch of colors and has a small USB transmitter that sticks out less than a centimeter from the computer. Microsoft argues that means the mouse transmitter can remain plugged in all the time, of course that assumes that the Netbook has enough USB ports that one can be dedicated to a mouse.
The thing that really struck me is that, at $40, the mouse costs more than the revenue Microsoft gets from … Read more
We've reviewed a few iHome computer speakers in the past, but the company is now making a bigger move into the computer accessories market after signing a licensing agreement with LifeWorks Technology Group.
The new line is expected to launch "this summer," and we've highlighted a couple interesting looking products, the iStand Notebook Media Bundle with an integrated iPod/iPhone dock ($299.99) and the iConnect Media Keyboard ($149.99). The Mac version of each is colored silver and white, while the Windows version is black. iHome-branded mice, headsets, and Webcams are also in the works. … Read more