Navigator could be 3D life-saver

Alternative device is meant for your mouse-free hand

It may look like an air hockey mallet, but don't laugh--it could be your survival guide if you get lost in Second Life.

SpaceNavigator

The "SpaceNavigator," developed by Logitech subsidiary 3D Connexion, offers an alternative to the mouse movement and keystroke combinations now used to navigate 3D environments or move 3D objects.

Using six optical sensors, the navigator isn't a replacement for a mouse but is intended for use in the mouse-free hand. You can move through a 3D space by gripping the top of the SpaceNavigator and sliding it around, twisting it like a dial, tilting it, pressing down on the center of the mallet or slightly lifting it.

Just be careful not to get carried away with it, as some gamers have done with the Wii .

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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