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A Look Behind Mouse 2.0

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Microsoft's Mouse 2.0 project is an interesting look at the next step for pointing devices in five completely different versions of multitouch mice. One of the things I liked about the Mouse 2.0 news is that we put our cards on the table at a very early stage and asked what the public thought. Speak up, we're listening.

Dan Rosenfeld is a researcher who is at the center of the Mouse 2.0 project. I stopped by Dan's office to see what he's working on and if I could squeeze any more details out about how they work, how we'll develop for them, and what we can expect. I'll be stopping by again to look at some of the other Mouse 2.0 contenders soon so leave your questions in the comments.

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  • When? That would be my first question. Followed by, where can I pre-order? Smiley

  • CKurtCKurt while( ( !​succeed=try​() ) ) { }

    Very nice  video! Good questions!

     

    It would be nice if the capasitive mouse would just work if you plug it in Wink

  • Thanks, Larry. Now I know what I want for Christmas Sad .

  • How does the touch-surface mouse compare to Magic Mouse?  Are they driven by similar technology, or are there fundamental differences?

  • ChevalN2Cheval Why not null?

    Of them all, I think the black one connected to the keyboard that he was using is most likely to succeed. It's not too far from what is used now and people hate change.

     

    My mouse 2.0 idea for you would be a gell mouse mat turned 180' so that you can touch the flat of the mat or touch/grab the gel part to work in 3D. Squeeze the gell for zoom, put leds in it for games or night work. I can see all the force feedback ideas (and adult products) already. Have the gell get firmer or softer, use the light reflection like in that arch mouse 2.0 design. Anyway, I guess is that idea of having to grab/move the mouse should be the big version change.

     

    Not to take you away from this video but I think there is a better plan than to redo the mouse. I really don't like how the numbers and mouse itself has to be so far away from the letter keys. Especially for right handers when doing numeric data entry and the only space is to the left of the keyboard. In truth I'm more interested in keyboard 2.0 where the keyboard and wrist rest is a touch screen with the key parts slightly sunken in and the letters embossed like in braille. That way I can use both hands for both mouse and typing on the one screen and no more shoulder ache. Like it or not, but rarely does a user let their arm rest on the desk and use their wrist only to use a mouse. If the mouse and keyboard was part of a larger keyboard, that would allow the poor shoulder to rest and my poor grandma to understand how to use that "confounded clicky thing!"

     

    If you are going that far, then making the keyboard touch screen show an image/video would be even better still. Since most people still look for the keys to press each or some, why not give them other things like hints, tool tips, 3D buttons, cylinders, etc to use to manipulate the touch screen with. To let the mind go even further, what about touch feedback like heat to cool, holes to bumps and other tactile feedback. Nothing helps touch typing if you got another source of hint that you're pressing the right keys.

     

    On a tangent, the shoulder issue is why I won't we buying a touch screen. I'd need painters shoulder muscles to keep at that all day. And the Jetsons taught us how fun that would be.

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    Interesting take, N2Cheval. As for the painters muscles, I just did an interesting interview with Bill Buxton where we talk about this. I think the idea is that you'll move between a lot of different natural user interfaces in the future. I've got a couple multitouch machines and I have to say it's hard to go back once you've gotten used to reaching up and pulling your webpage down to scroll. In fact, I muss up quite a few gloss screen laptops forgetting that I don't have it. Doesn't mean I use it all the time, but when I do it's a very satisfying experience.  I agree that I think we need to get tactile feedback in some of these devices. I miss my Logitech Immersive tactile mouse. 

  • ChevalN2Cheval Why not null?

    "I think the idea is that you'll move between a lot of different natural user interfaces in the future." Well that's the problem isn't it? ie. Star Trek 4 where Scotty sits down in front of the computer and tries to talk to it. No good. Ahh the mouse microphone? Nope sorry. Keyboard? How quaint!

     

    You need to have a major step between the products so you don't have the case of people trying to touch and knock over their desktop LCD screens because they "ARE" supposed to touch the laptop screen. "Did it not sense my touch? I'll push harder!" Heck I now have a perfect excuse for computer rage! You need somehting like a light or symbol ("Touch Device Inside" ding Ding DING!) that tells the user "!!!This is a touch device!!!" Like really in your face so they can put it in movies as punch line reference points that everyone knows. Like y'know.

     

    Over stating a point aside, yes, I totally agree that if touch is to work mainstream, it will need tactile feedback and something to say that it is such.

     

    PS. For disability support, you can only have touch on a very firm surface close and below the user. So no screens for kids, elderly, parkinsons, people with finger nails and any other motor neuron suffering person; but a touch keyboard would help there.

     

    PPS. If you do take my comments to heart, then could you make me a special verison. I want a touch device that has a proximity sensor (ie. heat sensor, air pressure sensor, every type in one would be better than apple, etc.) so that as I move my hand/body/whatever closer it's LED's light up one by one like christmas lights. (To fully qualify, don't forget to turn the lights out once touch has been established. I hate those near ultraviolet LEDs that burn the yellow dye out of postit notes! I've got the proof.) It would freak out my oldies as they would think it's alive as it knows that they are there! Weird Science! Scared

     

    Oh yeah, just one more thing, put the sensors in my laptops touch keyboard so that when the cat jumps on it, I can spin up alert sounds to scare it off!

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