The Ideal Mouse WishList

I just saw this video with some interesting ideas for a mouse. Of the five mice shown, my SwiftPoint GT was one of them!

I found it interesting to see a scanner inside of one mouse. Cool idea, but I think it would have limited use for me.

The one I thought was really interesting is the laser projection trackpad. This makes much more sense to me for a laser projection surface than a keyboard because the exact placement of your fingers is not as critical as with a keyboard. Once it detects your finger, it just has to track the movement. Anyhow, I thought that was interesting.

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Interesting vid PT_Ken. The world has seen an incredible diversity of HID ideas, some of them rather daft.

SmartPhone cameras have now pretty much subsumed hand scanning, so we don’t think that’d add utility to WayTools mouse. The scanner-mouse is more of a marketing hook, that ends up not getting used.

Projection peripherals have to burn energy just to be available, and their visibility varies widely based on the work surface. Printed fabrics or granite made them very tough to see. Those issues are among the many that killed the laser projection keyboard. They were also thicker than phones and too big a lump in your pocket. And the elephant in the room of course - projection has no tactile feel whatsoever.


Link to Discussion of mice on macbook thread -

Then what caused all those bruises on my fingers when using projection keyboard on concrete!!!

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I realize that I have forgotten the most important use case for a mouse: Minesweeper, touchpads are seriously slow for that game.

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The main problem with a mouse I find is that I lack a third arm to use it. If you could incorporate eye tracking into either a set of glasses, or a device you mount in front of your screen and just configure the buttons to your keyboard then I think you will truely have the market cornered.

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Swiftpoint mouse… I get a lot of people who think it would cramp their hand. Exactly the opposite. My hand would cramp after a long day with a regular mouse, but not with Swiftpoint.

I also like the utilities screens where I can configure behavior and speed of my mouse.


Interesting concept for a “new OS.” Parts of it might interface well with TB. If like to be a fly on the wall when and this kid get talking…
A bit off topic, but can’t figure where else this could go.

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So this may inform what you expect in an ideal mouse as well.

I replied to this a long time ago and there’s 250 posts, so I have no idea if this was said before, but I just paid attention to a problem that I have a lot, that others probably have. Not suggesting a solution, that’s your job WT, just the problem (which if I were you, that’s what I want to hear).

Windowing software (particularly the PC, but IIRC, also the Mac) commonly uses a technique where the cursor changes to indicate a behavior that only exists as you hover over a spot. In particular, changing the size of a pane within an application window. Corner resizing. Any drag & drop action on an object. Problems are: (a) getting the cursor icon to change by oh-so-precisely hovering over the target, (b) starting the action, say with a mouse press, while still over the target, and (b) getting to where you want to go.

I find this as frustrating as any other mouse behavior. It’ll get worse as I get older, but frankly I have good coordination and this drives me nuts. Please make a mouse that fixes this.

Okay, I said I wouldn’t do this, but … my suggested solution, which you should duly ignore, is some way to slow the movement down when you’re in the vicinity of a target, and then speed it up after you’ve captured the target with a mouse. If it could be automatic, all the better, e.g. slow down and on mouse press, automatically back to normal. Or sense a cursor shape change and when that change happens, let it linger a bit (although that starts to interfere with a software designer’s choices, so personally I think that’s wrong.)

Anyway, just had that thought and wanted to pass it along.

@dpom: while I understand the problem you describe I do not see any way a device that presents itself as a mouse could solve your problem. You would need software running on the host that has some awareness of context to give this sort of capability - not just something on the mouse type device. Whether the Waytools idea for their mouse would give the extra control of precision in a usable way to avoid the problem we will have to wait and see.

I was going to avoid offering solutions, since I remember the days as a developer when users wouldn’t present problems, but would offer those kind of half-baked solutions that exposed a deep misunderstanding of software fundamentals and would only obscure the actual problem that needed solving. But in this case, I’ll make an exception an expose my ignorance of mice. :slight_smile:
You could offer a user-controllable zoom which slowed the response factor of the mouse. That is, for ever n inches of mouse movement, you get m pixels of cursor movement. Increase that ratio at user command, with a button or wheel or something. So as I approach the dreaded line between window panes and I’m praying I can get that little parallel line icon to show up, I can slow the mouse and creep up to the line.
That’s one thing. Secondly, the cursor icon is, I believe, a globally known value in Win32. The mouse driver could detect that, if a driver was installed. I don’t know what mouse drivers look like and I wouldn’t want to assume they don’t know that or that WT doesn’t plan on writing one. You could allow a user-controllable mode where the mouse detects a cursor shape change and when it happens, change the n/m ratio for a given radius of inches/pixels, to give the user time to do a mouse press before it changes again. To the user, it looks like the cursor hesitates as it passes over an area of software-controlled icon changes. Further, you could trigger that mode only when the cursor is moving slowly, which is an indication that the user is hunting for a spot on the screen. Or you could have the mode invoked with a button.
Just spitballing, but I’m not convinced it’s an intractable problem.

I have similar problems with a trackpad in being able to get the right cursor and then drag or select the element. My wife who has MS and has loss feeling her in fingers has amazing difficulty with any input device.

On a trackpad, my solution is to roll my finger so that the trackpad senses the change in center of where I am touching and thus moves a bit slower. It is not ideal, but it helps. If the mouse was multi-touch, then by sliding your fingers around in how you hold the device could change how sensitive it is to changes in movement. For instance sliding the thumb forward could make the mouse hot, while sliding it back make it more sensitive.

I was hoping for a multitouch mouse, because I love the Mac gestures. I often get windows on top of windows and gestures are a quick solution.

I don’t know if any of this has been covered as I have not had the bandwidth follow this thread.

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Re. The difference between hovering the mouse with precision vs moving it quickly across the screen.
Perhaps there is a solution in whatever magic it is that Apple does with their scrolling that seems to change speed based on momentum


I also roll my finger on trackpads.

Ah right, @LexBaer, I was going to ask the same thing. Is there a reason why, for precision pointing, that customizable acceleration curves won’t do the job? By acceleration curves I mean that moving the mouse/trackpad slowly results in high accuracy/less movement, but a quick movement would make the pointer go very far.

I think most OSes support that, but it isn’t configurable.

Also, for mice I wonder if a drag-lock button would help. For my Apple Mighty Mouse, it’s very hard to keep the button held down while picking up the mouse when I run out of tracking surface and need to re-center.

When screen real estate was tiny (i.e. 7" or 9" Macs) then picking up the mouse was less of a problem, but nowadays a lot of professionals will use multiple monitors.

Necro-thread, arise.

Using the Textblade tonight, while coding. Textblade sitting in front of notebook. Reaching up to mouse with right hand on notebook touch pad, and it occurred to me: I only use a small portion of the pad, and (as a right handed person), I naturally reach up with the right hand’s middle and ring finger.

If there were a Textblade piece sized snap-on touch pad, e.g. connecting to top of one or the other hand’s portion of the Textblade, then I could reach up and mouse right there. (Arguably, finding a location for dedicated mouse buttons is the easier part.)

Just some thoughts. Please don’t delay 1.0 for this! :slight_smile:


The WayTools mouse won’t be a trackpad for ergonomic reasons. I think everyone tried to (don’t have the word - but the joke about how the quickest way to get the right answer on the internet is to intentionally post the wrong answer) guess what form factor their future mouse would be. It’s not: a trackpad, a trackball, eye tracking, finger poking, hand waving.

I say it’s a neural interface. Just THINK where you want the cursor to go!

I still don’t see why the SpaceBlade could not be configured to be the trackpad and click. As long as we had adjustable borders. We generally press the SpaceBlade in very specific locations with our left or right thumbs while typing. As long as that was not the location of the trackpad on the SpaceBlade (i.e. customizable sections of speceblade). The entire SpaceBlade could be a track pad but digitally disabled based on personal preference. Then a large portion of the SpaceBlade could be used for trackpad. I see my right thumb tracking (right side of SpaceBlade) and my left thumb using the SpaceBlade to click the right (top left corner of SpaceBlade and right mouse button being bottom left corner of space blade). The center of SpaceBlade being the actual space bar.

After posting I thought more about it… You could use M , . or X C V as a “Track Pad Layer” (I am coining it now… I was fortunate to get “La La State”, now I am capturing “Track Pad Layer” :wink: ) that enables the entire SpaceBlade to be a track pad… Once that is in the layer then the left blade or right blade could be entirely enable as buttons that could be used for right and left mouse button clicks or copy paste etc depending on your dexterity.

My thumb is always resting around my SpaceBlade. Seems completely ergonomic to use it that way and seems like it would be near simplistic to implement with existing hardware where the buttons are already capacitive sensitive.

Doesn’t need to be my layer either… Could be any combination of keys not already being used for layers. :wink:

Thinking more about it better to use U I O or W E R to enable the “Track Pad Layer” as it gives more distance separation from the fingers and the thumb and exposes more of the SpaceBlade for use. Having the entire other blade for button clicking and copy paste right click left click… you could enable a lot of functionality there…

Of course after GR! :wink:

More thoughts. I just used the SpaceBlade trace function on the TextBlade app and it appears I was wrong in the ability to use the existing hardware to use the SpaceBlade as a track pad. Looks like only small portions of the Space Blade have full up down left right capacitive tracking unless they have been disabled and not showing on the Trace functionality. If that is truly the case then the SpaceBlade capacitive capability would only need to be added to the entire surface area of the SpaceBlade for up down left right tracking and it would be completely ready for prime time.

This implementation seems like such a perfect alignment with the TextBlades precepts. Use what you already have. No need to add additional hardware. I have been virtually practicing on my TextBlade as though UIO or WER were layers that enabled the “Track Pad Layer” and it just works. Pressing the space blade could then be the left mouse click. Pressing a combination of a button on the left blade (or right blade) and space blade could be the middle or right mouse buttons… So surface of Space Blade is the track pad and the pressing is the click button.

Make it so WayTools… Of course … after GR. Since it would simply be a add on purchase to replace the GR SpaceBlade with a “Track Pad Layer” enabled SpaceBlade and a firmware update to use one of the copious bluetooth slots so one can be for the TextBlade and another could be for the “SpacePad”. With the copious amount of extra memory in firmware space to enable the new layer and provide all the customization with it :wink:

More detail…Yes, too much time on my hands while stuck at home…

Just to help out here is a sample of the TextBlade guide for the “Track Pad Layer”. By the way, this would be reversible based on left-handed or right-handed setup. Simply configure the keys and flip sides.