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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Three axis trackball

Why settle for a mere two?
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A trackball which can sense rotational motion in a horizontal plane. It would be very easy to implement with optical trackballs. Simply reprogram the onboard microcontroller to detect rotational patterns from the CCD sensor. The trackball will then be able to track a full three degrees of rotational freedom.

The prime application for this is manipulating 3D objects. Movement would feel more smooth and natural, as well as being much faster. The extra axis could also see use as a jog wheel for video editors, or simply as a scroll wheel.

Even if you can't think of a good use for it, the idea is so trivial to make there's little excuse not to do it.

Aq_Bi, Oct 01 2010

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       The same could be done for an optical mouse, maybe.
baconbrain, Oct 01 2010
  

       I like it (+), but you'd have to bring back (I haven't seen them in a while) the old huge Kensington cue ball sized trackball or bigger.
MisterQED, Oct 01 2010
  

       Beside my keyboard is a 3D spaceball which senses 6 axes of motion (3 linear, 3 rotary). These are very common among CAD users and widely known to exist.   

       MFD - unless I'm missing something?
Twizz, Oct 01 2010
  

       //A trackball which can sense rotational motion in a horizontal plane//   

       [ ] This anno brought to you via a Kensington SlimBlade Trackball, which does pitch and roll quite nicely for X and Y, and uses yaw for a scroll wheel. I'm pretty sure the hardware could do yaw for Z but the drivers are crippled.   

       [MQED] I wanted an old TurboMouse for ages, but got a bizarrely good deal on this one (the ball is smaller though)
FlyingToaster, Oct 01 2010
  

       //a full three degrees of rotational freedom// i.e. pretty much constrained to point in one direction?
pocmloc, Oct 01 2010
  
      
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