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Alternate mouse axes

Change the way we look at mice
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
  [vote for,

There are so many outrageous peripherals for the PC these days, yet the humble mouse has been left relatively untouched with this revolution in the way we instruct our computers.

My thinking is that we should put the mouse on a stand (complete with back-sticking armrest) about 4 inches high. On this stand, the mouse can drop and lift its nose to assist scrolling, then slide across two perpendicular bars to give the same effect of standard mouse movement. This stand would also have a tilt facility, so the left and right sides can drop or lift as well, giving 4 axes of movement as opposed to the standard 2 (5 instead of 3 if we are counting the wheel).

Not only would this give great scope for a 3D version of Windows, but it could aslo make Flight Simulators a lot easier to control.

I understand this may be dificult to picture, so an illustration shall follow shortly.....

NickTheGreat, Jun 12 2002

(?) ProTrack 60 http://www.cursorco....com/protrack60.htm
Embedded 3rd dimension pan/zoom [phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Cymouse... http://www.maui-inn...nt/VideoGaming.html
...is a revolutionary 3-D game controller. But not a mouse. [phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) A "3D mouse" http://www.cg.tuwie...nbrunner/node9.html
[phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) A data glove http://www.cg.tuwie...nbrunner/node8.html
This is where my money is as far as future pointing devices go. [phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

MindFlex SpaceBall http://www.mindflux...acetec/3003flx.html
The only thing I'd substitute for a data glove. [phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

SpaceBall 4000FLX http://www.alsos.co...ices/SpaceBall.html
I use one of these on a daily basis. Great for CAD work. [Freefall, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Baked? http://www.3dconnexion.com/
[notexactly, Jan 03 2016]


       How about a mouth mouse that tracks tongue movements against the inner cheek?
waugsqueke, Jun 12 2002

       I've often thought a joystick with a sheath on the stick that could ride up and down the stick would be a good input device for navigation in simulated 3D spaces. Nick, while your device might make flight simulators easier to control, it would be even less analogous to the controls used to fly actual aircraft than existing devices, so I imagine it would be unpopular for that application.
beauxeault, Jun 12 2002

       I wonder how long it'll take before someone asks about axing mice.
beauxeault, Jun 12 2002

       joystick with a sheath? please elaborate, in the absence of any HB artists.
po, Jun 12 2002

       So we're not discussing musical instruments played by mice?
pasodad, Jun 12 2002

       Or a range of miniature mice axes, made by Sony?
[ sctld ], Jun 12 2002

       Quite a variety of pointers already exist: mouse, track ball, touch screen, stylus and tablet, joy stick, touch pad, digitizing table, and motion sensing pen. I've heard of a glove you can wear that is sensed in three dimensions.
pasodad, Jun 12 2002

       //an illustration shall follow shortly.....//   


       Also, might I suggest "additional mouse axis?"
yamahito, Jun 12 2002

       po, the joystick would work like standard ones, but there would be an added "tube" around the vertical part of the stick, which would be free to move vertically up and down on the stick. So you'd control north/south and east/west as before, but control up/down by sliding the tube up or down on the stick.
beauxeault, Jun 12 2002

       The Cyberman controller was sort of like this. A mouse-shaped thing on a little stick, on a base. You could move it like a mouse, and also tilt, yaw and roll it.   

       Problem was, you could only move it in about a two square inch area of the base, so if you ended up against the side of the screen, there was no way to get back without another mouse.   

       I've also got something that claimed to be the best thing for flight simulators. It's a game pad, that has something the size of a tennis ball grafted to it instead of the direction controller. You can twist the ball left and right, up and down, and also pull it in and out on its stick, and any combination of these at the same time. It doesn't move more than a little, it's like the fly-by-wire thing, but it has lots of freedom of movement.   

       Unfortunately, it was a pain in the butt to control. Since you needed one hand for just the direction controller, you had to support the thing with the other hand and use all the buttons with it too.   

       There's another sort of controller that's kind of like the above, on a desk-mounted base. I forget what it's called, unfortunately, or I'd provide a link. It was actually used in the first Men in Black movie; when K is looking at what would have been his wife, it's on the desk next to him. <The Space Ball, as linked above by Freefall, is what I was thinking of. Although those seem to be newer versions of it...>   

       I think a 3d version of Windows would be an Evil Thing Indeed, a severe pain in the ass for moving around in.
StarChaser, Jun 13 2002

       Baked. Airbus A3XX Sidestick flight control system. Joystick is none-moving but senses user pressure in all 3 axes via strain guages. Common now on Die-By-Wire aircraft.
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       An extremely phallic design idea, there, beaux.
waugsqueke, Jun 13 2002

       Many years ago I saw a joystick which as well as letting you move in 2 degrees of freedom like a normal joystick, you could turn the top like a small dial/knob; slightly less phallic than pulling a sheath up and down the staff. But a mouse with a scroll wheel, or a trackerball with a thumb wheel is probably easier for most desktop applications.   

       As to the original idea, if the thing's mounted 4 inches off the table, it's going to give you a very sore arm if you use it for any length of time. (Similar to the famous "gorilla arm" problem with touch-screens.)
pottedstu, Jun 13 2002

       A muscle-strained colleague of mine moved his mouse to the floor, steering it with his toes through a cut-off shoe. No more mouse elbow.
FarmerJohn, Jun 13 2002

       Well, yeah, waugs. I was trying to avoid those allusions so people wouldn't pick up on a double-entendre and assume I was joking. But since you've mentioned it, I do think adolescent boys (who make up the majority of the gaming market) would find the operation of such a joystick rather, umm, intuitive.
beauxeault, Jun 13 2002

       “Alternate Mouse Axes” I thought that was a half-adzed title.
reensure, Jun 13 2002

       Baked. "Tron". The whole desktop is a touchscreen with huge hidden-till-lit displays. Liked it then, still want it now ...
8th of 7, Jun 14 2002

       "You should have just taken an existing product and stuck a clock in it or something..." -Homer Simpson   

       Recycling is good.
NickTheGreat, Jun 17 2002

       Baked. See link re: SpaceBall 4000FLX.
Freefall, Jun 17 2002

       I like the mental picture of Mouse Axes better than Mouse Axis ...It makes me think of Cat Armour
shradius, Jun 17 2002

       8/7, the problem with that Tron desk <although I love it too...> is that trying to type on that, you'd be beating your fingers on unyielding glass. Very painful, after a very short time, if you type at any speed at all.
StarChaser, Jun 19 2002

       StarChaser: I am disposed to agree with you on that one.   

       The answer might be to have the flat touchscreen desktop with all the "low use" features etc. and then a wireless keyboard for the tyipng. You can "drag and drop" on the desktop with your fingers.   

       It would be tricky but not impossible to teach the touchscreen to ignore the contact points of the keyboard with its surface. They would be (say) four symmetrically-arranged poinst moving in a fixed orientation so it would be reasonably eeasy to have a search-and-exclude algorithm for them, but still detect a single finger pressure point. It would probably work OK with surface accoustic wave technology.   

       You would end up with a flat display looking pretty much like the Enterprise screens in Next Generation, so this idea is, if not baked, at least in the proving oven.   

       This is a bit off topic from the 3D mouse proposed in the header. Not sure how that would be implemented on a 2D flat desk.
8th of 7, Jun 19 2002

       What the hell are you talking about?
NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002

       One of the neatest mice I ever saw was on TV - a special on MIT, I think. The mouse was just a tennis ball, with holes poked in it at the cardinal points (top, bottom and two opposite sides, if you can imaging what I mean). There were rubber bands attached through the ball to a square wooden frame (top of ball to top of frame, bottom of ball to bottom of frame, etc). The person using the mouse would lift up to go up, and the tension on the bottom rubber band would direct the cursor. You could go up, down, side to side and forward and backward. Really neat. I think you could then add in "tilt" for Flight simulation or first-person gaming.
Matty, Jul 03 2002

       Catia, perchance, [Freefall]?
bristolz, Jan 31 2003

       Shouldn't be 2 hard, put a switch on the mouse, split the cable in a Y shape, run a wire from the Y junction to the switch, at the junction place a couple of NOT gates and Voila!
garibake, Apr 24 2003


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