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An optical-mouse sensor upside down, infrared, and built into the keyboard
If you lift an optical mouse off its normal surface, you could
finger underneath, against the optical sensor, and by moving
finger affect the mouse-cursor on the screen.
If that sensor is built into the keyboard, then you don't have to
your hand from the keys very far to
reach the sensor, so that
move a finger and thereby move the mouse cursor on the
screen. This is more like a touch-spot than a touchpad --but
that just means it could more-easily fit somewhere in in a
To reduce any visual annoyance, because the mouse sensor
works in conjunction with a red light that illuminates the
which the mouse is moved, we can use an infrared light source
Idea. It won't be visible, but should work just fine.
Buy one now for $5.99 + free shipping
[scad mientist, Apr 22 2016]
||Wouldn't be much in the way of resolution, but sounds like it'd beat the hell out of touchpads. [+]
||Resolution isn't the problem so much as range. A tiny
motion of the finger needs to move the mouse-cursor
only a small distance; you would lose fine control if
cursor moved far. So, that means a larger motion of
the finger moves the finger completely off the sensor,
before the cursor moves a large distance on the screen.
That's the main reason why this Idea is HalfBaked.
||On another hand, a modestly larger sensor area on the
keyboard surface could be made to allow control of the
cursor over a decent portion of the screen. To move
the cursor the rest of the way (say from one side to the
other of the screen), lift finger from sensor so it is out-
of-focus, move finger back to other edge of sensor,
touch the sensor and move finger in same direction as
before. Some folks do something similar already with
ordinary touchpads (because of how the touchpad-
resolution is set), so this is not a huge thing to ask.
||The above could also work with a smaller sensor, but
you would have to lift and move your finger more
often. I suppose some experimentation is in order, to
find the most reasonable compromise between sensor
size and number of separate finger-motions.
||I always hated the little j-cursors that became the norm on laptops for awhile; horrid little things that bent your fingers sideways. I don't think this would be much better due to the awkward action of moving your fingers in ways the joints aren't supposed to go.
||The sensor needed for this is baked, widely known to
exist (among RIM Blackberry users),
then discontinued ~2012.
||Google Blackberry Optical Trackpad. I never heard
anything but positive reviews about it. It used a an
infrared laser. It was essentially the same system used in
||Get yours now for $5.99 before supplies run out. See
||Putting it on a laptop or desktop keyboard sounds like a
fine idea to me.
||Come to think of it my old HTC phone had something similar.
||I have been considering including such a device in my laptop
ergonomic keyboard project, so you might see something
like this implemented some time somewhat soon or not-so-