“Can you imagine controlling your computer with a peripheral that resembles a fluffy bar of soap? Well hear us out, because the Soap pointing device from Microsoft Research offers to combine the accuracy of a traditional optical mouse with the freedom of a wireless, even desk-free peripheral.” There are even instructions in the video to make one yourself.
Fluffy Soap Mouse Works Without a Desk
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2006-08-26 11:58 pmbroken_symlink
i wonder how many lawsuits microsoft will face then ;-p
Edited 2006-08-26 23:58
2006-08-28 10:17 amSchmeggma
I dunno, the movement is reminiscent of Baoding balls (chinese health balls) which are actually quite theraputic for RSI type injuries. I bet it at least feels nice to rotate it.
Perhaps these soap things will make us all feel healthier and live longer!
2006-08-28 9:01 pmdeanlinkous
Do you use them constantly for six or more hours a day?
From the UT Video, it realy doesn’t look very precisely to me. Could be a nice control for mobile devices anyway.
omg! That thing should be outlawed! Is that all people can come up with?
Forget about neural interfaces, and eye movement scanners, the fluffy lump is here to stay.
I’ll have to try this sometime.
Why is it that the only thing that MS can seem to get right is it’s human interface devices?
Now if only they’d make a ergonomic/split keyboard that was bluetooth………………..
Edited 2006-08-27 01:02
2006-08-27 1:45 ambroken_symlink
i’d like that too. then all it would need is a nice way to switch the keys to dvorak. maybe stickers or something? mo always uses fancy colored keys on their wireless keyboards so i think writing on them with marker would look ugly but it worked well on my wired split keyboard.
2006-08-28 6:43 amTyr.
Now if only they’d make a ergonomic/split keyboard that was bluetooth………………..
I’d like a bluetooth KVM, or a keyboard/mouse able to pair with more than one computer.
… like the wearable computer!
i’ve been doing this with a cordless mouse and my thumb for years.
2006-08-27 4:55 amTuishimi
How do you click the buttons?
Didn’t anyone notice it only goes left-right while moving up-down is somehow difficult? Clicking on more than one button is a mistery also and let’s not even think about scrolling wheel. Bottom line, while this is only a concept, it’s completely useless and leads nowhere. Nice to see Microsoft is spending money on “inovations”.
Edited 2006-08-27 09:45
2006-08-27 11:11 amHawley
oddly enough, final working products don’t just miraculously appear in a puff of smoke on some engineers desk. they go through various design phases, from an almost useless concept to something really neat.
if this device is as comfortable and neat as it seems to be, its prototype phase will lead somewhere. and yes, it is nice to see Microsoft invest money on something clever and innovative
2006-08-27 12:56 pmAlleister
maybe you should have watched the *whole* clip, since that is their gaming version… later in the clip they show their desktop version which is rather circular and allows for easy up and down movements.
My hand cramps just watching it in use. If it works the way it appears to then I do not see it as a improvement for any reason than you happen to not have a desk. ???
Maybe a interesting gadget for a pda/handheld or similar device for people who want one. I just don’t see it replacing my mouse anytime soon.
I think this is a really interesting device. Even if it doesn’t fit for UT, it could be very comfortable for other tasks.
How can constantly moving your hands be MORE comfortable than holding a controller in the up position or holding down the up-arrow key?
People have joint problems now from resting their hand on a mouse and moving it around. How would this be better or at least not worse?
I would like to see a hand-pad mouse. You simply rest your hand on a pressure sensitive pad.
The “problem” is, Microsoft doesn’t really produce any special hardware. Okay, there’s the XBox, something rather embedded that runs games (and Linux ), and there’s the Microsoft mouse that isn’t seeming to be able to beat its Logitech competition any time soon.
So people might think (keeping in mind the not so impressive state of MS’s software development), what good could come out of Microsoft, as for hardware?
But then, why wouldn’t certain research teams in Redmond be able to come up with something real good and innovative, like the fluffy sponge mouse?
Unfortunately, as unlike Apple Microsoft doesn’t design laptops, for example, more interesting tools such as an improved touch pad (Apple’s notebooks let you scroll horizontically and vertically with two fingers on the touch pad, for example), or similar improvements of the mouse that we already know, are not being made.
And there’s more.
Real progress in ergonomy would be to teach people that use your software about the great powers of that ancient thing called the keyboard shortcut.
Alas, few interfaces today take an effort in telling people (“tip of the day”, perhaps?) a few nice shortcuts that they will love to use every day. The interface may be mouse-based, but nothing beats the hundreds of possible shortcuts.
Take Firefox that I’m now using on a Mac.
Apple T: open a tab,
Ctrl (Shift) Tab: switch between tabs,
Apple W: close a tab,
Apple +: magnify text, etc.
I’d really rather not use any mouse, or sponge, for that.
I could add to that, that many OSes and programs, a lot
of them being open source, make extensive use of the Alt key in combination with a given letter, to enter menus or options that have this letter underlined in their name. This is a great way of never having to remember a single shortcut.
So I guess it’s all about a simple choice. Offer your interface users to teach them a little about Simple Stress Saving Shortcuts, or come up with a peculiar, fluffy device that nobody knew they needed until you tell them so.
I wonder which option is “innovative” to Microsoft.
2006-08-27 11:30 pmRonald Vos
and there’s the Microsoft mouse that isn’t seeming to be able to beat its Logitech competition any time soon.
You sir, are blathering. Microsoft has the longest experience producing consumer-level mice, and the largest marketshare. Mice are the one thing they can do decent enough. (I hate to admit my last Microsoft mouse, which died, was more ergonomic than my current Logitech mouse)
You seem to be agitating against a curious but interesting new gizmo, purely because it’s produced by Microsoft.
2006-08-28 6:28 amh3rman
“Microsoft has the longest experience producing consumer-level mice, and the largest marketshare.”
Sorry, I guess I underestimated their marketshare a little, because I see Logitech mice/keyboards all over the place where I come from, and hardly any MS. Note your link is of 2002, any more recent market share figures?
“Mice are the one thing they can do decent enough. (I hate to admit my last Microsoft mouse, which died, was more ergonomic than my current Logitech mouse)”
So the mouse died on you? I hope that was after a reasonable life time span. I’ve never seen a Logitech mouse dying on me. About ergonomy, there are lots of different models out there.
2006-08-28 7:11 amdeanlinkous
I always figured that logitech made the MS mice…
I would think Logitech making the mice for Dell would be a good chunk of market share. I guess that counts as Logitech and not Dell?
2006-08-28 1:07 pmAlleister
Does the iBook counts as an ASUS instad of an Apple-notebook then?
2006-08-28 9:04 pmdeanlinkous
Did ASUS make the whole thing?
Since Logitech makes the whole mouse unit for dell, I assume each unit would count as a sell for Logitech and would also be considered Logitech quality and not Dell quality.
2006-08-28 1:05 pmAlleister
My Logitech died after far less than a year. Not much of a Problem though, the replacement i got seems to be fine.
I don’t know what the marketshare of Microsoft mices are, but they seem to be of very high quality. They also do very nice Joysticks and Joypads. I liked their Keyboards to, but the newer ergonomic shaped don’t quite suit my taste anymore.
2006-08-29 12:01 amRonald Vos
Note your link is of 2002, any more recent market share figures?
Oops, I really thought it was recent. Can’t find a better one.
So the mouse died on you? I hope that was after a reasonable life time span.
Yes, 5 years or something. It still works actually, but the wheels don’t go smoothly anymore since I cleaned them with my nails a bit too often, leading to excessive strain while using. Sturdy things though.
I cannot see that being used afor games and on the desktop. However, it would be useful for media center PCs. It’s hell trying to navigate MythTV with a remote control.
Make it in fleshtone and stick a nipple on it and it’ll look like something out of a David Cronenberg movie.
…like this lot should make its new slogan:
“Microsoft – for all the products you’ll never need.”
I like the idea – its cute – I like the DIY info from Microsoft .
Im waiting for this – it seems cool to me – its about time these mice got killed off .
Using a pen on a tablet is so much nicer & comfortable .
Replacing moving lumps of plastic with clickable bits with a fluffy bar of soap seems good to me .
A piece of hardware that makes use of our motor abilities
Greetings to the MS bashers that will come along
…I’m suffering from shoulder and elbow injuries with regular mice, this one looks like your hands have to work in an overly detailed way, making them susceptible to similar injuries in all the joints of your hands.