gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

FingerMouse Is Here To Save The Day

I currently have the most perculiar of mice attached to my right index finger. It’s known only as “FingerMouse” and it is exactly what the name alludes to. A mouse that you use with a single finger…oh and a thumb for mouse clicks.

FingerMouse is a very intruiging idea executed in such a way that it works, but leaves me wanting a little more fit and finish.

To use the mouse it is attached, ring like, onto your right index finger; it’s designed in such a way as to completely rule out lefties (of which I am one, but have always moused with my right hand) which isn’t uncommon in mice and is unfortunately necessary in FingerMouse to make it usable. It simply would not be practical in its current form to produce a version that has buttons both on the left and right sides.

Once attached to your index finger, you can use your thumb to press the left and right mouse buttons which are reminiscent of the paddle switches you might find on a decent joystick or you can attempt to scroll up or down with the mouse wheel mounted between these buttons.

The scroll wheel is exceptionally hard to use primarily because the Finger Mouse is attached to one finger and thus much more likely to move around that finger than let you scroll. This could be rectified with a vertical scroll wheel and some alternate mouse button placement.

The mouse buttons themselves are insanely “clicky”, generating a little “click-click” noise that will irritate your office colleagues no end. They’re also not terribly robust, as they take the form of very tiny, protruding paddle switches.

To FingerMouse’s credit, it’s wireless, which is impressive in such a small package. It includes a short length of USB cable that allows you to charge it and it will also work as a wired mouse when charging, though you’ll probably not want to do this.

It’s a concept that almost works, but it’s exceptionally tricky to use and needs to better contact the desk to give the optical sensor half a chance to track your movements. When used carefully it does work, but typing with it on is somewhat tricky and I have to hide my desktop mouse to stop myself automatically using it instead.

Unless touch or multi-touch completely surpasses the traditional desktop mouse for office use then a more compact, robust and better looking version of Finger Mouse could be a boon to RSI sufferers the world over.

What it needs? Metal paddle switches, a grippy, rubberized and re-orientated scroll wheel, a more tastefully designed body, a charging dock, a better mechanism to grip to your finger, a better sensor perhaps with the ability to tilt and maintain contact with the desk independent of finger incline, and a significant size reduction!

Monday, November 3rd, 2008, Personal Computing.