Ever since Star Trek first introduced the concept of a voice controlled computer, people have been fascinated with the idea of inventing alternate input methods for everyday devices. Some of these involve mapping brain waves, but in a somewhat more down to earth approach, Microsoft is hoping to patent EMG muscle sensors that might finally pave the way for gesture based computing.
Microsoft Research, along with the Universities of Washington and Toronto have come up with a way of mapping muscle movements to simulate user inputs in a variety of different applications and all without the use of a single camera.The video demonstration which you can check out after the jump showcases a jogger using his fingers to switch the tracks on his iPod, and even rocking out with an air Guitar in Guitar hero.
Does the placement of the mouse laser matter? Japan-based Elecom seems to think so and has come up with a new mouse the company claims is "like you're holding a pen."
Dubbed the Scope Node Mouse, the new rodent places the 1600 DPI laser off-center so that it sits to left, just like the tip of a pen would sit. The beneift of doing so, says Elecom, is greater accuracy.
"The Scope Node is also characterized by its laser sensor position aligned to that of the pen tip, so that the sensor's high-resolution performance (1,600 dpi) can be accurately represented on the screen," Elecom wrote in a press release. "In short, you can use 'a PC monitor and a mouse' just like 'a piece of paper and a pen' because you can use the mouse just 'like you're holding a pen!' for writing or drawing.
Other than the off-center laser, the Scope Node retains the same general shape of a conventional mouse, albeit a bit futuristic looking. It comes with three buttons, "optimal weight balance," and a higher recognition rate than that of a conventional LED optical mouse, the company claims.
The Scope Node is available in Japan for ¥6,300, or about $64 USD.