I need a new kind of mouse.
August 28, 2010 6:06 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about non-traditional (computer) mice.

Are there any mice out there that involve vigorous movements rather than traditional pointing and clicking with the hand and fingers? I am imagining something like a Wii where I could move my body in order to click and scroll. I work from home and would like to exercise and work at the same time. Is this feasible?
posted by Wordwoman to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you ever tried to surf the internet with the Wii? Computer interfaces are designed in a way that really requires fine motor control. Whole-body mousing would make many programs nigh-unusable.

Perhaps you could try some under-desk pedals or mount a laptop to a treadmill instead?
posted by chrisamiller at 6:42 PM on August 28, 2010

Perhaps you could rig up a giant trackball with a bowling ball. As long as the frame is sturdy enough and the sensitivity is low enough you could probably just use the electronics from a normal trackball.

And for the lower body, re-purpose a set of racing/flying pedals with extra-heavy springs for the mouse buttons. This would involve a lot more software-side hacking (or some very clever hardware modification) than the bowling trackball, as pedal sets are recognized as gaming devices, not HIDs. At worst on the hardware side, I think, it would involve soldering up a control board to integrate the pedals' signal with the trackball's signal. At best it would mean changing the pedals from analog to digital inputs and hooking them up to the trackball's original circuitry.
posted by clorox at 8:03 PM on August 28, 2010

this is a bad idea. i think it will result in an rsi really fast.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 12:42 AM on August 29, 2010

You can connect a Wii remote to a PC, which doesn't really free you from point-and-clicking but does free you from the desk.

Seconding chrisamiller, I have a stepper under my desk which works similarly to the pedals and is slowly turning my flabby thighs into, um, less flabby thighs.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:44 AM on August 29, 2010

While it's not that off from a mouse, you might want to look into a pen mouse if you haven't yet. I used to use one of these years ago when they first came out and it worked great for me.

posted by Isos at 5:13 AM on August 29, 2010

For what it's worth: I just got my Apple Magic Trackpad. Love it. It quickly replaced my long-lived, much-loved trackball mouse.
posted by gb77 at 5:28 AM on August 29, 2010

I wouldn't call it excercise, but I use a large wacom tablet at work and at home, and the size of it means that I am doing a fair amount of arm motion all day. It certainly has spared me a lot of the wrist problems that my mouse-weilding co-workers have suffered.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:39 PM on August 29, 2010

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