Isn’t it about time for a radically new interface? How long have we been mousing around? Do you remember what it was like before the mouse? Everything was DOS style text commands. OK, I’m not saying that I want to go back to that, but when you think of either fast or futuristic interfaces, the mouse is nowhere to be seen. The fastest I ever go on a computer is when I am entering commands without using the mouse. The bigger screens get, the higher the screen resolution, the more difficult it is to use a mouse accurately. I’ve never been a fan, although I must admit that I have probably 6 different cordless mice and another 4-5 corded ones somewhere around the house.
The quest for the perfect mouse has led me first to cordless mice, but the early ones would not turn themselves off, and didn’t have an off switch (for traveling in the laptop bag). Then came a Kensington with an off switch, but it was too small to use, and didn’t work very well otherwise. Then there were a few Logitechs with off switches with various merits. Of course the off switch was important to conserve AA or AAA batteries while in your laptop bag. A truly ideal mouse would be rechargable and wouldn’t require swapping batteries. So I got a Logitech MX Laser 1000, which has all sorts of useful buttons, and is rechargable, but it’s too big, and more specifically, the charger is too big to carry in a laptop bag.
So, I have two mice, both are compromises. The big MX 1000 is great for home office use where there is a lot of desk space and the recharger stays plugged in. A generic small Logitech with a small USB transmitter goes in the laptop bag. The power cuts off when the transmitter is snapped to the bottom of the mouse for carrying.
Anyway, I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on mice. You may have too. The mouse is your entry into the computer interface. Where would we be without it? Much farther along, I assume.
Take a look at this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcKqyn-gUbY I ran into this in a post on comp.cad.solidworks. This is an interface that interests me. I want this developed not just into SolidWorks, but into a next gen OS. Its really time for a change in a big way. Heavy duty computer users are so disconnected with our hands. We don’t feel like there is a tangible connection between reality and cyber. The mouse is just another layer of abstraction that puts a barrier between our bodies and our data. I’m no Tron, but I’m all for being more interactive with the data in a more intuitive, even physical way. Star Trek Next Generation meets Minority Report (and of course Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony gave Tom Cruise’s motions a ballet-like poetry).
Zoom Spin Pan. Sketch Extrude Tug-and-pull. All with your fingers. Eyes and hands in the same place. Touch your data. Clean your screen, you slob. The Mass Media moves so slowly, if it were just about the technology, I think this is the kind of thing that should be developed sooner rather than later.