Musings

BAT Levitating Mouse by Kibardin

So, this concept of a floating mouse is pretty cool, which is why I’m sharing it with you, but I wonder if the actual mouse body design is the most ergonomic. I’m so critical! Before I start rambling about how I could do something better, I’ll let Kibardin speak first. Here is all the description given from their website.

KIBARDIN presents a new product – levitating wireless computer mouse. The Bat is a set that consists of a base – mouse pad and floating mouse with magnet ring . One of the goals of this product – to prevent and treat the contemporary disease Carpal tunnel syndrome (Median nerve dysfunction / entrapment). Мany active computer users can be prone to this ailment. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the median nerve – the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Kibardin Design

I don’t think Apple’s Magic Mouse is the best mouse in the world, but the implementation of touch surface for scrolling and gestures is really great. This means that with long or short fingers, you can scroll with a relaxed hand posture instead of arching your hand to push a fixed scroll wheel. In terms of industrial design, this also means a wheel or ball will never get jammed or glitchy over time. One credit I give them for their form-factor is the grippy edges on the sides – good thinking. After that, I’m 90% wet blanket.*

Furthermore, if you’re bravely going into new design territory (it floats!) then you should consider basic interactions such as clicking. In normal mouse conditions, a click happens when you push the mouse against a surface – click. I don’t know about other wireless mouse users, but in many cases when I’m using my mouse on the couch for example and I have a soft surface, I notice that I am squeezing the mouse with my thumb cradling below the mouse body and pushing down with my finger to trigger the click. From this habit, I imagine I have to do the same with a floating mouse (unless that magnetic force is really strong). My suggestion: why not make the mouse body of supple rubber or something similar instead of hard plastic? Then, perhaps you can perform a left-click by squeezing the mouse body as it’s tilted even slightly to the left, or it registers a right-click if the tilt is to the right. The mouse driver can let users perform a calibration test to train the mouse to set your natural hand position to “zero” or center.

Yes, my suggestions would require more programming for the mouse driver, more money, and higher risk that people won’t immediately know how to use it and therefore not buy it. I wouldn’t expect most companies to go through such effort, but I seriously wonder why a group that intends to sell such a radical design hasn’t taken it any further? Maybe they don’t want to scare off new customers? Maybe they have a limited budget? Hmm…

Dream big!

*I would probably buy this despite all criticism. Who wouldn’t want a hover-mouse?!
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