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Mouseless: Now That’S Magical and Revolutionary

by Lambert Varias

Pranav Mistry loves creating new ways of using and interacting with computers – he was the one who created SixthSense, a portable interface which projects interactive images, not only intuitive and practical but cool as hell to use. Now he and colleagues Patti Maes and Liyan Chang have come up with Mouseless, a substitute for the mouse that – surprise – doesn’t use a mouse at all.

mouseless interface by pranav mistry

Using an IR laser, an IR camera and specialized software, Mouseless is able to interpret hand and finger movements. Basically, the laser illuminates parts of the hand that are touching the surface of the table. The camera tracks those illuminated parts, and the software sorts out what kind of commands are being sent, from simple movement to clicks to multi-touch gestures.

Mistry claims that their working prototype only cost them $20 to build, which means that this technology is very feasible. If Mouseless ever gets adopted, I hope that they come up with gestures that are less taxing. For example, instead of moving my hand around in a cupped position, I could just use one finger to move the mouse. Other than that, it’s perfect: we’ll have one less gadget to buy, to carry, to charge or buy batteries for. That not only means savings, it also means less waste.

[via Pranav Mistry via Gajitz]

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Comments (6):

  1. dlee says:

    they have something already where you use only a finger
    its called the touch pad…

    • lambert v. says:

      I didn’t say that there’s no existing interface for that, I’m just saying that it would be nice if Mouseless could be controlled that way. Besides, Mouseless is much more customizable than a touchpad.

  2. Misc. says:

    This would be great for mobile users if, in the future, the hardware would be mounted within the LCD screen’s frame and on the base. You’d have to custom-order a left-handed one or something, though!

  3. atticus says:

    so, you like the idea of having to purchase and carry one less thing? well… if this is a replacement for the mouse, you still have to purchase and carry it… it’s a neat concept but doesn’t seem to be saving any time, money, or space.

    • lambert v. says:

      The prototype cost a mere $20 bucks. It offers multitouch gestures, something that (with the exception of Apple’s Magic Mouse ($69)) no other mouse can do. The IR Laser and camera are small enough that they can be integrated into a laptop. That saves money, time and space, with no other gadget to carry.

  4. Wayne says:

    Gesture (optical movement detection) is natural for human and a good trend for future. It means most of existing hardware devices will be unnecessary. You will be able to control all equipments by eyeball tracking, wink your eyes, finger clicks, wave your arms…and so on. However, a reliable optical resolution is still the key challenge for cursor positioning. That’s why you don’t buy a $3 China mouse, although it is still trackable and clickable. I believe you don’t want to have your cursor lag and jump frequently when your fingers move fast, slowly or tiny.

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