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The 3D-Spheric-Mouse simplifies 3D workflow navigation


November 4, 2010

The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic offers digital artists one-handed, high resolution manipulation of objects in a 3D workspace

The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic offers digital artists one-handed, high resolution manipulation of objects in a 3D workspace

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Digital artists working in a three-dimensional graphic environment may find current input peripherals a little restricting. Before the creative juices can be let loose, the workspace needs to be moved, zoomed and rotated to the correct position for work to start. Then it's a case of repeatedly stopping to reposition before being able to apply just the right amount of texture, tone or shadow. The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic promises to make things a little easier by allowing for one-handed rotation and movement of the virtual object over six axes. Job done!

Trackball mice are now a familiar addition to an ergonomic workstation design. But the 3D-Spheric-Mouse offers much more onscreen control than the two-dimensional capabilities of its distant cousin. The 3D workflow aid offers 1000 dpi optical rotation precision over three axes and 2170 dpi magnetic precision for zoom and pan navigation, again over three axes.

Designed to be used in addition to, and not as a replacement for, the pen stylus or mouse, it allows left- or right-handed users to push, pull, twist, zoom and lift objects in three dimensional modeling suites with one hand, while the other hand draws or paints the detail onto the next immersive gaming character or intense backdrop features.

The German creators say that "because the mouse lets you to use your fingers to rotate and your hand to move, there are no interferences or errors while navigating." There are no mechanical sensors to generate unwanted blips and errors and the hardware will work with both Mac and PC modeling software, such as Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D, once a plugin is installed on the host machine.

Although the device was created to help 3D modelers, the 3D-Spheric-Mouse could well attract the attention of gamers searching for an edge over other players, researchers looking to access and control virtual environments, or medical personnel wanting to better interact with and operate scanning equipment.

There's no word on price or availability but it's aimed at design professionals so probably won't be at the cheaper end of the peripheral market. Axsotic is inviting registration on its website for updates.

The company has produced a short video introduction which shows what the device can do:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

I think this is really cool. But I have to say, its not new.


I use one of these every day.

BUT, Congrats to the designer for something that is beautiful and very likely even better than the 3D Connexion devices.


Eric Nyhof

I remember seeing a mounted pen-style 3-d haptic device ages ago. They had it set up as a demo in SIGGRAPH in New Orleans, the year the Concorde jet crashed. I wonder whatever happened to that device.

This one looks more suited to 3-D modelling though. I hope it does well.

Timothy Neill

Pretty sweet! I am sure ther are other applications for this. Like say a three dimensional space like Home or Second Life! Imagine a truely three dimensional browser world where you can go to different websites, interact with the people on the website, and then move on the next all why at your home computer. I think computing power will have increase a bit to pull this off on the home pc but it will get here.

Retroscifigeek@ http://www.retroscifigeek.com

Facebook User

This is great! I\'m going to share with our award winning 3D art team. Http://www.pacificommultimedia.com could be ordering these sooner than later!

Chris Miller

I would definitely buy a steampunk version =)

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