First achieving widespread use with the release of the Apple Macintosh in 1984, the humble computer mouse has reigned supreme as the digital pointing device of choice for more than 20 years. During this time it has seen off countless pretenders to the throne, as well as undergoing some useful (and otherwise) redesigns such as Apple's Magic Mouse, Microsoft's Arc, the 3D-Spheric-Mouse, the AirMouse and the Orbita. The latest product to take a shot at the title is the ErgoSlider Plus+, a device that looks like a padded wrist rest, but with a cylinder at the front that rolls and slides in a special groove to move the onscreen cursor.
EKtouch, the makers of the ErgoSlider Plus+, say the device is clinically proven to reduce muscle strain by letting users move the onscreen pointer without overusing their wrists. With your wrists resting on the visco-elastic padding at the bottom, rolling the cylinder up and down moves the pointer along the Y-axis, while sliding the cylinder left and right moves it along the X-axis. There are five buttons located centrally between the padding and the roller with the middle one acting as a scroll wheel. The groove the roller sits in looks like it would attract more than its fair share of dust – on my desk anyway – so thankfully the roller just lifts out to allow for cleaning.