Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Input Device

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. Read More
A faster and more natural text input app for small devices, which mimics handwriting and eliminates typos. Sounds good? That is what the 8pen app for Android touch phones offers. Read More
There are a number of keyboards that claim to be ergonomic, but only one claims to be "truly ergonomic." Many input devices available today stagger the keys across the available keying area, resulting in even the most proficient touch typist having to move around more than is desirable. The makers of the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard claim that their redesign brings all keys within easy reach, which should lead to decreased discomfort in a world where most of us spend much of our lives tapping away in front of one computer screen or another. Read More
Pranav Mistry, Pattie Maes and Liyan Chang from MIT's Media Lab have managed to create an invisible computer mouse for just a few dollars. Using an Infrared laser and tracking camera, the Mouseless system registers and interprets a user's hand movement and translates it into onscreen actions such as cursor movement and button clicking. Read More
Zi Ye and Hammad Khalid from the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Canada have created a truly flexible, portable gaming interface called Project Cobra. Users of the system interact with images projected onto a handheld board by physically bending and twisting sections or applying pressure to areas containing sensors. Read More
Cambridge Consultants has unveiled the next phase in the development of its Suma sensor technology, which transforms user touch on its surface into an individual action on a computer or gaming device. The wireless Suma mouse prototype opens up a multitude of three dimensional navigation possibilities by taking every squeeze, stroke or swipe of a user's touch and translating it into an onscreen reaction such as a pan, tilt or zoom. Read More
Inspired by familiar flip-flop beach sandals and the graceful lines of an orca, designer Liu Yi has created an ergonomic mouse concept design for people with upper limb disability. As the name might suggest, the Toe Mouse is gripped by the big and second toe and moved around to guide the pointer. Sensors at each toe position determine click action. Read More
This year's TechFest has brought together researchers from around the globe to present, experience and discuss some of the emerging technologies from Microsoft's Research wing. Highlights include a mobile version of the company's Surface platform, a voice recognition transcription system with auto-translate and a couple of projects which use the body as a computer interface. Read More
Developed in collaboration with professor Kazuo Kawasaki, Minebea's new line of input devices are some of the slickest you'll ever see. Their Cool Leaf series, which includes a keyboard, a remote control, and a calculator, features flat acrylic mirrored surfaces with a capacitive touch panel. When turned on the devices display a backlit input interface, but when turned off the surface looks just like a regular mirror. Read More
Designer Ahmet Bektes is proposing using centuries-old technology to provide the power for a familiar modern device. Rather than drawing energy from a computer or batteries, a user will need to remove a key from below the Sustail mouse and wind it up before being able to use it. It is hoped that the Bluetooth-connected input device would also encourage users to take regular breaks and have a more responsible attitude towards power consumption. Read More