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Input Device

Games

The Falcon Game Controller - with realistic force feedback

UPDATED IMAGES June 30, 2007 We all know the keyboard and mouse are NOT the future of the computer human interface, and to be frank, we’re getting a bit sick of waiting for a replacement capable of generating critical mass. One device with the potential to play a role in the next generation interface, at least in the area of computer games, began shipping this month. Novint Technologies’ highly anticipated, award-winning Novint Falcon game controller is now available in a special Limited Edition bundle. The Falcon is an entirely new type of 3D game interface that makes virtual objects and environments feel real. Replacing a computer mouse or joystick, the US$190 Falcon is, essentially a small robot that lets you feel shape, weight, texture, dimension, dynamics, 3D motion, and force effects when playing enabled games. Read More

Computers

The world’s most expensive (and sought after) keyboard

May 22, 2007 We have some good news and some bad news for all those people who have been hanging out for the arrival of the Optimus keyboard from Russian designer Artemy Lebedev. The keyboard uses OLED technology so that each of the 113 keys is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at that moment. Accordingly, you can switch from language to language, or program to program and the functionality of the key will be reflected in the 48 x 48 pixel image it shows. The good news is that after several years of legal and production delays, the first keyboards will be available on November 31, 2007. The bad news is that only 200 keyboards will be available on that date, with a further 200 in December and another 400 keyboards in January – hardly enough for a world market. But wait, there’s more bad news. The price is US$1564 (UER 1256), though when volume production starts, which it surely must for such a sought-after productivity tool, the price can be expected to drop significantly. Pre-orders are now being taken. Read More

Mobile Technology

Logisys Optical Finger Mouse turns any surface into a mousepad

March 3, 2007 - Every now and then, devices pop up and offer a glimmer of hope that some day soon, the mouse and keyboard will be as hilariously old-school as Pong and eight-track cartridges, and Logisys' Optical Finger Mouse is one of them. Attached to your index finger with a velcro strap, the device has two buttons (left and right click) and a scroll wheel accessed with your thumb, and lets you use your finger as the cursor and any non-glass surface as a mousepad.Read More

Computers

Microsoft’s new Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000

October 28, 2006 Given all the convergence going on, it seems those items which we cannot do without will begin attracting their share of additional powers. Accordingly, Microsoft’s four-in-one Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 makes perfect sense. It’s still an ergonomic Bluetooth laser mouse with all the company’s signature comfort and performance features, including tilt wheel and magnifier button but it also functions as a slide presenter, a laser pointer, digital ink device and a media remote control. So you can click through the slides of a presentation, highlight a key message with the laser pointer, draw on the presentation screen or control your Media Centre PC remotely. The bottom of the mouse features all the control buttons needed for presentation navigation or media control; users can play, pause, change tracks and adjust volume, or watch a DVD and it’s compatible with RealPlayer, iTunes and Windows Media Player. All for less than a hundred (US) bucks!Read More

Computers

Elecom builds a better keyboard

October 5, 2006 Whether you’re a gun touch typist or a turbo hunt-and-pecker like most of us, you'll more often than not hit the keys on your keyboard slightly off centre and sometimes you’ll hit it on the side or corner of the key and make a typo by hitting the key next to it or failing to record a stroke at all. Now Japanese manufacturer Elecom has introduced a new gear drive mechanism which uses four gears under each key to ensure each key press is recorded cleanly regardless of where you actually press. The company claims a significant reduction in typos so if they’re anywhere near the mark, we’d suggest that we’ll be somewhere in the queue too. Available later this month for approx 5000 yen depending on the model you seek.Read More

Computers

The not-so-ugly diNovo Edge keyboard

October 4, 2006 If there were a technology beauty contest, the keyboard would be a shoe-in for last place, being the epitome of organisationally dyslexic, high-tech-by-accident unsightliness. But in the world of the keyboard, Logitech’s new diNovo Edge keyboard is indeed a beauty, though we’re gonna stop way short of Logitech’s PR copywriter’s description of it being a “minimalist work of high-technology art.” Reflecting the growing importance and visibility of the PC in today’s home, the rechargeable diNovo Edge has some compelling features such as an integrated touch-sensitive navigation and scroll panel, and includes embedded Bluetooth wireless technology (and it aint as ugly as a normal one). Read More

Computers

Logitech announces new mice with hyper-fast scrolling

August 24, 2006 It just might be a major breakthrough in PC navigation, though we won’t know until we’ve tried it but the claim is credible. Logitech has announced two advanced mice that it claims will significantly speed the task of finding and manipulating content on a computer. Both mice feature hyper-fast scrolling with a an alloy wheel – the MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel – that spins freely for up to seven seconds, spanning hundreds of pages with a single flick of the finger and setting a new benchmark in scrolling efficiency. Computer navigation with these mice is also enhanced with an innovative search feature that allows the selection of a word or phrase on a Web page or in a document and, with a single click, the viewing of Internet search results on that subject. And with their ergonomic designs, the new mice offer a level of comfort that makes them become a virtually imperceptible extension of the hand.Read More

Computers

The Logitech EasyCall Desktop combines speakerphone, headset, mouse and keyboard

August 18, 2006 As convergence progresses and we see more functionality shoehorned into the one box, the interfaces to the box will logically grow in number. With the introduction of voice-over-IP services and the growth of broadband, it’s logical that different people will want the VOIP interface they’re most comfortable with and that’s why Logitech has developed the EasyCall Desktop - the first combination of a mouse, keyboard, headset and speakerphone. With integrated controls for placing and accepting calls, EasyCall Desktop makes the process of making, accepting and controlling Internet calls on the PC more like using a mobile or traditional phone.Read More

Computers

QWERTY keyboards deserve to die

August 4, 2006 We are fully in agreement with Triggerfinger’s company motto of “QWERTY keyboards deserve to die” so please do your bit to let people know that there’s an alternative to the old dinosaur that was invented 150 years ago. Triggerfinger has developed software that turns any game controller into a replacement for a keyboard/mouse for a media PC, laptop/mobile and Game Console. The software was developed to provide freedom from the onscreen or QWERTY keyboard found on most computers and the use of a hand held input device eliminates these problems by putting the keyboard/mouse in the palm of your hand. Experts in Human Factors think the acceptable threshold for text input is 15 wpm. Triggerfinger research shows an inexperienced user with an hour of instruction on a Triggerfinger-enabled device exceeds this established base line. This compares very favorably to an onscreen keyboard or stylus text input. Demos and video of the software are available here.Read More

Computers

Microsoft's backlit, rechargeable, wireless keyboard

June 30, 2006 Now let’s get one thing straight – we hate the QWERTY keyboard. It is 150 year old technology masquerading as high-tech and strangling the productivity of the world’s computer users. But until a viable alternative to the predominant computer input device comes along that has enough momentum to survive, we’re prepared to acknowledge the ongoing incremental improvement of this ghastly device. Microsoft is the world’s largest producer of keyboards and has offered some significant enhancements along the way, most notably the tilt wheel and the Magnifier and is set to release a wireless keyboard that is both rechargeable and backlit. It's even pretty smart for a keyboard as the ambient backlighting turns on when a room is dimly lit, and proximity sensing turns it on when the user's hand approaches. Read More

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