Up Mouse turns push into pull to address hand and wrist pain
By Dave LeClair
July 31, 2012
Daniel Benamy suffers from repetitive strain injury (RSI). His condition was brought on by using a traditional mouse over an extended period of time. After trying a slew of mice, he could not find one that relieved his pain, and thus, the idea for the Up Mouse was born. Instead of pushing down on the buttons, the Up Mouse has users lift their fingers to press the buttons.
With a traditional mouse, the pushing force is generated using the flexors. These are the muscles that cause the hand to pull closed. With the Up Mouse, the clicking is generated using the extensors. The extensors are the muscles used to open the hands. This creates a different motion, and can relieve the pain cause by RSI.
Benamy built an interesting-looking prototype to test the idea. Because he suffers from pain induced by a traditional mouse, he was able to get a good idea of whether his prototype was actually relieving his pain. After three months of using the device as his primary mouse, he says, “it's the best one for me.”
To see if the Up Mouse is for you, Benamy suggests placing your hand on your current mouse and lifting each of your fingers ten times. If this feels better than clicking down, the Up Mouse might be the solution you need. If it hurts the same amount or worse, he suggests passing on the Up Mouse and seeking alternative options.
One feature noticeably missing from the Up Mouse is a scroll wheel. “Originally I planned to add one, but I couldn't figure out how to do it in an easy-to-use way, and after using the prototype with no scroll wheel for a while, I realized that I didn't miss it," says Benamy.
The Up Mouse is compatible for left-handed and right-handed mouse users.
Benamy is raising funds to bring his idea to market through Indiegogo. Currently, the plan is for the first batch to ship only in the United States with international shipping to follow.
If you wish to back the development, you must be based in the United States. The minimum funding required to receive an Up Mouse is US$120. A $10 option is available for those who just want to contribute to the development and receive a thank you on their website.
Benamy discusses his new mouse design in the video below.