Microsoft Research Shares Weird Mouse Concepts

Source: Arstechnica
Source: Arstechnica

Microsoft Research has been spewing out high profile prototypes — either in leaks or via official releases – in what’s likely in part an effort to grow the already substantial excitement surrounding Microsoft’s energized fall lineup which includes Windows 7. Last week details of a potential dual-screen tablet mini-PC emerged.

Now Microsoft has given the public a peak at its visions of the future of the computer mouse. Microsoft, as one of the leading makers of computer mice, both in optical and corded flavors, is one of the most influential players in the industry. Its rolled out some relatively exotic designs over the years, but those fall short of the new ones its cooking up.

One mouse of the five featured prototypes does have anything for your hand to hold onto at all. Dubbed the “Side Mouse”, the mouse consists of an arm rest which detects you moving your hand or tapping on the table. Another intriguing design is “Arty”, which has thumb and index finger button articulated arms. These arms serve both as buttons and as means of doing gesture-driven commands, such as pinching.

The other three mice — the FTIR, Orb, and CAP — each demonstrate different multitouch buttonless click-detection schemes. The FTIR uses frustrated total internal reflection and a camera to spot a user’s presses on a piece of acrylic. The approach features high accuracy of click events. The Orb mouse provides a design friendly to all fingers and employs an infrared multitouch detection scheme. Finally, the CAP mouse uses capacitance to detect click events, saving power and eliminating ambient light errors.

Each of the mice shows off some interesting technology, which could hold promise under certain scenarios. While Microsoft has made no claims to be trying to commercialize any of these designs, some of this technology could eventually see its way into commercial products.

The Microsoft engineers contributing to the project were Nicolas Villar, Shahram Izadi, John Helmes, Steve Hodges, Alex Butler, and Xiang Cao of Microsoft Research; Hrvoje Benko of Microsoft Research; Dan Rosenfeld, Jonathan Westhues, Eyal Ofek, and Billy Chen of Microsoft. They presented a video of their research at the User Interface Software and Technology conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada this week.

Emerging Tech

Hong Kong’s vision for a smart prison is a full-blown Orwellian nightmare

Hong Kong wants to bring prisons up to date by introducing new location-tracking wristbands for inmates, and a robot arm whose job is to comb through poop on the lookout for contraband.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Outdoors

The best heated gloves keep your hands toasty warm in all temperatures

When temperatures plunge, the first thing that gets cold are your fingers. Ward off frostbite and keep your digits toasty warm with these best heated gloves.
Emerging Tech

China’s mind-controlled cyborg rats are proof we live in a cyberpunk dystopia

Neuroscience researchers from Zhejiang University, China, have created a method that allows humans to control the movements of rats using a technology called a brain-brain interface.
Computing

RTX might be expensive, but the 16 series could have the best Nvidia Turing GPUs

Set to debut at a step below the RTX 2060 on the price and performance spectrums, the GTX 1660 Ti and its other 16-series brethren could be Nvidia's killer mid-range cards of 2019 — especially with Tensor Core-powered DLSS.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will be powerful, and they might be launched as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far, based on both leaks and the recent…
Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?
Computing

With no plans for merging operating systems, Apple opts to combine apps instead

Apple is working on combining all of the the apps it offers to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users by 2021. App developers will soon be able to build and submit one version of their apps to be used by Apple product users.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Computing

Amazon takes $200 off Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air with retina display

Amazon is taking $200 off Apple's latest MacBook Air. This MacBook Air has 13-inch retina display, a built-in FaceTime HD camera, and that classic lightweight wedge shape the Air is loved and known for.
Deals

Samsung drops a solid $100 discount on the Chromebook Pro

If you're in the market for a new laptop, but can't afford to drop $1,000 on one of the best models out there, Chromebooks are an excellent option. Right now, Samsung is offering $100 off the Samsung Chromebook Pro.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.