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Microsoft's Multi-Touch Mouse Becomes a Serious Game

Via: Interactive Multimedia Technology - Preview Mouse 2.0: Multi-Touch Meets the Mouse

Lynn Marentette has just reported, hot off the press from Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group at UIST 2009.

MS presents novel input devices that combine the standard capabilities of a computer mouse with multi-touch sensing. The goal is to make multi-touch interaction more widely available and applicable to the desktop environment. To chart the design space, they present five different multi-touch mouse implementations. Each explores a different touch sensing strategy, which leads to differing form-factors and hence interactive possibilities.

"With the emergence of multi-touch, we now have the opportunity to manipulate digital content with increased dexterity. But whilst multi-touch has been incorporated into many different form-factors – from tabletop to mobile phone – it has yet to find a place on our desktops. This may seem surprising, particularly given that for many computing tasks the desktop setting still dominates."

MS explore the possibilities for bringing the benefits of multi-touch interaction to a traditional desktop setting, comprising of a computer, vertical display, key-=board and mouse. They refer to these novel input devices as multi-touch (MT) mice. In addition to serving as devices for common pointer-based interactions, MT mice conceptually allow the user to reach into the GUI – enabling them to manipulate the graphical environment with their fingers, and to execute commands via hand-gestures without the need to physically touch the display.

The paper Mouse 2.0: Multi-touch Meets the Mouse presents a detailed description of hardware and software implementation of prototypes, discusses the relative strengths, limitations and affordance of these novel input devices as informed by the results of a preliminary user study.