Nick Mastandrea was flying home from Denver one day two years ago when he noticed a man having trouble working on his computer due to the limited space. That's when he envisioned the Mycestro, a wireless mouse that mounts to your index finger.
Since that time, he has worked on enhancing his product, conducting demonstrations, and building a team for development. His product was even featured on Kickstarter. The campaign was successful, gaining more than three times the original goal of $100,000 -- to the tune of $354,114. If such a new mouse seems to interest you, you can still pre-order it at the Mycestro website. The low price of $79 will get you one Mycestro in classic white, while a pledge of $99 will allow you to choose a Mycestro from a variety of colors.
The Mycestro is capable of all the functions of a regular mouse -- navigating web pages, clicking on tabs, and scrolling. This is accomplished through a touch sensitive panel, which rests on the side of your finger. The panel is positioned in a place such that tapping it with the thumb or holding it feels as natural as possible. When not being touched, the mouse is inactive and will not move; likewise, when the thumb is held up against the touch panel, users will be able to move the cursor about and navigate freely. The touch panel also houses the buttons, which act as the left-click/right-click buttons on a mouse. There is an optional third button, which can be used as a middle click. Scrolling is also accomplished through the touch panel, which is activated by sliding the thumb up or down along the panel.
Currently, Mycestro will work with Windows 7/XP, Mac, and Linux. Mastandrea is also hard at work making it compatible with as many devices as possible. The mouse is also capable of working up to 30 feet away thanks to a Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Protocol, making it ideal for presentations. Furthermore, the battery is expected to last up to eight hours and is charged via a USB port outfitted on the back of the mouse. With all the designs almost finalized and perfected, all that is left to do is to get the mouse into production. Funds generated through Kickstarter will be used to fund plastic injection mold tooling, a preproduction prototype run of the electronics, and a pilot run for manufacturing complete units, testing, and packaging. We can expect to be seeing the Mycestro out in the market by the end of the year with an expected release date between October and November.
That's quite cool and I can see how it might be a bit more ergonomic and help cure repetitve stress that comes with using a mouse. I have a very sore right wrist from my years of computer user and would love to try something like this.
Good comment on the ergonomic benefit, Elizabeth. Here's another ergonomic benefit. When my right hand leaves the keyboard to access my mouse, I have to return and make my index finger find the little bump on the J key (I'm a touch typist). Think of all the lost seconds in my career I have lost by doing this. This device means I never have to lose tactile sense of the keyboard.
Oh, gee, I wonder if it's possible to get a thumb cramp.
While this is a clever product, Cabe, is there much of a market for a new mouse. I would guss that laptop touchpads and touch screens supercede this need. Maybe I'm wrong, but this product looks like a new device for a buggy at the beginning of the automotive explosion.
Rob, while touchpads and touchscreens are ubiquitous, they are not necessarily endearing. Similarly, the mouse persists not because we love it but because it is cheap and "good enough." Having to reach for any HMI is a very un-ergonomic method, and ironically a touch screen is nearly identical to the long since abandoned light pen (of course, we did not have 4 inch screens back then)!
Awerle, you're right about four-inch screens. They change everything. Mobile devices caught on much more quicky than I expected. I think the mobile screen has created problems for many web-based companies, since it's hard to sell ad real estate if the audience is looking at a tiny screen.
It's a good question, Rob. But I think there is still a use for a mouse in precision editing work, e.g., audio and video and photography. As you can tell from my handle (78RPM) I edit sound recordings of my huge 78RPM record collection going back to 1895. I also edit photos and drawings at the individual pixel level. For these applications, I need an accurate pointer. I just can't do this on a tablet because my fingertip is too big. Old fashioned I am, but I think the mouse and PC/Mac have some good years in their old age.
Nice idea. If this input device is accurate, easy to use and comfortable, I can see this possibly being a good alternative to those who have carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead of larger muscle movements in the wrist and arm area, this device appears to allow smaller more subtle movements for the same mouse control features.
Here comes carpal tunnel and RSI of the index finger! I think that might be even worse.
I think all these issues should be dealt with by not using computers... I used to be a hard-core CAD drafter. I did infrastructure mapping for Chicago, I drew bridges, and machine components for a day jobs, while designing paintball markers in the evening for a side endeavor. My wrists were in bad shape, even with exercises and other gear. My solution?
I left the day job(s) to do circuit design. It had a lot of hands on lab work, which took my hand off the keyboard and mouse. In about a year, I recovered. A lifestyle change every now and then is key.
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