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3-D Mice Break Into the Mainstream

3-D Mice Break Into the Mainstream

The six degrees-of-freedom 3-D navigation afforded by 3-D mice has typically been reserved for highly specialized applications like those for engineering and design. 3Dconnexion, a leader in the 3-D mice space, is aiming to break that barrier with the introduction of a new driver platform that extends the use of 3-D mice to any application, from Microsoft Office to web browsers to media players and games.

The new 3DxWare 10 driver platform for PC and Mac lets users assign keyboard strokes and traditional mouse or joystick movements in any combination to any of 3Dconnexion's 3-D mouse models. As such, users can get the benefit of the flexible six degrees-of-freedom movement to, say, tilt the controller cap to scroll a Web page or twist the cap to adjust the volume in iTunes. Users can choose whatever application they want to support with the 3-D mouse and use the driver platform to assign the six axes and up to 31 function keys (it varies with the 3-D mouse model).

"The 3DxWare 10 driver platform represents a new era for our 3-D mice," says Dieter Neujahr, president of 3Dconnexion, in a prepared release. "Our customers have told us they want to be able to use their 3-D mice with everyday applications."

Here are some ways 3Dconnexion recommends using the 3DxWare 10 driver platform to put 3-D mice to work in everyday computing:

  • Instead of using traditional mouse wheel navigation to search through documents, spreadsheets or Web pages, users can tilt a 3-D mouse cap to scroll the view up or down and twist the cap for zooming.
  • While most PC gamers rely on a combination of a traditional mouse and keyboard to control their characters or camera view, a 3-D mouse can deliver more intuitive and comfortable control as well as emulate a joy stick or gamepad.
  • Control your media player simply by twisting the cap to adjust volume, tilting the cap sideways to fast forward or rewind and tilting the cap back and forth to move between tracks in a play list.
  • Professional users can take advantage of a new feature delivered by 3DxWare 10 that lets multiple 3-D mice be used on one workstation. This supports easier viewing of 3-D models, aiding in group design reviews and client presentations, 3Dconnexion officials say.
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