Laptop users who work on the move usually find themselves having to use the trackpad more than they'd like. It's useful in tight spaces but it's not half as comfortable or useful as a real mouse. The Swiftmouse is said to provide all of the functionality and ease of use associated with a standard mouse, combined with the comfort of a stylus or pen, in a format that lends itself to being used in situations where space is limited. The wireless micro-mouse also benefits from magnetic docking and charging and some rapid scroll wizardry.
The Swiftmouse is gripped as you would a pen or a stylus, with the thumb resting on the red area to the left and the forefinger resting atop, and slightly to the front of, the mouse. The middle finger rests to the right of the mouse. The SmartTouch sensor de-activates the onscreen cursor if it detects that the user's middle finger is not touching the device, so the mouse can be moved out of the way without affecting the cursor position.
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The 1000dpi micro optical device is Windows and Mac compatible and offers a software-free install. It performs in much the same way as a standard mouse - the left click button is positioned to the front and the right click sits behind, and there's a scroll wheel to the right. Tilting the mouse allows users to rapidly scroll, zoom and page up/down by sliding the scroll wheel on the work surface.
The micro USB receiver has a range of about 30 feet (10m) and magnetic docking functionality not only secures the mouse to the laptop but also starts off a quick 30 second burst charge which is said to give an hour's usage. A full charge of an hour and a half promises three weeks between top-ups.
The Swiftmouse can of course be used on a desk just like a standard mouse but has been designed for situations when elbow room is somewhat limited. In such situations, the mouse is used on the laptop's palm rest, next to the trackpad. The device comes supplied with a transparent, lightly adhesive strip with a strategically-placed magnetic parking area. The mouse can then be docked in a central position when not in use without fear of it slipping off and running away.
Swiftmouse has been evaluated by a team from New Zealand's University of Canterbury and found to have faster steering times, higher throughput and lower error rates than a trackpad.
The Swiftmouse is available now and costs US$69.
Via Popular ScienceView gallery - 9 images