Computers

Invisible computer mouse cost only $20 to build

Invisible computer mouse cost ...
The Mouseless invisible mouse system is the next logical step in input periperhal development
The Mouseless invisible mouse system is the next logical step in input periperhal development
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Demonstrating the Mouseless system
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Demonstrating the Mouseless system
An IR laser sends a beam out just above the surface of a desk, and the camera registers and translates user movement into mouse action
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An IR laser sends a beam out just above the surface of a desk, and the camera registers and translates user movement into mouse action
Can you see the invisible mouse?
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Can you see the invisible mouse?
Using an Infrared laser and tracking camera, the Mouseless system registers and interprets a user's hand movement and translates it into onscreen actions
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Using an Infrared laser and tracking camera, the Mouseless system registers and interprets a user's hand movement and translates it into onscreen actions
The Mouseless invisible mouse system is the next logical step in input periperhal development
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The Mouseless invisible mouse system is the next logical step in input periperhal development
The evolution of the computer mouse
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The evolution of the computer mouse

Pranav Mistry, Pattie Maes and Liyan Chang from MIT's Media Lab have managed to create an invisible computer mouse for just a few dollars. Using an Infrared laser and tracking camera, the Mouseless system registers and interprets a user's hand movement and translates it into onscreen actions such as cursor movement and button clicking.

While others take the familiar input peripheral to new levels by cramming as many buttons as possible onto it or making the surface available for multi-touch interaction or even moving the whole experience to the end of a user's leg, Pranav Mistry and colleagues have dispensed with its physical form altogether.

The evolution of the computer mouse
The evolution of the computer mouse

With their Mouseless prototype, a user's hand movements are tracked with a line-capped Infrared laser beam and an Infrared camera. The beam's plane is aimed just above the surface of the user area and when the user cups the hand, as if holding a physical mouse, this breaks the beam at the points where each finger touches the surface The camera then registers and interprets the changing field shapes and translates them into movement or action, such as clicking and double-clicking.

Demonstrating the Mouseless system
Demonstrating the Mouseless system

The developers are continuing to improve the tracking and recognition algorithms to build up a library of commands, possibly leading to multi-touch gesturing in addition to simple click confirmation.

The prototype system is said to have cost just US$20 to put together and can be seen in action in the following demonstration:

Mouseless - an invisible computer mouse

12 comments
Dylan Patterson
generally im impressed with the inventions I see here...but this one already exists as part of another device that does much more...CES 2010: Celluon Virtual Keyboard....it has a entire keyboard with mouse feature....
Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Good Invention. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
David Anderson
This is very interesting...I like the idea a lot. In fact, I think I want one! The Cellatron keyboard is neat too, but expensive and I prefer a real, tactile keyboard. A mouse can be a nuisance however...virtualizing it makes a lot of sense.
alzender
Looks like these guys are into the cool stuff. I think quite frankly that after SixthSense, they have been continuously adapting and modifying their virtual projection and touch systems to suit various situations. So skinput and invisible mouse. Next?? 1. virtual keypads for entry into secured areas.you hit a specific button that launches the keypad. 2.still on secure access areas, since the sixthsense is able to recognize specific gestures, you might wave your hand in a certain way to gain access. 3.build the device into mobile phones,PDAs and so on. My question.....how long before they come to the market???? Personally, i want the skinput paired with a tiny bluetooth earpiece.
Niphin
This technique a by-product of pranav mistry\'s ingenious TED,which will be a product ruling our future
wow2010
I suppose medicine will be the best choice of career then because there will be no shortage of cancer patiences and will only multiply combine with all sort of new discover illness on the rise due to over long period of exposure to Infra-Laser waves.
lon4
I don\'t understand the need to have a mouse location away to the side. If this was as convenient as a trackpad, not having to move your hands away from the keyboard, it would be a very cool upgrade.
Facebook User
Interesting, but how much of the computer\'s resources does this gadget require, especially if there is no hand activity by the user? A mouse or trackball is interrupt-driven, and consumes zero resources when it isn\'t being moved. Many of these \"improvements\" only serve to burden modern computers, so a 3 GHz multiprocessor desktop machine ends up working about as fast as a 1970\'s-era minicomputer or an early 1980\'s IBM PC. My pointing devices of choice since 1987 have been Itac Systems mouse-trak industrial trackballs. Not cheap, but they eliminate many of the problems of mice.
Facebook User
In terms of creativity, this is an excellent concept. In terms of practicality, this is useless - at least, to high-end users. It is much more resource inefficient, and I highly doubt it can compete with the extreme accuracy a high-grade laser mouse provides - not to mention the 5-7 on-mouse keys which come in quite handy for utilization. Also, ergonomics are actually better with a proper mouse than your hand just lying on the table. That last bit has no proof behind it, just my own opinion.
walshlg
Now I want this for painting and CG modelling!