SMASHmouse keeps musicians' hands free to play
If you're trying to learn a musical instrument from an online tutorial, it can be frustrating whenever you have to take your hands off that instrument to work the computer. That's what Atlanta-based musician Robb Dillon found, so he invented the SMASHmouse.
The foot-operated device is compatible with both Windows and MacOS computers, and can be used in either of two modes – these are selected between by stepping on a button to the left of the foot pad.
In Mouse mode, with their foot placed on the foot pad, users simply roll their ankle for 360-degree mouse pointer and directional control. Left-clicking is achieved by stomping the pad in the middle, while right-clicking is managed by stepping on a button to the right of the pad.
In Playback mode, the foot pad is instead used to control the playback of videos on services such as YouTube. Utilizing just the one foot, users can fast-forward, rewind, pause/play, stop and record.
Future updates should allow users to do other things as well, such as turning pages of on-screen sheet music, or selecting between different effects. The device may also hold some appeal for non-musicians, as disabled gamers have reportedly expressed an interest in it.
SMASHmouse runs for a claimed 12 hours on one charge of its battery, and connects to the computer using either a USB cable or Bluetooth. It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$80 will get you one, when and if they reach production.