Inspired by familiar flip-flop beach sandals and the graceful lines of an orca, designer Liu Yi has created an ergonomic mouse concept design for people with upper limb disability. As the name might suggest, the Toe Mouse is gripped by the big and second toe and moved around to guide the pointer. Sensors at each toe position determine click action.

For those whose upper limbs are either missing or don't function properly, interacting with a computer input peripheral can be a daunting affair. The Toe Mouse from designer Liu Yi looks to make one such input device a walk in the park. The wireless mouse is gripped between the big and second toes, and the optical sensor underneath guides the cursor around a screen in much the same way as more familiar-looking devices do.

Sensors at each toe position register left click (big toe), right click (second toe) or double-click actions. The curves of the concept design aim to make the device as comfortable to "wear" as a pair of flip-flop beach sandals and will no doubt be very intuitive to use, well within the capabilities of those who use their feet to write or paint.

Of course, being a concept there are no details on the electronics, optics or power needs of the Toe Mouse, but the design holds distinct promise. It would be of obvious benefit to those with disabilities, but could also be useful to gamers looking for that elusive third arm, modelers/animators looking to work hands-free or multi-taskers working across numerous monitors. Though I'd be happy to share a hand-driven mouse, I'm not too sure about sharing one of these!

View gallery - 5 images