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Games Entertainment

New Joystick Style Ergo Mouse 135

Mr_Perl writes "For those of us who love to use a mouse to play games, except for the wrist pain after too much of it, 3M has come up with a joystick-mouse type thing that is in my opinion very comfortable to use." I'd love to try one of these out. Not available yet tho. update my bad, it is out. Now I gotta find one.
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New Joystick Style Ergo Mouse

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  • I can't remember who made it, but I distinctly remember owning a mouse like this.

    It was mostly likely one of those really cheaply made jobbies, but if I recall it was awful experience. I never got the pinpoint accuracy I could with a regular mouse.

    • Yeah, these devices are old!
      They used to be called "Anir Mouse" or something, used to have a lot of those in our office (in norway). Anyway, they suck, so i reverted back to my logitech mouse..
    • I bought one of these kind of meeces 3 or 4 years ago but I can't seem to find the info or URL where I got them. It was some company that's been selling these for a while. They actually work very well once you get used to using your arm instead of your wrist. And they are far less fatiguing<sp> than a "normal" mouse. I didn't use it much because it only had the two button mouse capability with no ability to "cord" so it was useless under X. They came out with a three button version but, as I said, I can't find the company inof or a URL to go buy one. If I could I would.
    • You're right, these have been out for years.

      Suncom, a cheap peripherals company (best known for their oh-so-cheap joysticks), was selling joystick-style mice at my local department store back before when we got our first PC clone, which was in 1988. This was even years before mice were standard on computers. (That's right, Virginia, computers didn't always use mice!)

      Even back then it looked uncomfortable.

    • These things do exist. They sell them at MicroCenter. [Here in San Jose anyway]


  • Next we'll have complete dashboards with dozens of controls for gamers, copied directly from fighter jet's cockpit...
    Next thing we see cockpits will start copying their joysticks from the gaming industry...
    • I was thinking that flight consoles would be rearranged to look like gaming PC setups, so that training pilots would be easier -- just pop in your favourite flight simulator program and get 'em trained in a week. Hey, remember Star Trek: Insurrection? In the future starship controls will me manufactured by Gravis, Microsoft and Logitech. :)

      (Here's hoping that Sony can get in that market too -- I rather like their Dual Shock design)
    • Next thing we see cockpits will start copying their joysticks from the gaming industry...

      I used to work at a large industrial/agricultural tractor company, and many (most?) of their new models are joystick controlled. I know for a fact that the designers *were* copying joystick designs from off-the-shelf gaming joysticks, so they could save lots of money in ergonomic design and all that. OK, it's not quite a cockpit, but still...
  • by Chainsaw ( 2302 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:39AM (#2285487) Homepage
    Anir has been manufacturing these for a while.
  • A few colleagues (sp?) of mine have this thing, some love it, some loath it, what you miss most is the third mouse button.
    • I've been using one of these for several months now. I had been using a regular mouse for around 10 years with no problems. A couple of years after I started using a mouse with a scroll wheel, I began to have an uncomfortable numbness in my wrist. As a result, I started looking around for better mousing solutions. I tried the "No Hands Mouse" (foot-operated), but found it hard to adapt to. I didn't really like trackpads either, and the pointing stick was also less than ideal.

      I saw the Renaissance mouse and decided to give it a try. It did indeed take some getting used to, as moving it around does involve different muscles and different motions. However, it did not take very long for me to adapt to it (perhaps a week or so) and become proficient with it. And it really did eliminate the numbness problem I was having.

      The Renaissance mouse does have a middle button (sort of like a trigger for the 2nd or 3rd fingers), and I use this to scroll with. I'd recommend a utility like Coolmouse to make scrolling with one button easier, since the built-in middle-button scroll (in Windows) sucks so much.

  • Someone I worked with over the summer was using one of these, and, yes, I believe it was from 3M.

    He really loved it. He had been having a lot of pain while mousing, and it was gone.
  • by Bobb Sledd ( 307434 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:41AM (#2285494) Homepage
    My roommate bought one because it was different, but it's not as easy to use as you'd figure. To get an idea, try writing with a pen like you did when you were in kindergarten (thumb on top).

    Incidentally, shortly afterward, it became apparent that I tend to use my fingertips to control a regular mouse with greater precision. Perhaps you may find the same thing.
  • Optical (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ksb ( 517539 )
    It's a shame it isn't an optical mouse, I doubt I'm the only one who hates the 'jumping' effect of ball mice when they get a little dust in them.

    I would have thought smooth running would have been essential for game players
    • Yep, but one thing I'd like to see in optical mice is much higher sample rates. Often, when I try to "flick" my mouse around, the pointer does a little dance on the screen and ends up on the opposite side of where it should. Sigh.
      • Wow. I never noticed that until I read that & tried it.

        I guess I'm a slow mouser.
      • Yep, but one thing I'd like to see in optical mice is much higher sample rates. Often, when I try to "flick" my mouse around, the pointer does a little dance on the screen and ends up on the opposite side of where it should. Sigh.

        Really? I've never had that happen with my MS Explorer mouse. Could it be your mouse? or maybe the surface it's on. I know the surface can affect optical mice quite a bit. The matter the better.

        Or maybe I just 'flick' differently.

        • It's a Logitech M-BD58 optical wheel mouse, and it behaves exactly the same on several surfaces. To clarify, it works fine in normal use, and even in games, but I have a 1600x1200 screen, and if I try to "slam" the mouse from one side to the other very quickly, the pointer does a loop and ends up going in the opposite direction, sort of how the wheels of moving vehicles look when sampled on TV at 25 frames/sec.
  • It looks like they listened to someone who studied ergonomics.. i would like one of those not just for games. In my daily work i am getting more and more stress on my wrist of my rightarm.

    Mostly because of a non-ergonomical keyboard and of course to much working using a mouse..

    So a mouse like this might help a little to relieve my wrist in daily operational work as well as my gaming evenings (strategy games are very heavy mouse controlled games..)

    But i will have to wait and see.. some of the remedies for RSI were actually contributing to the situation or creating new situations alltogether.
  • Why not optical? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:48AM (#2285508) Homepage

    I keep wondering why anyone would introduce a new high-end mouse with a ball. The new breed of track-on-any-surface opticals are far superior to anything mechanical, especially if you work in a dirty (or dusty, or cat-infested) environment.

    • Well the fact that the laser usually burns out in about 2 years, and really isn't practical to replace. But I digress.
      • Is it a laser or is an LED? I have an IntelliMouse optical that's at least a year old and it looks like an LED on the inside to me. If its an LED, shouldn't it last "forever" (forever in computer years, 5 years in people time).

      • >Well the fact that the laser usually burns out
        >in about 2 years, and really isn't practical to

        Two years of use out of a mouse I bought for 40 bucks?

        I can live with that.

  • by Jambu ( 237962 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:48AM (#2285510)
    Huh? Not available yet? The article says available form 4th quarter 2000. My sister has been using one of these for several months, as she had to leave her cold fusion programming job 'caus of a severe autonomic nerve condition that developed from computer related RSI. she finds this 3M device to be good, in conjunction with Dragon Naturally Speaking to avoid using the keyboard.
    Its not really that joystick like though since it is the whole base that moves.
    The reason it is better for RSI is that the thumb nerves are supposed to be far less fragile
  • Response time? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lizard_King ( 149713 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:51AM (#2285524) Journal
    Using a mouse has several distinct advantages in gaming. One of which is a nasty little response time that can be accomplished by simply "flicking" your wrist. This becomes an invaluable skill in fast-paced, high action games (Q3). With the Renaissance Mouse, your wrist becomes immobile so the mouse movement will be dictated by moving your arm.

    I understand that immobilization the wrist will combat wrist pain, but there will be significant gaming trade-offs... Most hard core gamers I know would rather deal with wrist pain than become considerably slower at their favorite games.
    • I understand that immobilization the wrist will combat wrist pain

      ...but at what cost? Immobilizing the wrist and forcing you to use your entire arm translates to much more stress on your arm and back. Personally, I'd rather not screw up my wrist, then switch to this and screw up my back as well.
  • Why isn't it available yet, CmdrTaco? Don't you read your own linked pages ? there it says:

    Compatible with PC's, Macintosh, and iMac computers with USB ports. PC's- operate using WIN 95, 98 and NT4.0. Win 2000 available 4th quarter 2000. Macintosh/iMac/iBook-operate using Apple O/S 8.1 or higher with USB upgrades. Plug and play only, no software.

    So it should be available for more than 9 months. Also look for the Where to buy button at the bottom of the page.

  • by Pyrosz ( 469177 )
    from Misco ( for $94.95 and is available in 2 sizes.

    - No I dont work there, I just have a catalog in front of me. :)

  • Obviously... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sigsegv ( 90 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:58AM (#2285555) Homepage
    ...only right-handed people get wrist problems or want nice mice. This has been an annoyance to me for quite a while. While I can use the mouse on the right side, it feels more comforatble for me to use it on the left. I cannot find even one nice, three button wheel mouse designed specifically for lefties and yet I find scads of nice ones for righties. I am so tired of this (admittedly minor) discrimination and it's not even just WRT mice. I see it with other products too, but mice seem to hit closest to home.
    • Re:Obviously... (Score:3, Informative)

      by jfunk ( 33224 )
      My Logitech Mouseman Optical is very nice and light. I find it very comfortable to use and it is symmetrical, so you'd likely have the same experience as me.

      Where there's no ball or mechanical parts, the weight is very low, while not feeling 'cheap.' I also like the fact that I can use it on just about any surface, including the cushions on my couch or my pant leg. Not only are mouse pads not required, they are a hinderance as well.
    • I also have the same problem, I can use right handed mice, but prefer left. I like the MS optical mouse best so far, it's not shaped to be right handed. I also like the Intellimouse, even though it is right handed. For some reason it feels just fine either way. (Ever since I got the MS optiical USB, I just left my Intellimouse plugged in also. It's kinda cool having 2 mice, you can zoom around *very* fast with 2 hands, and now right handed people can use my computer easily too.)

      But, I think symmetrical mice is the best lefties can expect.

      One funny thing, I can't stand for the buttons to be reversed. I still like right handed style on the left side.
    • I use one of these on my home computer, it is ambidexturous (sp?) and I love it. It isn't too expensive either.

      Microsoft Intellimouse Optical []

    • While we're on the subject...

      Does anybody else get frustrated with the "unbalanced" nature of most keyboard/mouse configurations? Look down at your desktop or keyboard tray. Your left hand gets half the alphabet and one or two useful keys (Tab, Esc.) Your right hand gets the other half of the alphabet, plus all the other "power" keys: Enter, Backspace, cursors, Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down and the numeric keypad, not to mention the mouse. In fact, your right pinky alone seems to carry a pretty big load.

      Most keyboards these days are lightweight and have long cords, ostensibly so you can set it on your lap and type. But try it. You've either got to type off-center, or hang that number pad off the side, which makes the keyboard want to fall off the edge your lap.

      This joystick-mouse may or may not be an ergonomic improvement, but I think we've still got a lot of room for improvement. Heck, an old fashioned typewriter-style keyboard would be an improvement in a lot of ways...

      I know it's a right-handed world, but putting so much burden on the dominant hand is just asking for problems in the long run.

    • I cannot find even one nice, three button wheel mouse designed specifically for lefties

      Kensington [] has some great mice that work for both lefties and righties.

    • I have a super-comfortable Futer Power optical mouse, this mouse is designed mostly as a both-handed. It is identical on both sides, and it's comfortable for me (I'm right handed), but because it's the same on both sides, it will probably be for you. (btw, it's one of the cheapest optical on
    • We solved the right handed / left handed problem at home by using a PS2 mouse and a USB mouse. If you are a southpaw, find a nice mouse that isn't flavored either way and place it on the left. It's funny when we get visitors. They see two mice and think it adds special functions, especialy if we feed them a line about moving with one mouse and shooting with the other in quake.
  • by BMazurek ( 137285 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:59AM (#2285558)
    Everyone needs to make a conscious effort to finding a mouse and mouse usage technique that minimizes the effort and stress on their body.

    How I avoid pain when using mice:

    Find a mouse that you can move with your fingers alone.

    I use the Logitech Mouseman 3-button mouse at work and at home. I grip the mouse body between my thumb and my last two fingers. Usually, my pinky is actually touching the mousepad, and my wrist is resting on the desk. As a result, the majority of my hand and arm never move.

    I can move the mouse from the bottom of the screen to the top of the screen by simply ensuring my pinky is anchored on the mousepand and flexing my thumb. And I'm usually off a straight vertical from where I started (judging by window borders) by fewer than 10 pixels.

    Finally, turn mouse acceleration/speed way up. Smaller movements yield the cross-screen movement I need.

    Finding a mouse that requires fingers only and finding the techniques to use with that shape of mouse are the keys in my mind.

    I haven't used it, but I suspect I'd really dislike this joystick mouse....way to much muscle required.

    My fingers are agile, I'll let them do the walking.
      • Find a mouse that you can move with your fingers alone

      Or just use a trackball and move one finger. I use one habitually (ok, ok, it's an M$ Intelliball), and absolutely love it. It's even possible to use it efficiently in FPS frag fests.

      I may even have to upgrade an an optical trackball [], just for the geek cachet.

      • Word of warning: I have that MS Optical trackball, and it really puts a strain on my right hand when FPS gaming. Maybe my hands just to small for it, but I find myself really stretching my fingers for some reason.
      • This is a very good suggestion, i have been using a Logitech trackball for years and the amount of pain my wrists give me is far less that it was 4 years ago when i actually used a mouse. It took no time to get used to using the trackball.

        unfortunately for lefties out there, some of the trackballs seem to be only for righties, however switching hands for mouse work is a good idea anyways. The best ones that i have used are the logitech ones that have a ball that goes under the thumb and has a scrollwheel (I would give a model on that but my label has been worn out), these give me far less pain and troubles than those that have the ball in the middle. Works well in both X and MS windows, I just wish that MS knew what the hell a 3rd mouse button was for.
      • My real preference is for trackpads. I've got a lovely keyboard (BTC 8140M) - well, two actually, one I bought for work - with a built-in trackpad.

        To me this has the advantage of not moving my arm of a trackball - but, I'm not having to move my hand over to a new device off on one side, because I've got a pad just underneath my thumbs so can use it with them or move my hand just a few inches and use my fingers.

        I've no idea what I'd do if one of these broke and I couldn't replace it, they're just fantastic.
    • Except that the finger movements stress the wrist tendons also.
    • I only need to utilize my fingers to move an MS Intellimouse Explorer Pro if I utilize a mouse pad with built in wrist support. No arm movement at all.

      However, I can't use this setup while playing CounterStrike. Response is too slow.
  • I remember exploring new mice when they first came out. I have handheld rollarball, 2 handed rollarball, the first touch panel mice for your PC (the ones that are on some laptops now).
    I had 2 joystick mice, one was the regular joystick size, the other was handheld joystick, one that you operated with your thumb.

    All this on my 486DX66.... :oD
  • This doesn't look comfortable at all. Movement would seem to require moving your whole arm. I haven't used one, but it looks like it would be really clunky to use.

  • I almost bought a similar mouse a year ago (I forget who made it) but they aren't actually that nice to use. The design makes you use your whole arm to move instead of your wrist, and you lose the fine level of control that your wrist gives you. The result is that motion is pretty clumsy and inaccurate with this kind of design.

    - Russ
  • As other people have said, this product has been available for quite a while. Here's one link (first four entries are the mouse from the article): []

  • We've had this availble in the UK since around the end of 1999! A couple of people where I work have had it and we also certainly didn't get it from 3M!

    Although it's a little weird at first and you look at it and can't imagine how it could be comfortable. It is acutally quite nice to use. But unlike a mouse which you can use standing, this is pretty useless if you doing anything but sitting.
  • RenMouse (Score:3, Funny)

    by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:17AM (#2285632) Homepage Journal
    The mouse mentioned in the article is called "the RenMouse".

    Does anybody else feel the need to protect his new mouse with a rubber walrus protector?

    Of course, when it stops working you can always shout "YOU BLOATED SACK OF PROTOPLASM!" at it.

    I also suppose they will be bringing out the StimpyPedals as an accessory.
  • Coworkers tried it out, theyre ordering them now. ALL wrist sorness and tiredness went away. I love it. Its awkward for the first day or two till you get the hang of it, but its perfect after that.
  • i know people have been saying they've seen these from other manufacturers, but i have seen this very model from 3M before. They had it at Software Etc. (or Babages, i forget which, they're owned by the same company) in the Springfield Mall in Springfield, VA. This was back in April/May.
  • erm.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by shiva600 ( 323459 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:26AM (#2285669)
    ..looking at the pics, reading text phrases like "Available in two sizes - small/medium or large - for optimal ergonomic fit" and the "Vertical Grips"-bla etc., i thought you link to some kind of pr0n-Shop

    • Had the same thoughts: why only available in two colors, I miss pink :-). And I suddenly realized where one of the 3M's is coming from, ehhh the last is for "Mouse".... But probably good for late-night surfing ;-).
  • Looks more comfortable than a mouse but I think I'd prefer trigger buttons instead of a thumb control. It's just too awkward. Even in games, nobody maps the thumb buttons to the most actively used action control. I'd suggest that going vertically down the front of the joystick would be: trigger - scroll wheel - trigger. One control for each finger.
  • Years old (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shanep ( 68243 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:33AM (#2285699) Homepage
    I'm sure 3M was making a mouse exactly like this one that was on the .au market years ago.

    Try moving your mouse around by resting your semi closed hand on it. Notice how much more effort that is required and what an uncomfortable method this would be. I don't move my mouse with my arm, I flick it around the entire screen, and have done so for more than 10 years starting with the original MS mouse (the pregnant ergo MS mouse is horrible for this though, the bump gets in the way), with three fingers moving with my wrist stationary on the mouse pad.

    This 3M joy-mouse is not even optical! I rather love my Logitech Optical Mouseman Wheel, I don't even wish it were a wireless one, as I have the mouse cable, cable-tied with enough slack in a loop, to my keyboard cable where it enters the keyboard case, this way, it never gets caught or drags on anything (on a keyboard/mouse slide drawer). It may as well be wireless, since the days of feeling the cable rub and catch on things are gone.

    I only wish it had a much higher sampling rate, so as to avoid what seems to be phasing effects that cause the opposite movement of what is done, when moved quickly and suddenly. It anoys me in Starcraft games sometimes!

  • Well, from the looks of it, it doesn't look very accurate.

    Personally, when i used a joystick, i hold it very very low to the base, so my wrist rests on the table (such as in arcade games, and such). This allows for smaller movements, though restricts larger movements, but since its a joy stick, it doesn't have larger movements.

    This stick, seems like you are pushing the mouse around with this stick... and with the button on top, it looks like your riding higher, losing the accuracy of riding lower on a normal mouse.

    It also seems that you might need to use the whole arm or part of it to move, rather than just small movements from the wrist up.

    Personally i use my Logitech Mouseman+ Wheel Ball Mouse, and i have no problems with my wrist, as i try to keep the entire arm (up to the elbows) as straight as i can.

  • I've used one! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sulka ( 4250 ) <sulka.iki@fi> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:35AM (#2285705) Homepage Journal
    And didn't like it at all! The problem is the weight of the hand rests on top of the mouse. In order to move it even on a good mousepad, you need to apply a lot of force. This makes precision clicking much harder to do than with the usual wrist-action mouse. Several other people at the same company tried it too and didn't like it.

    And that's so old tech too, it was available last year. :P

    The best mouse wristwise that I've found is the tiny small model from Logitech.
    • I installed one of these for a secretary last week, actually; I agree with the above author completely. This was IMO awkward to use, and seemed to place a lot of strain in my shoulder and back immediately to remove the weight of my arm when trying to move the mouse precisely. This mouse also removes the use of an arm rest, because you can not maneuver it with your fingers alone, but must move your whole arm.

      The other thing that surprised me was the complete lack of weight to this. You look at it, and can see how it might be comfortable, but the base has no weight to it; the entire "mouse" is lighter than a normal M$ ps2 mouse. This, combined with the weight of your arm adding downard force to the mouse while in use, makes the mouse tend to tip or get caught easily.

      I think I'll stick to my trusty Logitech Trackman Marble FX.

      • I love my Marble FX. (My kids think it's much easier than a mouse)

        They don't sell them anymore, though. I picked up a spare for $30 in the bargain bin at Office Depot...

        Work just provided me with a TrackMan Marble Wheel, and I'm quite fond of it, too. The only thing you have to move to do /anything/ is the tip of your thumb.
        • Gawd I wish I'd have purchased a second one...I used an older version of the regular Logitech trackball; my thumb hurt after five minutes of use, (granted I use a rediculously high screen rez) even when sensitivity was set to it's highest.

          The new Marble FX looks kinda cool, and I just saw it's now a cordless version, which would be nice for reclining (just set it on your thigh and mouse til the cows come home!) but I dunno if it can live up to my current trackball...guess I'll have to see when this one dies.
  • The best mouse I've ever used is by Logitech. It's their wheelman cordless that comes with their cordless ergo keyboard. It fits the hand perfectly. Yeah, you have to move your wrist around, but I've never experianced pain with it.

    Worst mouse ever? Microsoft's intellimouse. I'd rather use a Mac mouse (okay, maybe not from the imacs).

  • I tried a similar mouse at least 2 years ago, but didn't like it.
  • They are out (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TraccerWW ( 521113 )
    I've used on of those made by 3M. a few users at our site are using them as we speak. As I couldnt stand it and have to bring my own mouse with me everytime I go to work on one of those system. I'm not sure how many ppl will like it.. Very hard to get used it.. and took some of our users a very long time. but one you go there.. you'll never beable to go back.. kinda like Mico$oft if you ask me.

  • PC's- operate using WIN 95, 98 and NT4.0. Win 2000 available 4th quarter 2000.


    no linux?

    well people eventually get things working under linux anyway... (just add 2 more quarters...)

  • Can't see how that's gonna work for gaming, moving your whole arm is much less accurate and slower than just twitching your wrist and fingers alittle, of course I'm talking about Q3 and CS, where speed and accuracy is everything... well I actually wouldn't recomend that thing for any games I can think of atm, if they make a vibrating version you can allways give it to your gf when you go away for the weekend though :P

    What's all the fuss about? Turkeys? They're just fat bastard chickens!
    • Trackballs work great for gaming, much better than this looks like it would. Plus if you don't like the way this mouse works why don't you just play with the settings or get a USB mouse that you just plug in for games. I wonder if i can use my tablet for controlling UT.
  • get a trackball if you are worried about RSI
  • These mice are sold over here for years now. They are quite different and not really comfortable to use as it might seems. I think the best way to describe the discomfort is: It's like trying to play a flight simulator with a mouse.
  • I got one when I was having problems with wrist pain at work in '99, and it worked a treat. My one was branded as an 'Anir'; I gather 3M are marketing them now, hence the appearence of being 'new'.

    While a lot of so called RSI symptoms are typically stress related (and I've experienced plenty of that) I was finding that moving my wrist left and right on an ordinary mouse eventually became fatiguing and painful. I never do that with this mouse, and I use my thumb for left and right clicking, which is also good. So good in fact, that when I started using a regular mouse on my home machine, the pain came back, so I got one for home, too.

    The good stuff:

    - It's fairly easy to get use to. I have no patience, even for MS natural keyboards, but I was into this mouse in a few hours. Your bandwidth may vary...

    - They come in left and right versions in a few different sizes.

    - All three buttons work in X :-). I use 'MouseMan' and Emulate3Buttons.


    - No roller button thingy. Never used one anyway, but they're pretty cool and I'd like one.

    - No wireless optical. I can dream, can't I? :-)

    - They're not too good to use if you're standing. I use a regular mouse when I'm noodling around with playlists at parties.

    - They're not too good for gaming, but only because the mounting that holds the left/right mouse buttons can break under abuse. In my case this was a particularly, uh, 'exciting' moment playing Theif. I fixed it with 24hour araldite and a bit of metal tube from a hobby store, but it's never been quite the same since. Being 'ergonomic' it cost me 5 times as much as a regular one, so I'm reluctant to throw it out and get a new one just yet :-)

    Overall, it's definitely the least worst piece of ergonomic equipment I've bought.

  • Review (Score:3, Informative)

    by izzlazz ( 1166 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:51AM (#2285778) Homepage
    HardwareZone did a review [] of this a couple of days ago. They weren't too happy about it.
  • Their study states "There was, however, a slight difference in movement times with the new design about 16 hundredths of a second slower. "

    160 ms! Slight?

    I just tested my stimulus-response time (visual cue until key press). In ten trials, my average reaction time was 261 ms. That 160 ms represents a very dramatic slowdown.

    I doubt my r/t is very special. I imagine a die-hard gamer would be faster than me, either through training or innate ability.

    If this mouse-stick really makes the user 160ms slower, it will be way too slow for many types of games, regardless of any ergonomic benefits it may have.
  • There's litterally hundreds of pointing-type devices out there, many to reduce repetitive stress injuries.

    However, what I think would be REALLY nice is not to use your hands for pointing at all, but what you're already pointing at your target with: your eyes.

    I've seen on T.V. already examples of how one's eye movements can be tracked on a screen (usually done for marketing research in comercials, to track what a viewer responds to). Now, if you could incorporate this into a monitor somehow, instead of dragging the pointer across the screen using your hand, simply look where you want, then use some other method, say speech, to control clicking.

    This would be really nice, especially in say, games. ahh the headshots... :)

  • Bah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JediTrainer ( 314273 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:02AM (#2285829)
    Why buy this when there's a hacking solution to the problem? I thought of this years ago.

    Case in point: I was suffering from a case of RSI some years ago (before I figured out how the height of my chair and mousepad affected my wrists). My wrists were killing me every time I reached for the mouse.

    The solution? A 50-line program written in C that (in Windows, sorry - my OS of choice at the time) polled my joystick, and translated its commands to the mouse pointer. Button 1 became 'click'. Button 2 became the left mouse button, and I linked Button 3 to 'double click'. Took me about an hour to whip up the program, and then I used it for about a month before my injury subsided and I was able to buy a better chair and adjust my desk height properly. It worked well, and it didn't cost me anything other than a smidge of time.

    It made everything feel like a video game, though, so that was a bit weird. I've probably still got the program in my archives, but I'm at work and the file's at home somewhere.
  • My right shoulder hurts from mouse use. Does anyone know of a good way to cure this?
    • My right shoulder hurts from mouse use. Does anyone know of a good way to cure this?

      Use the mouse with your left hand?

      Seriously, when might right arm was in a sling, I switched the mouse to the left side and got pretty comfortable with it in short order. Add a USB mouse and you can have two mice, and switch between them.
    • From my own experience, I found I had shoulder trouble when I was in a really bad ergonomic situation (not directly under my control) and just about everything was wrong. If your forearm is pointing outward when using your mouse, that's bad. If your forearm is tilted upward, that's also bad. Inward and downward (or at least more or less level) is better, I think, although consult an ergonomic guide for expert advice. An armrest that you can actually use, i.e. that's the right height and fit, should also help, since I think part of the problem is simply supporting the weight of your arm.
  • Anyone else remember the Windows 3.1 software that let you use a joystick as a mouse?

    How is this different?
  • I have seen these before made by logitech at an assurence firm. People there knew about RSI claims ;-)

    It is in essence a frozen in one position joystick, with a regular mouseball below.

    It was used by an employee to relieve stress from the wrist joint as it required movement of the _arm_ joints (elbow and/or shoulder) to move the whole thing.

    He claimed it did not slow him down, or was less precise then regular mouses, although I would not want to play Counterstrike with it. I do believe his claims for less wrist pain.


    Reg /Dread
  • Personally I don't get any wrist pain from using a mouse, and I have the pointlessly heavy Intellimouse explorer!

    I would have thought that keeping your hand in the air would cause more overall arm pain?
  • I worked with CAD users and when I upgraded there machines many had this mouse and did not want the SUN mouse that came with the new machines.. Not sure who made them though
  • I recall a lab one time that had a computer or two that had handicapped access (Colo. State Univ) computers.

    For people with fine motor skill impairments (various reasons, MS being one of them...multiple sclerosis, not microsoft) there was a similar setup to what was described above. A thrustmaster joystick was setup (they have the best scripting s/w joystick wise because it "emulates keyboard inputs".
    To whatever mouse/key clicks were used most.

    you have to realize this is best that a TM joystick was used because you can control the "dead zone" and the movement requires some force (compared to average sticks..sidewinder et al).

    A buddy of mine's wife bought him one (flight-sim-aholic dude) and he commented that "it was a really 'stiff stick'...but what do you expect from a company called "Thrust Master"?".

    Heh, still cracks me up.

  • I remember that Gravis [] had a joystick mouse a bit like this a few years ago.

    Speaking of gravis, I still have my original gamepad sitting next to my box. Don't use it much now, but it's cool to have a gamepad for a pc developed when the best had to play was cga/ega games. Still, Commander Keen was cool... I'll try to check those old floppies and play it again.
  • new design (Score:2, Interesting)

    by g-string ( 83163 )
    I have tried it, its just a new flavor in the same old tired mouse design.
    I have a few different mice, If I use one for a long time I start getting sick of it. Maybe the shape isn't quite right? but its this way with all my mice plain and ergo!

    No 2 people's hands are the same right? Your hand is always moving, when you lock it into a certain position it will always feel uncomfortable after a while.
    I am wondering, is there an adjustable mouse out there. One that you can move and tweek to your liking. I think this would be a really interesting device.

    2 cents are better than no sense.
  • I've been using the ProPoint [] mouse and it requires zero wrist movement to operate. You can hold it in any position that is comfortable and it works just as well with either hand. The only problem is that it's ps/2 so you need an adapter to get it to work on a computer that lacks vestigial ports.

    Combine with a pair of one-handed keyboards like the BAT [] and you are well on your way to increased productivity with vastly lower stress on your wrists and arms.


  • One must wonder if stuff like this is designed to get rid of all the old non-optical mouse equipment lying around in the warehouse.
  • This type of mouse has been on the market for quite some time time now. Stangely, I have only seen women using these and women say these mouses are a lot more comfortable to use.

    This is however what I've observed. Have anyone else observed this???
  • This is news? The Anir Vertical Mouse [] has been around for years.

    I own both both a Mac version and a PC version and they now have a USB version available. They come in 3 sizes for both left and right-handed people.

    My experience has been that it Really does help with carpal tunnel problems. However it requires that your desk be at the proper height - otherwise you end up trasferring some of the strain to your shoulder.

    My experience is that it is a bit more difficult to use on the PC than the Mac due to the PC's lack of speed sensitivity. Likewise, the vertical mouse is not the greatest for Gaming.

    Nevertheless, its a great alternative to living with a painful disability.

  • A guy from work had one of these last year, and now mr bubble boy thinks it's something new?! /. slowly getting closer to top of the list of Lamest Sites.

  • That mouse looks painful to use...

    I play a lot of games in my spare time. My favorites are NASCAR Heat and various FPS mods. Being poor, I have no steering wheel, so I use a Sidewider Precision Pro for Heat, and I use my trusty Kensington optical mouse for FPS. I can tell you that, after playing Heat for two hours with a Sidewinder, my hand, wrist, and arm hurt a *hell* of a lot worse than they do after two hours of Quake or UT. Most of the strain comes from keeping my arm elevated instead of being able to rest my wrist on the desk and my elbow on the arm of my chair.

    I know I'll develop carpal tunnel syndrome eventually, but I'll live with it. I live, work, and breate computers and don't plan to give it up anytime soon, so I guess it's a small price to pay for all the enjoyment I get out of them.

    I do have one possible advantage over most other users I odd method of typing. I never learned to touch type. I type with my hands elevated and first two finger joints held vertically, and use a lot more arm and wrist motion while typing than touch typers do. I primarily use my middle fingers to hit keys, though sometimes I use my left index finger when it is convinient. I do type without looking at the keyboard and can average 40-50 WPM, BTW...not bad for just using three fingers. ;) Still, I think I might be better off than many touch typers who are often straining their fingers to reach the keys. I know I can type for several hours at a time with no noticeable discomfort. Mousing is what causes me the most trouble, and it's usually pretty minor and comes after many hours of computer use.

  • We used this type of mouse a few (3) years ago for a co-worker suffering from RSI ...

    Nothing new to report.

  • by Bud ( 1705 )
    The joystick mouse "Anir" has been out for a while. It's overpriced and badly made. I bought one for a friend with RSI wrist problems and it turned out that yes, it relieves the pain but it's very slow and heavy to use. Instead of using your fingers, you use your whole arm. After a year or so, the mouse stopped working properly, just as if the X roller was clogged, but it never started working properly no matter how much I cleaned it. I even took it apart and cleaned all moving pieces. AFAIK, the Anir is now resting in peace in a wardrobe somewhere.


  • Seems like the thing locks a computer to be used by either right-handed people or left-handers (if they produce such a version). So I hope this thing will not take off for use at universities, internet cafe's etc. I can just see the signs: "Right Hand Section this way..."
  • I switched from a mouse to a track ball to relieve elbow problems. This thing would be worse than a regular mouse for me. Looks to me as though it would force the user to suspend the whole arm above the level of the desk to ensure that the unit stayed at the proper angle to the desk, to avoid lifting hte roller off the surface. At best fatiguing.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell