Types of computer mouse

Not too long ago, selecting a computer mouse couldn’t have been easier. Your computer came with one and that was usually the version you will stick with. Nowadays, there are too many versions to count, making it possible for you to find the perfect mouse for whatever purpose you need.

Buttons

There was a time when extra buttons beyond the main two on a mouse were considered something that only gamers ever used. However, more multiple-Button-mouseand more people are finding out how practical they can be for other purposes too. Today’s models allow the user to map these buttons for customized purposes. While a gamer may need extra buttons to make their character scroll between devices or activate a force field, you can use them to move backwards and forwards in your browser or even for something like using Exposé in Mac OS X.

Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, the number of buttons available shouldn’t be the main focus of your browsing, but they can be the difference maker between two models.

Brand

There are countless brands to choose from when looking for a computer mouse. The brand that will work best for your needs will depend on what those needs are. Some of the most popular manufacturers right now are:

Logitech, Microsoft, Apple, Razer, HP, Cyborg, Dell, A4Tech, SteelSeries, Trust

In terms of gaming mice, Logitech, Razer, Cyborg, and SteelSeries will be your best bets. While Microsoft, Apple, HP, Dell, A4Tech, and Trust have some gaming mice in their product line, they mainly make those designed for work and casual use.

Sensitivity

Another feature you’ll need to think about is the sensitivity of the mouse. DPI stands for dots per inch, which is how you measure a mouse’s sensitivity level. The higher the DPI of a mouse, the farther the arrow on your screen will move relative to how much you moved the mouse.

Medium- to high-end options will generally feature pretty high DPIs, something in the neighborhood of 1,200 if not more. While DPI is often a major feature that gamers consider, it’s also important for those doing precision tasks like graphic designers or CAD designers. Low DPIs will definitely make your life more difficult.

Fortunately, many mice these days will give you the option of modifying your DPI as you see fit, allowing you to create a customized device. A lot of times, this just means opening up the control panel and altering it as you like. However, some models will actually provide you with buttons that you can use to alter DPI in the moment. You can even set various levels and then switch between them as necessary. This is great for those who play multiple games throughout the course of the day or designers who will switch from detailing an image to then writing an email or working in Microsoft Excel.

Normal mouse vs. Traveler Size mouse

The difference between these two types of mice is probably pretty obvious. For those who plan on using their mouse in one specific place, a normal sized model should do the trick. However, many of us need to travel regularly and don’t want problems packing away our mice.

Traveler models are definitely going to be easier for taking on the road or on a plane. Most of them are Bluetooth-capable as well, meaning you can sit down, take the mouse out of your pocket and use it as necessary before putting it away and moving on. This is a great option for those who often find themselves working out of coffee shops or in the middle of an airport.

That being said, if you do pick a traveler mouse, you may still want to invest in a normal sized one too. The smaller size of a traveler mouse will mean less room for extra buttons and makes it a bit harder to control.

Type of Use

There are countless ways you could classify the different uses mice have. For the most part, it comes down to those used for gaming, those used for normal web browsing, office work and casual purposes and those used in graphic design and other precision tasks.

  • Gaming Mice

These mice are usually very easy to notice. They come with upwards of two dozen buttons and usually feature very ergonomic designs. Their job is to give a gamer as much control and precision as possible, while still providing high ISPs. Nowadays, most gamers also look for mice that offer a high level of customization too.

  • Office Mice

For lack of a better term, these are the mice use for office/casual purposes and are usually the kind we all grew up with. They feature two to four buttons and a scroll wheel, but that’s about it. No premium is really put on ISPs or DPIs.

  • Precision Work

Then there are the mice used by all kinds of designers who need a high degree of precision in order to do their jobs correctly. Some designers actually opt for gaming mice because of how much customization they provide. However, there are plenty of mice made without all the extra bells and whistles that will make your job easy.

  • 3D mouse

The popularity of 3D mice has seen a peak in popularity lately, due to the rising need of having a computer mouse allowing CAD drafters to move in 3 dimensions while working on technical design projects. The primary problem a 3D mouse solves is the ability to move in the x, y, and z direction.

Wireless vs. Wired

Most people these days prefer a wireless mouse for obvious reasons. They leave one less thing on your desk, meaning you can put various items between your mouse and computer without having to worry that the wire will knock them over or otherwise cause problems.

Furthermore, a wireless mouse is easier to move around without the wire restricting where it goes. Gamers insist on wireless mice for this reason and most people are following suit. The only drawback is that your wireless mouse needs to be charged, but this is hardly a reason not to choose one. Charging is easy and mice can hold a charge for days at a time.

USB vs. PS/2

While everyone is familiar with USB devices, there are those that run on IBM’s PS/2, also known as Personal System/2. Generally speaking, USB mice are preferred, simply because that’s the preferred technology right now.

Some people may argue that PS/2 can make for a better keyboard because it’s believed to do a better job of cutting down on the delay between typing something and it showing up on your screen. When it comes to mice, though, there’s little reason to think a PS/2 model is worth your money.

Optical vs. Ball

The ball mouse is the “original” version, though many models still use the concept today. Essentially, there’s a roller ball on the bottom of your mouse that glides around the pad and tells your computer where to move the cursor.

An optical mouse lacks this ball and uses a light source to scan the pad and move your cursor appropriately.

No matter how you look at it, an optical mouse is always better. It’s more reactive and less susceptible to dust and other forms of debris. Without the manual ball feature, you’ll also have a much easier time moving the mouse around as necessary.

Weight

The proper weight of a mouse can actually make a huge difference both in usability and the health of your muscles and skeletal system. When you consider that moving the mouse involves your entire hand, forearm, upper arm and shoulder, you can see why such a small piece of equipment can actually carry a lot of influence with it.

There is no correct weight that will work best for everyone. However, many mice—especially those used for gaming—come with tiny weights you can add or remove from the device until you have it nice and comfortable. The more and faster you move the mouse around, the more important it is that you have the right weight.

Shape

Aside from the basic shapes of mice that you may be accustomed to, there are five other versions worth knowing about. This factor is closely related to the types of Mouse grip.

  • Arc

Arc.mouseThe arc mouse gets its name from the extreme arch that runs through it. You’ll have a difficult time using it with anything but a palm grip, though obviously that means you’ll be able to move it around quickly. Many find that it is also more ergonomic and gives their fingers a rest.

  • Vertical

ergo2A vertical model flips the traditional mouse on its side. Imagine you’re shaking hands with somebody and this is roughly the position yours will be in when using this mouse.

  • Pen

pen-mouseA pen mouse is often referred to as a stylus. It’s great for touch screens where you make contact with it via the pen mouse, allowing you to write by hand, draw and click. However, you can also use this kind of mouse on a touchpad just as you would the normal kind on a mouse pad.

  • Flat

flat-mouseThis type of mouse is actually a bit deceptive. When turned off, it’s perfectly flat, making it easy to take this model with you wherever you go. However, to turn it on, you snap the spine of the mouse until it gets an arc. At this point, it works just like the arc mouse we already covered.

  • Handshoe

ergo1The handshoe mouse is marketed as the most ergonomic option available and there may be some truth to this assertion. This mouse will need to be used with a full-on palm grip. You’ll place your thumb on one side of the mouse and then your fingers will be separated to the other side and raised slightly. According to the manufacturer, this design fully supports you entire hand.

Conclusion

As you can see, if you’re in the market for a new mouse, you definitely won’t be lacking in terms of options. The main thing to think about is what you’ll be using your mouse for the majority of the time. If you’re a gamer, for example, that’s the type of mouse you should go with, as it won’t stop you from performing normal functions. On the other hand, if you have no interest in gaming, you don’t want to pay for the extra features. Take your time considering all of the above and the perfect mouse will be within your reach.

3D Space Mouse wireless Review

For the regular readers of our blog, this review can be viewed as a follow up to the overview provided on 3D mouse and how they aid navigation or communication with a 3D interface. And in keeping to our promise of providing you with insightful contents revolving around tech, here is a well-rounded review of a 3D mouse from the design studio of 3D Connexion—the Space Mouse Wireless.

To simplify this review, we shall break it down into 4 sections aimed at explaining what the Space mouse Wireless has to offer and these sections are; an introduction to the Space Mouse, outlining its features, discussing its pricing/commercial offers and finally scoring its performance.

Introducing the Space Mouse Wireless

The space Mouse wireless which was released sometime in October 2013 has that estimable distinction of being the first wireless 3D mouse available to the CAD community on a commercial basis and in terms of design build, the device closely resembles that of your ordinary device with the difference been that it functions wirelessly.

3D-Space-Mouse-wireless-ReviewThe Space Mouse wireless—developed by 3D Connexion—is made up of three major components which are:

  • Controller Cap—A movable knoblike head for 3 dimensional navigation
  • A base—attached to the mouse head as support and
  • A micro USB receiver—to be attached to a personal computer

Once the box has been un-packed, the user sees the three above components and also an instructional DVD on how to install the receiver as well as make use of the 3D mouse. These are the items that make up the packaged Space Mouse. Next, the broken down review:

The Space Mouse Wireless Features

As with all innovations, the physical design of the 3D Mouse has evolved with time.

The average traditional mouse which comes with a beetle shaped support base that housed a navigation track ball and two clickable buttons to handle tasks has now evolved into a rounded rectangular shaped bottom with curved sides.

On using the Space Mouse, it was instantly obvious why these changes were incorporated and this was because it provided a far more stable support than its predecessors making it a more compact model.

While the micro-receiver, resembles the average USB drive used worldwide there, the slim build of this device makes it a universal fit for all personal computers and CAD workstations. Finally, the features that make it work are the;

  1. Connexion patented Six Degree of Freedom: this innovative feature can be likened to the roller balls that give a regular mouse its navigation powers only that it navigates better than your average traditional mouse. The technology used incorporates six high performance optical sensors that react instantly to the movements of the controller cap.
  2. The Controller Cap: the controller cap is the round protruding knob that can be seen at the top of the supporting base, and this cap comes with 4 ridges equally spaced along its sides to make holding and handling the otherwise slippery navigation head easy. The controller cap working in-tandem with the optical sensors can be manoeuvred in 6 different ways when seeking a specific view which gives it better navigational abilities than the traditional mouse.
  3. The Space Mouse Wireless Base: the base of the space—which has been described below—serves as both a base for the controller cap and as home to two clickable buttons of the 3D mouse that can be found at its sides. The two side buttons carry out the functions of ‘right and left click’ native to a traditional desktop mouse.

Using the Space Mouse Wireless

The first step to using the Space Mouse is definitely installing all the drivers integrated into the device so they synchronize with whatever 3D CAD application is been used. This is quite important for a poorly installed 3D mouse will definitely not function to its full capabilities and for this review; Space Mouse was tested/used on MAYA 3D. So here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • The navigation prowess of Connexion’s six degree of freedom brings joy to the navigation process
  • It reduces the time spent communicating with your keyboard to a bare minimum—that is for only the use of shortcuts—as you can handle other motions with the 3D mouse
  • You can also customize the two side/radial buttons to the functions you use most thereby simplifying design process
  • Overall, the Space Mouse Wireless increases the fun of modelling on a 3D interface

Cons:

The cons of using the Space Mouse Wireless are mostly few and down to personal errors such as:

  • Bad installation which drastically affects performance
  • The time taken to get used to working with a 3D mouse and
  • The pricing which is quite steep when compared to the cost of the average traditional mouse

Specification and Pricing

Minimum System Requirements

* Windows XP Professional (SP2, SP3), Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (RTM, SP2 and SP3)
* Windows Vista (RTM, SP1 and SP2, all editions)
* Windows 7 (RTM and SP1, all editions)
* AIX 5.2 ML04 or newer
* HP-UX 11 or newer
* Linux Redhat Enterprise WS 4, 5, Novell SuSE Linux 9.3, 10, 11
* Sun Solaris 9/04 or newer, Sun Solaris 10 (x86/x64)
* USB port

MAC Requirements

* Apple OS X 10.8
* Apple OS X 10.7
* Apple OS X 10.6

As for pricing, the Space Mouse Wireless costs approximately $140 and this cost can be broken down into:

  • The 3D mouse Connexion Package—$125
  • Micro USB cord—$5
  • Micro USB Receiver—$10

Final Thoughts

After all has been said and done, the Space Mouse is a tech device that is set to revolutionize how we communicate with 3D interfaces and even applications with 2D interfaces that can be found on Google chrome. Although the pricing may seem steep when compared to the cost of the traditional desktop mouse, the device still gives good value for your money.

Final Score—4.1/5

3D Finger Mouse

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have given hope to innovators, allowing them to turn their dreams into reality. Now, they will not have to worry about funds thanks to crowdfunding.

This opened the door of endless possibilities for people who want to contribute to make life better through innovation. Although, there are some very innovative products coming from crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, very few can achieve what Mycestro has done.

Nick Mastandrea is an executive, who finds it tough to use a mouse on a commercial flight. This sparked the idea of developing a wearable 3D mouse in Nick Mastandrea’s mind. He used crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise funds for his project and went on to turn his idea into an innovative product.

Who is the 3D Finger Mouse made for?

Imagine a mouse that fits on your fingers and can do everything that a regular mouse can. Thanks to the 3D Finger Mouse, you do not have to fit a bulky mouse in a tiny space on airline table tray ever again. This makes it great for travelers who travel by air or road. It is also perfect for press conferences, coffee shops and computer labs.

Mycestro will be your best friend when it comes to delivering presentations and lectures. You can easily navigate through in car menus with this wearable mouse instead of touching the touch-screen while driving. As such, if you are making long commutes, this mouse is a great way for you to get some work done while the vehicle is in motion.

Functionality3d-mouse

When you spend $150 to buy a mouse, you want it to deliver. Mycestro did deliver, but not without going through a tough set up. People who spend much of their time in multi tasking will not like its slow response and might get irritated after using it for few days. As such, you will have to get used to it. However, getting over its rather “unique” design will not be easy.

If you deliver lectures in front of an audience, there is nothing better than having a Mycestro mouse at your disposal. It can be charged through a USB cable and detects your hand movement effectively.

When we talk about wireless devices, battery life is an important factor. More specifically, how long will the battery last? It depends on your usage patterns. Moreover, since these devices usually require constant power, you may not get more than a few hours.

Pros and Cons

Some of the pros and cons of this 3D mouse include:

Pros

  • It is wireless and lightweight
  • You can control the cursor with natural gestures and your thumb
  • It has a range of 30 feet
  • It detects hand movement in 3D space
  • Long battery life (Bluetooth 4.0 low energy protocol)
  • Compatible with Mac, PC and iOS and android devices

Cons

  • Relatively expensive for many
  • Unique design that takes some getting used to
  • Not easy to set up
  • Slow responsiveness at times
  • Plastic is not very appealing

Final Thoughts

Mycestro is another bright product coming out of a Kickstarter campaign. With a few hiccups here and there, Mycestro does what it says. However, a $150 price tag might put some off, but if you are traveler, student, or a businessperson, you should consider shelling out some cash for Mycestro.

Its slow response (at times) and high price may keep the average user away from this 3D wearable mouse. Whether you decide to buy it or not, one thing is for sure, this mouse has set the standard for the device. Do not be surprised to see many new wearable variants coming in the future. Until the issues are ironed out, it is better you stick to your mouse.

4 Tips to Using A 3D Mouse

As a CAD user, you owe it to yourself to include the best design equipment or tools you are more comfortable working with when creating your workspace in order to maximize your productivity.

3d-mouse
These tools can be your favorite desktop to CPU combination, multiple hard disks or a customized mouse designed to meet your specific needs…and today’s post will focus on helping you simplify 3D CAD processes by introducing to your work space the revolutionary 3D mouse.

Everyone conversant with a computer definitely knows what a computer mouse is and the functions it handles but when it comes to the 3D mouse, most people—including CAD users—have little or no idea about what this device can help them accomplish.

Therefore, before going into specifics on today’s tips on using a 3D mouse, here is a brief description.
The computer 3D mouse is a directional/pointing device made up of two components—a 3 dimensional controller cap and a standard mouse—that serve diverse purposes.

The 3D controller cap serves as both the directional device and a manipulator by panning, zooming and viewing 3D objects in three dimensions while the standard mouse acts as the selection tool which allows the user select menu items and objects.

This unique arrangement makes working with 3D applications on a digital interface quite intuitive and increases the pace in which you interact with 3D applications and objects on your workspace.

So here are some tips to using a 3D mouse as a CAD user.

4 Tips to Working with a 3D Mouse in a CAD Workspace

1. Understanding Your Mouse: The first step to using any new gadget is becoming acquainted with the features that make it work and the 3D mouse is no different. Therefore the first tip is to become familiar with your controller cap and its working process by playing with its panning, zooming, and 3D movement capabilities on your favourite CAD workspace. this will get you acquainted with the functions associated with tilting, moving and sliding the controller cap

2. Turn on the Single Axis Mode: the first lesson most of us learnt after our introduction to CAD was how to draft simple 2D designs in a single plane—the XY axis. This learning concept is what the single axis mode attempts to accomplish by restricting the controller’s cap movement to a single axis thereby mirroring the capabilities of your average mouse and as you get more comfortable using the 3D mouse, simply switch off this limitation and enjoy the complete experience.

3d-mouse

3. Work with Multiple Design Platforms: for designers who make use of Photoshop as an editing tool, Solid Work for modelling and Maya for animation, it is important to note that the 3D mouse works quite differently on each of these apps interface. So the tip here is to rotate your try-outs among all the design apps you use in other to be completely proficient with its use.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice: the last tip for today is to take advantage of the learning materials provided by both the manufacturer of your 3D mouse and online tutorials that can be found on You Tube/other online CAD communities. On obtaining these materials, the next step is definitely the practice you require to become perfect.