This quirky mouse redesign reuses mechanical keyboard parts for buttons

The venerable computer mouse hasn’t changed its basic format in decades, though there have been additions like the middle mouse button or scroll wheel and shifts from trackball to laser. That means that this essential tool for modern-day life still bears many of the ergonomic flaws of its ancestor, an almost literal pain point in the age of computing. There have been a few design ideas centered around fixing this problem, though many of them pretty much change the mouse to the point that it has become unrecognizable. This particular design concept, however, has none of those and is instead focused on making the mouse a little bit more sustainable, mostly by letting you reuse keyboard parts that you might already have lying around.

Designer: Hizin Joo

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There has been a surge of interest in mechanical keyboards, especially among workers and gamers that rely heavily on precision, comfort, and satisfying experiences. Because of this, there are plenty of keyboard switches and keycaps available in the market for those who not only love customizing their keyboards but also repairing them on their own. In contrast, computer mice have barely reached that point where you can easily replace broken buttons, let alone change certain parts to your heart’s content and delight.

That is the kind of limitation that the Gima mouse concept tries to overcome, and it does so in a rather curious and almost whimsical way. The typical mouse buttons are replaced by what looks like keyboard keys because they are actually keyboard keys. Underneath the keycaps are actual mechanical keyboard switches that you can mix and match with whatever spares you might be lying around.

The general idea is to offer the same level of customization and flexibility that mechanical keyboards have, but on the other computer peripheral that barely offers such features. You can, for example, use the level of resistance you prefer using different switches, or you can use different keycaps to reflect your personal style. You might settle for simple L and R letters, or you can use specially-designed caps with different graphics. This also means that should one or even both of the buttons break, you can easily replace it with any other keycap or switch.

While the design is definitely interesting, Gima, unfortunately, doesn’t address the mouse’s ergonomic problem and may, in fact, make it worse. The resistance offered by mechanical switches for keyboards might not exactly be ideal for repetitively clicking with the same finger. The soap bar shape of Gima might also lead to incorrect positioning of the hand and the wrist, and the location of the touch-sensitive slope for the mouse wheel exacerbates the situation. To its credit, Gima does touch on the need to have a repairable and customizable mouse, much like their larger keyboard partners.

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Foldable mouse concept combines two familiar designs into one ambidextrous design

Despite being the most popular pointing device for computers, the venerable mouse is filled with design problems that have never completely disappeared. Common mouse designs favor right-handed users, force people to choose between ergonomics and portability, and are often unattractive to behold. There has been a rash of concept designs recently that try to rethink the mouse from an ergonomic angle, and these often end up looking a bit alien and confined to be used on desks only. It’s almost as if there’s no way to combine all these great ideas together, which is what this particular design tries to disprove by reworking two of Microsoft’s most famous mice into something that could be used and enjoyed by almost everyone.

Designer: Carl Betterley

Microsoft has two kinds of computer mice that have become quite popular for almost opposite reasons. The older Arc mouse has a quirky shape that prioritized portability by folding flat when not in use. Unfortunately, this design limited the mouse to a narrow, almost rectangular shape that is practically uncomfortable, especially after long hours of work. The newer Surface mouse, on the other hand, has a fuller and more ergonomic shape but isn’t easy to stow inside bags because of its bulkier form. Combining these two contrasting sets of properties is one of the biggest design challenges for mice, and the Form Travel concept solves it in a rather interesting manner.

On the one hand, the mouse takes inspiration from the Microsoft Arc, with a core shape that is rectangular and flat. Like the Arc, it folds into a curved form when it needs to be used so that it can remain flat and space-efficient when it’s time to slip it inside a bag or briefcase. Unlike the Arc, however, it has a wider shape when, thanks to “wings” that fold to the side and are kept in place with magnets, giving your entire palm and fingers a place to rest.

This rather peculiar shape, which looks like a manta ray when unfolded and laid flat, also carries over one other benefit of Microsoft’s current mice. It can easily be used in either hand, with no predisposition for right or left hands. The “head” of the mouse is completely flat as well and uses gestures to implement clicking and scroll wheel actions. It’s more similar to Apple’s Magic Mouse in that regard, instead of a typical two-button mouse like the old Arc Touch.

One side effect of this creative solution is that the mouse actually takes up more horizontal space when it’s flat. That said, it will still be less than the surface area of a, well, Microsoft Surface. If you have room for a laptop or tablet, you will definitely have room for a wide yet flat Microsoft-inspired Form Travel Mouse.

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This mouse concept ditches the buttons for a more tactile experience

The computer mouse hasn’t changed its basic design in ages, which also means that the ergonomic problems it had in the past still exist today. There are plenty of new designs and concepts that try to challenge the status quo, but many of these tend to have unfamiliar and sometimes very alien forms. That might be uncomfortable for some people who rely on muscle memory to get things done efficiently. Of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement even with the more traditional shape of the mouse, and this design concept puts a slightly different twist to the user experience, focusing more on how it would feel under our fingers when you remove the keys and buttons.

Designer: Matteo Ercole

Repetitive strain from using a mouse can come from different motions, though most of the focus is on the bigger movements of the wrist. Our fingers, however, are also quite active when using a mouse, and those could also contribute to eventual injury. That might be especially true if your fingers encounter a lot more resistance from mechanical interfaces like buttons and wheels.

Named “Just another mouse” as a tongue-in-cheek joke, this design concept does away with those buttons and instead presents a device that has a more stylish body and texture. Instead of buttons, the concept utilizes pressure-sensitive areas similar to Apple’s Force Touch trackpad on MacBook. This can expand the number of actions you could use with the mouse or change the gesture completely, like using a slightly deeper press instead of double-clicking. The mouse wheel is also absent, replaced by a touch-sensitive groove that provides less resistance while also giving the finger a more nuanced tactile experience.

The mouse doesn’t have a power switch, either, and it just turns on when a proximity sensor detects a hand on top of it. The internal battery is charged on a wireless dock, similar to how you’d wirelessly charge a smartphone or smartwatch. This further reduces the number of openings and moving parts that could break down after prolonged use.

This concept design doesn’t inherently change the way the mouse looks or functions, but it does open the door for newer experiences, especially when the sense of touch is involved. Rather than typical plastic, the design could use different kinds of materials and textures that give the mouse a bit more flavor, both visually and tactilely. That, in turn, can make the mouse more than just a utilitarian computer accessory but also a beautiful desk decoration when they’re not in use.

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This sleek mouse design was inspired by a graceful creature of the sea

As computers become a more integral part of human life, we have finally become more acutely aware of the design flaws in the devices that we use to communicate with these machines. Keyboards and mice haven’t changed their designs significantly over the decades, but manufacturers, designers, and especially users are feeling the pain of using these peripherals, quite literally even. While it might be harder to change the design of keyboards drastically, mouse designs are quite ripe for the picking. There are a few ergonomic mice coming out of the market and even more concept designs that try to reinvent the venerable computer pointing device. This mouse design, however, doesn’t stray too far from the norm but still delivers a form that is regal yet almost alien, just like the sea critter it takes inspiration from.

Designer: Hrishab Prasad

Truth be told, there are quite a few mouse concept designs that seem to be based on aquatic animals, which isn’t that surprising if you think hard about it. Fish and aquatic mammals are known for their sleek forms and their ability to move smoothly, qualities that are highly desirable for an object that needs to also move smoothly on your desk. Some of these animals also look alien to our eyes, which is also a perfect way to insert a bit of a “wow” factor into the design that reimagines the mouse (which is named for a land-based mammal, ironically).

Mylio takes its name from the scientific name of the stingray fish, one of those alien-like critters that are still a bit more familiar given their larger numbers and more visible presence in sea waters. The stingray is characterized by a very fluid and dynamic form, which is why it also lends its name to an iconic speedster on wheels. It’s definitely a fitting design to use for a mouse, especially one that can also look elegant on your desk when you’re not using it.

A stingray, however, is quite notable for the wing-like fins on each side, which is translated directly to this Mylio concept design. Some ergonomic mice already have something almost similar to these “fins,” but they’re often only applied on one side of the mouse. This limits the design to be favorable to right-handed users only or, on rare occasions, right-handed users only. In contrast, this concept design’s symmetrical fins make it possible to use the same mouse in either hand. These fins serve as resting spots for thumbs and palms.

Mylio uses other concepts, like a fingerprint sensor in the middle that can be used to unlock computers in a secure manner. Its core design, however, is really its novel shape, which is both attractive and more open to be used in either hand. Whether it is actually more ergonomic, however, is a slightly different question, especially considering how it doesn’t deviate too much from the typical shape of a mouse that is considered to be non-ergonomic by nature.

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Orbit PC mouse gives your upper body an exercise to avoid strain injuries

The computer mouse today may look a bit different compared to its first incarnation, but the fundamental design of this important input device hasn’t exactly changed over the decades. That, unfortunately, also means that the problems associated with this old design haven’t really disappeared either, especially those that cause physical injury over time. There has been a great deal of interest lately in redesigning the mouse to be more ergonomic, but not everyone agrees that changing the shape is enough. This design concept, for example, takes a very different approach to resolving the problem of repetitive strain injury or RSI, mostly by shifting the movement away from the arm and wrists and giving your upper body a workout instead.

Designer: Simon Hochleitner

The computer mouse and even the computer keyboard are very unnatural interfaces as far as our bodies are concerned. Especially with the mouse, the hand and the arm it’s attached to are forced into an unnatural position, whether it is in motion or at rest. The movements associated with prolonged and repeated use of the mouse eventually lead to what is sometimes called “mouse arm,” as well as the injuries that come with it. You might think that your arm is getting some exercise, but it’s really the wrong kind of movement and resting position that actually causes those injuries.

Ergonomic mice can only do so much since it simply shifts the tension and strain to other parts of the hand and arm. Orthopedists and physiotherapists might have a different idea on how to solve this problem, and it unsurprisingly involves using correct movements and posture. What may come as a surprise, however, is how this can be done by simply changing the way we use the mouse.

James Dyson Award national winner Orbit redesigns the mouse not by changing its shape but by changing the way we move it across a flat surface. Instead of simply sliding over a mouse pad, Orbit has three resistance bands that hold the “mouse” in the center. To move the mouse, you have to exert a bit of effort to counter the resistance, which, in turn, shifts the force to other muscle groups, particularly the ones responsible for posture. With this system, the body is forced not to slouch and use those upper body muscles instead of relying on wrist and forearm muscles to move the mouse.

Orbit actually does change the design of the mouse by turning it into a joystick. Unlike a typical joystick, however, you still have to move it across the surface, much like a mouse. The only difference is that the joystick shape keeps the arm in a more natural position to reduce stress. The touch-sensitive ring on top acts as a mouse wheel so that you don’t have to change your hand’s position or stop the movement just to use it. There is also a “flat” version that more closely resembles a traditional mouse that’s designed for gamers.

Whether it’s changing the shape of the mouse or adding some resistance, it’s encouraging to see designers challenging the status quo when it comes to this input device. It might still take some time before the industry embraces these ideas, but increasing awareness about the problems with computer mice is an important first step in changing people’s perceptions.

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Mouse concept uses classic trackball as design inspiration

If you’ve ever used an old-school mouse from years ago, you’re probably familiar with the trackball inside the mouse. It was both annoying (when it failed to work) and also somewhat satisfying when you would roll it around while using it. The mouse has evolved the past years and now we get wireless Bluetooth devices without trackballs. Actually, a lot of those who use macbooks and some laptops don’t even use a mouse anymore. But that doesn’t mean product designers can’t come up with something new.

Designer: Ozan Kayıkcı

The roo+ bt mouse & air trackball concept uses the trackballs from the earliest designs of the mouse. But instead of just being a part of the mouse, this trackball is now the actual mouse itself. The base is originally flat but when you flip it over, it can become oval as well, in case you need to use something like that. They said the idea for this concept is just the mouse going back to its roots, hence the name of the mouse that is based on the trackball itself.

Other than the images showing the inspiration for this mouse and air trackball, there is not much information about what it can actually do. Well, obviously it will be able to do what a mouse does which is help move your cursor around the screen of your laptop or desktop. A lot of people who do graphic design, edit videos, or who play games on their devices still need the more precise mouse rather than the trackpad on their laptops.

This concept seems to just be that but with a classic mouse, or rather the trackball inside it, as a basis for the design. It’s also smaller than other regular devices so if you don’t have much space on your desk, this is a convenient one to have.

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This tiny portable wearable mouse lets you universally control all your gadgets with gestures

One wearable to rule them all…

What VANZY offers is best described as the future of Human Interface. Conventionally, we used keyboards and mice, then we used touch-sensitive displays. However, now, VANZY lets you control all your devices with mere hand gestures, sort of like Tony Stark. Designed to sit on your finger like a ring, VANZY is an Air Mouse and a motion-sensing controller that gives you advanced controls over all your devices. You could swipe or perform gestures to move slides in a presentation, increase or decrease volume while listening to music, skip the intro on Netflix shows, play games, or do a variety of other things. VANZY’s ring also works like a computer mouse or trackpad that allows you to use it as a conventional cursor controller on your laptop or tablet, sort of like a wearable mouse. You can even control elements in VR, and potentially even use the VANZY to keymap some words, making it quite literally the ultimate input device for any gadget you have… and it’s small enough to fit around your finger.

Designer: CoX Space

Click Here to Buy Now: $89 $129 (31% off). Hurry, for a limited time only.

About as small as a ring, VANZY comes with a 9DoF sensor that allows it to perform high-quality 3D spatial recognition and an advanced chipset that allows it to recognize as many as 7 different gestures across multiple software and on Windows, Macintosh, Android, and iOS devices. The premise behind the VANZY is simple – in a world with multiple devices that you control by touching and tapping with your fingers, why can’t your finger just be a mouse instead, working like a wand to operate any device it’s connected to? To that end, VANZY works with phones, tablets, and even laptops via Bluetooth, letting you operate them intuitively by waving your hands, or use the trackpad on the VANZY to control them more precisely.

The finger-worn ring works in two ways – either by recognizing movements and gestures, or by allowing you to navigate your device via the trackpad on top of the VANZY. The trackpad works just like the touch surface on your TWS earbuds does. You can keep the mouse functions by touching and dragging your thumb; left touch to left-click, right touch to right-click, and swiping for scroll-down/up on the VANZY. As far as gestures go, VANZY recognizes common gestures like swiping left, right, up, down, circling clockwise, anti-clockwise, and moving forward (like you’re pointing in the air).

Morning Routine – Turn your finger clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the volume on your earbuds without taking your phone out first.

At Work – Perfect companion for lectures, presentations, and meetings. VANZY gives you precise control, even from a distance.

For Content Creators – Makes the discomfort of swapping between devices a thing of the past. Just use your finger.

VR Controlling – VANZY is not limited to just the material world.

Bar Cradle – Lets you use VANZY as a clicker.

However, each VANZY comes with a dock (also known as the Bar Cradle ) that charges your VANZY’s built-in battery. Dock your ring in the Bar Remote and you’ve got a 3D spatial tracking remote control that you can use to operate your television, play games, or even work your laptop. When docked in the Bar Remote, VANZY recognizes 4 gestures (up, down, left, and right). VANZY’s gestures and controls can be calibrated and programmed via the app, while the ring itself boasts of machine learning that gets better and better over time at doing exactly what you want it to do. This means the VANZY trains itself based on your usage, becoming a better wearable controller for you, rather than forcing you to learn how to use it a certain way.

This isn’t the first time someone’s designed something as ambitious as VANZY. The device’s own designer, CoX Space created a previous iteration, dubbed Snowl back in 2020. VANZY builds on Snowl’s capabilities, in the same ring-based avatar, but with a much better internal chipset, and overall more robust construction. Each VANZY comes with a fortified glass touch surface, and is designed to be entirely waterproof (so you could use your VANZY while cooking, or potentially even in the shower). The hardware device that sits on your finger weighs a paltry 5 grams, and with the Bar Cradle, is bumped up to 52 grams, making it ridiculously lightweight yet just as versatile. You can grab your own VANZY now on Kickstarter (at an early adopter’s price of $89) with shipping beginning in November. The VANZY comes in a classic black finish with a silicone ring (in medium and large sizes), although, if you want to show off your all-controlling all-powerful wearable gadget, you can choose a gold and silver metal ring too!

Click Here to Buy Now: $89 $129 (31% off). Hurry, for a limited time only.

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This self-made engraved metal mouse is craftsmanship at its finest

We’ve seen a few interesting takes on the computer mouse, most of them trying to put a more ergonomic spin on a device that has changed little in the past decades. There are some that do defy commonly held standards in order to create an artful masterpiece that probably wouldn’t pass usability tests. And then there are those that end up making our jaws drop in how they turn a utilitarian piece of technology into an elaborate luxury item. It might not be made out of gold, but this metal mouse puts those expensive mice to shame by the sheer amount of details and the fact that it was all crafted by hand at someone’s personal workshop.

Designer: Uri Tuchman

The basic design of the mouse hasn’t changed that much ever since the day it was first revealed to the public in 1968. You have a mostly rectangular piece of plastic with buttons on its head for clicking and some mechanism to actually map hand movements to the digital cursor on the screen. That mouse was never designed for comfort or efficiency, so designers and engineers have tried to refine that design over the years without completely throwing the mouse concept out the window.

There are also some that have instead tried to glorify the electronic rodent with a different form or representation. We’ve seen transparent or leather-encased mice, mice that look like whales, and mice that can be flat-packed when not in use. This handcrafted mouse definitely takes the cake, though, because every part is made from scratch from metal, except for the electronics, of course.

There’s almost something mesmerizing about seeing metal getting whittled down to size and shape, presuming you have your speakers muted. It’s even more mind-blowing when you learn that each piece of the mouse, other than the electronics where cut and shaped from raw pieces of metal. Not a single part, including the slots for the screws as well as the mouse wheel, was bought from stores. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Each visible side of the mouse except the bottom is filled with ornamental patterns. And all these patterns were drawn and then engraved by hand. Yes, each of the flowing curves and shapes was painstakingly chiseled manually, with no assistance from a computer or a robot. The time-lapsed video makes it look too easy, but the intricate details clearly took hours and days of work.

This beautifully engraved mouse does also work, though it’s hard to imagine it will be a comfortable experience in the long run. Of course, the project wasn’t made for ergonomics in the first place, so that’s not a fair point against it. It’s a handsome piece of art, without a doubt, and the fact that it actually works is just the icing on top.

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Pikachu Wireless Mouse with Ear Buttons: Pikachu, I Click You!

Because Pokémon fans really like to immerse themselves in the franchise in every way possible (nothing wrong with that), Brando is selling an officially licensed wireless Pikachu mouse with a scroll wheel and ears that double as the mouse’s buttons. How about that! Obviously, whenever I’m using the scroll wheel, I’m going to pretend I’m petting sweet little Pikachu to sleep.

The $51 mouse is powered by a single AA battery and operates via an 800dpi optical sensor, with a wireless range of around 26 feet. You know, in case you like to stand REALLY far away from your computer screen to challenge your vision. Me? I can’t even read the top of my optometrist’s eye chart. I think it’s a smiley emoji?

Now all you need is a keyboard with Pokémon-themed keycaps to complete your Pokémon computer, or Poképuter as you should call it. You should probably also add a pair of googly eyes and a tail to your computer case while you’re at it.

[via TechEBlog]

Pikachu wireless mouse will send good vibes while you work

Few people know that Pikachu is actually a rodent, so this computer peripheral drives that trivia home while attempting to make you feel just as relaxed as the critter sleeping under your hand.

The fact that the computer mouse is called a mouse is almost an accident of history. Its creator, Douglas Engelbart, simply likened it to the rodent because of the cable that ran out of its blocky body. There were no signs of ears or even a nose, but that name stuck for lack of a better alternative. Not everyone likes a computer mouse, and even fewer probably like the biological kind, but many will probably dig this mouse in the shape of one of the most iconic Pokemon in history, whether you’re a fan of the franchise or not.

Designer: Brando

With its long ears and lightning-shaped tail, it’s really hard to believe that Pikachu is a mouse. We won’t argue with its creators, of course, but it’s clear that they took liberties on what defines a mouse, almost like the same liberties Engelbart took when he named the computing input device. It’s probably for the best that the yellow fuzzball known as Pikachu doesn’t look like a mouse at all since it has made the fictional critter a beloved mascot the world over.

This wireless mouse tries to capture the cuteness of the Pokemon in a way that makes most people go “ooooh” and “aaaaaw” in delight. To more closely resemble the shape of a computer mouse, Pikachu lies prone its stomach, with its legs splayed out in a carefree and relaxing manner. The creature’s face displays happy contentment in its sleep as if trying to invite you to let go of the stress of work in a similar fashion.

Pikachu’s ears are pulled back in order to form the shape of mouse buttons, with a more traditional scroll wheel in the middle. Placing your fingers on top of these buttons almost make you feel like you’re petting the cute rodent, an action that is believed to induce feelings of relaxation and calm in humans. What better way to spend your working hours than by balancing stress and peace in the same hand.

The mouse is described to be a comfortable fit in your hand, though the raised portion for Pikachu’s tail could be a problem for your palm. Fortunately, the mouse’s design is so symmetrical that it can be used in either left or right hand. That relieves interested buyers another source of stress when they realize they won’t be left out from this cute accessory just because they’re left-handed.

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