AI-powered modular mouse has some nifty tricks to level up your presentations

The nature and location of work today have changed considerably, especially after the introduction of work-from-home arrangements, but there is one thing that still remains the same. People still hold in-person meetings, which often involve making presentations, be it in front of colleagues or before clients. Despite how common this activity is, the tools used especially by presenters haven’t evolved that much except for teleconferencing equipment. Many of the devices needed for an effective presentation often come as separate products, so this concept tries to integrate not just two but four tools into a single design that, at first glance, looks like a normal mouse.

Designers: TianRun Chen, ZiLong Peng, Yanran Zhao, YueHao Liu

Many computer users use a mouse, even if they actually prefer using laptops. It’s almost an indispensable tool for on-the-go knowledge workers, including those who often find themselves speaking in front of other people in a room. Unfortunately, these people would also find themselves grabbing a presenter and a laser pointer during those presentations, making their work lives needlessly complex. There are some thin, portable mice that try to integrate a laser pointer, but these are still rare, not to mention not ergonomic in their designs.

The OctoAssist concept design has a rather intriguing solution that deconstructs the design of the computer mouse in order to provide more functionality. At its core, it sports a modular design where the main “module” is actually the front third of a conventional mouse, where the buttons would normally be located. This module is actually a touch-sensitive device that you can use on its own as a mini touchpad that supports gestures like pinching and three-finger taps. It can magnetically connect to a “base” that provides the ergonomic shape of a mouse, while potentially also offering additional battery power in its rather large body.

The core module also has a built-in laser pointer and, thanks to its touch-sensitive surface, can be used to easily control presentations with the same hand. It also has a voice recorder so you can have the entire presentation or meeting preserved for documentation purposes. But why stop there when you have today’s ubiquitous AI available to almost everyone? That AI, built into the device, can also summarize the meeting and generate notes in a flash, impressing everyone in the room with your technological wizardry and efficiency.

From a regular office mouse to a miniature touchpad to a presenter to an AI secretary, the OctoAssist offers plenty of features, though perhaps a bit too much as well. The AI-powered summary and notes are definitely convenient, but they could weigh the core module down not just with complexity but also with hardware and battery consumption. It does offload the AI processing to a connected smartphone, but that can sometimes cause lags and even data loss. Regardless, it’s definitely an interesting concept that might even be plausible, presuming a manufacturer sees profitable value in an all-in-one design instead of selling multiple devices that do those tasks separately.

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Computer mouse design has to be scratched and deteriorated to show its true self

We see plenty of designs that try to address one of the computer mouse’s biggest problems, that of ergonomics. Truth be told, however, it’s unlikely that it will change en masse and for good, considering how the horizontal shape of this device has been so ingrained in our consciousness for decades. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for experimentation, especially when it comes to adding some value to a traditional mouse design. That can be through its shape, its texture, or even its materials. The latter is something that this curious concept tries to play with, suggesting a computer mouse that you intentionally want to get scratched or quickly deteriorate just so that you can see the secret color or design hidden underneath its skin.

Designer: Liang Yao (苦 口)

Physical products age and deteriorate over time, but those that provide some utility tend to grow old and wear down faster. Not all materials, however, age as gracefully as leather or brass, materials develop unique patinas from their use. Wood can chip, metal gets scratched, and plastic fades or gets discolored. Normally, you wouldn’t want your stuff to even get dinged, let alone scratched, because it then loses its value, but this computer mouse concept is the complete opposite.

“Scratch-off” is a design that adds an extra layer on top of the mouse’s actual design that’s not meant to last forever. Just like those lottery scratchcards, the temporary material on top reveals a prize or a dud when you scratch it off. Of course, you won’t intentionally scratch this mouse’s surface, but it adds a bit of thrill and excitement as you slowly see the hidden design underneath.

This actually brings a lot of opportunities for branding and advertising, with logos or markings hidden underneath the outer layer of the mouse’s surface. Of course, it could be a long burn depending on the kind of material used. After all, it might take weeks or even months before the mouse’s outer cover gets scratched off or peeled completely. In some cases, however, there might even be a marketing gimmick where you intentionally damage the mouse’s surface to reveal some visual gem underneath, hopefully in a safe manner.

The concept, however, does raise the question of the material that should be used to implement this outer layer. It has to be easy to scratch or fade, but not too quickly like some plastic sheet that will defeat the entire purpose of anticipating the product’s deterioration. At the same time, however, it has to be a hygienic material that won’t leave flakes behind, considering how your hand will always be making contact with the mouse.

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Origami-inspired Bluetooth mouse turns a mundane device into a fashion statement

As odd and unnatural as the computer mouse might be, it has become the standard input device second only to the keyboard. For decades, however, the design of the mouse has changed very little except when modified in the name of ergonomics. There has been a recent spate of concepts that try to breathe new life into mouse design, but many of those remain in the conceptual realm only. This peculiar design almost looks like one of those, but it’s surprisingly a product you can really get your hands on, figuratively and literally. It’s definitely unlike any Bluetooth mouse you’ve ever laid eyes on because when it’s not in use, it can fold so perfectly flat that you can even slip it into your pocket and make it look like a part of your fashionable attire.

Designer: Horace Lam

We’ve actually seen quite a few mice that can fold or lay completely flat, but few have ever made it into production because of the surprising complexity of mouse design. Origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, might be great for paper, but not for something that needs to withstand the wear and tear of daily use, not to mention being carried around in bags or even pockets. That’s the rather impressive feat that the myAir.0 OriMouse claims to have achieved, offering a wireless mouse that is flat, functional, and fashionable.

In its flat and deactivated state, the OriMouse has a “V” shape with a faceted surface. Covered in vegan leather or textile, it doesn’t even look anything like a mouse. Weighing only 40g and less than 5mm thin, it looks and feels more like an art object that you carry in your pocket or in your bag. But with a simple pinching gesture that joins the two divergent ends together, the OriMouse rises to the occasion, literally, to become an essential tool for productivity.

Using the same principles that give origami designs innate stability, this foldable mouse can withstand a lot of pressure from your hand without buckling from the weight. At the same time, however, a simple push at a specific and strategic spot disengages the two neodymium magnets and collapses the structure back to its flat state. In addition to this shape-shifting trick, the OriMouse promises a more ergonomic design thanks to the polygonal structure inspired by the folds and facets of an origami object.

Although the various options available make use of textured materials to give the mouse an even more tactile experience, the OriMouse’s foldable design also lends itself perfectly to more artistic expressions. In fact, one model even has a graffiti graphic printed on its surface, and it’s not hard to imagine branding opportunities for such a design. Granted, the actual ergonomics of such a mouse will probably be a matter of debate, but if you are looking for a highly portable Bluetooth mouse, it won’t hurt to take a hard look at something that’s also so unique and beautiful that you will easily become the envy of the crowd around you.

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Ergonomic mouse concept oddly looks like a familiar home appliance

Computer mice have been around for decades, and despite their form making no objective sense, they remain the most basic and most common pointing device that we now use intuitively. The core design of the mouse hasn’t changed significantly since its inception, which unfortunately means they’re still one of the biggest causes of repetitive strain injury or RSI for many people. Ergonomic mice are starting to gain traction, particularly the vertically oriented designs that promise a more natural and comfortable grip for your hand. This device concept builds on that same premise, but the execution is a bit puzzling considering how it looks less like a mouse and more like a miniature clothes iron.

Designer: Pranav Kuber

The rationale behind vertical mice is that the normal orientation of human hands has the palms facing inward rather than downward. With a regular mouse, users are forced to keep their hands at an unnatural angle, whether or not they’re moving the mouse at that moment. Of course, a vertical mouse would still need to provide the basic functions of a conventional mouse, which includes left and right buttons as well as a scroll wheel.

At first glance, the Ergo ergonomic mouse concept is just like any other vertical mouse now available for purchase, but examining its form and silhouette generates a slightly different image. The top plane’s wide surface tapers sharply toward the front, while the wide middle section looks rectangular when viewed from above. If not for the actual bottom of the mouse, which merges two vertical sides like the keel of a ship, the Ergo looks almost like a clothes iron, albeit one without a handle to grip.

Aside from the peculiar shape, the mouse design also raises a few other questions. The buttons on the outer or right side are clearly marked, but they don’t look like buttons you can physically click at first glance. The position of the mouse wheel on the opposite side is even more puzzling, as it will require a lot of swinging movement from the thumb that could actually put more strain on its joint. The rather wide rear might also make it harder to grasp the mouse, potentially resulting in more discomfort in the long run.

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Ergonomic mouse concept gives left-handed users the comfort they deserve

The vast majority of computer products are designed to favor the biggest groups of users, sometimes to the exclusion of the minority. We’re not speaking about accessibility for persons with physical disabilities, but that is especially true for them as well. Even just the common keyboard and mouse are designed with the presumption that they will be used by right-handed people. And while ambidextrous mice do exist, those tend to sacrifice comfort for the sake of a symmetrical design. That doesn’t have to be the case, as this concept design tries to prove, promising both comfort as well as proficiency, regardless of which hand you hold it with.

Designer: Sameeraj Dronamraju

There has been an increasing awareness and demand for ergonomic mice, sadly due to the equally rising cases of computer-related injuries. But while there are plenty of ergonomic designs now available, most of them only cater to right-handed users. You’d be lucky if the manufacturer produced a left-handed design, but most don’t because of the costs involved in another product with only a few minor differences.

The proper solution would be to mix ergonomics and symmetry to create a mouse that is comfortable to hold for both kinds of people. Vertrous, a portmanteau of “vertical” and “ambidextrous,” takes its cue primarily from the plethora of ergonomic mice now in existence, most of which adopt a vertical design that attempts to reduce the strain placed on the wrist by offering a more natural grip. But rather than have your hand holding it sideways, you almost grip it like a claw, with your index and middle fingers still resting on top.

At the same time, the mouse’s shape is more or less equally balanced on both sides. Great care is taken to ensure that textured areas are found on both sides, so no one hand has the advantage over the other. That said, there are some features that can really be found in only one place, like the power button, but that’s really a minor detail that has no significant impact on the use of the mouse itself.

While Vertrous does present an interesting solution, there are still some considerations left unanswered by the design. For example, gripping the mouse like a claw could actually end up being more uncomfortable and strenuous than a regular mouse. The symmetrical design also leaves out features like extra buttons that would normally be found only on one side, an absence that many power users will feel acutely. These aren’t flaws per se but more like points for further improvement, paving the road for the day that we finally land on a standard ergonomic mouse design that will really leave no one out, whichever hand they prefer to use.

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A Lightweight Gaming Mouse That Elevates Your Gameplay Experience With Its Personalization Features

News for all the gamers around who are looking for a mouse upgrade! GravaStar, a renowned name in innovative gaming accessories, has recently introduced two amazing gaming mouse designs that promise to revolutionize the gaming experience. The Mercury M1 Pro and Mercury M2, the latest additions to GravaStar’s lineup, are now available for pre-order, capturing the attention of gamers worldwide with their advanced technology, ergonomic features, and customizable options.

Designer: GravaStar

The Mercury M1 Pro stands out with its robust yet lightweight magnesium alloy body, available in two stylish versions: the Silver Mist, equipped with both 1K and 4K dongles and the Gunmetal Gray, featuring a 1K dongle. The gaming mouse boasts a high-precision 26,000 DPI sensor powered by the PAW3395 chip, ensuring unparalleled accuracy in every movement.

The TUROSPEED Wireless Technology embedded in the M1 Pro guarantees a stable and reliable connection, essential for intense gaming sessions. The mouse’s customization options include GLOWSYNC RGB lighting and five programmable buttons, allowing gamers to tailor their experience to their unique preferences.

The Mercury M2 takes a different approach with its distinctive hollowed-out design, reducing the weight to a mere 79 grams. This innovative design not only makes the mouse lighter but also enhances airflow, keeping your hand cool during extended gaming sessions. Like its counterpart, the M2 features a high-accuracy 26,000 DPI sensor, a 1K Hz polling rate, and offers versatile connectivity options, including 2.4G, Bluetooth, and wired connections.

The M2’s adaptability extends to its customizable features, including five LIGHTSYNC RGB modes and programmable buttons. Gamers can seamlessly switch between different modes to match their gaming environment and style.

The Mercury M1 Pro and M2 gaming mice by GravaStar boast an impressive set of specifications tailored to meet the demanding needs of gamers. Crafted with a magnesium alloy construction, these mice combine strength with a lightweight design. The high-precision 26,000 DPI sensor, powered by the PAW3395 chip, ensures unparalleled accuracy in every movement. The incorporation of TUROSPEED Wireless Technology guarantees a stable and reliable connection during intense gaming sessions.

The innovative hollowed-out design of the mice not only reduces weight for enhanced maneuverability but also improves airflow, keeping hands cool during extended gameplay. Operating at a 1K Hz polling rate, these gaming mice provide a responsive and lag-free experience. Beyond their technical prowess, these gaming mice embody the vision of Yong Huang, the creative mind behind GravaStar, who meticulously designed them with a focus on merging performance and aesthetics. Far from being mere peripherals, the Mercury M1 Pro and M2 exemplify GravaStar’s commitment to producing durable, lightweight, and highly customizable gaming devices that resonate with the discerning preferences of gamers.

As gamers eagerly await the release of the Mercury M1 Pro and M2 gaming mice, it’s evident that these devices go beyond being simple tools. They reflect GravaStar’s dedication to enhancing the gaming experience through innovative design and personalization. Whether opting for the sleek Silver Mist or the robust Gunmetal Gray, users are choosing devices poised to elevate their gaming to new heights with precision, comfort, and style.

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Lenovo Mechanical Energy Harvesting keyboard-mouse combo channels your fidgety into limitless power

Solar-powered keyboard and mouse are nothing new to the industry, but Lenovo wants to take the gauntlet further. At CES 2024, the Hong Kong-based consumer electronics giant revealed a unique keyboard and mouse combo that uses mechanical movement and solar irradiation to power things up. That means, no need to worry about changing batteries or exposing your peripherals to natural light.

The concept props up from the limitation of solar panels on cloudy days or in darker rooms without much ambient light. The mouse comes with a crank at the bottom while the keyboard has a kinetic dial on the top left corner. So, as you read an article on the internet you could channel your anxious vibes into charging the battery of the combo peripherals.

Designer: Lenovo

Still in the concept stage, the creation dubbed “Mechanical Energy Harvesting Combo” also gets solar panels on the keyboard to take advantage of natural or room light. I find the spinning dial on the keyboard to be more practical than the crank on the mouse which required more conscious effort. According to Lenovo, for five minutes of spinning, the keyboard gets another 30 minutes of added battery charge.

Lenovo has got all bases covered as there is a USB-C port on the back for times when you prefer the surety of manual wired charging. Other than that there is a customary three-position switch for toggling the RF dongle, wired USB, or Bluetooth connection.

For the mouse, Lenovo chose an embedded ring on a pivot that can be raised and then rotated for the crank motion. A minute of winding gives around 30 minutes of charge time. Quite an effort though, but still something different that Lenovo has tried to create. As for the regular specifications, the software-programable mouse to 12,800 dpi has a good in-hand feel. There are the scroll buttons, side snipping button, resolution switcher, shortcut buttons and toggle switch.

There is no word yet if this concept combo will make it to the commercial market, still, it’s highly plausible if Lenovo manages to fit in more functionality and hardware innovation. I’m pretty sure the keyboard seems like a good bet but the mouse crank motion needs to graduate into something more practical.

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3D modeling device concept imagines what it’s like to create 3D with 2D tools

We live in a three-dimensional world, but we see the digital world through flat computer screens. That’s why 2D input devices like mice, trackballs, and pens are fine for most creative work that is made to be seen in 2D anyway. With the increase in 3D objects in mixed reality spaces, however, these tools are no longer sufficient and can even become painful to use. Our hands are used to manipulating real-world three-dimensional objects, but our computer tools are confined to the 2D space, making them inefficient and counterintuitive. For the new age of 3D, we need newer and better tools designed specifically for those needs, and this concept imagines a new device designed from the ground up to offer a better way to create those 3D models that will populate the virtual worlds of the future.

Designer: Jayesh Gaikwad

You might brush the Deco MX off as a glorified trackball, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. After all, a trackball is still just like a mouse that moves a cursor on a 2D screen. You can use that cursor to move and rotate a 3D object, but it’s a clumsy and awkward gesture that doesn’t map what we have in our mind when we want to turn those 3D objects living inside our flat displays. That’s what that ball in the corner of the Deco MX is for, letting you rotate an object more naturally in all three axes, making it easier to see the 3D model from all angles.

The rest of the device is made to give easier access to the tools that a designer needs when building those 3D models. There are programmable buttons to set your own shortcuts within the app, as well as dials to switch tools quickly. The central dial is, in fact, the biggest control on the Deco MX, and it gives access to the most common building and editing tools in a program. You can change which tools those are to suit your workflow, of course.

What makes the Deco MX extra interesting is the amount of screen on it. There’s one that arcs to the side, showing a history of actions you’ve taken so far. The central dial also has a screen underneath that changes depending on the tools you’ve set to be your favorite ones. There’s also a small circular screen to the side that shows you the currently selected tool without having to squint your eyes too hard.

While this 3D modeling device offers an innovative interface, the software we use today still presumes a 2D input device like a mouse or a stylus. Deco MX still can’t replace that and is instead designed to supplement it, perhaps taking the place of a large and cumbersome keyboard. Admittedly, the existence of screens on the device might actually make it harder to actually produce, but the concept has enough strong points that manufacturers should consider, especially as we journey deeper into mixed reality worlds.

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With an articulated spine this robot mouse can beat ‘Spot’ at pace and maneuvers in small turning radius

Over the years, quadruped – four-legged – robots led by the likes of Spot, by Boston Dynamics, have captured our imagination far and wide. These robots have been through various upgrades, including the robotic dog that can now walk, jump, and maneuver like the real thing. Even though the construction of these robots is already very sophisticated, it remains to be perfected for widespread applications.

A step forward in this direction can be a mouse robot with an articulated spine developed by collaborative research teams from the Technical University of Munich, University of Technology, Nuremberg, and Sun Yat-Sen University, China. The articulation of the spine allows the mouse named NeRmo full body control and stabilization, which provides it with a more balanced frame along with agility and gait much like a real rodent with a biological spine.

Designer: Zhenshan Bing

This mouse created with a flexible spine and tendons is the first interpretation of spine-centric quadruped, unlike the four-legged robots whose anatomical mimicking just finishes at the leg-based motor skills. Yes, they can walk, jump or even pull off a few dance moves, but the NeRmo can do that and more. While the others are robotic in their movement and approach, the researchers led by Zhenshan Bing, believe their mouse – with a spine and tendons running through it – can move almost alike and turn equally efficiently as its biological counterpart.

NeRmo is an agile-legged robot that leaves behind challenges of movement and regulating spine flexion that other quadrupeds using similar spine enhancement – like in the case of Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot – have proved. The robot with 3D printed parts and Raspberry Pi for its brain has a sensory system that can make decisions and navigate autonomously.

The NeRmo is an experimental robot that helps understand the spine-based quadruped locomotion skills. The findings are pretty optimistic, which means, that its development can be a promising inspiration for more such small agile-legged robots. The construction of the NeRmo modular robot, according to the research team is low cost, owing to its building process. With the articulated spine, the research shows, the robotic mouse can adjust its posture, extend its stride to walk faster, and make agile maneuvers in a small turning radius and while walking.

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