The humble mouse has been a staple of computer use for decades. It’s intuitive, cheap to produce, and laser technology has made it easier and more accurate to use. For mobile devices where it would be impractical to use a mouse, touch screens have risen to fill the interactive role. While both of those technologies are practical, people are always thinking of new ways to interact with computers.
The Mycestro is a fully funded Kickstarter project that looks to change that interaction. Designed by Nick Mastandrea, the Mycestro is a wireless, three button mouse that attaches to your index finger. Instead of rolling around a mouse, the new device tracks hand movements to move the pointer on the screen. Continue reading
Hands-free is probably the future of computer interaction. Gesture control is already moving toward this future and now we can add eye-tracking to the roster. Just like many other technologies we cover here at Engineering on the Edge, eye-tracking tech has long been a staple of science fiction. What could be easier than pointing your peepers at part of a screen?
Tobii has developed functional eye-tracking hardware and software compatible for Windows 8 with its Tobii REX interface. The hardware takes the form of a slim sensor that looks similar to a Kinect. Calibrating the Gaze software requires following a moving dot around the screen with your eyes, and you’re ready. Users can move around the screen and select specific areas just by using their eyes. Continue reading
Narcissus was so in love with his reflection on the face of the water that he died staring at himself. That was before YouTube. Now people can stare at themselves all day long on a variety of devices, while still getting something to eat. The only problem with setting up a continuous video stream is finding someone willing to follow you around with a camera.
The MeCam from Always Innovating is the solution to your lack of a cameraman. For a projected price of just $49 you can buy the fist-sized mini helicopter with integrated camera. Not only is the MeCam small enough to be mainly unobtrusive, it also follows voice commands such as, “follow me,” so you don’t need to fiddle with a remote control. Film yourself while driving! Maybe not. Continue reading
One of the most easily recognizable sounds for any geek is the noise made by Star Trek’s Tricorder (there’s even an app for that). The notion of a handheld sensor with multiple modes was a hit with the sci-fi crowd. While not precisely the same, Variable Technologies has made an iOS sensor that turns your cell into what might be called a Tricorder lite. Continue reading
One of the more interesting developments in motion control is how the Kinect has been used and modified for all manner of non-gaming applications. What might have started out as a way to play soccer in your living room has quickly emerged as a motion detecting, 3D imaging, jack-of-all-trades. The system sold around 8 million units in the first 60 days after launch, and Microsoft is working on a new version.
With the kind of success the Kinect has had, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that other companies have looked at motion control and tried to figure out new ways to improve on the technology. Leap Motion hopes to have succeeded with their upcoming release, the Leap.