Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware

3D Mouse 203

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-it-fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.
FTL writes "Turn an ordinary wheel mouse into a 3D pointing device. All one needs is some string, some hot melt glue, and a lot of math. 3D mice have been floating around for a while, what will it take to get people to use them?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

3D Mouse

Comments Filter:
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dirty (13560) <dirtymatt@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:23AM (#9747298)
    Seriously, what's the point of a 3d mouse? We have 2d GUIs.
    • I'm sure if you are designing 3D graphics it could be quite useful in combination with 3D glasses. Use some imagination!
      • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dirty (13560) <dirtymatt@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:33AM (#9747379)
        Possibly, but for general use, there is no reason for people to start using them. Not to mention, think of how tired your arm would get after hours of work on your computer.

        I'm sure for specialized tasks 3d mice make perfect sense, and are probably already in use. I just don't want to have them shoved on normal use.
        • Sure it wouldn't be much use to you or I, but remember this is slashdot - most of the stories on here are about wacky specialist kit.

          But yeah, it does sound like a one way ticket to having a very tired arm.
        • I think there could be some very creative use of such a device in games. Remember, most of these 3D mice devices are just normal mice when they are on your desktop, only every once in a while would you need to pick it up to use the 3D functionality.
        • Something like the SpaceOrb 360 [3dgamers.com] would be ideal if integrated into a hand rest and it replaced the mouse. Six degrees of freedom without holding anything up in the air.
      • OK, pretend you are looking at a three dimensional CAD view of a computer from the front. The power supply is back behind the CD-ROM. With the 3D mouse you zoom into the system until see the front of the power supply box. You have zoomed right through the CD-ROM and are seeing the cables and box and maybe even part of the back panel (from inside the box). Your intent is to change the power supply mounting hardware.
        With a 2-D mouse you could only have moved up/down and side to side on the view of the fr
    • What's the point of a 3d GUI with only 2d input devices?
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Informative)

      by SpinyManiac (542071)
      Maybe you only have a 2D GUI.

      It's a UNIX system! I know this [sgi.com]!

      Yes, I know it's still a 2D display. It's supposed to be funny.
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tciny (783938)
      On the other hand it'd be pretty comfortable for using a software like Maya or 3dsmax where you currently have to use those transform gizmos in order to move objects in 3D space.

      I think tho, that it'd need another solution than just giving 2d mice a third axis.
      I'd rather have something like a glove you put on where you can then pick up objects, point at them, etc. It'd just make it far more intuitive and flexible to use... and of course far more expansive, that is :)
    • With a 3d mouse you could build a digital theremin.
    • I use a trackball, you insensitive clod!
    • I agree. Most of the posts so far have only shown that most have no idea how users interact with machines, let alone how the posters themselves interact with their own machines. Even a 3D GUI couldn't use a 3D mouse. Motion in the virtual space is accomplished much the way we move in real space. Forward and back. Rotate and Tilt. Sounds a lot like flying. Everything depends on point of view and line of sight. Now for digitizing, a 3D mouse still wouldn't work, although the absolute positioning would
  • by mirko (198274)
    What's the point of moving a mouse in 3D if we use 2d monitors ?
  • Descent (Score:5, Funny)

    by AuraBorealis (772837) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:26AM (#9747318)
    Perfect! Just what I needed to get me to haul out an old copy of Descent and start vomiting all over again.

    -B

  • Luxury.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by caston (711568) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:27AM (#9747322)
    None of this fancy Z axis stuff.. why in my day all we had to get around with a 1D mouse. We had the X axis only and we liked it!
    Next to our punch cards they were the bees knees.

    • Luckily you can still get 1D mice [cgi.ebay.fr] and relive your golden years :)
    • Yeah?? Well we didn't even have a mouse - we had to get a battery and manually apply current to the correct pins of the cable!
      You try doing THAT when everything went PS2 - we didn't even pins.
  • What will it take? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andy_R (114137) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:27AM (#9747324) Homepage Journal
    As with all technologies: A killer app.
  • What about RSI or a killer app?
    I see nobody using a 3d desktop so why the 3d mouse?

    I don't know about others but I never had the feeling with quake that it would be more efficient to play with a 3d mouse?

    Nice gadget, but probably not practical in use.
  • 4D Mouse (Score:4, Funny)

    by ProstheticSwan (754025) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:27AM (#9747327)
    I hear you can make a 4 dimensional one from extra delorean parts.
    • Re:4D Mouse (Score:3, Funny)

      by CMRichar (610129)
      yeah, but I also heard that you have to sustain a scroll speed of 88 miles/hour for it to work correctly..and then it gets really, really cold.
  • Interesting concept (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ratface (21117) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:27AM (#9747328) Homepage Journal
    And in answer to the people asking what's the point...

    a) Because it's a neat hack
    b) It could be used for simple 3D point scanning to measure points on a 3D model
    c) Could be used to manipulate information in a 3D CAD/drawing progeam, or to navigate or move objects in a solar representation or similar spatially oriented program
    d) Because it's a neat hack. Sheesh what more reason do you need?
    • by Fizzol (598030) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:35AM (#9747392)
      >Because it's a neat hack. Sheesh what more reason do you need?

      Yes, it's a neat hack. But when the question is raised "what will it take to get people to use them?" it needs a better answer than "it's a neat hack."
      • by Twinbee (767046)
        Even in 2D programs, this would be useful. Think of simple controls like moving a slider or zooming in/out. There are plenty of other program specific functions too. For example, in paint programs, it could represent the opacity (translucency level). Almost any type of program could benefit from the extra dimension. In fact, the mouse wheel on a lot of mice already counts as this 'extra 3rd dimension'. But unfortunately, it uses discrete steps to funtion, rather than a smooth continuous movement (one would
        • by gfxguy (98788)
          I think that would be pretty awkward when anybody seriously using paint programs is also using pressure sensitive pens.

          But there are certainly some good uses for a 3D mouse or other pointer in some 3D applications. People have mentioned CAD, but there are also things like examining volumetric visualizations of 3D data (like medical imaging). Games could even take advantage, and you wouldn't need 3D glasses or anything fancy - good use of shadows and other visual cues gives a good enough representation.

          K
        • Microsoft's tilt wheels are slightly analog - that is, they don't click, and the units at which they trigger scrolling seem much smaller. I find that for UI's (particularly iwth OS X's smooth scrolling), it's a fantastic device. (I don't use mine, though, because the trackpad is too damn convenient.)

          The problem, though, is games. Every FPS in existence is tuned to a clicky wheel (often for changing weapons), and since MS doesn't seem to let you remap the left and right tilt to a weapons change, these make
      • We refer to this as a fix for a nonexistant problem.

        I don't know if anyone remembers the Honda Prelude with 4 wheel steering back in the 80's, but it was a really neat technology. The car would handle like mad at low and high speeds and was incredibly stable. However, the option cost about $4k and was not widely used. The reason? No one needed it that bad, the Prelude had great handling as it was.

        Now we see a system the is almost exactly the same used on large American trucks. This makes alot of sens
    • This mouse uses 3 strings to measure distances. For scanning, this reduces the scranning volume dramatically. For example, it would be impossible to scann a simple cube with that mouse, because one of the strings needs to move through the cube. The mouse works only for moving around empty space.

      The best use I can imagine for this thing is to attach a fly to the pointer an track it's movements.

      Next on Slashdot: Nano-Piercing for flies made easy.
      • strings... don't those become cumbersome? get snagged on things like your hand?

        I just kinda figgered it'd be a hand shaped thing with a rfid tag and three antennae... seems like a perfectly legit use for rfid (for once).

        But then, as long as we're being innovative, how about a pair of gloves with an rfid in the tip of each finger, combined with OS's and apps that make use of ten discrete interface points (using a traditional mouse, or even a 3D one, is still like using one finger - why not use all ten?)
    • d) Because it's a neat hack. Sheesh what more reason do you need?
      e) Because if you are generating points for 3d pr0n the more hands on the device the better.
  • what's the purpose? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by softwave (145750)
    what will it take to get people to use them?
    seriously, a purpose?
    I remember that Logitech had a pointing device that would allow 3D-movement, that was like 10 years ago. Can't remember the name though. I frankly don't see in what niche there would be a use for a 3D-mouse. Not even gaming, not even 3D-development (such as CAD/CAI). But I'm curious to hear it from other users...
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:28AM (#9747332) Homepage Journal
    3D mice have been floating around for a while, what will it take to get people to use them?

    Most likely a functional 3D GUI.

  • by Oscaro (153645) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:28AM (#9747335) Homepage
    ...can be built with two analog joysticks. See here [traipse.com]
    • ...can be built with two analog joysticks.

      While that is far superior to the string and glue solution, an even better solution can be achieved in software.

      Map the scroll wheel to the z-axis. Navigate the x-y plane with the usual mouse/trackball movements, and the z-axis with the scroll wheel. Full freedom of movement in all three dimensions with existing hardware and either existing device drivers (change the software itself, e.g. Blender) or a tiny kernel patch (change the device driver to deliver z-a
      • Because the mouse-based solution from the front page lets you navigate 3 dimensions by moving an object in 3 dimensions! Your solution allows 3-d movement using a 2-d interface -- not the same at all.
        • Your solution allows 3-d movement using a 2-d interface -- not the same at all.

          No ... my solution is a hell of a lot better. "Moving in 3d" means carporal tunnel not just in your wrist, but in your elbow as well. It will make tennis elbow look like a picnic.

          With a logitech trackball and scroll wheel, I can navigate three dimensions with almost no movement at all. No carporal tunnel despite spending 12+ hours/day using the thing. No mouse can compete, and certainly no 3-d doohickey that requires arm a
      • The scroll-wheel is evil and should be removed from public knowledge. It causes thouroughly nasty stresses on the finger that uses it.

        Stop Using Wheelmice.

        Hal,

        Accidental ergonomist

  • Cool! Maybe soon I'll be able to search for a replacement for my Nintendo Power Glove! Oh, wait...
  • by ShaggyZet (74769) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:29AM (#9747341) Homepage
    ...just using the wheel as the third dimension, depth? And not just for zooming in on a window, but for actually navigating in a 3d space. I never much liked the idea of a scroll wheel anyway. It's find for reading documents (yes, I know that all some people use their computers for), but it doesn't really fit in to any other UI paradigm that exists today. I think using it for depth in a 3d space would feel very natural.
    • it alreayd is in many 3d cad apps, but i think you have a point. i also think a good example would be using the wheel in your desktop manager to scroll through windows by their 'height' from the desktop. swish, i reckon.
      • I had sawfish configured something like this for years: scroll the mouse up to raise a window, scroll it down to lower the window. Unfortunately, I've been trying out KDE lately and its window manager doesn't seem to know about the scroll wheel :-(

        Daniel
    • That was my first thought too. Why not just use the scroll wheel for the third dimension, z-axis? I would think that it would be a lot more intuitive after a bit of use. With the configurable controls you have today attached to your mouse you could set your axis any way you want. The article seems to take a Rube Goldberg approach to a 3-D mouse in my eyes. Hey where is the fly swatter attached to the hamster wheel to do the mouse clicks!
    • It's been done to a limited extent. Warcraft 3 uses the wheel to zoom in/out, and there are some image manipulation programs that let zoom into the cursor'd part of the picture with the wheel, which is cool, but kind of disconcerting when you're used to using it for scrolling.

      For first person style navigation, especially games, wasd/arrows+mouse is probably the easiest method .
  • 6d mouse more useful (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XavierXeon (585110) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:32AM (#9747361)
    a space mouse has 6 degrees of freedom and is very useful when working in a "3d" environment such as CAD http://www.3dconnexion.com/products.htm [3dconnexion.com]
    • by mt-biker (514724) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:44AM (#9748060)
      Absolutely. I use a space-mouse at work (VR), but I guess relatively few people on slashdot know about them?

      You don't move it around like a regular mouse, rather you hold the hockey-puck sized control in your hand and push/pull it _gently_ in one of 3 directions. Being able to twist the puck gives you the other 3 degrees of freedom.

      The device is sprung and returns to center when you let go. The total movement of the puck is only about a centimetre (0.393700787 inches ;) in any direction.

      When you're used to using a normal mouse, it takes a while to get the feel of the relatively sensitive spacemouse, but since your hand remains stationary on the desk while using it, it's not tiring.

      Drawbacks: Cost - the things are EXPENSIVE! Also I doubt it would totally replace a normal mouse - with the speed turned up high it wouldn't be accurate enough for fine tasks, and with the speed lower it'd take you forever to get from one side of the screen to the other. The space mouse is intended to manipulate models in 3D space.
    • a space mouse has 6 degrees of freedom

      Hmm, I thought about that before clicking on the assiciated link, and managed to come up with 6 degrees of freedom for my single (the link uses two devices to get 6 degrees of freedom) regular mouse in 3D space...wasn't easy though.

      1. left/right
      2. forward/backward
      3. mouse wheel
      4. up/down
      5. pitch
      6. roll
      7. yaw

      Damn - actually that's 7, just realised I had forotten to count up/down - thought I only had 5 and came up with yaw... :)

      -- Pete.

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info AT devinmoore DOT com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:32AM (#9747364) Homepage Journal
    What they really mean is "inexpensive 3d mouse". There are already 3d mice available for CAD applications, but they cost A LOT [vrdepot.com] (Logitech Magellan for $579).
  • I'd imagine it would possible to 'trace' 3d objects with this by simply moving the little ring over the surface of 3d objects. Unfortunatly, the threads would get in the way. Has anyone thought of other uses besides this and the pong game?
    • > I'd imagine it would possible to 'trace' 3d objects with this by simply moving the little ring over the surface of 3d objects. Unfortunatly, the threads would get in the way.

      You're thinking two-dimensionally. Flip the mouse over and mount/suspend it upside down. Then the strings are converging down to a point.

  • I dunno (Score:3, Funny)

    by foidulus (743482) * on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:35AM (#9747390)
    I always thought the vagina mouse [amateur-asian-girls.com](not work safe!) was 3d....
  • These are widely available at the time - the newest coming out have names like "Doom 3" and "Half-Life 2".

    These games are still basically driving games saddled by limited interaction with the environment. "Clicking" a door or other object to activate some canned response does not really qualify as interactivity to me.
  • Muscle fatigue... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timbloid (208531) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:36AM (#9747400)
    ...is surely the problem with all these designs?

    How many hours a day (out of an 8 hour day) do you think you could hold something (even of tiny mass like a mouse) in the air, away from your body.

    And what happens when you want to type/relax/urinate? You put it down, lose your place in 3d space, and have to get it back to the same position to continue?

    It's a nice hack, don't get me wrong, but there's a reason why helicopters use a 2 handed control system rather than a mouse. Doing it all with one hand just isn't very accurate, easy, or safe...
    • ...is surely the problem with all these designs?

      Maybe, maybe not... it al depends on how you use it. Try putting your elbow on the table and holding your hand steady in the air. Not so hard now, is it? Even holding that position for a while isn't that hard. Granted, it's harder than just resting it on the mouse that you already have, but I see no easy way around that without having a suspension system to hold your arm up. Now if you try standing up and holding your hand in place over the desk withou
    • This problem has long been known as the "gorilla arm" syndrome and first appeared with the various touch screen systems (originally with light pens).

      It's the main reason why this type of interface has been abandonned except for very casual use (for durations that won't exceed a few minutes).
    • > How many hours a day (out of an 8 hour day) do you think you could hold something
      > (even of tiny mass like a mouse) in the air, away from your body.

      For what it's worth, I have a Gyration mouse, with which you can control the screen by waving it about in air. The feeling is almost like using a laser pointer at a presentation, but I tend to get comfortable by tossing my arm at odd angles (like stretched back over the shoulder of my chair) while controlling the screen as normal. I have this mouse (w
  • wheel mouse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by salec (791463)
    Why don't we use wheel as "depth" (zoom) command for 3D navigation in "world behind the screen"? That seems so obvious...

    Those devices from TFA are more like "make your computer read your hand's 3d motion", which is IMHO too anti-ergonomic to be useful (except maybe for some kind of workout).
    • Why don't we use wheel as "depth" (zoom) command for 3D navigation in "world behind the screen"? That seems so obvious

      I have thought as that as well. On very wheel mouse that I have ever used the scroll wheel "clicks" when you roll it (and on every click it scrolls.) For this to work properly, it will have to be a wheel that is truely analog.
  • What will it take to get people to use a 3D mouse? Not much! Once they see it and feel it they will throw away those flat 2D mice in a heart beat.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:40AM (#9747431) Journal
    I was working as part of a research project for 3D (as well as 4D, 5D and 6D) designs for better comuter input devices. What we found was that a mouse is the wrong design.

    Firstly, It quite simply doesn't make sense. Mice don't fly unless you throw them. This cognitive dissonance causes users considerable problems. We solved this quire easily by replacing the "mouse" with a "bat".

    Secondly, it creates arm ache. Holding the bat up for several hours just isn't possible. This was solved by the simple and rather crude device of a counterweighted piece of string on a pully on the ceiling. Of course, this isn't goinf to be suitable for a home user. I suggest we'll probably need some sort of rotor assembly to avoid the tangle of strings and wires.

    It appears that no other researchers have even looked into our research, preferring to reinvent the wheel at every step.
    • For 10 dollars I would have told you that you can't hold something in the air for several hours without getting tired, and that a new product deserves a new name.

      I don't know if it's that other researchers prefer to reinvent the wheel so much as that these are obvious points.
  • great! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:43AM (#9747450) Journal
    just two nights ago I wondered whether I should post "ask /." on how to make a 3d mouse. Such device will be very useful for debugging my CAE program (calculating concrete) that I write for my PhD.

    now I'm off to make this mouse and see how it works. :))
  • I'm not sure about you, but I'd quickly get very bored of having to wave my mouse around in the air, unless someone can create a system which supports the whole arm and hand and measurement device to go along with the 3d mouse, there never going to take off.
  • by TyrranzzX (617713) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:49AM (#9747506) Journal
    X-Axis (Left right) and Y-Axis (up down) are determined by the Ball.

    Z-Axis (Foward, backward)is determined by the scroll.

    Or you can use the keyboard and mouse like in so many FPS games. DUH!
  • Just to add to the list of already existing devices, there is also the Spaceball [3dconnexion.com].
  • That a nice little hack... But a mouse is a point and click device. So I would not call that a 3D mouse for now.

    This hack is a just a point and stare device... Maybe he should had a switch on the ring to allow for clicks.
  • ... another axis of evil.
  • Now that we have the device we just need a practical use for it! It took years just to teach my parents how to access their email in two dimensions, now they'll have to learn to use the 3D mouse.
  • a 3D trackball.

    I hate mice.
  • What you need is to put the ring on your finger, then get one of those laser-pointer mice and hold it: now you get:

    3d position of your hand.
    2d attitude of your hand (pitch and yaw).
    2 or 3 buttons.

    Now let's pretend you have a device like this that's light enough that you can wear it like a glove (no Nintendo jokes, please) and it's wireless. Add "roll" input and implement the buttons using something like midi drumsticks based on finger movements.

    Now, what's the user interface for this going to look like?

    Let's avoid the gorilla-arm problem by making a state change when you rest your hand on the table. On the table it acts like a mouse, except you're not holding a mouse you're just moving your hand or finger on the desktop and tapping it to click.

    So, if you're used to a mouse, you can use it like a mouse.

    Next, add gestures. Thumb and forefinger together and you're dragging. Curl your fingers into a fist and you just cut (grabbed) what you selected. Open your hand wide and you paste (drop).

    Now, move your hand off the desktop. A couple of inches away and you shift to 3d mode. Gestures work the same way, but now you can drag windows forward and back as well as up and down.

    Next, move your hand near the actual screen. Now it works like a light-pen with gestures, so you really can move that window out of the way by reaching up and dragging it. Why, you could even apply virtual white-out on your monitor!

    Finally, curl your fingers around like you're pointing at something. Now you're using a virtual laser-pointer... the mouse moves wherever your finger is pointing at. This extends the "light pen" mode back away from the screen, so you can rest your hand on the desk without breaking that metaphor.

    I'm sure that not all of these modes will end up being useful, but it wouldn't take much of a change in our existing user interfaces to find something that would work better than the mice we use now.
    • I like how you think. Now here's another wrinkle: make sure the pressure sensors in the fingertips have high enough resolution, and/or have a pressure sensitive pen that communicates with the glove while you're holding it. Now, you have a full-featured graphics tablet (pressure, position, tilt, rotation) where the only size limit is your tabletop. You could even use the third dimension to get an accurate simulation of airbrush spray at different heights. One more idea: Curl your fingers into a fist and pla
      • I hadn't thought about what you could do with props!

        I like the idea of pressure sensors in the fingertips. They could also be used for distinguishing between "tap" and "drag" operations. If the positional and attitude sensors are good enough, they could also turn a dead (that is, no active sensors... just a piece of plastic or wood) stylus or any pen into a fine-point digitizer.

        The joystick is cool. A dead joystick as a prop would help. You could also use a dead steering wheel (or hold a frisbee in midair
    • How about using cameras to track the glove movement? Use reflective tape of various colors for the software to track, then it knows also where your fingers are and really does know the attitude of your hand. You could really manipulate things. Digitally, as it were. (get it? aw, nevermind) I'm sure someone would try to scream patent, but the fact is, there is prior art all the way back to the PDP-6 at MIT back in '66 or so for using cameras in similar ways, albeit for robotics. David Silver was his name. So
      • Cameras are one way. Ultrasound ranging is another: put three microphones just about anywhere around the workspace and a transmitter on the glove. Or three or four transducers and let the glove calculate its position using GPS techniques (the transducers can figure out their own geometry the same way).

        The glove itself can be low-key that way, more like an Isotoner than a Power Glove.
  • by eric2hill (33085) <ericNO@SPAMijack.net> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:24AM (#9747835) Homepage
    The Spaceball [alsos.com] is specifically designed for 3D manipulation. You can push/pull the ball in 6 directions, and twist it in another 3 axis. You don't physically move the ball around in 3D space, it's more like a 3D-enabled trackpoint [google.com].
  • I worked one of these for use with a 3D visualization system some time ago. The problem is that it is very difficult to do precision selection of the data - not precision movement of the mouse.

    As other posters have aluded to, eventually you will get extreme muscle fatigue and want to hit something. At least, that's what I found. There was also a version that didn't rely on anything besides calculating arcs on the mouse and standard input.

    The ultimate 3D input device has already been invented, it's the Spa
  • RSI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matey-O (518004) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:32AM (#9747922) Homepage Journal
    Logitech had a '3d' mouse back around, oh, 1995 or so. It had a stationary base and a mouse shaped handle. The whole thing moved in an XY space, and you could roll-pitch-yaw the handle. It 'emulated a mouse' so that you could use it to replace one - or so the box said.

    The REAL end result was hand pain the likse if which you've never seen. I had it back in the box and returned to the store in under 30 minutes.

  • by Kupek (75469) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:33AM (#9747935)
    The desktop is a 2D environment. There is no need for a 3D mouse. If a 3D desktop environment actually catches on, then people will need a 3D mouse. Until then, it's a novelty.
  • Some people shouting here that it would take a 3d gui to use a 3d mouse. Others telling that thanx to the scroll wheel we already have 3d mice.

    I guess both are true. The 3d gui's that are designed (for general use) right now are probably all designed with our '3d' scroll wheel mice, as the adoption of the gui will be more likely (and much quicker) if people won't need a new pointing device just to try the gui.

    That's the problem with innovations. If you're not slightely backwards compatible, it will be ver
  • I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Phantom [sensable.com] devices. They would work better than any of the devices mentioned in the article, and actually provide force-feedback. I've never used one, but I presume that if you let go of it, it probably could stay in the same position you left it in, so that wouldn't be an issue like it would with the other devices. The site also has 3D CAD applications that use it, and an SDK.
  • A reason.

    Look, just for the screw of it doesn't suffice.

  • http://neil.fraser.name/hardware/ [fraser.name]

    He has lots of other projects out there. My favorite is the mouse trap. I love the description...

    The body of the trap is made from a shortbread tin. Mice enter through a hole cut in the lower-right side of the tin. Once inside, they are forced to walk though a toilet paper tube to reach the bait. On the bottom of the tube is an infra-red LED which is aimed at a photo transistor at the top. These components are taken from the write-protect sensors of a 5.25" disk drive.

  • what will it take to get people to use them?
    All I need is a hypersurface to rest it on.
  • I prefer the WASD keys and a 2D mouse for moving about the digital ether. A step up from there is a joystick and a good sized track ball. While working at Midway games I got to mess with all kinds of 3d input devices. A few accellerometers can make a pretty cool/accurate input device.
  • I see a lot of posters saying this would be useful for 3D work (a pretty obvious answer), and as a 3D animator I'm unsure as to how this would really help with the way things currently work. Using Maya as an example, Maya simulates 3D in 2D to display it on the screen, and its current workflow is based entirely upon its 2D-manipulating-3D nature. Unless this approach was made radically different, there would be no difference in the process really except in the way objects translate; however then you run in
  • Anyone else remember this [nifty.com] from Logitech a while back? I remember Sierra Online was trying to hawk it in their product catalog (disguised as a games magazine) bundled with their games back in the mid-90s, when FPS games were just starting to take off.

    Found a review of it here [deadmedia.org].

    Apparently, Logitech even made a second, newer version, as seen here [3dgamers.com]. I had the original, I thought it sucked.

  • I'm thinking I'm going to build one of these. I think one could eliminate the pully slippage problem and aleviate the need for weights with the use of a simple coil spring attached to the pully arm and a spool for the string to wind and unwind from.

  • Q: what will it take to get people to use [3d mice]?

    A: Less than $1,850.00 price tags. Next question.
  • It is really an upside-down version of a device that appeared in issue 13 (Jan/Feb 1994) of PCVR. The article was entitled "A Simple 3D Tracker" by Stefan Elsner. It utilised digital encoders and motors to provide tensioning on the lines. Four lines were ran from the four upper corners of a room from the motor/spool/sensor packages at the floor corners of the room (and over pulleys at the top corners), and down to a mount which had a sensor to measure yaw for an HMD. Pitch and roll of the head were done usi

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.

Working...