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Mouse May be Replaced by "Nouse" 247

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the things-you-can't-make-up dept.
mteichrob writes "A Canadian inventor has designed a computer mouse steered by movements of the nose and eyelids. The invention, dubbed a "Nouse," is meant to help people with a disability use a computer. I think this could also be quite useful for the average office lackey like me! As good as my ergonomic mouse/keyboard combo is, less body movement is still a better replacement."
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Mouse May be Replaced by "Nouse"

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  • Questions (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuclear305 (674185) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:34PM (#10270737)
    A mouse that can be moved by the nose and eyelids? I think the most obvious question is, "What happens when you sneeze?" I'd hate to accidentally send a reboot command during a sneeze.

    I'd also be curious to see how it would affect twitch gaming where quick reflexes with a mouse are paramount.
    • by vettemph (540399)
      If your running that brand of operating system that I haven't used in three years, it probably needed a reboot anyway. (...or was about to crash)
    • by MarkGriz (520778) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:40PM (#10270832)
      "What happens when you sneeze?" I'd hate to accidentally send a reboot command during a sneeze.

      There are only drivers available for Windows, so this shouldn't cause any undue inconvenience.
    • Re:Questions (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sbowles (602816) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:43PM (#10270872)
      I think the most obvious question is, "What happens when you sneeze?"

      Or when you pick ...er... scratch your nose.

    • by filtur (724994)
      "What happens when you sneeze?"

      In windows that's equivalent to starting up a program.

    • More to the point, the nose can hardly be moved on its own (unless people have jointed cartilage, I guess) so it must require lots of neck movement...which is exactly where I want to get repetative stress injuries!

      Advertisement text:

      • Already work in an office full of facial tickers and head bobbers? Well put those abnormalities to work with
      • Nouse! That's N-O-U-S-E! Blink twice, snort once to order now!
    • I think the most obvious question is, "What happens when you sneeze?"

      With all due respect - the most obvious question, clearly, is: "Can I use it with CounterStrike?"

      - David Stein

    • Re:Questions (Score:5, Informative)

      by LnxAddct (679316) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @06:21PM (#10271906)
      This is nothing new. Alternatives to the physical hardware with which we interact with our computers has been researched for years. I haven't rtfa, but I'm going to assume that the nose is tracked and associated with the mouse, and two blinks == one click, and three blinks == double click. I did this over two years ago, and I know alot of others who have too, just go to any university. Anyway, tracking the nose is good, but I found tracking your irises(is that even a word) easier and significantly more accurate. I found it easier because you are already focusing on that area for blinks, you already know where the eyes are so there is no need to go searching for other features. Also, the eyes stick out significantly more than a nose, and depending on the lighting, a nose can be very hard to detect because it is skin and blends with your face. I found using the eyes for mouse movement more accurate because you have redundancy, instead of hoping that you found the nose (which you only have one of) and then hoping that you tracked it right, using the eyes you can double check all your answers to a certain precision (doesn't work with a "dead" eye). Also, the iris is clearly defined and surrounded by white in all people. Using the nose, or mouth, for tracking was awkward because as you move your nose up or down you have to move your eyes opposite of that direction to stay focused on the mouse. When you use your eyes, they naturally are pointing where ever the mouse is, and thats most likely your intended area of focus. One final note, as this is getting long, some people may be wondering why 2 blinks = 1 click, etc... Well at first I did have 1 blink == 1 click and 2 blinks == 2 clicks. Debugging this was hell! It drove me literally insane. My mouse kept clicking when it wasn't supposed to and I had no idea why. Then after quite a while of damn near mathematically proving my code to be correct, I realized it was me inadvertenly blinking! Now your thinking, "Duh!", but when its late at night and your on a roll coding and testing, you dont really pay attention to when you blink, I mean we blink all day long and never realize it. So inorder to effectivly click with the eyes, you need to add an extra blink. Just my 2 cents. Oh yea, I also am unfortunately no longer working on that project(I was going to release it on sf.net or something) but around the same time I migrated entirely to linux and my damn Creative Camera didn't have drivers. I'm still waiting to get a logitech cam, any recommendations?
      Regards,
      Steve
      p.s. I forgot to mention that tracking the nose is useful for one application that me and friends found, if you make a triangle with your nose and eyes then you can get a pretty good idea of the orientation of someone's head in relation to 3 dimensional space. Using the eyes isn't very useful for more then 2 dimensions.
  • by andyrut (300890) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270739) Homepage Journal
    Hooray for less body movement! Let's give this technology a test drive:

    Me: Twitches nose left
    Computer: Moves cursor left
    Me: Neat! Blinks
    Computer: Opens folder
    Me: Excellent! Hey, who put all this black pepper in my sandwich? Aaaaachoooo!
    Computer: Reformats hard drive

    Oh, and the Nouse has already been covered on Slashdot [slashdot.org]. Come on, a simple Slashdot search of "nouse" turns this one up.
    • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:54PM (#10271019) Homepage Journal
      yeah, but I can't get the damn cursor to stop shaking while I look at pr0n.
      • Voice recognition isn't a good porn interface either... It doesn't work when your voice is shaky.
      • I guess my patented foot operated trackball wouldn't be of much use for you, either, if you get weak in the knees.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The same test drive by Samantha (Bewitched):

      Sam: Twitches nose left
      Computer: Mouse moves left

      Sam: Neat! Blinks
      Computer: Opens folder

      Sam: Excellent! Twitches nose left then right then left then right
      Computer: Computer replaces Dick York with Dick Sargent

      Sam: (sneezes)
      Florida gets overrun with hurricanes.
    • Mega-necks (Score:3, Interesting)

      The few people I know in wheelchairs have withered legs but very strong arms from all that extra arm exercise. They can crush cans with their finger tips like most folks can crush paper cups.

      What's going to happen to a nouse user? All that extra activity is going to make very strong neck muscles. Wouldn't want to piss the bloke off and get head-butted.

      • Re:Mega-necks (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Uncle Jimmy (253443)
        The few people I know in wheelchairs have withered legs but very strong arms from all that extra arm exercise. They can crush cans with their finger tips like most folks can crush paper cups.

        One day when I was working at a petrol station a few years back, I looked outside after serving someone, and there was this guy with no legs filling up his car.

        He only just came up to about level with the top of the boot, so it looked a bit weird at first.

        Then, when he was done, he just `walked' inside using his arm
    • ...they'll give you enough roupe to hang yourself?
  • by JustDisGuy (469587) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270740)
    no - really, I just sneezed!
  • by phyruxus (72649) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [knildnapmuj]> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270746) Homepage Journal
    MMMmmmmmmm....... :)

    What? I like to eat soup while I surf the web.. ya' perv.

    ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Cheesiest... line... EVER
  • I could use a vacation.
  • by mtrisk (770081) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270754) Journal
    I can just see it now!
    *Wiggle*
    *Sniff*
    HEADSHOT!
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:36PM (#10270760) Homepage Journal
    I thought they already had something like this that followed your eye movements [usc.edu].

    "The technology that watches you watching IT"

    Department of Homeland Security Approved

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:36PM (#10270764) Homepage
    less body movement is still a better replacement.

    Perhaps if your goal is to become as fit as Stephen Hawking, but through lack of exercise rather than disease.

    • So, moving the mouse counts as "exercise"?

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/08 36 210263/qid=1095367883/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl 14/002-3755677-8558457?v=glance&s=books&n=5078 46
  • The porn browsing possibilities seem endless!

    Fap fap fap...
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:36PM (#10270769) Homepage Journal
    If it's the same one (I couldn't access the CBC report linked to so I googled it) then it's much more than just using your nose and eyelids for a mouse- it's full face tracking software at a subpixel resolution.

    Which is a really cool idea- it means that a webcam can replace the mouse.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Great for people with disabilities, but...

    But how the hell will we, as IT people, make it look like we are frantically busy without lots of keyboard mashing and mouse piloting?!?!?!
    • Imagine how impressive it would be if your boss walked into your cubicle and you fixed the network, right there, with your arms folded the entire time.

      Pretty impressive if you ask me;)
  • Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:37PM (#10270778) Journal
    Anyone remeber the Atari Mindlink?

    http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/consoles/260 0/mindlink.html [atarimuseum.com]

  • by YetAnotherName (168064) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:37PM (#10270780) Homepage
    When office politics, job stress, insane deadlines, an IT support from hell drive you insane, you might just well find it impossible to use your nouse due to all the nervous twitching.

    That's when a wired mouse is still handy ... in only few simple steps it can transform into a noose!
  • by Krondor (306666) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:37PM (#10270793) Homepage
    As good as my ergonomic mouse/keyboard combo is, less body movement is still a better replacement.

    I don't know about you, but this seems like it would get very tiring. I mean I can't flare my nostrils all day, the muscles in my nose start to get sore. What about people that have twitches, tics, or whatever you like to call it. Not to mention the sneezes (I know somebody already mentioned it in an earlier thread).

    The geek in me does really want to try this though, unless you have a disablility though it's definitely a novelty.
  • Nouse? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone besides me read this as "No Use"?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    No, the pocket protector and the tape around the nose of the glasses weren't enough... now somebody had to go invent a mouse that involved moving your head in short bursts and blinking a lot.

    Yeah, where do I get one?
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:41PM (#10270837) Homepage Journal
    I'll be impressed when they train a real mouse to type, point, click etc in response to voice commands.

    That'll also make it more fun when Windows crashes, because I'll have something more cuddly/furry to bang on instead of the keyboard.

  • by wicka_wicka (679279) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:41PM (#10270843)
    What about a pouse? Kill two birds with one stone.
  • Somewhere in the world, bathed in the light of a monitor displaying this Slashdot article, someone with their nose resting on their mouse is smiling...

    --

    Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
    or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemned, but loved and bought with blood.
  • by mrpuffypants (444598) * <mrpuffypants@noSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:43PM (#10270867)
    or, perhaps it'll be replaced by keyboard
    • Imagine a guy sleeping on the keyboard , with his chin firmly on the space key and right hand on the numpad ENTER key :)

      Oh, if I stand on my chair I can see at least 7 guys down the aisle like this ....

      Back to topic, so how about using the keyboard with a nose ?
  • by M3wThr33 (310489)
    That way we can get atrophy of ALL our muscles instead of just our legs.
    • by pjt33 (739471)
      Using a nouse to control your computer won't prevent you from carrying your shopping home, pressing weights, or whatever else you do to keep your arm muscles in trim. Getting severe carpal tunnel syndrome will - I speak from experience. I'd be more worried about the potential effects on the neck.
  • > As good as my ergonomic mouse/keyboard combo is, less body movement is still a better replacement.

    Geeks are already socially disabled, do you want them de facto physically disabled as well? I mean, give geeks this technology and they'll be so out of shape that they'll effectively be disabled soon.
  • hey... (Score:3, Funny)

    by DrEldarion (114072) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:45PM (#10270901)
    I made something like this before - You could control things with your lips. I called it "Louse".

    It never caught on :(
  • All jokes aside (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Walter Wart (181556) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:45PM (#10270904) Homepage
    We all understand that this will never replace the mouse and keyboard. Hands are just, well, more dextrous.

    But for some disabled it will be a godsend. High spinal cord injuries and other conditions can make it difficult to use or control the hands to the degree required by mouse and keyboard. The ability to use the face will make life a lot easier for these people.
    • From webster.com

      Main Entry: dexterous
      Variant(s): also dextrous /'dek-st(&-)r&s/
      Function: adjective
      Etymology: Latin dextr-, dexter on the right
      side, skillful 1 : mentally adroit and skillful : CLEVER
      2 : done with dexterity : ARTFUL
      3 : skillful and competent with the hands

      So I think Hands definitely are more dextrous. I don't think feet could be competent with the hands. LOL!

    • by toxcspdrmn (471013) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:12PM (#10271234) Homepage
      Hands are just, well, more dextrous.

      ... yet on the other hand, more sinister.

  • You can't expect the average user to never blink when using a computer. I mean, I wouldn't want to have to click on something every 15 seconds just to keep my eyes from drying out. I guess they could have it only activate with a wink, and then it would only mess up when you got something in your eye. Playing a first person shooter would be kind of hard though...
  • MS Nouse (Score:2, Funny)

    by iMaple (769378)
    Release: Microsoft Windows(TM) has a small issue with the nouse drivers.
    Issue: The system appears to crash often Solution: This is not really an issue this is due to the auto memory clean which is designed to fix the memory leaks in Windows and the applications and force the user to reboot once a day

    Issue: No I mean *really* often
    Solution: This is due to a small problem with the Nouse drivers. The problem is due to Nouse inc. and is not by MS, though we wrote and certified the drivers. The OS acciden
  • by PhuCknuT (1703)
    As good as my ergonomic mouse/keyboard combo is, less body movement is still a better replacement.

    How lazy can you get?
  • by Digital_Quartz (75366) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:49PM (#10270962) Homepage
    You can find Dmitry (the inventor's) webpage here [iit.nrc.ca]. Lots of interesting stuff, including some interesting facial recognition and tracking work.
  • In other news, the beta test of this device met with horrible tragedy when Samantha [wikipedia.org] tried one on and accidentally obliterated three city blocks.
  • by Snodgrass (446409) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:50PM (#10270971) Homepage
    ...until you get a bad case of carpal nasal syndrome.
  • What the article neglects to mention is that this is a variation on the original design, which was an apparatus that allowed you to control the mouse cursor with your penis.

    The design was later reconsidered, citing possible issues with users over 60...?
  • Nousea? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Schreckgestalt (692027) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:53PM (#10271005)
    When working with a Nouse, consider taking a break of 15 minutes every hour or you might experience Nousea that will prevent further work for the next 24 hours.
  • My mouse previously replaced my spouse!
  • Focus: follow eyes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nacks1 (60717)
    I would be quite happy if just the window focus would follow to wherever I was looking. Can't say how many times I have typed important things like "reboot" or "rm -rf foo" in the wrong window just because my window focus didn't magically follow where I was looking. If they could get around to just doing that then maybe the days of "focus follows mouse" would be over.

  • Mousersize (Score:4, Funny)

    by eander315 (448340) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:56PM (#10271037)
    I don't know if i really like this NOUSE thing. Moving my mouse around is the only excersize I get. I've moused 1,736,945,879 miles so far this year, and lost 3 pounds! I'm down to 268!!!

    On the other hand, the creamy filling from twinkies wouldn't clog up my optical mouse every day...

  • by Da VinMan (7669) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:58PM (#10271063)
    Here [perceptual-vision.com]

    I don't have a web-cam handy, so if someone could give this a spin a let us know how well it works, that would be very much appreciated.

    If it works well enough, I would definitely use something like this to replace my mouse for everyday tasks. It wouldn't replace the keyboard, but it's always been the mouse that's caused most of my RSI-like symptoms.
    • Alright, I gave it a whirl using my digital camera which doubles as a webcam. Nearly everytime I blinked it managed to recognize that, even without calibrating it. After I had calibrated it, it seemed to pickup my blinks a good nine out of ten times. One of the more annoying things is that you have to position the camera so it can see both of your eyes otherwise you get some very screwy results (kind of difficult when you have a huge hutch hanging over your monitor). Also, if your camera doesn't pickup
      • Very cool post. Thank you! I may have to try this for myself. (Have to buy a compatible webcam first I guess!)

        Hopefully someone mods you up more..
  • by Vexler (127353) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:00PM (#10271080) Journal
    What would a device called "house" be like? A hand-drive mouse, perhaps?

    Oh, wait...
  • I personally think this is a good idea. I know that there will be the usual folks who chime in that they only use the CLI, but for most people who need to use office software that's not really very practical (yes, I love vi too but most PHB's see a "txt" extension and go "huh?").

    I would love to be able to gesture with my nose and move the cursor. The carpal from using the mouse I have leads to back and shoulder pain, not just tightness in the hands and arms.
  • by Ionizer7 (814098) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:04PM (#10271133)
    is the fact that you don't have a nose?
  • by milton_wadams (692960) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:04PM (#10271134)
    Prof. Tom Hutchinson at the University of Virginia has been researching this subject for decades. His system [eyeresponse.com] lets you control the cursor with the movement of your eyes and can track & record your eyes as you look across the screen. It's been in use for years for a great deal of UI research in addition to it's potential for handicapped users.
  • by DeadVulcan (182139) <{dead.vulcan} {at} {pobox.com}> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:14PM (#10271252)

    As good as my ergonomic mouse/keyboard combo is, less body movement is still a better replacement.

    Just because you're moving less doesn't mean you'll be under less strain. It's the naturalness of the movement (however big or small) that's important.

    Now, like any good Slashdottie, I haven't read the f...ing article, but if this "nouse" requires you to hold your head perfectly still, I can guarantee you that your neck muscles will be weeping by the end of the day.

  • I have a flashback of Asimov where in one of the Caves of Steel series books the guy has his robots build more and more situations where he basically was mounted on a chair and food flowed into his face and he died.

    As if some geeks don't have weight problems as it is now from the sedintary style of sitting infront of a keyboard 10 - 14 - 20 hours a day, restricting movement even less is not something that appeals to me ;)
  • current gui toolkits (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PerlDudeXL (456021)
    I know the eye movements get be tracked, but I think for a good interaction with a gui toolkit it needs
    to be really acurate to hit a button without hitting the other one right next to it.

    Or selecting/high-lighting text.
    I think that can be tricky.

  • I'm no longer current on the research on pointing and control devices, and I don't recall reading any of Gorodnichy's papers, so for what it's worth:

    This approach, at it's best, could work as a secondary pointing and control device. I primary device requires a very high degree of control. The hands and fingers are excellent for manipulating a primary device because they are very good at precise, controlled movement and manipulation of other objects through tactile feedback alone and especially well in co
  • by FrenZon (65408) *
    A far more polished piece of software is cam2pan [mousevision.com], which works wonderfully well in all manner of lighting situations. A far less polished piece of software is freelook [freelook.org] (which is a project of mine).
  • I read "nouse" and heard "noose" in my head. Then I saw mention that this would solve the problem with those disabled people...

    I feel dirty.
  • Dilema (Score:2, Funny)

    by fcolari (699389)
    The pretty girl in the cubicle across from me-- is she winking at me, or just right-clicking?
  • I think this could also be quite useful for the average office lackey like me!

    Can you imagine the hellish predicament you'd be in if you developed the equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome in your eyelids? In order to rest your lids enough to heal, you'd probably have to choose between leaving your eyes closed and thus being temporarily blind, and wearing some sort of yet-to-be-invented protective device that would let you keep them open all the time.

    Yes, I know, carpal tunnel syndrome is due to inflamed
  • There once was a thing called a Mouse,
    replaced by that called a Nouse
    but dont be to smug -
    it may still have bugs,
    and again your a geek to your spouse.

  • 'Faster than a rolling O. Stronger than silent E, able to leap capital T in a single bound. It's a word. It's a plan. It's Letterman. [pbs.org]'

    By removing the N from the mouse that Spellbinder had turned into a nouse, and replacing it with an 'H', Letterman turns the nouse into a house!

  • Users would move a cursor around a computer screen by moving their nose and blinking instead of clicking a conventional mouse

    Can you imagine winking all day at the computer screen ? Most of it would be left eye wink to simulate left click (unless both eyes = left click, right eye wink = right click)!!

  • for use in the ImmersaDesk [iu.edu] system. I called it "Head Woggle Navigation" and the user's head attitude synced up display navigations with wand input (3d mouse) never caught on though. But I do see things like this [arsc.edu] from time to time.
  • With gestures enabled you would get a little neck workout when you want to reload a page in Opera/FireFox..

    Can this really be good? I would think all those micromovements wouldn't be good for your brain (constant rattling) or your neck. Not to mention you'ld look inflicted by the black shakes.

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