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Input Devices Hardware

Your Entire PC In a Mouse 165

slash-sa writes: A Polish software and hardware developer has created a prototype computer which is entirely housed within a mouse. Dubbed the Mouse-Box, it works like a conventional mouse, but contains a processor, flash storage, an HDMI connection, and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is connected to a monitor via the HDMI interface and connects to an Internet connection through standard Wi-Fi.
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Your Entire PC In a Mouse

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  • ...on the keyboard...
    • I kind of don't like the idea of all the expensive stuff being inside the things you have your hands on and move around all day.

      • Dongle (Score:5, Funny)

        by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:40PM (#48860703) Journal

        Do you know that you left yourself wide open* for male anatomy jokes there?

        * Not intended to be a "goat_" joke.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I'm not really all that concerned about the physical aspect- it's all solid-state so if the housing of the mouse is decent then it should last assuming it's not dropped from height or crushed, but I just wonder when the point of diminishing return will be reached. Seems like it makes more sense to build the computer into the display or into something the size of a small portable hard disk drive, so that it can have USB ports or bluetooth for the keyboard and mouse, and could literally hang on the HDMI port
        • Sounds a lot like the Intel Compute Stick [intel.com]. maybe not powerful enough for everyone, but for a lot of users, it would be the ideal device. It would be so great to not have to worry about syncing files or even how software licenses transfer between machines when you can put a full powered computer in your pocket.
        • Seems like it makes more sense to build the computer into the display or into something the size of a small portable hard disk drive, so that it can have USB ports or bluetooth for the keyboard and mouse, and could literally hang on the HDMI port on the TV like the "Amazon Fire TV Stick" works.

          Inside the TV is not very portable. I don't like smart tvs either because they are a one size fit all, you're stuck with a single app.
          Inside a usb/hdmi stick though makes a lot more sense. I could see you going to a friends house and just plugging your computer into their TV.
          Going one step further, a "smart tv" that would be useful would be a tv that when multiple dongles were plugged in, they would allow you to
          either toggle between them or even let you splitscreen the two mini-computers.

          • Going one step further, a "smart tv" that would be useful would be a tv that when multiple dongles were plugged in, they would allow you to toggle between them

            That already exists. You can plug in a ChromeCast dongle, a FireTV dongle, and Apple TV, and toggle between them using either the remote, or a tablet.

      • Like your smart phone?

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        I kind of don't like the idea of all the expensive stuff being inside the things you have your hands on and move around all day.

        Should be fine for playing with Python.

    • As you say, computers in the keyboard have been around for a very long time. So with less space, fewer ports, and fewer options (and assuming the user wants a keyboard) What's the advantage in having it in the mouse? There may be a use case I haven't considered but so far all I see is a gimmick.
      • A tiny portable media PC, perhaps.

        Install something like XBMC, have no password set up, maybe a wifi network for extended selection, and with the HDMI connection, you can quickly hook it up to any TV in your home, and maybe your friends' homes too.
      • Bingo. Cool little hack, but what if you want something, you know, useful? Build it into a mini keyboard/trackpad combo like the K400 and you've got something. Small enough to be portable, big enough to have some useful connections, no added peripherals required.
      • Exactly!

        Throw in a Thunderbolt port and you'll also be able to offload more connections to a compact docking station.
        Leverage the low-quality graphics features of modern x86 CPUs and adapt Intel's Wireless Display tech or something similar and boom, you'll also be able to sell mobile displays with a kickstand so your office PC can turn into a laptop whenever the situation requires it. Same with simply using the projector in your conference room as an external display.

        With all the necessary product lines und

    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:39PM (#48860687) Journal

      This. Replacing a 102-key device with a 2-key device is not progress. Point-and-click is really just point-and-grunt. Two grunts to double-click.

      Obligatory Onion article. [theonion.com]

    • ...on the keyboard...

      Why not plug one into one of the two USB 3.0 ports that are mentioned in TFA but not in the synopsis?

      • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:57PM (#48860817)

        Enjoy using a mouse with a bunch of cables attached to it. Not so ergonomic, you see...

        As this mouse needs a display anyway, it'd be so much better to put the brains in something that doesn't move.

        • I agree. But the point was that TFA addressed how you get a keyboard attached to the system. I wouldn't ever buy or use this silly contraption. But it's possible to hook up a keyboard no matter how absurd the configuration is.

        • No, you'd plug that little teeny Logitech RF thingy into the mouse, not a cable.

          If you wanted to gripe, ask if they also sell a thin and supple mini hdmi cable. All the HDMIs I have seen pride themselves on how stiff and robust they are. Hell, the old SCSI cables that were half the size of a garden hose were more supple.

        • I guess instead of that, you could plug a tiny bluetooth module into the mouse and connect a wireless keyboard with that...
        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          People have been using mice with cables for a LONG time. In almost all the offices where I have worked, mice are wired.

          Sure, you could just use a keyboard for that, but many people drag that around their desk as well. What you could do is use a special box and put the hardware in that. Oh wait. I just invented the PC.

          There are basically three things that you need for desk PC.
          1) The screen
          2) The keyboard
          3) The mouse

          Having a PC in a screen is already done. You can go into a store and buy them.
          Having a PC in t

          • Instead of moaning how bad of an idea this is, YOU make something that you think would work.

            it already has been made. USB stick computers. plug it into the HDMI slot where it doesn't move. bluetooth mouse, keyboard. done.
            http://www.amazon.com/Hossen-M... [amazon.com]

        • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

          Enjoy using a mouse with a bunch of cables attached to it. Not so ergonomic, you see...

          The Slashdot is strong with this one. Its amazing how stupid you can make this out to be, when you don't bother RTFA.

          "You see", there's actually only one cable (the video cable), and there's an option to make that wireless too and have a totally wireless mouse/computer. It gets its power either through a flywheel in the mouse (using it keeps it charged), or though inductive charging from its mouse pad.

          Now I don't know how practical or useful it will end up being. But as an exercise in hacking, its pretty

      • I'm already using both of them for my Gamepad and soup warmer.

    • I've got it! How about we put the computer in the keyboard since it has more room! More economical. Here's my prototype: http://static.giantbomb.com/up... [giantbomb.com]
    • ...on the keyboard...

      From TFA: 2 x USB 3.0 ports

      That covers keyboard... and a second mouse if you're strange!

    • Not to be ethnist (I'm also a slav, though southern slav as opposed to Poland chiefly being northern slav), but am I the only one who's not surprised that this was a Polish design? This goes right in line with standard fare Polack jokes, for good or bad.
  • I don't know about everyone else, but my hand leaves crap on my mouse that needs to be cleaned regularly. I wouldn't want that stuff getting into the mouse and sticking to the circuits...

    I guess as long as they make it really easy to open up and clean, this could be a very cool idea.
    • I don't know about everyone else, but my hand leaves crap on my mouse that needs to be cleaned regularly. I wouldn't want that stuff getting into the mouse and sticking to the circuits...

      Sounds like you should get yourself checked out by a doctor if your pores are extruding crap.

      • Anybody that has worked front line IT knows what hand cheese is all about.

        Everybody makes it.

    • You could use a rag with a little soap and water once in a while. A mouse isn't like a keyboard, it doesn't have hundreds of crevices for dirty to get trapped in it.

      I get a lot of dirt on the bottom that needs to be cleaned before it starts making it not slide well. Probably because I eat lunch at my desk, it's probably soup that has splashed on my mouse pad. (or maybe dead skin? gross)

    • HDMI cables are (and will be) pretty stiff.
      Considering that you'll probably need a HDMI->microHDMI-adapter 'on the go' to actually connect to the display at hand, I don't see this being very convenient as a mouse (let alone when attaching an external HDD to the USB-port as well).

      Just clicking some standard micro-PC with some plastic hooks onto some standard mouse would be more usable and almost just as portable. In fact, if you buy this product, you'd be best off buying an actual mouse with it and connec

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        I only use wireless mice for that reason. Even in the early days, there was always a "fight" with the mouse. Move the mouse to the right, let go, and it'd try to re-center itself from the cord memory. Going to a thick, heavy HDMI cable coming from it, and it'd be even worse. Perhaps usable if there was a thin, light cable of 10 cm or so before the HDMI adapter. But even then, I doubt it.
        • I use a wired mouse all the time and also hate mice that have resistance or pull. You just have to make sure the cable is supported (so gravity isn't pulling on the mouse) and that there is enough slack and the mouse is just as free as wireless.
          • I had forgotten.

            Early Mac mice, especially the square ones, had exceedingly supple cordage. To the point that they would easily get gunked and twisted, and you'd have to occasionally straighten it out and wipe them down.

            Maintenance on a mouse cord. Yes, you used to have to do that, and nowadays you really don't. But those mice did not have cord memory, not like every modern mouse today does.

      • Dunno what cables you're using, the HDMI cable hooked up to my monitor is only slightly thicker and stiffer than my mouse cable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:36PM (#48860653)

    This is clearly not intended to be a gaming device. When I get pissed off and wing my mouse across the room in frustration, I don't want to destroy my entire computer in the process.

  • Heat? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ELCouz ( 1338259 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:36PM (#48860657)
    Mouse will be hot (Not very hot but enough to sweat more)
  • I call it Apple II. 1 MHz 8-bit CPU, 4kB RAM.

  • I'd think this would be easier to implement in the keyboard. More space. Mostly stationary.

    • Re:Keyboard (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:54PM (#48860795) Journal

      In the keyboard: Commodore-64
      In a phone: Apple iPhone
      In the monitor: Apple
      In a flower-pot: Apple ("daisy monitor")
      In a flash drive: pendrivelinux.com
      In a mouse-pad: ?
      In a power cord: ?
      In a toaster: http://www.embeddedarm.com/sof... [embeddedarm.com]
      In eye-glasses: Google-glass
      In undies/bra: ?
      In a coffee mug: ?
      In a coffee maker: http://null-byte.wonderhowto.c... [wonderhowto.com]
      In head-phones: ?
      In a hat? (red hat :-)
      In green-eggs-and-ham: ?

      • And the only one that took the market was 'in a phone'. Everything else never really took off. Why do they expect this nasty mouse idea to take off? The most ubiquitious device these days is the portable phone. Who wants to keep a mouse in his pocket in case he needs a computer when he already has one in his phone? Increase the Batman factor no more. This is 1990 idea.
        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          Increase the Batman factor no more.

          I prefer the Get Smart factor: shoe-phone. More fun. Gives a new meaning to "reboot".

        • I think the Commodore 64 had a little bit of popularity.

        • Funny, cause there were many smart phones before the iPhone came out, and many of them were very popular as well. Unfortunately for them though, they were not classed as a fashion accessory.

      • Well my yellow-eggs-and-ham prototype started out pretty well but by the time we got to the green-eggs-and-ham stage most of the focus group users couldn't stand having it on their desk anymore...
      • In a power brick exists, but that isn't the same thing as the power cord I suppose.

    • Yeah! Stick the computer in the keyboard!

      You can even have a flatscreen connected to it, with a hinge so the user can adjust the angle. Then stick on a battery so it can be used for a while away from a wall socket, and you've got an innovative new product!~
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki@nosPAM.cox.net> on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:37PM (#48860667)

    I say, "Why not?"

    It's a crazy idea. I don't think it's going to fly particularly well, but hey, if they want to try something unique and crazy, I'm not going to stop them.

    I mean, ten years ago if you told me that one of the best ways to stream stuff to my TV was through a stick the size of a zagnut bar that plugged directly into my HDMI socket, I would've told you you were nuts.

    Bring on the crazy ass designs. Let's see where this goes.

    • by j-beda ( 85386 )

      I say, "Why not?"

      It's a crazy idea. I don't think it's going to fly particularly well, but hey, if they want to try something unique and crazy, I'm not going to stop them.

      I mean, ten years ago if you told me that one of the best ways to stream stuff to my TV was through a stick the size of a zagnut bar that plugged directly into my HDMI socket, I would've told you you were nuts.

      Bring on the crazy ass designs. Let's see where this goes.

      Good point.

    • Yeah, and I'll remark people seem to be forgetting the word "prototype".

      And this looks pretty classy for a prototype!

      http://mybroadband.co.za/news/... [mybroadband.co.za]

      Looking over the criticisms: I see a lot of "edge case tweaks", but not thing fundamentally show-stopping. So if you give this all a bit of a forward-future roll, let's try a few ideas:

      1. Keyboard vs Mouse.
      Keyboards "tend to be wide". Sure, modern designers found some ways to use that bottom layer well. But computer mice *do* seem to have a fair amount of "dea

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Let's see where this goes.
      Think of where a mouse could be used. With a VM that gets replaced everyday, on an OS without permanent installation, used with the air gapped and networked computer?
    • why not? while it is cool I can think of a lot of why not's for this particular device. e.g. walking off with someones mouse is far too easy, a mouse is a constantly moving item that gets knocked, sits next to your can of coke or cup of hot coffee, it becomes awkward for usb and peripheral connections and would need to be farely low powered otherwise the heat of the device plus the warm hand is going to make a rather uncomfortable device. personally I go for small PC's that I can attach to the back of the m

    • This is the single best argument I've seen so far for wireless video. You could conceivably use it without any wires at all attached (especially with a wireless keyboard). And if you needed USB peripherals, you could just connect it to a hub and be up to one wire, just like a regular wired mouse. It doesn't mention having bluetooth, but it's certainly a good candidate for it (or a really small bluetooth dongle).

      This needs to be coupled with highly portable displays.

    • It's a crazy idea. I don't think it's going to fly particularly well, but hey, if they want to try something unique and crazy, I'm not going to stop them.

      it's not a question of stopping them. it's a question of whether you are going to give them money. will you?

  • Why? Well, a couple of reasons. First, if you're like me, your hand will be on the mouse a lot causing it to be warm. Second, mice get abused and break too easily.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      "Why? Well, a couple of reasons. First, if you're like me, your hand will be on the mouse a lot causing it to be warm. Second, mice get abused and break too easily."
      I think you're doing it wrong.
      Stop abusing your "mouse" and it won't get warm and break.

  • That doesn't sound very comfortable - an HDMI cable to the display constantly dangling around as you move the mouse. Plus I have enough trouble keeping HDMI cables connected without them moving constantly; the connectors don't have good interlocks.
    • an HDMI cable to the display constantly dangling around as you move the mouse.

      Once upon a time, mice use to be wired.

      Before the era where everybody uses mouse that talk over bluetooth or some proprietary variation of Wireless USB and that uses batteries that die every once in a while, there used to be a period where USB and PS/2 cable dangling from the mouse to the main machine where the norm.

      And nobody found it problematic back then.

      • "And nobody found it problematic back then."

        Umm yea, people did they just couldn't conceive of a better solution until wireless came around.

        Wired phones weren't found problematic and now people scoff at the thought of using such barbaric technology.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by KiloByte ( 825081 )

        Does anyone actually use wireless mice? They used to be a fad a decade ago, but I can't remember the last time I've seen one.

        Cons:

        • batteries are constantly out
        • too easy to displace
        • hard to manage orientation

        Pros:

        • ???
        • by kuzb ( 724081 )

          Yes, I have a razer mamba which I use regularly. I can use it in both a wired and wireless mode and it works great. Orientation is not hard to manage, and it comes with a charge stand which doubles as a receiver or you can plug a USB cable directly in to it.

          The pros are obvious. You're not dragging a cable, which means you're not stressing a cable. Which means one less thing it break, and more fluid mouse operation.

        • My wireless mouse was replaced by an iOS device about a decade ago. Pros: doubles as a small keyboard when needed and can even be used from time to time to make a phone call. cons: batteries are constantly being drained, too easy to misplace. At least they licked the orientation issue.

        • by Eythian ( 552130 )

          The batteries typically last for 6+ months at a time.

          For the other two points, if you can't use a mouse, you have bigger problems than wired or wireless.

          The main pro is that there is no cable to catch on the other crap that's on my desk. Also, I use the mouse left-handed, but usually games are set up with a right-handed configuration by default, so I just pick up the mouse and move it for those cases, without having to sort out a cable.

          In a pinch, they double as a wireless presentation clicker too.

    • Yeah, sounds cumbersome. That said, there are the rather slick looking super thin HDMI cables: http://www.monoprice.com/Produ... [monoprice.com] (no affiliation to monoprice, just like their stuff)

      That said, is there a power-over-HDMI spec, or does it need a separate cord, too?
    • That's a tiny connection so it's going to have a thin mini-HDMI cable plugged into it with maybe full sized HDMI at the other end. In mechanical terms that will make it very similar to a normal USB mouse.
  • Pros:
    Cute

    Cons:
    Too heavy to move around
    No bluetooth for keyboard (I suppose you can get one of those USB dongle ones)
    HDMI cable restricts movement
    Can't throw out and get a new one when the mouse part breaks
    Forget upgradability
    Forget peripherals
    How hot does this thing get? Sound uncomfortable for your hand.

    Nope, this is all a joke. Would never pass usability testing.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @07:07PM (#48860865)
    No screen on the mouse? Lame.
  • The mouse becomes defective i.e. broken wheels and buttons?

    Would you have to hook a mouse up to the mouse?
  • There's really only space on a mouse for one wire coming out, so if that wire is HDMI it'll be annoying to hook this thing up to a keyboard.

    On the other hand, if they built this thing with a USB-C port then it could be pretty neat. You could sit down at a desk with a USB 3.1 Hub, a keyboard, and a monitor and just plug in your mouse and be ready to go. The USB 3.1 cable would happily handle power, video, and the USB keyboard.

    On the other hand, it'd probably make more sense to just have a regular mouse at th

  • You could do this easily with a Raspberry Pi ARM, especially the A+ (200mA) or something a bit larger like the Banana Pi (350mA) or for x86-64 devotees, an ECS Liva (550mA@5V).

    I use these and form factor is the issue -- the tiny things become like octopus hubs with a number of cables in & out. Some like the HDMI are fairly heavy and stiff. The little board/box gets lifted and controlled by the cords.

    I'd never want a mouse with those cables tying it down. The Chromecast-style HDMI stick (one coming fr

  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

  • Why not put the whole computer in the power source form factor? It' almost there already: http://venturebeat.com/2015/01... [venturebeat.com]
  • There are situations where using your own computer is forbidden.

    What a stupid bit of advertising here. It puts off resellers as the product is marketed to circumvent procedures and hence to engage in illicit activities. And in cases where circumventing procedures is beneficial to the common good, activists will already have spotted that opportunity.

    I admit that I'm not a marketing guru. But why not elegantly appeal to people wanting to travel light for instance?

  • ... hiding FB from a boss? (the first use case shown in the video).
    A smartphone is already a much better tool for that

  • I really liked that the videos first argument was that if you aren't allowed to use your own computer, this one is easy to hide!

Introducing, the 1010, a one-bit processor. 0 NOP No Operation 1 JMP Jump (address specified by next 2 bits)

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