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By mtd28student
Mice have come a long way in the last few years with the invention of the optical mouse e.t.c. The optical mouse still has several problems.

1) They are still surface dependent - will not work on glass e.t.c.

2) Cordless optical mice drain batteries very fast, especially when playing games. (Solar panels add around 25% more life)

My idea is to use an accelerometer to measure the changes in direction, and hence the position of the cursor on the screen. I believe that the accelerometer would be far more efficient than optical mice, and it would not be surface-dependent. A similar one used in radio controlled helicopters could be used.

With the chance that 3d monitors may be appearing in the future, an additional accelerometer could be introduced to allow positioning of the cursor in three space.

The only downside I could see of using an accelerometer is that you couldn’t used it in a car or plane and that the device would need to be very sensitive.

Reward: a free one...
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By Steve
Two questions:

1. What exactly is an accelerometer? :-?

2. While reading your post I was wondering if it might be possible to have a mechanism that reloads the batteries automatically. Like with the wrist watch that uses the arm's movement to generate the necessary electricity. Or like a bicycle dynamo, with one of the mouse wheels powering a tiny generator. Or combine the mouse with some kind of toy (like this one) - after all, most people play with something on their desk all the time, so why not make it useful. Does anyone know if something like that already exists, or would the generated electricity simply not be enough?
By mtd28student
An accelerometer is similar to a speedometer, but instead of measuring speed, they measure acceleration. Combined with a few simple kinematic equations it is possible to obtain the speed, and distance covered by the mouse for a given acceleration.

Nuclear submarines use this technology when the go under water for long lengths of time where GPS doesn't work. Accelerometers measure the changes in acceleration in the X Y and Z direction during a submersed trip. This gives a 3D position of where the sub is in relation to the ground. When the submarine surfaces the position system is calibrated to GPS position. Usually after a several month trip, the position is to within one or two feet of the GPS position.
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By Michael D. Grissom
This is definitely a GREAT idea!!! Don't worry about the accelerometer working in a moving vehical -- wireless from the vehical can keep it accurately informed about what it needs to compensate for.

The 3D holographic monitor you mentioned is being produced in the Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina. This would be the perfect enhancement to their new product. I was thinking about using eye movement tracking combined with the alpha and beta waves emitted from the brain to accomplish this but, I think your method would be just as accurate but MUCH less expensive.

I'll let you know when my new Accelerometermouse patent is issued! ;-D ;-D ;-D :-P

Seriously though,.. accelerometers are cheap these days. You should DO THIS!!! ...if it passes the initial patent search. If you build a proto that works, let me know and I'll put you in contact with the company thats making the holographic monitors.

BTW -- I had NO idea that the Navy had developed accelerometers to an accuracy within feet after months of being under sea. I would have thought that to be almost impossible. Now I must go search out what new technology made that possible. Thanks a lot buddy!!!... like I need more work to do! :~(

Hey Steve!... please permanently ban mtd28student before I die from lack of sleep. :,-(
By zyx Rationalist
no need of accelo**** instead create software to do the job.

I want a mouse with no buttons , should be completely sealed, because buttons get old and dont click any more properly or at all.

it should detect taps instead, a tap on left , a tap on right , two taps on right is to hold button down and again is to release the virtual hold. taps on both is double click and so on , i am sure u can come up with better ideas , u r the smart ones, but please seal the mouse , no more finger dirt getting in thoes buttons please.
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By FlatTop808
You could use the same technology that's in touchpads on laptops for the "clickless buttons." Tapping on the left or right would emulate the buttons and the middle region would emulate the scroll wheel. You could even scroll left and right, meaning that the mouse controls the cursor and the touchpad controls the screen. I would love to have that while working on graphic design.
By mtd28student
I have a friend doing a physics project on ring lasers at the moment. A ring laser is made up of a two lasers and four mirrors. The lasers go in opposite dirrections in a square pattern. By measuring the interference between the laser beams, accelerations can be measured. This is roughly how they work i think...

At my university, the is on mounted on the wall of the physics building. It can sence the angular accleration the building has in the morning due to the thermal expansion casued by the sun hitting one of the walls.

i suppose the navy has a similar device in their subs e.t.c
the larger they are the more accurate they are. I know of one that is 20 metres between the mirrors.

hope theis helps in some way
By matthewfelgate
Or your mouse-mat could actually be large one of those touch pads you get on laptops => removing the need for a mouse altogether :-D
By Bubbles
if one is ever made you have to email me straight away with all the contact details cos i want one!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-D

ps nz rocks
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By Michael D. Grissom
On TV a few weeks ago I saw a device about to be marketed that tracks your head movement to emulate the mouse and uses right and left blinks (winks) to emulate the buttons.

At the last NCSU senior engineering design show, there was one that tracks the eyeballs.

It seems that everyone is trying to accomplish what you're trying to do which means it's a great idea just begging to happen.

I'm betting that we'll see it marketed in less than a year.
By Robert Pitts
I'm wondering whether a mouse mat that had series of stationary magnets embedded in it could be used to induce a current in a coil that was built into a cordless optical mouse. The movement of the mouse over the mat might help to trickle charge the mouse's internal battery and keep it functioning for longer.
I know induction coil mouse mats already exist but they have to be connected to the computer in some way to receive current.
An application for this might be when using a data projector and wanting to pass control of the computer around the room without the need for an expensive rechargeable tablet or cords dangling everywhere.
Just a thought...I have no idea whether it could work in practice. O:-)
By sneezyalex
I have seen some kind of laser mouse that supposedly will work on all surfaces including glass.
By dcosmin
an accelerometer can't be used in a car or a train, but why would you need to?that's why there are pads for...
By eldemokraty
i think only accelerometer is not enough may be an additional gyroscope will help much to define the direction ,its like compass ,it dont have to be used in normal mice it can be implemented in a watch and use wireless communication and its power may be drained from the watch battery or from kienitic energy

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