I Used My Finger As a Mouse... And It Made Me Miss My Mouse

There is an all-out war against the mouse, and this year, it's in the form of Motix. Instead of your standard point-and-click affair, your pointer finger becomes the mouse.


The way it works is you attach a separate sensor to your keyboard. As far as I can tell, this will only work well with dedicated desktop keyboards. The sensor tracks movement over a specific area of the keyboard (which you can adjust if you have teeny-tiny or massively gargantuan hands). The other piece of equipment is a tiny capacitive strip numbered one through four that your other thumb rests on. When you press down on the "1" you activate the finger-tracking sensor. If you need to get to the finer details you can slide up to 2 and the sensitivity increases. You can also transform your desktop display into a touchscreen by sliding your thumb along the capacitive pad or pressing the number 4. Your finger can then begin clicking.

Illustration for article titled I Used My Finger As a Mouse... And It Made Me Miss My Mouse

I gave Motix a test run on Windows 8.1, though the software also works with Mac, but because of Windows 8.1's focus on touch-based controls, the OS seem more suited for this quirky piece of tech. The problem with alternative mouse technology like Motix and even eye-tracking software like Tobii, is that the mouse is hard gadget to dethrone—mainly because it just works. Motix suffers similar growing pains. Sometimes I could wiz around my desktop with ease and other times it was a frustrating dance of pressing firmly on the numbers pad, moving my finger, getting nothing, and trying all over again. I wanted to just grab a mouse...but...there wasn't one.

Motix will ship this February for $120 and is compatible with most keyboards. If you want to have force-like mouse control powers, Motix is a good start, but it's definitely at the very beginning of a long road ahead.

Illustration for article titled I Used My Finger As a Mouse... And It Made Me Miss My Mouse

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Les Mikesell

Mouse-replacement and touch screens aren't really going to work until there is a standard way to get hover-over popups and right-mouse context menus,