The Only Mouse That Needs Regular Tune Ups

Illustration for article titled The Only Mouse That Needs Regular Tune Ups

When Toyota gave the iQ, their tiny new four-seater, the tagline "nimble as a mouse," they were probably referring to the cheese-loving rodent. But just to cover all the bases, they turned one into a giant, functioning computer mouse, too.

Toyota's determination to make this pun happen required the programming of special software to turn the car's movements, tracked from above with a camera, into those of a cursor on the giant screen. The agency behind the ad explains:

The feat required a large indoor space, a web cam, two laptops, an LED for the car, and a projection screen.

The camera tracked the light on the car and translated its position into X-Y co-ordinates. The first laptop sent these co-ordinates to the second laptop 30 times per second. The second laptop read these co-ordinates and moved its mouse cursor in real-time. That image was then projected onto the large screen.


As if just getting the system working wasn't enough, the car goes on to design itself a nice print ad. Very clever, but I'll bet backseat cursors get annoying pretty quick. "No, no, that won't work, you have to search 'stomping grape lady!'" [Ad News]

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I don't know why, but this popped an idea in my head. Why can't we use webcams for finger tracking, to make our fingers a mouse. So we could hold up our finger in front of the screen (far enough away so the camera could track it) and the cursor would follow around wherever your finger moves.

Push your finger forward for a left click. Two fingers forward for a right click.

Might not be all that practical, but it'd be fun as hell for at least 5 minutes.