I Used My Finger As A Mouse… And It Made Me Miss My Mouse

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.

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 $US120 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.

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


  • Mice work as was stated – no interpretation needed. Waving your hand still uses the same number of limbs as a mouse so I don’t really see what it is improving…

    • It actually uses more because not only do you use one hand to do the Jedi Hand Wave but you must also make sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing on the capacitive strip so you don’t click when you should move.

    • Well, one obvious benefit over a mouse is that you don’t have to move your hands off the keyboard to use it. That might not be a big issue for games where you’ve always got your right hand on the mouse, but is more important for use cases that are mostly typing.

      However you also get that benefit from a Thinkpad’s TrackPoint stick, so I’m not sure how it compares there.

      • Fair enough – I’d rather move one hand 20cm to the right and use my mouse (or the trackpad/nub like you said).
        In a case where you are predominantly typing I don’t see it being able to provide the finite control needed to select/highlight a single character in a field of text. I’m not sure handwaving (or touchscreens for that matter) will ever be able to provide that level of control better than a mouse.

    • But then what devices like this (and eye-tracking devices) offer is ability to do mouse control for people who can’t use a mouse. i.e. can’t grip a mouse

  • I honestly thought the gif in this article was interlinked with the article from Luke “Now Pokémon Can Play Twitch “, it looked like you were scrolling the text from that articles gif.

    When I realised it wasn’t, my life felt empty. 🙁

  • The mouse is just one of those things they got right, there is no easier or more efficient way to interact with a 2D interface.

  • Id rather be able to drag my fingers across the keys like a giant trackpad than dangle them in the air. Aim that bastard down a little!

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