CES - Wear your mouse -- or your whole PC

A trend toward computing mobility is one theme of the Consumer Electronics Show, and it appears in several products that offer alternative ways to interact with your PC.

If you dislike having to clamp your hand on a mouse all day or if you have problems holding your wrists in a certain position, consider this strange concept: mousing in mid-air. Essential Reality LLC has developed an odd-looking hand contraption that lets you control your mouse when you flick your fingers and wrist in various (and customizable) ways. The P5 is designed to take advantage of 3D games but could also be a useful alternative to desktop navigation and moseying around in certain apps.

Think air mouse

Here's how it works: You place a glove-like apparatus on your hand, which includes separate extensions for your four fingers and thumb. A tall and narrow docking station (a tracking device) is hooked up to a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port on your PC. This infrared-based device will interpret your hand's movements and make things happen on the desktop.

Now, holding your hand out in front of you, if you wave your index finger around, say, you can control the cursor on screen. Flick your finger twice mid-air and you can open programs. With 3D games, you can customize your hand movements to shoot a gun or swing a bat or rotate your position.

Wearers of the P5 glove have about a three-foot range from the infrared unit. Essential Reality hopes to increase that a bit. Despite previous promises to ship last fall, the company now says it expects to release the P5 this May. The price is expected to range between US$129 and $149. Lefties are out of luck for now, although the company says it may come out with a wireless device for both left-handed and right-handed computer-users. The P5 won't replace your keyboard by any means, but it can give you more freedom to mouse-click in an entirely new way.

The product bears some conceptual resemblance to a pair of wearable keyboards introduced last fall at Comdex. Both Samsung and Senseboard are developing alternative input devices that let you type in midair. The input comes via flexible motion sensors you wear on your hands.

Tech headgear

And speaking of wearables, Xybernaut is showing off its Poma, the company's first consumer product. The company also markets an industrial product, the Mobile Assistant 5. The Mobile Assistant products are wearable personal computers designed to perform tasks such as remote video teleconferencing, retrieve and analyze information from remote locations, or coordinate remote commercial and industrial activities. The products can also be used in military field operations.

Poma is a portable mini-computer and you wear some of it on your head. The display is mounted on a stiff silvery headband that you wear just above your eyes on your forehead--think of Wonder Woman wearing an oversized eye patch. You control the cursor with a compact (and lightweight) pointing device.

The unit comes with a Hitachi SH-4 32-bit RISC processor and 32MB of memory. Based on Windows CE, the Poma is set up to give you access to your e-mail, the Web, and your data, and you can also play your stash of MP3s. The Poma is scheduled to ship in March, with a $1005 price tag.

When I tried out the unit it certainly felt weird: You have to focus your eyes on the head-mounted display in a peculiar way--I felt I was going cross-eyed at first. It would take a while to get used to a whole new way of working.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Aoife McEvoy

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?